Three drabbles about the worst job interview ever.
“So you’ve come to learn the secrets of the Archives, young man?” Master Balin sniffed, slightly disappointed. “Give me your name.”
The would-be apprentice raised his head, swallowed his fear, and spit out, “Jesper, sir.”
“A reasonable name, with merit. It means treasurer. Rather appropriate, if you win a place in the Archives. These books and relics are indeed a treasure.”
“What do you need me to do? I’ll work hard to advance.”
“Work hard will you?” Maser Balin laughed. “Well, that’s good, but it won’t be that easy to achieve your place here. First you must pass the test.”
Jesper stared into the pit, his stomach curdling as he tried to see anything in the darkness. “You want me to jump in there? Why?”
“It’s a leap of faith.” Master Balin smiled. “A test of your willingness to follow your duty.”
“A test of faith? But that makes no sense.”
Balin shrugged. “Do you want to work in the Archives or not?”
Jesper looked at Balin then at the pit. “I do, but…”
“Well, you can always go home.”
Jesper closed his eyes. It’s probably just a trick. And I can’t go home.
Then he stepped off the edge.
Master Balin poured the fragrant tea, and passed a cup to his colleague, Master Lucien, before seating himself.
“So, Balin, another fool took the leap, did they?”
Master Balin nodded. “He did. Lucky for us.”
“True. Our protector was getting restless. And hungry. He’s well fed now. Did the young man scream much when he was eaten?”
“A bit, but not as much as the last one. He shrieked the whole time.”
“At least they’re all sacrificed for a good cause.”
“Indeed. Their lives keep the Archives safe.”
Lucien chuckled. “Not to mention sustaining our immortality for another few years.”