Heckin’ Opportunity (6-20-18)


[WP] You have a shoulder angel and a shoulder devil. This is somewhat unusual, but what makes it worse is that everyone else can see and talk to them. [Link to post.]

“I have an appointment with Mr. Johnston,” Michael explained his presence to the short-haired secretary. He stood in front of her desk wearing his nicest suit, and his light brown hair combed as neatly as he could manage it. 

“If you take a seat, he’ll be right with you,” she said as she pointed toward the row of colorful, plastic stiff back chairs on the other side of a small coffee table. Michael nodded, then sat in a red chair. He grabbed one of the dozens of Acting magazines spread on the coffee table. He mumbled to himself while he flipped through the magazine.

“This is a bad idea,” he said. Then he felt the familiar weight of a tiny angel on his right shoulder. Righty wasted no time in encouraging Michael.

“That’s just fear talking. This is a great opportunity, it might even change your life.” Right said. 

“I’m with Mike on this. Bad idea,” Lefty said. He appeared on Michael’s left shoulder along with a small puff of sulfur. Michael was already used to the smell however, he noticed the secretary discreetly trying to cover her nose.

“Go back to sleep, Lefty. You said I could have him to myself today,” Right complained. Lefty shrugged.

“I was just agreeing with him. Don’t worry, you’ve still got your special day. I’m just here to watch everything crash and burn.” Lefty chuckled to himself. 

“Don’t let his negativity sway you, Michael.” 

“Michael? Mr. Johnston will see you now,” the receptionist called out. She pointed to a door down the hall. Michael stood, thanked her and moved down the hall.

“Lefty, no trouble okay? Let’s just do what we’re here to do and get out of here. I don’t want you accidentally prolonging it in any way,” Michael spoke to his left shoulder. The tiny red demon gave a mock salute and disappeared in another puff of sulfur. “yeah, thanks for doing that before we get in the room.” Michael was never clear if Lefty and Righty could hear him if they were not in earshot. Sometimes it seemed they could, and other times not. His best guess was that they could, but Lefty tended to have “selective hearing”.

“You too, Righty,” Michael added. The small angel touched a hand to Michael’s cheek.

“Don’t be nervous!” Righty said, then disappeared. His heavenly smoke left no foul smell behind. Michael chuckled to himself. 

“I’m not,” he said. After taking a deep breath he knocked on the door while staring at the golden nameplate. “Daryl Johnston” in big letters. “Talent Agent,” his title in smaller letters under his name.

“Enter,” a deep voice replied from within the room. Michael pushed the door open and stepped through. Mr. Johnston’s office was barely decorated. A single red flower vase held a bouquet of purple tulips. Every other surface in the room was either white, metal, or clear glass. Michael walked to the desk and offered Mr. Johnston a handshake, but the stern man waved him toward a chair. 
“Well,” Mr. Johnston looked Michael up and down. “You’re not ugly kid, that’s a step in the right direction. What’s your name?”

“Michael Einburger,” Michael said. “But,” he began to speak, but Daryl shushed him with a handwave.

“Hold on, we need to change that right now.” Daryl stood from behind his desk then walked around the front to appraise Michael. “Michael… Micha.. Mike… Mick. Mick!  Mick..” he continued walking around the seated young man. “Ein… no. Burg.. burn.  Mick Burner! That’s your new name. Alright stand up and let’s see you if you can act any, Mick.” Daryl pulled Michael to his feet, though he needed to exert some force.

“Wait, I need to explain something,” Michael said. He gently pulled Daryl’s hand off his arm, so as not to offend.

“I’m here about a specific posting,” Michael said. He reached into his pocket to pull out a flyer, then held it up to show Daryl. The agent grabbed the wrinkled paper from Michael’s hand and looked it over.

“Oh yeah, CloudSoft. Sorry kid, the part’s cast already. But I like your look,” Daryl walked back around his desk and began rifling through the mess of papers.

“Oh, okay, thanks anyway.” Michael turned towards the door.

“Hey hold on a second. You’re gonna need to toughen up that thin skin if you’re gonna make it big. Now look, I got just the thing for you,” he found the folder he’d been searching for, then marched around the front of the desk to show Michael.  Michael shook his head.

“No thanks.” Michael kept walking, but Daryl stopped him with an arm around the shoulder. The agent then turned him around until Michael found himself sitting again.

“Forget CloudSoft kid, fabric softener commercials won’t get you anywhere. All you gotta do is wear a robe and pretend to be an angel.” Daryl wrapped his hands in front of himself in mock prayer and cast his eyes upward. “Any idiot can do that.” He opened the folder and handed a sheet to Michael. “This’ll really let you ACT, you know?” Michael read the sheet, then looked up at Daryl with a shrug.

“It’s a stain remover. Isn’t that the same as a fabric softener?” he asked. Daryl shook his head.

“You’re looking at the wrong thing. It ain’t the product, it’s the part. CloudSoft just wanted someone to stand around, but…” Daryl lifted the sheet for effect. “…Heckin’ Good Stain Remover, they want someone to act like a devil. They want someone that looks like they’re having fun.”

“I’ll do it!” Lefty appeared on Michael’s shoulder. Daryl made a face and stepped back at the smell of sulfur. After a moment he stepped forward to appraise Lefty. “On one condition,” Lefty added while the agent eyed him from every angle.

“Kid, if I’m not high right now, you’ve got a very bright future.” Michael shrugged.

“I’m just along for the ride. He’s your client.” He pointed to the tiny demon.

“Alright. So you’ll do it?” Daryl smiled at Lefty.

“One condition,” he repeated.

“Name it. You let me represent you, and you can have anything your little red heart desires.”

“We’re a set.” Left pointed to Michael’s right shoulder. “I’ll do the Stain Remover commercial if you let my good friend do the CloudSoft commercial. C’mon out and introduce yourself, Righty. It’s why we’re here, right?” Righty appeared next to Lefty on Michael’s shoulder.

“I DON’T NEED YOUR HELP,” he grumbled at the demon, then wrapped his arms around him in a hug. “But, thank you.”

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