Hopeful Applicant

“Weaknesses?” Harry asked. The pale, frail woman bit her lip with hesitation. Then she gave a faint head-nod as if making up her mind about something.

“Garlic and silver?” she asked. She was reassured at every step that they employed vampires. Despite that, she feared security would rush through the door to stake her then and there. Harry looked up from his form.

“Are you asking me or telling me, Ms. Hope?” Harry had been working for the company for almost 20 years. He gave up trying to keep up professional appearances on the first day. Once he started hiring vampires, werewolves and other fae he realized this wasn’t that kind of job. He loved every moment of the 20 years after that realization. The vampire woman sat up straighter. Harry’s question put her at ease; he obviously didn’t care what she was as long as she could do the job.

“Garlic, silver, and holy water, but not crosses.” Harry nodded, then focused on his form again. He checked three boxes and added a note.

“Unique number?” he asked. Then he looked up when the answer did not come quick enough. Ms. Hope gave him a confused look.

“I’m sorry?” she asked. “No one assigned me a number.” Harry’s pen dropped out of his hand to the table; he sighed.

“I’m sorry for wasting your time Ms. Hope. I don’t know how you got this far in the interview process without anyone telling you. We won’t be able to offer you a position with us,” he stood from his desk with an outstretched hand. “Thank you for coming.”

“What?” The woman did not rise to accept his hand. She remained seated and stared at him with red glowing eyes. “Because I don’t have a number that one of your people should have assigned to me?” Harry shook his head; he caught sight of the clock on the wall and did some quick mental math. She looked like she really needed help and Harry decided he had enough time to explain things properly to her. At least that way maybe she would leave without taking it out on him.

“What’s your favorite number?” he asked as she sat down. Ms. Hope shrugged.

“Three-hundred seventy-one,” she blurted out the first number in her mind.

“Ms. Hope I can explain to you why you’re not suited for the job, but I’m afraid it won’t change anything. We still won’t be able to offer you the position but you’ll at least know why.” She rolled her eyes at him, but the red glow dimmed.

“Fine, let’s hear the reason.”

“There are beings…,” he looked directly at her. “..of which you are not one, that are known as Unique Souls. The long and short of it is each one is identified by a number 1-54. While it is true we often hire vampires; this posting is for Uniques only,” he offered her an apologetic shrug. “I’ll keep your file handy for future postings but there’s nothing I can do right now.”

“What can they do that I can’t?”

“Stop time, travel between universes, destroy entire Earths, kill dragons, talk to plants, and so on. Each number is a different type and each type has different abilities.”

“Universes? Plural?” Ms. Hope asked. Harry nodded.

“In fact, my boss is from another universe, another Earth. It’s a lot like this one but with less fae.” Harry’s phone rang. Ms. Hope remained on the chair with a stunned look on her face so Harry took the opportunity to answer it.

“Hi, it’s Harry,” he said as he picked up. Ms. Hope only heard his side of the conversation. “Yes, Ma’am. No Ma’am, I was going to-” he kept his eyes on Ms. Hope. She began to feel like he was talking about her. She began to come out of her daze from the unbelievable things she heard about. “She’s not a Uni-” Harry’s eyes broke contact and confirmed Ms. Hope’s suspicion. “Oh, I see. No one told me, it’s a good thing you called. Thanks, Melody. Bye.” Harry hung up the phone. Ms. Hope sat up straighter and gave him her full attention.

“Well, now I know how you got this far without anyone telling you. Directive from up high,” he shrugged and gave her a smile. “You must have really impressed them somehow, they want to offer you the job.” Her lips pulled up into a giant grin; her eyes sparkled. “On one condition,” Harry added.

“I’ll do it, anything!” Harry placed a clipboard with a black sheet of red text on it and grinned.

“You just have to sign your soul over to the company.”

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