“I’m sorry?” Edgar paused mid-grasp and pulled back his hand away from the interviewer. He expected the interview to end on a joke; he had his own comment he was saving. But something in the woman’s brown eyes felt stern and cold when she asked.
“Are you willing to kill for this job,” she repeated the question to him with a straight face. Edgar’s mind ran through possibilities and landed on what he considered the most logical reasoning.
“It’s still part of the interview,” he decided. “It’s still a test,“. He took a deep breath, then gave the interviewer, Marge, his best smile.
“Do you mean kill to get the job, or kill as a regular part of the job?” He asked.
“Both, Mr. James,” Marge gave him a flat smile. Edgar shook his head.
“There may have been a mixup. I’m only here to push papers.” Marge’s eyes narrowed while the wheels turned in her mind.
“You’ve never heard of Sharp Development?” she asked him. Edgar shook his head.
“Not before I saw you were hiring in the paper,” he said. “Why?” He asked, then quickly shook his head and waved his hands.
“Nevermind. I don’t know, I don’t want to know. I’m leaving. Sorry for wasting your time,” he added and turned to stride toward the door. He nearly jumped out of his skin moments before he reached the door. A delicate, soft hand landed on his shoulder, Marge was right behind him with a large smile.
“Thank you,” she said.
“Huh? For what?” Now that she stopped him, Marge took a step back to show she meant no harm.
“For reminding me not to take some things for granted,” She said then gestured at the empty seat where their interview took place. Edgar was curious enough to want to know what she was talking about, and he felt he still had a chance for the job. With a quick decision, he was sitting in the chair again with Marge sitting in front of him behind her desk.
“Sharp Development is a unique corporation. They offer incomparable benefits and thousands of positions in almost any environment you could imagine. Being part of this company is a dream come true for all our employees. And we all think that something like that is worth killing for,” she said.
“However, I forget that there are people out there that haven’t heard of us. They don’t know what a privilege it would be to work at Sharp Development.”
“So.. the killing was .. figurative?” Edgar asked. Marge shook her head.
“As you can imagine, our work environment is very competitive. One of the best benefits is unlimited opportunities to grow. I started out pushing papers, and now I’m here….” She spread her arms wide to gesture at the space around them. The office was in a two-story building in the heart of Downtown. It didn’t seem like a lot to Edgar, but she seemed happy about it. “…in charge of all this.”
“So.. killing?” Edgar asked.
“Sharp Development has a unique system for resolving internal disputes: combat to the death.”
“That seems shortsighted for a successful company,” Edgar wondered why anyone would work there.
“It would be, if you only had one life,” Marge grinned. “But Dana Sharp is very generous when it comes to lives,” Marge pressed a button under her desk. The wood paneling to Edgar’s left began to sink into the floor. It left behind five human-sized tubes with black featureless mannequins in each.
“You get one of these each year, up to a maximum of five,” Marge said.
“What are th-,” Edgar’s question was interrupted by a solid thunk. He turned and saw Marge laying across her desk. He took a step closer to see if she was okay, but stopped. Her dark brown hair and tan skin disintegrated away leaving behind a black mannequin like the ones in the tubes.
“I think you’d be a great fit at Sharp Development,” Edgar almost jumped out of his skin when he heard Marge’s voice behind him. He turned and saw her stepping out of one of the tubes. “If anyone asks, you killed me to prove you were ready for the job.”