Flash Fiction : The cover Letter

The blank document taunted him. The sharp white pixels tearing into his mind, laughing at his continued failure. It demanded he fill in the details of my life, but every attempt left it wanting. He couldn’t figure out what they wanted to hear. How did one tell a company that they’d love to sell a third of their life for peanuts without it sounding as empty as a politician’s promise? Hell might as well just offer to sell his soul to them too.

His friends all told him that’s the trick. You aren’t supposed to make it not sound like bullshit, just make the bullshit look good. He didn’t have that in him. Every time he looked at the fallacious simpering suck up cover letter examples he’d find bile rising in his throat. His few abandoned versions came off more like a pick up artists failed game at a bar. Acting like he so great he didn’t even need the job. That was equally disgusting to him and far less likely to land him employment.

“FUCK THIS.” His internal monologue screeched to a halt with those words. It was time to get fucked up. He went to the bar instead. Maybe he would find the answers at the bottom of a beer bottle. And if not at least when they were empty he’d be fucked up enough not to give a fuck about his principles.

The sunlight of the next morning stabbed his eyes. Angry points of brightness determined to worm their way into his skull and remove whatever brain cells the whiskey had managed to leave alive last night. It wasn’t the sun that had risen the dead though. A piercing whine commanded his body to movement. His brain still stuck in the reboot cycle, the meat sack stumbled on its own, barely processing the images his eyes managed to take in as they opened once every 3 or 4 seconds. Finally he found his phone and shut off the Ke$ha alarm that had been the one thing he’d found would always force him out of his bed.

The screen blinked with a new notification, as he silenced the screeching wail. 2 Missed Calls. 1 Voicemail. He checked it. Not a number he’d seen before. Tempted to delete it without listening to the dead voiced plea of the collections agent he knew would be there, he decided instead that he could use a reminder that this headache was not the worst thing in his life. Play.

“Hello, This is Misha from H.E. LLC. We got your cover letter and resume last night and would love for you to come in for an interview when you get a chance. Please call this number at your next convenience.”

2 hours, 1 shower, 1 shit, and 1 shave later he was on his way down town to the offices of whatever business he’d managed to apply to last night. Drunk him was apparently far better at google as in the frantic 15 minutes of free time he had found, he was unable to dig up anything on what the company did. All he got was the address and phone number. He had no clue how he’s managed to apply last night as he found no Email or job application form.

The waiting room was immaculate but a bit off putting. A blood red carpet dominated the view, but the walls were decorated with Medieval artwork he barely recognized from his sophomore year when he needed to take a classics course to fill his degree requirement. Gargoyles perched at the top of columns that went two stories to the ceiling, ivory marble with thick ebony streaks decoratively carved into them, giving the feel of smoke curling up.

The receptionist led him past all this in a hurry, saying the hiring manager was a busy woman, who couldn’t be kept waiting. He was deposited into a small room with a table and desk lamp. A woman in a smart business suit sat behind the table.

“We can make this very quick if you’d like. We’re in need of people and you’re in need of employment. We were impressed with your application and don’t feel the need for a full interview process. If you sign here we can get started discussing compensation.” She slid a form in front of him, a large ornate red pen sitting on it.

He hesitated for a second. But he was not the type to look a gift horse in the mouth. If he didn’t like the job he could just quit after a few weeks. Better to take the offer while it was there. His debts weren’t going anywhere while he waited. He took a seat an picked up the pen.

“So uh, just to be clear,” he began to form the lines for his signature “What exactly impressed you so much in my resume?” He was hoping the answer would give him some clue to what type of work he was being hired.

“Oh it wasn’t your resume. It was your cover letter…particularly the part where you said you were willing to sell your soul.” He looked up and could swear for just a second he saw her eyes flash red. She smiled, all toothy and self satisfied. A forked tongue flicked out and worked it’s way over the pearl whites as his vision went dark.


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