Chapter 1- New JobThere were very few jobs that were hiring. Not a lot of places were hiring in the middle of fall. There were a few places, none of them good. I would have to consider carefully. I walked to my interview, my steps careful. Everyone was on edge. The string of crimes and mysterious happenings were only getting worse, and people feared for the worst. Our town hadn’t been too worried, until the incident that took place a few months ago. It was a devastating blow for us, and gave us a new fear, even if nobody showed it.
I arrived at the diner, anxious. There was hardly anyone here, which helped my nerves a little. At least there wasn’t much of anyone else trying to get this job. I pushed the doors open, and looked around, hesitant. One of the waitresses saw me and motioned me over. I walked over to the waitress, who had an exhausted smile on her face.
“You here for the job?” She asked. I nodded.
“Well sit down! You shouldn’t be nervous. Please wait while I inform the manager you’re here.”
I nodded, cautiously sitting down at one of the barstools. This place made me uneasy. One of them could’ve been sitting here at one point…
The waitress came back and motioned me into the back. She led me to an office, and then left me to my interview. I gulped. Hands shaking and stomach twisting, I turned the doorknob and opened the door. I walked in, shut the door, and sat down with my hands in my lap politely. The man at the desk looked up, apologetic.
“My apologies. I’m just finishing up some work.” He set down the pen and folded his hands on the desk. “First, why do you want this job?”
“Ah…I…” I took a deep breath. “I need the money for rent and food.” I paused a moment. “I’m in college.” He smiled.
“Thank you for being honest. Most people are never honest.” He picked up my resume that was on the desk. He scanned it, looking it over.
“You’ve never had a job before?”
“Ah, no sir. I haven’t. But you have to start somewhere right?” I gave an awkward smile. He smiled back.
“That’s true. Ah, last question before you leave.” He looked up. “Can I expect you to work hard?”
I nodded vigorously. I had always worked hard, because my father had told me that that was the only way to get anything done in this world. My father would know, because he’s worked hard all his life. My interviewer nodded. “Alright then. I’ll call if you get the job.” I stood and thanked him and got to the door. It was all going well until at the doorway, I laughed nervously and as though possessed said,
“I don’t think anyone else will apply though” I froze, realizing that he might’ve heard me. Face burning, I walked quickly out of the building. I had just blown it.
I had gotten back to my dorm half an hour later, still sulking on the bed. My roommates had tried to cheer me up, but nothing worked. I heard my door creak open, and Angelina came in, awkward smile on face.
“Hey Leah! I brought you some food!”
I let my face fall back onto the pillow, moaning.
“Go away Angelina!”
Angelina came in anyways and sat down on the edge of the bed.
“Aw, come on Lee! I brought you food!”
“Food won’t get me a job Angelina!” I screamed at her. She gave a sigh, her face sad.
“There’ll be more jobs Lee!”
“Not in this town!” I turned to look at her. “Angie, there are only so many jobs that are hiring in the middle of fall, and the only jobs that are hiring are the worst jobs! That’s why they’re hiring!”
Angie scrunched up her face, thinking hard. When she had finished thinking, she asked me,
“Why don’t you look in another town?”
“This town is closer, and I’m not going to go any farther. I want a job in that town!”
Angie gave me an exasperated look.
“Lee, you’re being impossible.” She spread her hands. “We can still look for jobs in that town! We’ll look together!”
I looked at her for a moment before I gave up with a sigh and a smile.
“Alright,” I flashed her a huge grin. “but you gotta give me some of the food you game me.”
Angie, as well as my other two roommates Olivia and Anna sat down with me in the common room. I had laid out the newspaper, and we all sat, scanning the job ads that were left after I crossed out the jobs I’d already applied for.
“Oh! What about this one!” Anna pointed to one of the ads. I shook my head.
“No, I can’t. The hours don’t work for me.”
Olivia pointed at the one above it.
“What about this one? Good hours, good pay.”
I again shook my head.
“Yeah, but I’d not be good in a shop that sells a lot of glass.”
“How about this one?” Angie pointed to one of the last ads left. The one I wanted least.
“A-Angie no. Don’t you know about what happened to the last workers?”
She shook her head.
“Sorry. I don’t.”
Olivia and Anna had paled. They knew what had happened.
“Angie, the last workers…they were killed. It…it wasn’t pretty.”
Angie’s eyes widened.
“B-But, they weren’t killed at the building were they?”
Biting my lip, I shook my head no. Angie spread her hands.
“Then why not take the job? At least go apply!”
“Yeah!” Olivia chimed in. “If you get killed, they might make you a robot.”
Anna smacked her arm.
“That’s not funny Olivia!”
The four of us burst into laughter.
“Alright. I’ll go apply for the job tomorrow.”
I walked nervously into the daycare. It was afternoon, so there were lots of kids here. They were all having a blast, the robots entertaining them. I walked back towards the office, when I passed a girl- a teenage girl. She sat staring wide-eyed and blankly at the robots. I tilted my head, waving a hand in front of her face. She blinked and focused on me.
“Ah! I-I’m sorry for being rude.” I stammered. She turned her attention back to the bear robot.
I stood there awkwardly.
“Ah, are you alright? This place is kind of…I don’t know. More for kids? Ah! I’m sorry!” She looked at me, a sad smile.
“I’m okay. Also, this place was going to be a hangout for teenagers after the kids had left.” She frowned, a sad expression on her face. “They had so many ideas for this place…” She started shaking, tears welling up in her eyes. I wasn’t good with people, or comforting them, so I didn’t know what to do. I eventually ended up hugging her.
“It’s okay.” I assured her.
She looked at me, distraught for a second before smiling.
“Thank you.” She said, a little above a whisper. I pulled back and nodded.
“You’re welcome.” She smiled and held out her hand.
“I’m Clementine. Nice to meet you.” I nodded and shook her hand.
“I’m Leah.” I tilted my head before continuing. “I’m here for the night guard position!”
Clementine looked at me seriously and said,
“Yeah? Well take good care of the robots.”
I looked over at the robots. They were all hard at work. My eyes came back to Clementine, and I nodded.
“Mrs. Walker, this way please!” A guy poked his head through and motioned for me. I waved goodbye to Clementine and went to my interview.
I sat in the office in front of the manager. He had light brown hair and green eyes, but there was still something off about him. He smiled, looking over my resume.
“Oh my. No previous job experience?” He looked up at me, still smiling. “Why do you want this job if you have no experience?”
“I need money. Besides, you have to start somewhere. I need to start somewhere.” He looked at me blankly for a moment.
“Isn’t there a diner that’s hiring not far from here?”
I nodded and gave an awkward laugh.
“Y-yeah, but I think I kind of already blew that chance.” I laughed awkwardly again. The manager stared at me.
“So,” He continued, as though I hadn’t said anything weird. “you know karate eh? This isn’t a lie is it?”
I squinted at him.
“Want me to prove it?” My covered my mouth in shock. “Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry!”
“No, no it’s fine. I’d like someone who’s not afraid to say anything.” He looked at me seriously. “You aren’t afraid of anything are you?”
I thought for a moment.
“No. I’m not.”
“Perfect.” He stood and motioned for me to follow. “Come with me.”
I nodded slowly before getting up and following him out into the stage area. We stood in the doorway for a moment. He then moved to the robots, which were busy entertaining the kids.
“Kids, there are some coloring books out on some of the tables now if you’d like to color.” The manager told them. The kids laughed happily and went over to the tables to color, leaving us with the robots. The manager made the robots stand still.
“Leah, these are the robots, the life of this daycare.”
“I can see that.”
He turned back to the robots.
“They are very complicated machines that are designed to care for the children, and perform at certain times.” He turned to me and smiled.
“I won’t go over everything right now, but I will introduce you to them.” He motioned to the dog-eared girl. “This robot is Jinx, the lead singer.” He turned to the next robot, the bunny-eared girl. “This is Harriett, one of the guitarist.” He turned to the bear-eared guy. “This guy is Sullivan, Sully for short. He’s the second guitarist.” He turned to me. “Sully is very shy.” He pointed towards the tiger-eared girl. “This one is Scarlet. She’s the drummer.” Finally, he turned to the last one, the mouse-eared robot. “This one is Mick. Mick plays the keyboard.” The manager turned to me and smiled. “Simple right?” I nodded, and took a minute to look at the robots. They seemed dead. They were almost frowning, eyes half-closed. Their limbs hung loose, as though they couldn’t bother to move them. I lowered myself so I could look at their eyes. They were oddly colored, with hints of lighter shades in them. They shined with light reflecting off the glass, but something made the eyes seem realistic. I straightened out and looked at the manager.
“Whoever did those eyes did good. They seem really realistic.”
The manager smiled.
“Yes. They are aren’t they? Let’s move on!” He allowed the robots to go free, and they immediately went to the children to take care of them. Meanwhile, the manager went up on the stage and behind the curtain. I followed him, looking at the robots over my shoulder. I could’ve sworn that they were all looking at me.
The manager let me into the backstage area.
“If the robots ever need repair, just bring them back here! There are three manual, in this drawer that will tell you everything about them.” He pointed to drawer and then the one next to it.
“In this drawer are the plans for the robots.” He turned to me. “You shouldn’t need to worry about that.”
“Then why let me know?”
“Just in case. Now, let me show you the security office.”
“Ah…y-yeah.” I looked around. “Can I look around for a moment?” He turned to me, and smiled.
“Of course!” I nodded, and walked around to the workbench. There were parts scattered around everywhere, some spare parts on the shelves. I looked at the manager.
“Is there more to the backstage?” I asked. He nodded.
“But you don’t need to worry about it. It’s pretty much empty except for costumes for the robots.”
I looked around once more before nodding.
“Alright. May I see the security office now?” He nodded, and walked out of the room. I followed, and he locked the backstage behind us.
The security office wasn’t much. It was a small room with a long desk along the wall closest the doorway for security stuff and two chairs. The other end of the room had a few things, and altogether it was a sad room. There were drawings hung up on the wall, all looking like a child had scrawled them in a few hurried minutes. They all depicted the robots as covered in blood, knives in hand, teeth as sharp as the knives.
“Don’t worry about that.” The manager said before I had to chance to say something. “Those were drawn by the last security guard.” He looked at me with a smile. “He no longer works here.”
“Yeah. I figured, because why else would you be hiring a night guard?”
“Good observation. Now, I think that concludes things. I will call you if you get the job.”
I nodded vigorously.
I turned and left, hoping I got the job.
I waited anxiously for a call. I hadn’t messed up this interview, and I felt as though I might get the job. That was a problem though. I didn’t necessarily want this job. I wanted this job. I couldn’t decide if I wanted it or not. My roommates had told me that I’d get it for sure. I knew that I probably would too, as there would be nobody else who would be willing to apply for a ghost’s job. There were probably fans of a game called “Robotic Killers” too, that would be especially wary of the place. The reason is pretty self-explanatory. All my classes were spent worrying about it. I couldn’t focus. Lunchtime came around, and I had almost tripped before getting to the table. I set my tray down on the table. I was just about to eat when Jamie sat down across from me, face bright. Next to her, Christopher took a seat.
“Hi Leah! I heard you got turned down for the job at the diner!” Jamie started to laugh hysterically, and Christopher was trying to hide his laugh. I had to keep from laughing too, even though it was my misfortune they were laughing at.
“Yeah, but I applied elsewhere.”
Jamie finally stopped laughing long enough to ask,
I looked down at my food and whispered, “The Sunny Daycare.”
She dropped her fork in horror, and Christopher dropped his cup onto the floor. A few of the people passing by had heard me and dropped their trays in shock too. The whole cafeteria was silent for a moment, everyone staring in this direction. Everyone went back to their business after that awkward moment.
“Why are you getting a job there? Are you nuts?” Jamie whisper shouted.
“Those six were targeted. I’ll be fine.”
Christopher leaned over the table.
“Isn’t this going to be a problem for you?”
I shook my head. “I’ll be fine.”
The conversation probably would’ve gotten much farther if I hadn’t gotten a phone call. I stepped out to take it, and came back to my friends with the news. I got the job.