The book is nearing final completion but it's
still a WIP. We hope to find a home for it very soon. If you like what you
read, tell a friend, make some noise. If you're a publisher or an agent, feel
free to contact myself Jason J Sergi or Randy Carvalho.
(contact info forthcoming)
Here's Chapter One. We hope to
release between 3 and 5 sample chapters in the lead up to publication.
Hope you have some tissues handy.
The Devil Made Us Do It
“Which one of
you is Sir Gay?”
I looked from
Randy to see a short, evil-looking man standing before me. Pointy was
the best adjective to describe him: his eyebrows rose in curled hooks, his
cheeks stuck out like Madonna’s tits, his nose like a bent spike, and his
midnight chin beard stabbed down in a wicked point.
Sergi,” I said, standing up. “Pronounced sir-jee.”
looked down at the papers in his hands. “And which one is Carvalho?”
I felt it a
stupid question since Randy and I were the only two in the otherwise empty
gay,” Randy said, standing up next to me.
“Oh, a funny
man then, huh? You two together?”
answered as Randy bounced him a nod.
nodded back. “Follow me.”
Randy and I
followed the wicked man the short distance to the vacant dining area there at
Showcase Cinema. He directed Randy to sit a little ways off and then gestured
for me to sit at another table. He took a seat across from me to silently
peruse what I assumed was my application.
Behind us, the
workers at the central concession stand began arriving to make the popcorn,
warm the pretzels, and to do whatever else they needed to do before the theater
opened for the day.
After a while,
the pointy devil dropped my application and produced a pad and pen from an
inside coat pocket, placing them on the table between us.
“Tell me why
you’d like a job here at Showcase Cinema,” he said, and I didn’t know if it was
the concession lights behind me or if I was having a migraine, but I could
swear the man’s eyes had a red tint behind his glasses. Not bloodshot, but
Taking a deep
breath, I took a microsecond to think of an answer. I certainty couldn’t tell
him the truth: “Well, Satan, I quit my last job doing security because it
was a shit show; I’m twenty-three and live in my mother’s basement and she
wants the rent yesterday; payments need to be made on my decrepit Dodge
Colt—I’ve already lost my Jeep to the repo man—and I’ve been to a hundred other
places that either weren’t hiring or didn’t want to hire me for one reason or
another, and I’m broke as hell and in desperate need of a job—any job; even one
as shitty as this one.”
wouldn’t do. Instead, I had to think in that microsecond: what does this Satan
impersonator want to hear? That it’s been my lifelong dream to work at a movie
theater? That I love working with other people? That I wanted to add my
expertise—or lack thereof—-to advance whatever agenda the Showcase Cinema
franchise is about? (Which, in this case, seemed to be harvesting the souls of
the condemned) I couldn’t say any of that with a straight face.
over, this is what I came up with: “I've always wanted to work in the movie
business, so I figured: what better way than to start at a reputable place like
calculated that, in some way, that by selling food, refreshment, and tickets,
that it will someday lead you to the lucrative position of director or a
producer of film, or some such?”
“Um, yeah.” I
“Seems like a
convoluted scheme. Do you agree?”
“They say it’s
not how you get there, as long as you get there. Right?” I laughed my fake
Kermit The Frog nervous laugh.
the one asking the questions. Those who ask questions out of turn around here
tend not to last long.” I saw the red tint in his eyes again so remained
silent as I waited for him to ask the next question, and wondering if Randy
would have a better time with this devil when his time came…
like holidays?" Evil Colonel Sanders delivered like a local theater champ.
Easy enough question. I didn’t know what Jay's problem was.
girrrls?" he purred, winking from behind his glasses.
Okay, maybe he
really liked me. Didn't know if it would disappoint but,
"Yeah," I answered.
can forget them! If you work here you will work every holiday, every
weekend! While your friends are out playing around and having fun,
you will be here stuck with no social life what-so-ever!"
away, I saw Jay waving his arms, mimicking my interviewer’s anger. I made it a
point to not look directly at him. Instead, I focused my attention on Colonel
Sanders, suddenly imagining a future where I would have to see this man every
day, and my job prospect became secondary to my wish to leave.
“So tell me,
Sir Gay, what made you leave your last job?”
breath, another microsecond to think. Again, the truth wouldn’t work: “About
that; well actually, I quit because one of my supervisors was a dick and
literally shot himself in the foot, thereby doubling my workload. Also, my boss
was dying of pancreatic cancer, but before that he had a habit of hiring
criminals and the mentally challenged. I have nothing personal against either,
but again, both contributed to my workload—which hadn’t been much to begin
with, to be honest—and resulted in me not getting paid sometimes due to all the
legal fees and client compensation my boss had to frequently pay out. Oh, and
the final straw was when my dying boss accused me of not doing the job I was
supposed to be doing, even though I wasn’t doing it in the first place. So I walked
out, flashing my former coworkers the finger as I left.”
Aloud I said,
“Initially I left to seek more money.”
much were you making there?”
“It says here
that you’re only asking for ten.”
reason I couldn't figure out what he meant. Jay tapping his watch like a
cartoon character at the edge of my vision wasn't helping.
Colonel Sanders growled. “Do you show up to work," he gestured at the
movie theater around us, "On...time?"
Yeah. I'm not working now."
Ignoring me in
favor of a pen he turned in his fingers, he said, "There was an old lady
who once worked here. I can't quite recall her name. Very sweet, very harmless.
She loved everyone and they?" he laughed a little to himself, "They
loved her right back. She came in late a few times, however. Five minutes here,
ten minutes there. Then one day she stopped coming at all. And do you know what
happened to her?"
I shook my
does. She was never heard from again."
“It says here
under education, ‘will explain’. Did you graduate high school, Sir Gay?”
what? This is the part where you explain the ‘will explain’.”
graduated from a high school; I just didn’t graduate from the
high school. I never saw the twelfth grade, is what I’m saying. But I got my
GED, and if you subtract six years off the date from when I actually got it,
I’d be considered a child prodigy.”
The joke was
lost on him.
“How old were
you when you got your GED?”
have a copy of the transcript?”
children are stupid and undisciplined. It's appalling, the crap that walks in
here thinking they deserve a job..."
Sanders went on to ramble about German kids and their lofty accomplishments in
Science and Math. I thought for a moment that I’d won him over; that he was
confiding in me. It didn't matter. Even if I landed the job I decided I was
never coming back. Not even to see a movie.
know, right?" I said, agreeing on autopilot.
one of them!"
Sir Gay, let’s say, hypothetically, that there is a tidal wave that floods the
town and knocks all power out at the cinema. You’re working the concessions. A
customer approaches and orders a large soda, a medium popcorn, a small soda,
one order of nachos with cheese, one without, and a pretzel with extra mustard.
The customer hands you a twenty dollar bill but the cash register isn’t working
due to the power outage. What change, if any, will the customer receive back
“How are they
watching a movie without power?”
“What did I
say about questions? Do yourself a favor and answer the one I have
“Okay, but I
don’t know how much any of that costs in the first place.”
“How could I?”
I asked, braving a question.
the concession stand menu on the way to this interview, did you not?”
“Yeah, but I
didn't think to memorize it.”
“This is a job
interview. Prospective applicants should be prepared for everything and
“I don’t think
we have to worry about tidal waves anytime soon. Blizzards and earthquakes
maybe…even riots and asteroid strikes, but not tidal waves.”
He picked up
the pad and pen and placed them before me. “Answer the question.”
dollars and 56 cents?" Colonel Sander's curled eyebrows climbed his
forehead. "Everything's divisible by a quarter here."
no tax at the movie theater!"
know. I don't work here."
Wednesday, Sir Gay! Spell it! Spell it, you little motherfucker!”
again, you scrawny twit! Spell it just how it sounds: wenessday! Do it now!”
Sir Gay!” He abruptly stood and held out a clawed hand. “We will call you with
our decision shortly. Good day now.”
I shook his
sweaty hand, then walked over to switch places with Randy, using one of the
napkins on the table to wipe my own sweat from my brow.
you spell Wednesday?"
everyone else, I guess."
you use it in a sentence?"
friend making faces behind you can't spell Wednesday to save his sordid
finally! Now how about 'cashier'."
don't really know."
it's right here on your application."
you're asking me to spell it, it’s probably wrong. Whatever’s there is my best
guess. If you want, I can change it to 'cash box operator.' "
interviews over, we fled the cinema and made our quick ways across the vast
brutal,” I told Randy as I jumped into the passenger seat of his Mustang, via
the open window. It wasn’t a bad car, for the most part; there was something
wrong with the engine that made it sound like it was going about thirty miles
above its actual speed and the passenger door was secured closed by a bungee
cord, due to a minor mishap that occurred a few days prior. Randy was backing
into a parking space and I’d been guiding him from the passenger seat—problem
was, I was doing so with the door wide open and never saw the fire hydrant.
Gay," Randy repeated with a laugh. He started the Mustang up and then
waited for the engine to cease its coughing drumroll before going in
reverse—sans my help—and taking us back on the highway towards his house.
I sparked up a
Parliament, tossing the match out the window.
as he sparked up his own cig. Blowing out the first drag he asked, “Did he tell
you he killed an old lady?”