Brian saw the shadow around the corner. It had to be something really big. As far as he was concerned, it had to be some kind of monster. He cocked his shotgun and waited patiently (for lack of a better word). Thoughts on the few movies he had watched suddenly flooded his mind and he assured himself that he was going to survive like they always do on screen. Bam! The first shot rang out. “How on earth did you ace those physics classes you dimwit?” he asked himself. He was on the floor with the gun several feet away. The gun’s kickback had thrown him off his balance and messed up with his aim. He had missed. He stared in horror as the red dragon steadily walked towards him spitting fire, smoke and whatever else that comes out of the big snouts those creatures have. Frozen with eyes closed he wondered where the adrenaline that most people seemed to have in such situations was. He couldn’t even run to save his life. He sat there, rooted to the ground and stared at death as it slowly called for him. Yes, he stared at it with his eyes closed! Azrael was calling. He felt the hot breath of the dragon as it drew closer to him. Azrael was drawing his sword at that moment.
Good news. Brian didn’t die that night. It so happened to be some neighbour’s cat breathing down his neck the whole time. The courage it had to sleep next to a stranger was astonishing. He gently picked the cat up and put it on the floor and then checked the time on his phone. It was five o’clock. Too early to do anything given it was one of those rare days with little to do. He went back to bed but didn’t sleep. Not because he had a nightmare, but because he had to think about the one-thousand-word writing challenge he had to take on that day. For some strange reason, Brian loved nightmares. That sounds creepy, right? I thought so but I think I understand why he took it this way. Maybe, it was the sense of relief that one gets from a nightmare which is much better than the feeling of disappointment after waking up from a sweet dream.
He knew what he was going to write about. Yes, you guessed it right. He was going to write about his nightmare, maybe spin it into a cool fictional story. Brian quickly sprang up out of bed and rushed to his desk. He reached for the light switch but the light didn’t come on. There was a blackout that early in the morning, usual African problems. Part of him wished it was the second part of his nightmare but it wasn’t. He switched on the computer in the darkness, powered it up and started typing right away (The benefits of having a computer with a backlit keyboard). Thirty minutes later, he was done with the story. That was too fast it even surprised him. He had taken a couple of hours the previous day in accomplishing the same task. “Nightmares are really cool,” he thought.
After the writing session, Brian took a flashlight, got into the bathroom where he took some ‘numbers’ and went on to take a shower. He then whipped up some quick breakfast which he quickly finished then took a seat on the balcony and watched as the beautiful sun rose. I deliberately didn’t go into the details of what he had for breakfast because he wouldn’t want me to tell you. Being a bachelor, you can take a shot at any wild guess. He sat for a while until the sun was fully out. It was a beautiful morning. The phone rang. He picked it up; he barely spoke as he was receiving instructions from the other end. The rest he thought he was going to have on that day wouldn’t materialise, it was going to be hectic. He hadn’t seen this coming.
As he approached the office in which he was to have the interview, Brian adjusted his tie, took out his handkerchief and wiped off a tiny speck that had landed on his shoe. To him, it was one of those interviews you go to hoping you don’t get the job. I know it sounds confusing but it happens to some people. It beats me why someone would go through all the trouble of making a rigorous application, get shortlisted and then have that kind of attitude. He regally walked into the office and looked around. There was no one else there but a smartly dressed lady in front of a desk. She cordially invited him to have a seat and started looking at some files.
“You must be Brian, right?” she asked. “Yes ma’am,” he replied. “I am not your mother young man,” she said with a stern look on her face. Brian didn’t know what to say. He was relieved when he realised she was smiling. “Tell me what you know about the job that’s on offer.” That was too easy for the ever prepared young man. He went on about the job, what he could offer and breezed through all the questions that were asked. Brian had been to a number of interviews before so nothing proved challenging for him on that day.
Brian got home about two hours later, tired and with a bitter-sweet feeling. He had aced the interview and landed the job but was still unsure whether it was right for him. However, on thinking about the thousands of people out there who would kill for that job, he knew he was a lucky man. He had to get ready to be somebody’s minion in a week’s time. The rest of the day was spent studying and reading such silly articles as “10 Ways to Make Your Boss Work For You”. Later that evening, he set himself on the back balcony and watched the sunset. Life was just beginning.