“So, under past work experiences you have : Thief of dreams.”


 May spun the resume around to face the applicant so they could read the offending section.


 “Does that seem like a legitimate job to you, Karl? Even figuratively it makes you sound like a shitty high school teacher. But literally, Karl, if we get audited and I have to explain why we are paying eighty grand to someone who’s previous job was… literally stealing dreams, do you think they will see that as a legitimate corporate expense?” Said May.


 Karl glanced at the resume and then returned its gaze to the clock on May’s right. They were unused to eye contact in brightly lit rooms or people yelling at them, not because of them.


 “ I thought this was just for internal use so I figured I would try to be transparent…and then maybe you’d, like, corporatize the language. “ said Karl.

 When May had agreed to help setup the call center she understood that Lyle’s special projects would need extra administrative help, but she was finding their selective incompetence, at tasks they didn’t want to do, quite challenging. 


 “Yeah, I’m not your fucking ghost writer, Karl. And even if I was, “Thief of Dreams” is not a job description, it’s a prog-rock band. Break it down into a list of actionable skills and capabilities and I will create a plausible work history around that.” said May.


 Karl nodded in compliance. May slid the resume towards them.


 “So why don’t you take this back, and if the next one could sound less like a pedophiles suicide note that would be super. ” said May.


 Karl grabbed the resume, their hooked claws clattering on the desk, and slunk out of the office. May pressed button one on the intercom.


 “Lyle, if you’ve got a minute I’d love to chat.” said May.


 There was a long silence before Lyle’s rich baritone replied.


 “Is it a right now thing, May? I’m swamped here.” said Lyle.


 “Yes it’s a right now fucking thing, Lyle.” said May.


 “Go ahead.” Said Lyle.


 May arranged the notes she’d prepped for this conversation.


 “Lyle, what the fuck is Karl?” said May.


 Lyle had a couple of false starts before flowing into his patter.

 “I get it, Karl and Stewart are non-traditional hires with cultural backgrounds and physical appearances that can be jarring at first, but I think it’s best to focus on what they need to do to get better, not who they were…or what they’ve done in the past.” said Lyle.


 May wrapped the silver charm she’d made around her fist and bit the inside of her cheek. She would not be swayed by sweet words.


“Stewart is fine. I also don’t know what Stewart is, but I don’t give a fuck, because Stewart can follow basic instructions and doesn’t hide in the breakroom closet and grab at my ankles when I am making coffee. But I’d like to know who, or what, I am dealing with in regards to Karl.” said May.


 Lyle failed to respond. May pushed the issue. 


“Lyle, is Karl the fucking boogieman? Or a boogieman?” said May.


 Lyle cleared his throat over the intercom and began to dissemble.


“Karl is not male, in the classical sense, but yes some of their behaviour, in a natural setting, might line up with some elements of that myth” Said Lyle.


“Does whatever the fuck Karl is…eat children? Because I am pretty morally flexible, but I do have a line.” said May.


 Lyle spoke quickly and comfortingly.

 ‘Ummm,  it’s not unheard of, but that almost never happens. I mean, it can, but a lot of things would have to go wrong…and that is in a natural setting. These guys we are bringing in are…well, I don’t want to say civilized, but they are city mice. They don’t shit where they live.”  Said Lyle.


 May pressed the call button hard enough it left an angry red square on her thumb.

“Mice shit all over the place, all of the time, uncontrollably. It’s how people get the fucking Hanta virus. Did you bring me diseased mice, Lyle?” said May.


 “Of course not. Those two are like…the mouse from the Green Mile: super smart, kind of magical, and loyal to the one that feeds them. I’ll handle them, just sort out the upfront hr. stuff and you will only be dealing with the regular folks on a daily basis.” Said Lyle.


 “Okay, I am rolling with this, for now. But I would appreciate a more detailed heads up on potential problems in the future.” said May.


 “Absolutely, May. Completely reasonable. There is another guy I’m talking to tonight…but I think we might be best keeping him in a work from home setup for special projects. But if there is ever need for overlap I’ll bring you into the loop.” said Lyle.


 May disconnected the call and paced around her office. Lyle had lived up to his end of the bargain so she was coping, but if he didn’t hire her a competent, human, admin by the end of the week she would be seeking other opportunities. 



Part Ten: Epilogue 

 Part Nine

Part 8

Part seven

Part Six

Part Five

Part 4

Part Three

Part Two

Part One