“So, how long have you wanted to hunt demons?”
The question is put to the narrator by the head of the agency.
This is an unusual question at a job interview, but this is not a typical job interview.
Over a lunch of Fettuccine Alfredo and Chicken Marsala, the unnamed narrator responds, “Since I was out of school.” No one else could see the demons. It seems they’re getting bolder. More seem to be appearing, hiding in plain sight.
No, they’re not getting bolder, the woman explains. Seeing more demons means “you’re just seeing the better disguised ones with more clarity.”
This is a nice little horror story. It is moody, playing on one of people’s oldest fears: can we believe our eyes? And are we being told the truth or merely half-truths?
To make this creepier, while we see this all through the eyes of the person being interviewed, we never learn anyone’s name, not even that of the job applicant’s. We don’t even know if the applicant is male or female. We know he or she has red hair and ate Fettucine Alfredo for lunch else. Nevertheless, the author manages with just a few phrases to create a sense of insecurity about the narrator. The reader relates easily.
While the ending was not a huge surprise, this was nicely done. I liked it.
According to the author interview in Theme of Absence, JR Gershen-Siegel is a Lambda Literary Award nominee. Her work is published by Riverdale Avenue Books and Writers’ Colony Press. She advises new writers to finish the project in front of them, “even if you think Act III is a mess.”
The story can be read here.
Title: “The Interview”
Author: JR Gershen-Siegel
First published: Theme of Absence, December 14, 2018