While it did tend to remind him of his predicament, what with the footage of battles fought with unusual weapons and that one movie about the thin guy who felt guilty, Daryl still couldn’t help but go back to television. When he saw that thirty-second array of bright colours and cheer, hosted by a fat bearded figure, he momentarily forgot about the rent. He was reminded of that one hunk of meat he once had; it tasted so good, he made sure to chew slowly, to make it last longer. When television gave his mind a much-needed emptiness, he made sure to watch for as long as he possibly could, even when he knew he had more important things to do.
The phone rang, and as it did, Daryl’s head began to shake. His body wanted to stay, begging Daryl to clear his head further, but with a beat of his wings, Daryl forced himself towards the phone. ‘Hello?’
‘Yes, this is Gordholm Industries. We’ve received your application form, and we would like you to come in for an interview on Saturday…’
Hearing that, both Daryl’s head and stomach felt as clear as they did when a particularly good programme was on. Granted, Daryl had sent in several forms so one was them was bound to work, yet he had that sense he had already redeemed a lifetime of servitude to evil.
‘I can make it,’ replied Daryl, and after a confirmation, Daryl hung up the phone. His wings beating once more, Daryl scribbled down the date and time in the notepad, and paced about the room in excitement. Finally, a line of work that wouldn’t involve mindless annihilation, one where’d actually get a chance to do good, be productive and not be persecuted!
He tried to sit back in front of the TV and further let his worries fade away, but the news he had received had left him unable to sit still for very long. Just when he thought he was engaged in the current programme, the idea of gaining money through being helpful entered his mind again, causing him to get off his seat and walk around for a while. He tried to imagine himself, among human beings that accepted him, ones he could talk to, confide in and trust. And they would trust him.
Oh yes, this could be the beginning of something. The influence of Aosoth would be gone forever, and Daryl would have finally found his place.
He didn’t get the job.
Walking home, his wings beneath a crumpled black coat, Daryl pondered on how the interview went. He had read a book from the library about preparing for interviews, and had done everything it had said. Neat appearance – already had that. Dragons were meant to be noble, after all. Practice questions, guidelines, he had done the whole lot of them.
So what was it that made his would-be employer shun him? Maybe it was when he told a joke about goblins to him to lighten the mood? Maybe the man didn’t like jokes, and he definitely hadn’t met any goblins.
No, wait, it was the coffee.
Yes, the man had made Daryl some coffee to have while they had their career-related chat. Daryl took one sip of his coffee and it was too hot. Yelping at how it burned his tongue, Daryl spat fire everywhere, causing several things to crumble into black ash, and setting off the sprinklers. ‘That was my favourite plant,’ cried the man, leaping to his desk. He jumped up and down on the desk until it broke. ‘That was my favourite desk!’
Well, at least he agreed not to sue.
Pausing for a moment, he looked around the streets to find something to distract him from that little failure. Just above him, there was a shop called ‘coop’. Coop, as in a place where chickens were kept. Daryl chuckled a little, as he had always found chickens funny. It was something about the way they walked, or the movement of their heads.
Strangely enough, Daryl’s head began rumbling again, even though he had forgotten about the interview for a while. Before Daryl could clutch on to his trilby, a chicken popped out of his head and fluttered down to the ground. It walked around in the fashion chickens usually do, but Daryl didn’t laugh. It was something from his head, so it would likely have fangs or laser eyes and would kill just about anyone it sees. He wanted to run up and seize it, yet he could not bring himself to move. All he could do was wait for the chicken to do something.
It flew away.
While Daryl did breathe a sigh of relief, there was still an uneasy feeling bubbling up. The stare he gained from an old woman carrying plastic bags certainly didn’t soothe that feeling. ‘Um, animals, eh?’ said Daryl, laughing nervously as the old lady passed him. Still smiling a forced smile, Daryl looked at the ‘coop’ and noticed a dash between the two “o”s. For a minute, he tried to figure out what it meant. A really long chicken coop? Then, remembering what just happened, he tried to get his mind off chickens for a bit. He tried to make anagrams out of Co-op’s name. Ocop. Poco.
Then he noticed the sign outside. “Hiring now. Ask for application inside.”
That positive feeling returning slightly, he entered. After picking up a box of branflakes, he asked for a form at the counter, and received one. He held it in front of his face as he exited the shop, a blank canvas for him to fill in.