Posts tagged ‘job’

The Express Lane to Danger (pt. 3)

The following is third of four installments in the series. Stay tuned for part four, coming out in March!

Read Part 1: Dreams Come True

Read Part 2: Integrity International

 

“I had two dreams this weekend,” I said when my turn came. “First, Seymour found out about us.”

“Is Seymour the manager of Express?” A girl whispered to another.

“Yes, Seymour was my boss,” I replied. “I don’t know how he found out, but he did. His face was as red as an apple That dream was on Friday night. By now, he most likely knows we exist and that we’re are after him. Second dream was last night. There was this guy. Red shirt with the Express logo on it, blue jeans, and a Cubs baseball cap. He was walking out with a package…”

“A special delivery package? With a fatal message inside?” Someone interrupted.

I nodded. “The address label was printed in red ink, and I learned when I worked there that red denotes a special delivery. The guy had a widow’s peak, slicked back almost-black hair, and a freckle below his left eye. We need to find him.”

The room sat in wait. Finally the silence was broken.

“I’m so jealous,” cried one girl.

I could only stare in surprise.

“I’ve never had a dream so clear before,” she continued.

“Me either,” complained a man sitting across from me. “Do you know how many dreams I’ve had of special deliveries tacking place? Two hundred and six. I could never see the face. Never got an ID.” He shook his head and his frown deepened. “And I’ve worked here for 12 years.”

“Oh. Sorry.”

“Now Bob,” Skylar jumped in. “Give the girl a break. She may be new, but if she’s helped us get solid evidence on this case, then we all owe her one.”

Bob rolled his eyes. I swallowed. I wasn’t anticipating the hard feelings.

“You may want to know where the package was addressed to.”

Bob threw his hands in the air. “She can even see the writing on the package?”

“It was addressed here.” A solemn silence set in. “I’m only saying that because it ought to make us feel grateful. At least we know we can catch him before the package gets here.”

“Cammie’s right.” Skylar nodded and put a hand on my back. “We’ll catch this guy for sure. We have to.”

Things happened fast at Integrity International. I sat down with a sketch artist and we identified and found the man in my dream within minutes. By lunch time, the man in my dream was brought into custody.  We had some of our agents as well as FBI agents interrogating him as to where the package contents were. It took six hours, but our suspect broke. He told us where the package was, and he took a deal. A chance of probation if he pled guilty and told us everything he knew. He was looking at a hefty sentence, and we had enough to know he was guilty of conspiracy and attempted murder, so the odds were in his favor to spill the story.

Before the day was over, the FBI investigated the Express building and hundreds of unshipped poisons, explosives, and booby-trapped, knife-filled packages. Every case that had been suspected to be done by Express had never had solid evidence. They cleaned up their crime scenes well. At last we had more than heresy.

And so, Express Shipping – the worst shipping company in all of history – would be no more. I knew I should be ecstatic. I’d been there one week and already we’d cracked the biggest case our company had ever seen. Still, I could help but feel a sense of foreboding. We’d only solved one of the world’s problems.

That evening Adam called me into his office. My mind had cleared a bit and the dream from last week was on my mind. I had to be proactive about this. Just as I’d learned with the dreams of crimes that would take place, the dream didn’t mean the action would take place. If nothing changed, then the dream would happen. I needed to change this course of action. I took a deep breath and walked into his office.

“I’ve just bought this shirt, what do you think of it?”

“Excuse me?” The shirt was a striped button down; it was bright and blue and brought out his eyes perfectly.

“I’m the young one here, you know. I keep trying to look professional but can’t seem to get it right. What do you think?”

“It looks… fine. Professional, I guess.”

“But?”

“But I… I hate blue.” Maybe if I was mean to him, he wouldn’t want to flirt with me. I would change the current course of things and the dream of him flirting with me would mean nothing.

He frowned. “What? How can you hate blue?”

“Well, I do. It’s just not a very… pretty color at all. Sorry.” I wanted to punch myself. I’d always been terrible at being mean.

“Well. To each his own, right?” He sighed and shrugged. “I really called you in to say congratulations. You performed wonderfully today.”

“Thanks.”

Suddenly a thought came to me. When I first met Adam, he knew I was a dreamer, and he knew what I dreamt about. I leaned forward and looked him in the eyes. “So, do you still know what I’ve dreamt about?” I asked, looked him in the eye. “What did I dream about last night?”

“What?” He chuckled.

I eased back a bit. “Sorry. I just had a hunch that you could tell what my dreams are. I mean, when you met me, you told me everything I had dreamt about so far. If you can do that, you don’t need me here.”

He shook his head, still chuckling. “You’ve got it all wrong. When mentors are assigned to a budding dreamer, they discover their first couple dreams. It helps with credibility, you know, if a mentor can tell the dreamer that they know they have dreams.” He shrugs. “You’re no longer a mentor, so I’m no lover privy to that information. Does that clear things up?”

I nodded, slowly taking this in. “Thanks.”

He looked at me with an amused gleam in his eye. “Are you dreaming things you don’t want me to know about?”

“Not at all,” I said coolly.  “I better go. I need to regroup with… my group.” One question was answered. I still didn’t know why I had that dream in the first place. I certainly had no feelings for him now.  I had too many other things to worry about.

Advertisements

Integrity International (pt. 2)

This is the second installment of a previously posted story, Dreams Come True. The third installment will be published in February.

—–

On my first day at my new job, I approached my company’s building. It was small portion of an strip mall with darkened windows and a sign smaller than the building’s address label announced the building was called “Integrity.” Squinting at the sign, I knew I was in the right place. Before I could reach the door, a guard in sunglasses appeared from around the corner. “Miss Camille Kenrick?”

“Yes. Call me Cammie.” I stuck out my hand, but he didn’t even bother shaking it.

“I will escort you inside to Mr. Adam and the rest of the team.” He ushered me through one set of darkened glass doors. “Finger, please.”

“What?”

“Your fingerprint is your key to get in. Press your index finger here.”

I did so, the keypad beeped and the door buzzed open. I opened the door to see another dimly lit foyer, with another set of doors in front of me. “You will need to create an eleven digit code. It will serve as your second pass code to get in.”

“Eleven?”

“Yes.”

“Right, of course. How am I to remember that?”

My escort rolled his eyes. “Find a way.”

After coming up with that code, and two more, I was finally able to get on an elevator and head to the right floor. The elevator’s doors dinged open. A sea of heads turned to stare at me. I picked out Adam’s face among them.

“You’re late,” he said with a wry grin.

“I would have been on time, but you failed to mention that security clearance takes almost half an hour,” I said sourly, yet with a smile on my face.

“I didn’t mention that?” Adam shrugged. “Remembering things like that isn’t my gift. You’re just in time for our meeting.” He turned to his room of employees. “Our newest member, Cammie Kenrick.”

The room erupted in vigorous, genuine applause. I made a little, anxious wave at all my new co-workers.

“She came to us from the inside – from Express itself. She’ll be a great asset here.”

The guard pointed me towards an empty chair and then disappeared into the elevator. I sat down slowly, next to a brunette girl with pin straight hair down to her waist. She smiled at me. I smiled too, but crossed my arms and gripped them tightly across my chest. I knew we were all supposed to be on the same side, but how was I really supposed to know who to trust?

“In the last few weeks, we’ve been focusing on mentoring the new dreamers and on any cases that might come up. With all that, Express went down, down in our priorities. Now it’s back up, right were it should be at number one. We need to shut that place down. Group 1, you will go undercover to Express, and pose as costumers shipping a package. Cammie will be available to answer any questions that she can about how they operate, and we want even more of us to know what it’s like inside that building. Group 2, contact the Integrity group in Korea and see if they have any hits on that bomb case. Groups 3, you’re our dreamers.  Be hypersensitive to your visions this week, alright? Write every dream down, tell each other what you know. We need all the information we can get.”

The room broke up into soft conversations. The blonde girl grabbed my elbow. “I’m Skylar. You’re with us, in group three.”

I frowned. “How’d you know?”

“That you’re a dreamer?” She grinned. “You act like you have something to hide and something to lose. I used to act like that too, but I learned to open up.”

“Oh. Right.”

Suddenly Adam was beside us. “Thanks for taking her under your wing, Skylar, but I need to steal her away.”

He pulled gently aside and into his office. “You find our place okay?” He asked, rearranging files on his desk.

“Sure. I was looking for a bigger sign, though.”

“Yeah, yeah that’s the thing. We don’t want to advertise that we’re Integrity International:  an Agency Dedicated to Stopping Hit Men and Hit Agencies.”

I shrugged. “Makes sense.”

“I just wanted to tell you how happy we are to have you.”

That was not what I expected. “Thank you.” Suddenly I noticed how beautiful blue his eyes were. I hadn’t noticed that the first two times I’d met him. He looked so young to be in such an important job like this.

“… if you ever need anything, know that we are all here to help.” He paused, thinking. “I’m  going to be double assigning you. You’re in Group 3, with the other dreamers, but you’ll also be on the special task force that I’m creating as we speak.”

I nodded. “And what will that entail?”

“We’ll have to see, won’t we?” He answered.

The day passed by in a blur, as first days often do. I returned home that evening and collapsed on the couch. My brain was overwhelmed with operation plans and confidentiality agreements and undercover protocol. I must have fallen asleep – not a restful kind of sleep, but sleep nonetheless. Just like I did during most sleep, I had a dream. This one was odd.

Adam was leaning closer to me. His beautiful sea blue eyes watching me with sincerity and care. “Cammie, you’re a novel in a sea of magazines.”

“Baby, you’re too kind,” I said, staring into his alluring eyes.

And I woke up with a start. That tiny snapshot of the future gave me reason to pace around my living room for the rest of the evening. The way his eyes looked. “No, no,” I yelled to the empty room. “This can’t happen.” Already my dreams were diverging. I was supposed to dream about what those on my side wanted. Those on my side. My eyes grew wide. Adam was on my side. He wanted that dream to happen? He wanted that? I shook my head. There had to be a margin of error when it came to a dreamer’s dreams. This one had to be a fluke.

I was lost in my thoughts and did not realize someone else had entered the room.

“Where’ve you been?” It was my mother.

“I fell asleep.”

A pouting child, my younger brother, trailed behind my mother. “You didn’t remember you had to help your brother with homework tonight?”

“Mom, I can’t…”

“Well, it’s his bed time now. See if you can take off work early tomorrow. He wants you to help him with his math.”

My mom shepherded Austin up the stairs to send him off to bed.

I exhaled slowly. I loved my second grade brother dearly, but I was eager to have my own life. Eager to rent my own apartment. Eager to earn my first paycheck so I could do just that.

Dreams Come True

     

I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t want this. I stared at the dead mouse at the foot of my bed. I’d been staring at it all morning, hoping it was only my imagination, but I was beginning to believe that it was real.

A knock sounded on my door, and it opened to reveal my best friend’s face. “Cammie, you’re not even out of bed. Aren’t we going to the mall today?”

“I just…” I couldn’t give a relevant answer.

“What’s wrong?” Miranda entered and sat on the edge of my bed. Her dark hair framed her confused face.

“I had a dream a few nights ago,” I started. “a dream that a mouse died in my room and I had to set traps.”

“Your house has never had mice.”

“You’re missing the point. I never remember my dreams.”

“I forgot about that.”

I pointed at the end of my bed, she leaned to see and then shrieked. “Then that appeared this morning.”

“Why didn’t you start with that?” She looked as though she was about to scream again when she must have seen my pale face. “Why has this worried you so much? You could have slept walked, and seen the mouse in your sleep and only believed it was a dream.”

I shook my head. “I know what I saw. This is the third time this has happened.” At her worried frown, I explained. “Last week was the first dream. I thought I dreamt that Ma was busy with laundry and burnt her chili. The next evening, I came home and the whole house reeked like burned chili. She claimed she was distracted by the laundry.”

Miranda shrugged slowly. “So… you have future telling dreams. Maybe you can make yourself dream of wonderful things, and then they’ll happen to you.”

“I don’t think it works that way anyway.” I flopped backwards on my bed. I did not ask for this. Suddenly the phone rang. “Mom’s out. I better get that.” Eager for the distraction from the dreams and the dead mouse, I bounded downstairs to the landline phone.

“Hello?”

After a quick and mutual introduction, the voice on the other end of the line explained himself. “I’m calling concerning the application you filed for our company, Express Shipping.”

I held my breath. I’d applied for that job a few weeks ago, and right now I could go for some extra cash. Renting my own apartment would be a good use of any paycheck I could get.

“If you’re still interested, we’d love to offer you a job as a customer service attendant.”

He explained that my job would be to help people in line to deliver packages. I would weigh packages, attach postage, and ring up the order. I managed to breath and answer that yes, I was definitely interested, and I would indeed like to start tomorrow. I hung up the phone and rushed back upstairs to tell Miranda.

That was the end of the beginning.

                                                                 Two Weeks Later

Seven-thirty always rolled around earlier than I expected, but I was beginning not to mind. Pulling into the Express parking lot every morning gave me a sense of independence I’d never felt before. My dreams were becoming more frequent – one almost every night now, but the job served as a wonderful distraction.

At my lunch break that afternoon, my boss Seymour came to sit at my table in the break room.

Though quite burly with his large beard and mustache, Seymour was the type of man who appeared to be ominous but was a teddy bear at heart. He’d done wonders in trying to make me feel part of the team. After some brief small talk, Seymour said, “I had this dream last night that I could fly. Aren’t dreams just the craziest things?”

If only you knew. But I only replied, “They never make any sense.”

“What do you dream about?”

I swallowed the bite of my ham sandwich. “Well, last night I dreamt that a bad storm hit.” Thunder rumbled, and I glanced upwards.

Seymour leaned back in his chair and nodded nonchalantly. “Does that happen often?”

“Thunder? Happens all the time.”

“The dreams that turn out to be true, does that happen a lot?”

I frowned, feeling slightly guarded now. “It’s happened a few times before.”

“Do me a favor will you? Tell me next time you have a dream. Doesn’t matter what it is, but it might help us.” I stared at him. “For example, if you’d known it was going to rain today, I could have called earlier about that leaky roof.” He stood up and turned towards the door. “Just remember to tell me, whatever it’s about.” He grinned at me, like his request was completely normal; as if everyone told their employers what they dreamed of every night. No further explanation came, and he walked out. I finished my ham sandwich in a confused silence.

That night, I had yet another dream. A middle-aged man was walking down the sidewalk. He was wearing plaid, and he looked furtively before he crossed the street.  The adjacent street sign read 10th Ave. and Wildwood Street. A church bell rang in the distance, and I counted 12 chimes. Why did I dream of a man in plaid?

I walked in to work that morning and I already had a customer in line. Seymour was in his office, and I was the only other employee who had come in yet.

“What can I help you with?” I asked.

He couldn’t have been much older than me. I expected that he simply wanted to ship a package.

“You need to quit this job.”

“Excuse me?”

“Look, I know things. It’s not safe for you here.”

I stared. “Maybe you’re right. I can call security.”

He put his hands up in the air, acting innocent. “It’s not what you might think. I’m Adam, and I’m supposed to be your mentor. Every dreamer gets one. Usually I get more time to develop trust with the dreamer, but this situation is escalating faster than I expected.”

“A dreamer?”

Adam nodded solemnly. “That’s right. I know about your gift.”

“Um… my gift?” I didn’t know if I’d call it that.

He sighed. “Don’t believe me? Your first ever dream was that your mom burned soup, and it turned out to be true. You dreamt about little every day stuff like that for a bit, but last night’s is the first of the more important ones. Last night it was the guy in plaid taking a walk at noon, right?”

I had told no one of that. “I need you to leave now,” I said coldy.

“I’ll  be back later in case you have a change of heart. Whatever happens, don’t ever tell Seymour about your dreams.”

I decided to humor him. “And why not?”

“A life is in the balance.” A pause. “The business here is shady,” he continued in a low voice. “It’s not what anyone thinks. I’ll explain more next time.”

Seymour was making his way towards my counter, and Adam disappeared out the door as quickly as he’d come in.

A few hours later, my grey-haired co-worker Leonard waltzed in.

“You look chipper this morning,” I said with a smile as I filled some paperwork at the front counter.

“Special delivery day is always a great day,” he said with glittering eyes.

“Oh? I didn’t know we had one today. When do you leave?”

“Don’t know. Boss hasn’t told me the details yet. Odd,” he commented, squinting. “He usually knows those things by now.” He shrugged. “But it’s bound to be a good one.”

“Know what you’re delivering?” I asked out of curiousity.

“Oh, you know – “ His face fell when he realized I didn’t know. “I forgot you’re the new kid. Ask Seymour.”

I sighed. Why such a complicated morning? I’d rather forget about the dreams and the secrets and get on with apartment searching. That’s all I wanted. My own place away from odd distractions.

The morning was so busy I hadn’t even thought of telling Seymour about my dream. My lunch break came, but this time I decided to eat outside. I hadn’t decided what to do if Seymour asked me more questions.

I stepped outside and sat down at the park bench outside the store window. I had no sooner unwrapped my sandwich when a figure appeared and Adam was sitting next to me.

“I see you didn’t tell Seymour about the plaid guy.”

“You were waiting for me?” Oddly, he didn’t scare me that much now. If he’d wanted to cause me harm, he’d have done it already. “How do you know I didn’t tell him?”

“The guy in plaid is still alive, that’s how I know.”

I set my sandwich down, suddenly not hungry. “I don’t even know what that means.”

“You saved his life, Cammie.” He stopped talking as a customer walked past us and into the store. “Most of the things they ship at Express is legit. There may be only a tiny bit of illegal activity, but it’s very dark stuff. Every week, Express is available for the hire of one special package.”

“What’s in it?”

“Doesn’t matter what’s in it. It’s the deliverer who’s lethal.”

I stared. “You mean…”

He nodded. “They’re hit men.”

My mind was spinning:  the special delivery, Leonard, the general secrecy, and my dreams. “And the man in plaid?”

“He embezzled money from his construction company for years. His boss just found out and ordered a hit. He was today’s target. He’s going to get picked up today for his embezzlement. He’ll go to jail, but he’ll be alive.”

I sat for a long time.

“What’re you thinking?”

“This is crazy.”

“You have an alternative. You could work for me.”

I cocked my head. “And that’s not crazy? I don’t even know you.”

“Look, I’m part of detective team. We work on cases to find and catch serial killers, working with police forces worldwide. My people are working to shut down this dark place right now.” He motioned towards the Express building behind us. “Someone with your skills could be a real asset to our cases.”

I struggled to process. “So you don’t have… the gift?”

He shook his head. “I’m only in connection with someone else who does. That’s how I know so much about you and your dreams.”

“How would I be an asset?”

“Dreamers dream about whatever their confident needs to see. You were going to tell Seymour about your dreams, and thus you found out things that would only be helpful to him and his company. The same sort of thing would happen if you worked for me.”

The store door opened and Seymour stuck his head outside. “Sorry to cut your break short. I’m swamped; I need you in here, Cammie.”

I turned quickly to Adam, and mouthed, “Wait.” I followed Seymour back inside. “I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something,” I said. “I don’t think this – ”

“I’m sure it can wait,” Seymour interrupted. “Oh, I’d like to know if it’s going to storm anytime soon. Have any dreams last night?” He winked at me I followed him to the counters.

“Nope.” I paused. “And Seymour? This isn’t going to work out for me. I quit.”

I walked out, leaving Seymour staring, but I returned to Adam, where a new job awaited me.

I didn’t ask for this. It didn’t mean I couldn’t make something great out of it.

Written Therapy

- saving my sanity one word at a time -

coolpeppermint

memories and musings

Poet's Corner

Poems, poets, poetry, writing, poetry challenges

lying for a living

make it a good story

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

(Somewhat) Daily News from the World of Literary Nonfiction

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

Coco J. Ginger Says

Poems and stories of love & heartbreak.

Plenty of Pages

This isn't paper, and we don't necessarily write about paradise.

Make A Living Writing

This isn't paper, and we don't necessarily write about paradise.

Be a Freelance Blogger

Learn to make REAL money blogging for hire

Lightning Droplets

Little flecks of inspiration and creativity

Star Spider

The Musings and Writing of Star Spider

The Dreamers Adventures

This isn't paper, and we don't necessarily write about paradise.

YA Writers - Alumni

This isn't paper, and we don't necessarily write about paradise.

Jeff Korhan

This isn't paper, and we don't necessarily write about paradise.