Job Hunting

“Blacklisted?” Kathy exclaimed. “What do you mean?”

I threw my laptop down on the couch and myself shortly after “I mean that every single company I’ve contacted has responded with a perfunctory ‘no thanks’ or hasn’t responded at all. And I’m not exactly throwing around a commonplace resume these days.”

“Well, the job market…” Kathy started, trailing off when she didn’t even sound like she’d convinced herself. She came in from her office, dressed down into her winter PJ’s for the unseasonably cold.

“There are more vacancies right now than you could fill with the next graduating class from MKU,” I said. “Some of which call for only half my experience. Hell, I can’t imagine anyone throwing themselves at rune maintenance work like I do.”

Kathy cuddled up on the couch beside me. “So why do you think it is? I mean, you had nothing but praise at N-Corp.”

I chewed on my lip, stopping only when I realized it was already bleeding. “Do you think it might be the formula?”

“I don’t see how. You didn’t tell anyone about it, right?” Kathy said. “I certainly didn’t. Your notes have been locked up in my desk.”

“No, I haven’t even dropped a hint. All my work on it has been in my off hours.”

“What if… I don’t want to scare you, but –”

“Go ahead.”

“What if someone felt what you were doing? Started watching you?”

“A sensitive, you mean? You really think what I’m doing would stand out that much?”

“It’s certainly possible. I’ve never seen anything like it before. Who knows what it would feel like to a sensitive?”

“I… I guess it’s possible,” I said. “But even if that’s true, if someone had some idea what I was working on. Why would that get me blackballed?”

The room suddenly chilled, sending both Kathy and I into shivers.

“It’s because they’re scared,” a voice said from the door.

The door that had been locked all evening.