This is the last Thursday in October, and marks the last of the Macabre Macaroni stories. You guys have been great, and I really appreciate your support and encouragement.
A Downward Economy
A dainty hand with a small flag came up from a low walled cubicle. The voice over the speakers said, “Number thirty-seven. Now serving number thirty-seven.”
He stepped forward and took a seat across the desk from a petite brunette.
She looked over the papers, taking her time before she spoke. “It says here that you’re looking for work as a tour captain, or possibly in the fishing industry. Is that right?”
“That is correct. I have a lot of experience around boats.”
“Your experience is admirable, but those are hard jobs with long hours. Quite frankly, you’re getting on in years.”
“That won’t be a problem, I assure you. My experience is–
“Yes, yes, it’s impeccable. Why don’t you tell me why you’re looking to change careers.” She steepled her fingers and leaned forward.
“It’s all about the money, you see. When I first started off, things were very good. They paid in gold. Sure, the artwork varied from coin to coin, but they were all gold. Silver eventually took it’s place. I was told that everyone had to tighten up. There were layoffs too, and I was told to be happy I still had a job.
“The silver wasn’t all that bad. I liked the engraving on the crowns and dollars. There were single eagles, double eagles. The occasional bit of gold came now and then. The twenty dollar gold pieces were always appreciated around the holidays.
“Then some idiot came up with the sandwich coin. Cheaper metals were blended in to reduce the amount of silver. The engraving didn’t wear off as fast, but the value just wasn’t there. It was a reduction in income, you see. The executives refused to admit it, but my bank account showed it all the same.”
“Your job seems to have stability though. Maybe you ought to consider keeping it. I mean, every day I counsel those whose jobs have been outsourced, replaced by computers, or the whole company declared bankruptcy.”
“The job is stable, the income is the problem.”
“I’m afraid we don’t have any seafaring jobs available today. Now I notice you’re carrying a scythe. Perhaps something in the agriculture industry? There are some good opportunities in beekeeping and craft cheese.”
“I suppose, if that’s all you have. I just can’t take it anymore. Yesterday, someone came to the river and offered me Bit-coins to take him across. Now what am I supposed to do with those?” He jammed a bony finger to the desktop. “My family has real needs and I can’t feed them with virtual food, or put virtual clothes on their backs. I left the son-of-a-bitch on the shore, and sailed into the sunset.”
“I understand, now Mr. Charon, please fill out this form and we’ll circulate your résumé among the agricultural community. We’ll have you milking cows or spinning honey in no time at all.”
She raised her flag back up and the speaker called the next candidate.
If you’ve enjoyed my Macabre Macaroni this year, tell someone. It really helps bloggers out, particularly authors. My newest book, The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack, offers a selection of micro-fiction and short stories. It’s priced at 99¢ and there is bound to be at least one story in there to enjoy.