Absolute Necessity



Photo Illustration by CHAPMAN /MCT

Ellen peered into the closet and bit her lip thoughtfully. She needed to look exceptional for her job interview. Nudging the gardener’s hanging body out of the way, she reached for her black button-up top. “How about this with the skirt,” she asked Jennifer without taking her eyes from her wardrobe.

“Oh, good heavens, no,” Jennifer replied, wiping the blood off her knife. “You don’t want to look like some kind of hussy. Wear your new slacks.”

“I suppose so,” Ellen replied morosely. She doused her skirt in lighter fluid, set it ablaze and glanced at her watch. “Why, the nerve! This watch is telling me I’m going to be late! That won’t do,” she exclaimed.

“Need a hand?” Jennifer said. “Let me take care of that for you.” She took fistfuls of clothes and tossed them into the growing bonfire.

“Oh, thanks,” Ellen replied. “Anyway, I have to get to my interview. I’ll see you at dinner. Reservation’s at seven.”

“Lovely!” Jennifer remarked, taking Ellen’s watch and tossing it into the flames.

Ellen caught the cross-town bus, which, just as it came to her stop, smashed head-on into a minivan. She waved as a woman on the bus was sent flying through the windshield. She was well dressed, Ellen mused to herself. Perhaps she should ask her for some pointers. If only she had the time.

As Ellen went to the building’s front entrance, she heard a voice calling down, “Excuse me, would you mind stepping aside for a moment?” A young man was standing on the fifth floor window ledge.

“Oh, are you jumping?” she asked.

“Sure am,” the young man replied. “Don’t think I did well in the interview. Probably this damn shirt!”

“Hmmm, that is a terrible shirt,” Ellen remarked.

“So, anyway, mind stepping aside?”

“Oh, yes, yes of course.”

Stepping over the young man’s body, Ellen entered the building and made her way up to the interview room. She knocked twice.

“Ah, good afternoon, Ellen. I’m Mr. Terustian. I’ve been waiting for you. Sit down. Have some coffee? Cocaine? I could cut you if you’d like,” he offered.

“Oh, thank you, yes,” Ellen replied.

“Well, why do you think we should hire you here at Interiad Industries?” he asked. He got up on his desk and strutted back and forth.

“I hate people and want them to suffer,” Ellen replied. “Also, I’m a terrible worker, won’t come in on time—if at all—and I’ll sleep with everyone but you and steal compulsively.”

“Excellent,” Mr. Terustian boomed, kicking all the objects off of his desk. A glass pyramid-shaped paperweight caught Ellen just near her right eye. “I think you’ll fit in perfectly!”

“So I have the job?” Ellen asked, blood meandering down her face,



“You came in late.”