“Beyond the Wave and Foam”, Part 1

Welcome to another exciting #MerMay!

Last year I celebrated MerMay by writing a story in thirty-one chapter that took me about thirty-five days to post on my blog.  In case you were unaware, for those who can draw MerMay is a chance to produce a mermaid drawing a day.  I can’t draw, so I do what comes naturally to me: I write.  And I’m starting tonight.

So this is my newest mermaid creation.  And before you ask: no, it’s not a continuation of last year’s mermaid story.  That doesn’t mean I won’t continue that in the months to come…

Sit back, relax, and enjoy thirty-one days of tail-flipping mermerriment.

 

Beyond the Wave and Foam, Part 1

 

Calista Pakerhouse barely had time to leaf through the first five pages of the magazine closest to her in Aquatic Future Inc. when her name was called.  She stood, smoothed her best blouse and skirt against her body, and followed the receptionist down the hall to the second door on the right.  The receptionist opened the door, took one step into the room as she pressed the open door against her back and made her announcement. “Ms. Gillford?  Your 10:30 appointment is here.”

A black woman who appeared to be in her late twenties or early thirties stood and stepped from around her desk.  “Thank you, Hillary.”  Once the door closed Ms. Gillford extended her hand. “Ms. Pakerhouse, isn’t it?”

“Yes.” Calista nodded with just a touch of nervousness. “But you can call me Calista if you prefer.”

“I do: thank you.” Ms. Gillford took one measured step back.  “Please, sit.”

Calista sat while Ms. Gillford returned to her plush chair behind her desk.  She discretely looked around the office while Ms. Gillford seemed to fiddle with her laptop. Besides a wonderful tenth story view of Jacksonville, the office walls were covered with various pictures of islands and underwater panoramas, a few pieces of coral, and a old ship’s bell in the corner to her right rear.  And, of course, there were lots of pictures and sculptures of–

“You were referred to us by a friend, Ms. Isabelle Mundy.”

A few seconds flew by before Calista realized Ms. Gillford was speaking to her. “Um, yes–” She cleared her throat and made certain her knee were together, even though her skirt was long enough to cover them even while sitting. “She had told me three weeks back that she’d put in a recommendation for a position.”

Ms. Gillford gave a quick nod and a longer, lasting smile. “Izzy is a fantastic employee. Her opinion of others carry considerable weight around here.”

“I hope so.” Calista and Isabelle–whom she was allowed to call Izzy–had known each other since meeting at another company five years earlier. While Calista was a wiz with numbers, Izzy found her way into Marketing and became a wiz at selling a company’s product to the public.

Though, in the case of Aquatic Future Inc., the most interesting part of the product sold itself.

“You needn’t worry: she’s reassured us many times that should you come on-board you’ll not only throw yourself into your work, but that you’ll become a valuable long term resource for us.”  Ms. Gillford lowered the lid of her laptop until it was nearly touching the base. “Tell me, when did you first become fascinated in mermaids?”

Calista actually blinked a second or two after the question.  “Excuse me?”

“When did you get hooked on mermaids?”

Once Calista saw that Ms. Gillford was completely serious she answered. “When I was about four. I began learning to swim at that age and my mother used to tell me I looked like a little mermaid when I’d go underwater.” She touched her dark, auburn hair. “The one thing I got from my father besides his name.”

“So it’s safe to say you’d be at home working here.”

“Well… yeah.”  Calista chuckled at how strange the question sounded. “I mean, the whole mermaid thing is a great hook and it does make me want to work here.  And believe me, I’d bring quite a lot of enthusiasm to the department if you hire me.”

Ms. Gillford leaned slowly towards her desk. “The department?”

“Yes. The position you have open in the Logistics Department.” She blinked again as if she didn’t understand the question. “That’s why I’m here, isn’t it?”

Ms. Gillford lay her hands upon the desk. “No.”

“Then what position am I being interviewed for?”

“Didn’t Izzy tell you?” Calista shook her head. Ms. Gillford leaned back in her chair with a sigh and a smile. “You’re being considered for a position in our Special Assets Division.” The smile grew wider. “I want to see if you’re interested in joining the ranks of Homo Aquatica.”