[Short Story] The Job Interview

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Simon Gatsby is waiting for a job interview. He is wearing his suit. He is very nervous. There is another man in the waiting room. The other man is also wearing a suit. He looks very relaxed. He is playing games on his smartphone.

Simon will finish university soon. He must find a job. He saw an advertisement in the paper. It said —- We are looking for a recent graduate. Exciting position for the right person.—

There was no more information. Simon sent his CV to the address in the advertisement. He got a letter saying he was on the shortlist, and he could have an interview.

It’s very strange, thought Simon. I don’t know anything about this job. I don’t know what this company wants. I don’t know what they would want me to do. How can I give the right answers to their questions?

 A woman comes into the waiting room. “Mr Mellow,” she says. The other man in the waiting room stands up. He follows the woman into another room.

That guy’s name is Mellow, thinks Simon. He looks very confident. If we both want the same job, I am sure he will get it.

Simon waits. After about 10 minutes, the other man comes back to the waiting room. He smiles at Simon and walks out.

The woman comes back into the room and says, “Mr Gatsby?”

Simon follows her to an office. The woman opens the door and says, “Mr Malbeau, this is Mr Gatsby.”

She walks away, and Simon goes into the office. There is only one person in the room.

A very large man is sitting behind a desk. “Sit down,” he says to Simon. He points to a chair in front of the desk.

Simon feels very nervous. “Thank you for giving me this interview…….”

The man starts talking before Simon has finished.  “Now. Do you want this job?”

“I don’t know what it is,” says Simon.

“Why do you want to know what the job is?” asks Mr Malbeau. “You will finish university very soon. You need a job. I will give you a job. What is the problem?”

Simon is very puzzled. “But what do you want me to do? What are the working hours? What about medical insurance? Vacation time?”

Mr Malbeau looks angry. “Medical insurance? Vacations? Do you think I’m crazy? I want someone who will work for me seven days a week. You will do everything I tell you to do. I want someone who will be available 24 hours a day.”

Simon thinks about it. If he wants me to be available to work all the time, he will pay a lot of money. I could pay back my student loans.

 “How much will you pay me?” he asks.

Mr Malbeau tells Simon the salary. It is very, very low. It is less than Simon would get for working in a fast food restaurant for only twenty hours a week. And Mr Malbeau wants him to work seven days a week!

“So, do you want the job or not?” asks Mr Malbeau.

Simon stands up. “No. Thank you, Mr Malbeau. You want a slave. I don’t want to be a slave. Good bye.”

Simon walks out of the office. He walks through the waiting room, and out onto the street.

The man named Mellow is standing in the street. He sees Simon, and walks towards him. “Did you take the job?” he asks Simon.

“No! Of course not. Did you?”

Mellow laughs. “No way. There must be better jobs we can find. I waited to talk to you. I thought you looked like a nice guy. I wanted to tell you to say ‘no’. The man must be mad.”

“Maybe he thinks new graduates will take any job,” said Simon.

“It’s very difficult to find a job, but it would be better to work in a restaurant or a gas station.” Mellow is laughing. “I am sure Mr Malbeau has interviewed many people. I am sure they all said ‘no’. Let’s buy a newspaper and go and get a cup of coffee. We can look for real jobs and help each other.”

Simon feels happy. He doesn’t have a job but he has met a very friendly guy called Mellow. Simon thinks he has made a friend. It was a successful job interview.

[Short Story]Marcus and the Boss

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It’s Friday afternoon. Marcus is sitting in the airport lounge. He is waiting for his girlfriend to arrive from Sydney. Marcus feels bad. He works in a department store. Fridays are always very busy. But he wanted to be at the airport when his girlfriend arrived.

On Friday morning, Marcus said to his boss. “I have a terrible toothache. I must go to the dentist.”

His boss was angry. “But it’s Friday! We are always very busy on Fridays. And today is very difficult. My grandmother died. I cannot be here this afternoon!”

Marcus said, “But I cannot talk to customers. The pain is very bad. I must go.”

Marcus wants to meet his girlfriend, but he feels very bad. I said something that was not true, he thinks. I don’t have a toothache. It will be very difficult for my co-workers this afternoon. I am not at work. My boss is not at work. His grandmother is dead. My boss must be very sad.  I am not a nice person.

Then Marcus sees his boss! His boss looks very happy. His boss is wearing vacation clothes! He is wearing shorts. He is wearing a shirt with a pattern of pink flamingos and palm trees. He is walking towards the counter that has a sign ‘Wonderful weekend vacations on a beach in the Pacific’.

Oh, thinks Marco. My boss does not have a dead grandmother! He is having a three- day weekend vacation!

Marcus does not feel so bad. I did a bad thing, he thinks. I said my tooth was very painful. But my boss said his grandmother died. On Monday, I will say to my Boss, ’I like your flamingo shirt!’ He can never say anything to me because I will tell our co-workers that his grandmother did not die! Maybe I can have many more free days. My girlfriend will be very pleased.

[Short Story]Listen to your Heart

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Sandy is very worried. Sandy will graduate from high school. He can go to university. But Sandy has a problem. He wants to go to university, but he doesn’t know what he wants to study.

His high school has an advisor. He goes to talk to the advisor.

“I don’t know what to study at university,” he says.

The advisor asks, “What do you like? Do you like math, or science, or languages or reading books?”

Sandy says, “I like math, science, languages, and reading books. I like everything. I have good grades for everything.”

The advisor laughs. “You are lucky,” she says. “You can study anything.”

Sandy is angry. “But I have to choose one thing! I don’t know what to choose!”

The advisor says, “Listen to your heart. University costs a lot of money. University study is difficult. You must work very hard. You will only be happy at university if you study something you love. What does your heart tell you to do?”

Sandy stands up. “My heart is not talking to me!” he shouts.

He walks out of the advisor’s office. He walks down to a park near the high school.

He sits on the grass in the park. I must decide what to study at university. Do I want to be a scientist? Do I want to teach English? Do I want to work for a finance company? I don’t know.

 Sandy sits in the park for a long time. He is tired, and he is worried. He falls asleep.

When Sandy wakes up, he feels something strange. There is something small and warm next to him. He looks down. A very small dog is on the ground next to him. The dog is very young. The dog is licking his fingers.

“Where is your mother?” Sandy asks the dog. “Where is your owner?  You are too young and too small to be in the park alone.”

Sandy thinks the little dog needs food and water. He picks the little dog up. He walks back to his family home. He gives the dog food and water.

The little dog is very thirsty and very hungry. When the dog finishes eating and drinking, it falls asleep. Sandy finds a blanket. He puts the blanket in the kitchen. He takes the little dog to the kitchen and puts it on the blanket. Sandy goes to his room and plays computer games. When his mother comes home, she comes to Sandy’s room and says, “There is a very small dog in the kitchen. Did you bring this dog to our house?”

Sandy is sleepy but he says. “I found the dog in the park. I wanted to take care of it.”

His mother laughs. “Oh, Sandy,” she says. “You are an animal lover. That’s OK. Your heart tells you to be kind to animals. You are tired, so please sleep. I will look after the little dog.”

Sandy thinks, My mother knows my heart. I love animals. I must study to be an animal doctor. My heart knows more than my head.

[Short Story] The Sunhat

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Fiona is going to a wedding. Her friend Carol is getting married. Carol’s boyfriend’s family is rich. They live in a big house with a beautiful garden. The wedding will be in the garden.

Fiona doesn’t have a job so she doesn’t have a lot of money. She loves fashion and wants to wear something beautiful to the wedding. Fiona’s mother gives her one of her old dresses. Fiona cuts it up and makes a new dress for herself. It is pink. It is very short and has thin straps over the shoulders. Fiona thinks she will look good in it.

Then she thinks, the wedding will be outside. It will be hot and sunny. I don’t want to get sun burnt. I need a hat. She goes to the $2 shop and buys a sun hat. Then she uses the material left over from her dress to make flowers.

She puts the flowers on the hat. Oh, it doesn’t look good. I need some flowers in different colours, she thinks. She finds some blue, and some white material in her mother’s sewing basket. She makes some more flowers. She adds them to the pink flowers on the hat. The hat looks wonderful!

Fiona is very excited on the day of the wedding. She knows she looks good.

It is a very beautiful day. It is hot and sunny, but it is also very windy.

After the ceremony, everyone is standing in the garden drinking champagne and eating snacks. Fiona has a glass of champagne in one hand and a sandwich in the other. She cannot hold on to her hat.

Suddenly the wind blows hard. It picks up Fiona’s hat and takes it high into the air.

“Oh no! My hat” shouts Fiona. Everyone laughs as they see her hat fly away.

Fiona is sad because she has lost her hat, but she cannot do anything about it.

The next weekend, Fiona and her mother go on a garden tour. They visit many gardens. Garden tours are popular and there are many people. Suddenly Fiona’s mother says, “Fiona! Is that your hat?”

There is a very smart woman looking at some rose bushes. She is wearing Fiona’s hat. Fiona runs up to her. “Excuse me, but that is my hat!”

The woman looks surprised. “Are you sure?” she says.

“Yes. I don’t know how you found it. I went to a wedding in Grampstead Road. The wind was strong and my hat flew away.”

“Oh,” says the woman. “I live in Grampstead Road. I found it in my garden. I will give it back to you.”

She takes the hat off and gives it to Fiona.

“Thank you,” says Fiona.

Then the woman says, “I really like it. Where did you buy it?”

“I made it,” says Fiona. She explains about the $2 shop sunhat, and making flowers to put on the hat.

“Really?” says the woman. “You are very clever.”

Fiona gives the hat back to the woman. “Please keep this one. I can easily make another one for myself.”

The woman smiles. “I have an idea. My name is Valerie Osten. I have some fashion shops. I sell clothes for weddings and other special occasions. Will you make some hats for me? I think they will sell very well. Here is my business card. Please call me.”

“Oh, yes!” says Fiona. “I will do that.”

As Fiona runs back to her mother she thinks, I was so lucky that I lost my hat. Now I have a job!

[Short Story] The Present

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Cora has been married for six months. She lives with her husband in a small town outside the city. Houses in the city are very expensive, so they bought a house with a big garden about an hour by train from the city. Brian, her husband, takes the train to work every day. He works in a bank. Cora doesn’t have a job. Sometimes she gets bored. Brian bought her a dog for Christmas. The dog is very naughty but he is good company during the day.

Today is Cora’s birthday. I wonder what Brian has bought me? she thinks. I hope it’s something very pretty.

Brian gets up very early in the morning. He has to take a train at 7:00am. He always brings Cora a cup of tea in bed before he leaves for work. Today he brings Cora’s tea and a parcel wrapped in beautiful paper with a big ribbon tied around it.

“Happy birthday!” he says. “I hope you like your present!”

Cora puts her teacup on the table next to the bed. She unwraps the present.

“Oh,” she says.

“Aren’t they great?” says Brian. He is very pleased. “They will be perfect for working in the garden!”

Cora looks at her present. It is a pair of black rubber boots. Cora is very unhappy, but she doesn’t say so. She knows that Brian thinks it is a very good present.

“Oh, thank you!” she says. “They look very useful!”

“I have to go,” says Brian. “I’ll see you tonight. I have made a reservation at the local hotel for dinner.” He kisses Cora and leaves the house.

Cora is very sad. Then after she gets out of bed, she starts to feel angry.

What a terrible present! I hate these boots. I wanted a romantic present!

She throws the boots into the garbage bin and goes into the living room to watch TV.

A little later she hears the mailman. The mailman rides a motor scooter. It stops outside their house.

Maybe my mother has sent me a present, thinks Cora. She knows I like pretty things.

Cora goes to the door. She wants to go to the mailbox, but it is raining heavily.

I didn’t hear the rain because I had the TV on very loud. Where are my outdoor shoes? Did the dog take my shoes? Where did he hide them?

Cora looks everywhere, but she can’t find her shoes.

The dog is out in the garden. Cora opens the kitchen door and shouts, “Bad dog!”

The dog runs to her. He is wagging his tail. He is a very friendly dog. Then Cora sees the garbage bin. I could wear those ugly black rubber boots, she thinks.

Cora goes to the garbage bin and takes the boots. She takes off her slippers and puts on the boots.

Oh no! They are ugly and they don’t fit! They are too small and very uncomfortable. Why did Brian buy these?

She feels very angry. She takes the boots off, and throws them into the garden. One of the boots lands upside down. Cora can see something on the ground. It is a small box. She runs into the garden in her bare feet. She picks up the box. She takes the other boot and shakes it. Another box falls on the ground.

Cora takes the small boxes back into the kitchen. She sits down at the table and opens them.

There is a beautiful pair of earrings in one box and a matching necklace in the other box.

 I am very lucky. The garbage man will come soon and he will empty the garbage bin. Brian is a wonderful husband but sometimes he has very crazy ideas!

 

 

 

[Short Story] Socks

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Pedro works as a waiter in a big hotel. He starts work at 6:00am because the hotel serves breakfast from 6:30am to 9:00am. One night Pedro takes his laundry to the laundromat. He washes and dries his clothes. He carries the basket of clean clothes back to his small apartment. He is very tired.

I won’t put my clothes away tonight, he thinks. I will do it tomorrow.

He puts his smartphone to on charge and goes to bed.

During the night there is a big storm. The wind damages the power lines. Pedro doesn’t hear anything. He is sleeping. In the morning he wakes up. The room is very dark.

What time is it? he thinks.

He looks for his clock alarm but he can’t see it. The display has disappeared.

Oh, there is no electricity! What time is it? My alarm didn’t go off. I might be late!

He jumps out of bed and finds his way to his table. He can’t see in the dark so he uses his hands to find his phone.

I can get the time from my phone, he thinks. But his phone has no charge. Oh no! There has been no electricity for hours. I must go to work! I must hurry!

Pedro falls over the basket in the corner of his room. He finds socks and underwear and his waiter’s uniform. There is no hot water so he can’t have a shower. But there is some charge in his shaver so he can shave and wash in cold water. He still doesn’t know what the time is so he hurries to get dressed. He puts his wallet and keys in his pocket and runs to the bus stop. At the bus stop he speaks to another man waiting for the bus.

“Excuse me, Sir. What time is it?”

The man looks at his smartphone. “It’s 5:30am,” he says.

“Thank you,” says Pedro.

I’m lucky, he thinks. I have enough time to get to work. I will not be late.

When Pedro is sitting on the bus he remembers he didn’t shine his shoes. He looks down at his feet. His shoes are OK but Pedro sees his socks!

I am wearing one black sock and one red sock! I couldn’t see in the dark. Everyone will think I am crazy. Or maybe no one will notice.

At first there are no lights in any of the buildings or apartment blocks, but as the bus gets closer to the hotel everything looks normal.

It is only in my area that there is no electricity, thinks Pedro. I hope they have fixed the problem before I go home. I didn’t even have a cup of coffee this morning.

Pedro gets off the bus near the hotel.  He waits to cross the busy road. There is an older woman standing next to him. She is very smartly dressed. She looks at him and smiles.

I wonder why she is out so early? She doesn’t look like a worker, thinks Pedro. I think she smiled because she saw my socks!

Suddenly the woman falls down. Pedro tries to help her. She seems very ill. She cannot speak. He calls out.

“Please someone, call an ambulance! She is ill!”

Many people come to help, but Pedro stays next to her. He is worried someone might take the woman’s bag.  He picks it up and holds it. He waits until the ambulance comes. He gives her bag to the ambulance driver.

“This belongs to her. Please make sure it is safe and she gets it when she wakes up,” he says.

Then he hurries to work.

The other waiters see Pedro’s sock. They laugh at him. They make many jokes. Pedro feels bad, but he can’t say anything because it is true. He is wearing one black sock and one red sock. The restaurant manager is angry. “You look very strange. Don’t make such a mistake again.”

Two weeks later Pedro is busy serving customers. The restaurant manager comes up to him. “Come with me now.”

Pedro is worried. Am I going to lose my job?

The manager takes Pedro to the guest lounge. “You have a visitor,” he says. There is a woman sitting in the guest lounge. It is the woman who fell down in the street.

“This is Mrs Van Velden,” says the manager. “Her son owns this hotel. She wants to talk you.” The manager goes away.

“Please sit down,” says Mrs Van Velden.

Pedro sits down. Mrs Van Velden smiles at him.

“Two weeks ago, there was a bad storm,” she says. “I couldn’t sleep. And then there was no electricity in my part of town. I was cold and hungry. So I decided to come here to my son’s hotel to have breakfast. But you know I felt very ill and fell down in the street. You were very kind to me. You looked after my bag. You are a very kind young man.”

“No! No!” says Pedro. “I didn’t do anything special. You don’t need to thank me.”

“I want to thank you,” says Mrs Van Veden. “I want to give you a little present.”

She takes an envelope out of her bag and gives it to Pedro. Pedro doesn’t want to take it, but Mrs Van Velden says, “Take it! Open it.”

Pedro takes the envelope and opens it. There is a lot of money inside.

Oh, I can send this to my mother, thinks Pedro.

Thank you very much!” he says. “But how did you find me?”

Mrs Van Velden laughs. “That was very easy. I saw your uniform so I knew you worked in this hotel. So I just asked who was wearing one red sock and one black sock that day!”

 

 

 

[Short Story] Scare the Children

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Here is a short story for Halloween!

Wallace lives alone. He doesn’t like children.

He hates Halloween. He doesn’t want any children coming to his door for Trick or Treat. He doesn’t want to give them candy.

When the children ring his doorbell, Wallis gets very angry.  He doesn’t open the door. He stays inside and shouts “Go away!”

One Halloween, Wallace has an idea. I will scare the children. They will be too frightened to come to my door.

Wallace is very smart. He knows a lot about electronics. He goes to the electrical shop and buys everything he needs to scare the children. He buys a sensor, a mini sound player, speakers, batteries and switches.

He finds audio files of screams and groans on the Internet. He makes a recording.

Then he sets up his system in his mailbox.  He tests it. It works very well.

If anyone walks towards his gate, the recording will start playing. There will be very loud screams and groans. Walter thinks the sounds will frighten the children and they will run away.

This year, Wallace is looking forward to Halloween.

He waits until it is dark. Then he goes to his mailbox and turns the sensor on. He turns the volume on the recorder up to maximum. He goes back into his house and waits by the window.

I will see the children in their costumes, he thinks. I will see them come to my house. I will see them run away because they are so scared.

About 30 minutes later a group of children walks down the street. They are dressed as ghosts, princesses, and super heroes. Their parents are with them. The parents are dressed up too. They walk to Wallace’s gate. The sensor works. The sounds of moans and screams are very, very loud. Wallace can hear them easily inside his house.

The children shout. They jump up and down. Wallace cannot believe it. The children laugh. They do not run away. They run towards Wallace’s door. They ring the bell.

“Go away!” shouts Wallace. The children are still laughing and talking outside his door. He waits for a long time.  Finally, it is quiet. The children have gone.

Wallace does not understand. I thought my plan was very clever. Why didn’t my plan work?

The next morning, Wallace goes out to his mailbox. He takes everything out of the mailbox.

Lucy Parks, who lives next door, comes into the street. “Wallace!” she shouts. “Thank you so much! The children loved your surprise!”

Wallace shakes his head and walks back inside.

It’s not surprising I don’t like children, he thinks. I don’t understand them at all!