It’s the end of the week and I freely admit that I’m running low on creative juice. A couple of the photos I have in my flash prompt archives elicited a flicker of interest, but not really enough to get going on a story. So I posed the question on Facebook: What should I write about?
The lovely Dolly Garland suggested: Write about an employee who turns into a zombie and murders colleagues.
My good friend Pat Davidson suggested: Take Dolly's idea and set it in a place like where we used to work.
And Adam Slade AKA the Newfie Newbie suggested: Ninjas. Eeeeevil ninjas.
So, I pondered these suggestions, and I realized that the zombie theme worked well with my previous employment as a call centre drone, as anyone who’s ever worked in a call centre can tell you. And Ninjas, yeah, I could see Ninjas fitting in. To populate this oh-so-serious story, I drew my characters from both my writing friends and friends I made while working at the call centre. I tried to include as many I could, but there just wasn’t room for you all. :-)
Here’s the result:
Dolly juggled the two stacked take-out trays of Tim Horton’s coffee she was carrying so she could swipe her pass key through the first of the two security doors. The red light turned to green and she wrestled the door open, then swiped her way through the second security door.
Three steps into the vast cavern of the call centre she stopped abruptly. What the hell?
“Dolly! Hey Dolly, over here!” Amanda waved frantically from several rows down.
With another glance at the black clad figures sitting her regular row, Dolly continued down to where her friends were now sitting and started passing out coffees and lattes, making sure Adam got his extra large steeped tea.
“So who are those guys dressed in black sitting in our row?”
“Dead meat, that’s who!” Kahley said, taking her double double and inhaling the steam.
“I heard they’re Ninjas,” Heidi said as she typed furiously, trying to fill out all the required forms before her call ended.
Dolly looked at Jamie, the calming influence of the group.
“All I know is, it’s Comcast Cable technical support, like us, but it’s a new campaign,” she said, putting her phone on mute. “It’s all very hush hush.”
Leanne slid into her seat and popped the top off her latte. “You’re not going to believe this,” she said, taking a sip. “Those bee-atches are getting paid $10 an hour more than we are.”
There was dead silence in the row as everyone turned to look at her.
Amanda was the first to speak. “Ten. Freaking. Dollars! You’ve got to be kidding!”
“Nope,” Leanne shook her head as she logged into her phone. “And they don’t have to work weekends. Just because they’re Ninjas.”
“No way!” Pat said, ‘accidentally’ losing her call.
“Told you they were Ninjas,” Heidi said smugly.
“There’s only one thing we can do,” Yvonne advised.
Beside her, Sarah nodded solemnly. “Mamma Jo.”
“Mamma Jo,” Amanda agreed.
“Mamma Jo,” Adam said with a slight shiver.
“Who’s Mamma Jo?” Dolly asked. She was the newest member of the team, which was why she was the one sent on the coffee runs.
Pat lowered her voice to answer. “She used to be our supervisor before she was let go under mysterious circumstances. Now she’s a Voodoo priestess.”
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
“You all are sure about this?” Mamma Jo asked. To look at her you would think she was just a regular, motherly type of person. Which, of course, was just the way she wanted it. In reality she was the most powerful Voodoo priestess in all of Ontario.
“They took our row,” Amanda said.
“They’re allowed to wear those black uniforms,” Pat added.
“They’re getting paid more than we are,” Yvonne said grimly.
“Have you seen their shoes?” Sarah asked with a shudder. “Can we say, ewww?”
“All right,” Mamma Jo said. “I’ll help you. But it’s going to cost you. How much have you got?”
The team members looked at each other.
“We were kind of hoping you’d do it for old time’s sake,” Kahley said.
“You think chicken feet and voodoo dolls come cheap? Come back when you’re ready to talk money.”
“You know where we work,” Pat reminded her. “We’re never going to have the money.”
Mamma Jo heaved a sigh. “Tell you what I can do. I can turn the ninja team into zombies. But I’ll need something to focus their zombie rage on. Any ideas?”
Adam grinned his most evil grin. “How about Comcast cable customers?”
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
Two weeks later the team, plus Mamma Jo, were camped out on the flat roof top of the building the call centre was housed in. Fortunately, they’d had enough time to lay in supplies, mostly tequila and Zesty Cheese Doritos.
“Well, that could have gone better,” Mamma Jo admitted.
“It’s not your fault,” Yvonne said. “And it’s not like they’re going after everyone, just anyone connected to Comcast.”
“Yeah,” Leanne told her, “If Sarah hadn’t tripped over her new shoes and fallen towards Amanda . . .”
“Who jostled Pat, who nudged Kahley . . . Yeah, yeah. We know. What’s done is done though,” Jamie said.
“It wasn’t my fault!” Sarah whined, sticking her foot out to admire her newest shoe. “You guys are always trying to blame me for everything.”
“I’m kind of disappointed,” Heidi said. “I thought Ninja zombies would be faster than regular zombies.”
“Nothing like getting the life sucked out of you to slow you down,” Adam told her.
“You couldn’t have known you’d lose control of the spell,” Yvonne said, ignoring everyone else in her attempt to soothe Mamma Jo.
“All those innocent lives . . .”
“Innocent my ass,” Kahley said with a snort. “Bunch of lying, cheating, losers, the whole works of them.”
“What happens when they start coming after us?” Heidi asked.
Adam patted his trusty Winchester and grinned his cheeky grin. “Then we start picking them off, one by one.”
Jamie, already three sheets to the wind, held up her mug of tequila. “Let’s hear it for the Call Centre Zombie Apocalypse!”
Everyone raised their mugs. “Cheers!”
This is pretty much what our call centre actually looked like, only the rows weren't quite as long.