Read Red Fox Online

Authors: Karina Halle

Tags: #David_James

Red Fox (3 page)

BOOK: Red Fox
9.3Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Oh, thanks. Just felt like
looking more professional,” I replied uneasily.

Her face brightened.
“That’s my girl. Have to look the part. Don’t want them to regret
giving you a promotion, do we?”

I shook my head and
proceeded to leave the room.

What’s in your hand?” she
called curiously.

I looked down at the manila
envelope that was full of my resumes and cover letters.

I had some work I wanted to
catch up on over the weekend.”

I was surprised at how
easily the lies came to me.

My mother grinned again.
“I’m proud of you, pumpkin.”

Oh God. Kill me

I laughed nervously and
booked it out of the room before she said anything else.

I got on my bike Putt-Putt
and roared off towards downtown Portland. Only a few weeks ago I
was riding to work and wishing I didn’t have to go, that I could
just go anywhere. And now that I actually could go anywhere I
wanted, I was still heading into the city in hopes of finding a
paycheck of some sort. Argh, irony was having a field day with me

I didn’t really have a
sense of what to do or where to go. Normally I would scour the job
and career websites for openings and send off my resumes via email.
But I couldn’t sit at home and do that all week without blowing my
cover, so I had to go off and do my job search the old-fashioned

Let me tell you…the
old-fashioned way sucks. I much preferred the easy anonymity of
email submissions. I found it really hard to walk into random
office buildings and inquire about potential positions. Luckily a
lot of companies were OK with the drop-in (maybe it made me stand
out) but I still felt embarrassed. I could tell each receptionist
silently judged me and praised their good fortune for having a job
and not needing to walk around town groveling. It probably didn’t
help that most of the time I was actually applying for the
receptionist position. I wouldn’t have been surprised if they
tossed my resume in the trashcan afterwards.

By the time lunch rolled
around, my stomach begged for nourishment of some sort (I still
wasn’t too big on eating breakfast). I had visited 28 offices,
which actually only covered about one square block downtown. I
decided the next course of action would be to find an internet café
after lunch and go back to basics.

As I sat in a sushi
restaurant, drinking copious amounts of free green tea and looking
over my resume for any errors (yeah, I probably should have done
started handing them out), my phone rang.

The sound startled me and
naturally I knocked my cup of tea over my remaining stack of
resumes. I closed my eyes and took in a deep breath, trying to
defuse the bomb I felt slowly building up in my abdomen.

I calmly looked at my
phone. It was Dex. For some reason that made my blood

Yes?” I answered (rather
rudely, I must say). My waitress, who was dabbing up the tea with a
cloth, gave me a wary look. I smiled at her

There was silence on the
other end. He carefully cleared his throat. “Perry?”


It’s Dex. That guy you did
that show with. We were at a lighthouse…”

Yeah, hi Dex.”

You have caller ID, don’t

Sure do.”

Is this a bad

Sort of. Though I don’t see
it getting any better.”

I didn’t know what was
wrong with me, I was practically spitting out the words as if they
were bitter pills.

He sighed. I could tell he
was thinking long and hard about what to say next.

Finally he said innocently,
“How are ya?”

want to

Um. Did you see the show
last night?”


You hated it, didn’t

Now it was my turn to think
long and hard. I didn’t hate it, per se.

My parents hated

Oh. Well. You know

And your

Silence. Then, “My parents

Did they hate it

Both my parents are dead,”
he replied bluntly. “But yes, I’m sure the show is making hell even
worse for them.”

Did he just imply that both
of his parents were in hell? I couldn’t tell if he was joking since
he was even harder to read over the phone than in person. He could
be as deadpan as anything but he always had that little wild gleam
in his eye, if you looked for it.

More importantly though,”
he continued, “was what Jimmy thought of the

Which is why you

And to say hello. Jesus,
Perry. What’s your problem?”

My problem?” I exclaimed.
My problem? Where did I begin? How about how not only did I almost
die making some shoddy internet show, but that I gambled my entire
career on it as well?

Only I couldn’t bring
myself to say that to Dex. I didn’t want him to think I had put
more stock into the project than I already had. I needed to save
some sort of face in this situation, even if it was my own bloated
and confused one.

Perry?” he asked with a
little more finesse.

I sighed. “Sorry. PMS, I
guess. I’m fine. Please tell me what Jimmy thought of the

He said it was

Oh, perfect.”

Don’t worry though. He
knows it was just a demo. He was a bit disappointed with the hits
that we got, or misses, if you want to look at it that way. You
know how pretentious those fuckers on YouTube can be. But I told
him he barely put any fucking money into our baby, so what did he
expect? I don’t know, he’s such a fucking idiot sometimes. I even
suggested that you ask your company to look into the advertising,
just to get something going.”

My heart dropped an inch.
“Right. My company.”

Doesn’t matter anyway,
it’ll work a lot better this time. Now people know what to expect,
what it’s about, who’s the host, where it is and whatever. Plus,
you know, we’ll have a script of sorts and a storyboard and maybe
you’ll do some actual research this time and –”

Excuse me, actual
research? Tell me how I’m supposed to do actual research when some
sullen hipster locks me in his car and shoves a bunch of library
books down my throat and expects me to read and memorize them all
in two hours?”

Whoa. Hey. Hipster? Come
on, kiddo. I know you’re PMSing but there is no need for name
calling here.”

I rolled my eyes. I wished
he could have seen that over the phone.

So there is a next time?” I

Um, yes. Were you not at
the meeting a few weeks ago? If I remember correctly, I put my
little ass on the line for you so that we could make this whole
project happen. Do you recall that? Because if not then I may have
to start upping my meds again and I’m already at full

I did remember that meeting
at Dex’s office. Jimmy, whom I had only just met seconds before,
was going off about how unsuitable I was for the small screen. And
by small screen, I mean the Internet. I wasn’t fit for the smallest
screen possible. Jimmy was right too - I could tell from how
awkward and gross I looked on camera - but for some reason (I blame
it on insanity) that accusation really offended Dex and he ended up
jumping to my defense. It was very touching, noble and unnecessary.
It was also his conviction that made me believe that we could
actually make this show and pull it off.

Just because my parents
didn’t like it and people weren’t fawning all over it like I had
hoped, I didn’t know why I had lost all that faith and conviction
myself. Dex hadn’t.

I remember,” I said
quietly. “Thank you.”

He exhaled slowly. A long
pause awkwardly filled the cellular waves. “I don’t need you to
thank me, just…listen. There is a next time, as we had discussed.
This Thursday night we’re flying to New Mexico, coming back on
Monday. You did get the time off of work, right?”

Er, yes?”

Are you sure?”

Yes!” I said impatiently.
“New Mexico? I thought last time you mentioned something about

I did. But I got a call
from an old, well, acquaintance of mine and apparently there’s some
sort of activity at a ranch that he says would be perfect for the
show. He’s going to meet us there and set everything

What’s the activity?” I
asked, intrigued. I felt my mind being happily diverted.

Poltergeists. I think. Something’s been terrorizing a Native
American couple down there. And unless you have a greater knowledge
of them than some creepy blonde girl saying “They’re here” while
fondling a TV set, I would say that this would be a good time to
get your butt to a library after work and get some books out about
it. I would like it, no,
it, if one of us knew what we were dealing

I agreed. I just hoped they
had books like
How to put on a successful
webcast without looking like a douche
Dex Foray: When crazy came to
at the library as well.



Unfortunately, there were
no such books at the library downtown. I did, however, find some
pretty informative books on poltergeists. It kind of scared me to
take the books out of the library lest they start glowing or doing
strange things like fly around my room at night. I was already
having vague nightmares about killer coyotes and fanged apparitions
and didn’t need any more fuel for that fire, but I was also
determined to not have either of us come across as a “fucktard,” as
Dex so eloquently puts it.

Poltergeists, for the most
part, seemed to be pretty unhappy spirits with a vendetta against
humanity and eye for trickery. I knew that if I died I’d definitely
come back as one. It actually was quite appealing, throwing shit
around and scaring hapless people out of their homes, just to be an
ass. I started looking forward to “meeting” these asshole

When I wasn’t browsing
through trippy books, I spent my time going to my fake job. The
staff at the internet café got to know me well by the time Thursday
rolled around, since I spent most of the week in their presence,
applying for pretty much every job I could. At one point the
manager offered me a job there if I didn’t find something soon. The
gesture was very nice but I was not a people person and dealing
with customers would be the downfall of me and the café. God knows
why I was still applying for receptionist jobs.

My parents never really
caught on, even though I spent every waking minute in complete
paranoia whenever they were around. I knew they had no reason to
question whether I went to my job every morning but that didn’t
stop me from taking every precaution, including a script of what to
say in case they asked me “how was work?”

The real challenge came
when I had to tell them I was going to New Mexico that weekend. I
decided to tell them on Wednesday during dinner, after they both
had a couple of glasses of wine and Ada wasn’t in one of her moods.
I was going to need her support.

So,” I said, pushing my
chicken around on my plate. “I’m going to New Mexico

My father literally spat
out a little bit of his wine.

What?” He wiped his chin

New Mexico? Perry, what are
you talking about?” my mom asked, her face automatically in worried

Oh, it’s for the show,” I
said casually. “We’re shooting the next episode there.”

Next episode? I thought
that was a one-time thing” said my dad.

No, I said it was a demo
and if it was successful enough it would keep going. Aside from you
two, other people seem to like it and Dex’s boss has asked us to
continue. There’s a poltergeist or something on this ranch and
we’re going down there to film it.”

My dad sighed, took off his
glasses, and squeezed the bridge of his nose, something he did when
he was trying to control his temper. My mom shook her head, utterly

Well you can’t just go off
to New Mexico,” she said. “Don’t they know you have a real

I could feel Ada’s eyes on
me. I nodded quickly. “Yes they do and I asked my boss and she said
it wouldn’t be a problem. In fact, she’s seen the show and thought
she saw potential in it.”

Dad put the glasses back on
and pushed back his chair, arms stiff against the table. “I don’t
believe it.”

I shrugged and turned my
eyes to my chicken. “Anyway, she said I could have a four-day
weekend, no problem.”

BOOK: Red Fox
9.3Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

Lying Dead by Aline Templeton
A Cowboy to Marry by Cathy Gillen Thacker
All That I Have by Freeman, Castle
Holding Out for a Hero by Stacey Joy Netzel
Dangerous in Diamonds by Madeline Hunter
Coven by David Barnett
The Fire Dance by Helene Tursten
Sanctuary by Faye Kellerman