"This law firm is looking for a 'melancholy assistant.'"
"It actually says that? What?"
"'Hiring a part-time melancholy assistant. Must work Saturdays. Previous experience preferred.'"
"Well, lucky you."
"Yeah. You've been known to be a bit mel-an-choly at times, now wouldn't you say so?"
He grinned his trademark half grin and winked his trademark wink; I imagined him getting caught in a blizzard and then subsequently attacked by a hungry (and invisible) polar bear.
"Like, remember last Halloween when you dressed up as Tinkerbell and everyone thought you were the grim reaper? Ha. You were so sullen."
"I was goth Tinkerbell."
The polar bear has been waiting in the woods for almost three months, just waiting for this storm. No, that's not true. A bear is just a bear, not a patient, psychic weatherman. Just a very hungry, murderous bear.
"Well, you were sure a bitchy goth fairy that night."
The half grin. The bear watching. The snow picks up.
"So this job," I say with what can only be described as melancholic undertones, "I think I'll apply tomorrow."
"You sure you can hold down a job, doll? I know you've got commitment issues."
And the attack. The bear is really fucking hungry.
"Hey, I got this, okay?" I reply quietly, suddenly interested in straightening a stack of yesterday's junk mail.
The polar bear starts by ripping out his heart, staining the white fur with the feast. The rib cage makes for a fine pick, loosening lodged tissue from teeth.
"Okay. My li'l melancholy assistant."
The limbs, gone.
"I think I'm going to take a walk. Want to maybe start dinner while I'm gone?" Piles of mail still in need of attention.
"Maybe we'll have some melancholy 'n' cheese tonight? Or a bowl full of melancauliflower? Hahaha!"
The snow buried the bear tracks and what little flesh remained. And the winter months stretched on and on. And papers needed to be filed, copies needed to be made, cases needed to be closed.