Drabble 162 – Ame Damnée

A photo of fire.

I was fired from my very first job. Not fired in a dramatic sense—fired in a “quietly taken off the schedule” way. Fired in a “we’re never going to tell you you’re fired” way. Fired in a “you can keep calling and asking when your shifts are but the truth is that you don’t have any and never will again, and no, we’re not going to tell you that, either,” kind of way.

It was a shame, because I actually really liked the job. Despite customer service being soul-sucking and dehumanizing, I like talking with people. Unfortunately, that first job had a lot of expectations for what I should be doing (everything) that were at odds with what I was legally allowed to do (cleaning tables). As a minor with no cash register training and no food handler’s permit, you are, it turns out, not a valuable employee at a fish ‘n chips place, especially when the rest of the staff goes out on a smoke break and leaves you, a wide-eyed 17-year-old, alone to handle the rush.

I still feel kind of bad about it, like I should have tried harder. But I was seventeen, and was far better at that than working in a fish ‘n chips place.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

ÂME DAMNÉE

(n.) French for “damned soul”

A henchman, minion, or similar. Originally referred to one who has made a deal with a demon.

At least Étienne’s boss, whose name is unpronounceable with his mere human tongue, is honest about what he is. Étienne’s previous employers insisted their actions were right and just—some people have to be laid off, and Étienne clearly had bigger aspirations, so really they were doing him a favor—but his new boss, so much like his old bosses, answers Étienne’s concerns in the voice of buzzing flies with a simple, “I am a demon.”

Until he finds an employer who can be honest and resist consuming the souls of the living, he will make do with the devil he knows.

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