Start tonight

“Okay,” you say, trying to sound off-hand, “If you’re that desperate, I’ll be here tonight. What time should I turn up?”

Metcalf seems unusually relieved. “Thanks. Otherwise I’d have had to do it, and I’m getting enough grief from home as it is. I owe you one, right? Any reasonable demand considered. So I’ll meet you in reception at ten – I’ll hand over the keys and any last minute pointers, and that’s that. Bring a flask and something to eat, and something to keep you occupied. If I’ve learnt anything from my stints, is that it’s really very boring.” He leans over the desk and proffers his hand. “Welcome aboard, and see you tonight.”

You shake his hand again, and leave his office, feeling slightly dazed. You have a job.

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