The Interview from Hell

Ella finds herself in an interview from hell...but will she manage to escape?

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1. The Interview

                I gazed down at my watch 9.42am, I was running late. “Not again” I mumbled under my breath. This was a complete nightmare. I couldn’t afford to miss out on this job, and it didn’t quite help not exactly knowing where the office was located. I was completely relying on my phone map.

                Exactly ten excruciating minutes later, and finally away from that man with the awful morning breath, I managed to leave the tube station. I inhaled a huge breath of the not so fresh air and instantly typed in the postcode into my phone, impatiently waiting for the directions. As soon as the route popped up, on my screen, I lifted my feet off the pavement and dashed towards it.

                10.02am and I was finally outside Artrick Office, 57 Brambrick Road. I stood in front of the huge wooden door, controlling my breathing. In one short second I attempted to fumble around in my handbag in search of some, much needed, deodorant, to mask that nasty smell omitting from beneath my sweaty arms.

                I rang the buzzer hesitantly, hoping my lateness wouldn’t automatically reject the interview.

“Hello” spoke a stern man’s voice.

“H...Hello, it’s Ella, I’m here to see Mr Redwick for my 10oclock interview.”

                The door instantly released itself from the hatch. I pushed it, using all the strength in my arms and let myself in, it was a heavier than any other door I’d come across. In that short time alone, I quickly managed to straighten up my shirt and flutter up my hair. “Relax...Relax.” I steadily chanted to myself.

                The narrow empty corridor opened up to another three wooden doors. All just like the first, abnormally large with a huge steel knob in the centre. I wasn’t sure at this point whether to open one or stand and wait to be called.

                Suddenly the door on my right screeched, it creaked as it opened slowly. I waited to see what could be on the other side. A tall, slim man, wearing an eccentric pin striped suit stood on the other side. Mid forties, with a black, out of shape, wig flattened on his head. My mother always warned me not to trust a man who wore a wig, “They are leeches!” she’d cry. She was unfortunately married to one for the last twenty years.

“Hello Ella.”

                I instantly stumbled back to the present time, pulling myself away from my thoughts.

The man searched me from top to bottom with his wondering eyes. He stopped once he reached my head. His face remained emotionless. He smiled, flashing his entire set of pearl white teeth, his nose wrinkled up and his eyes sprung out like a chick jutting out of a hatched egg. Shivers drew up and down my spine, my body uncontrollably shook itself.

“I am Mr Redwick.” He smirked,

“Hello,” I coyly responded.

                He paused for a further two minutes, just calmly staring at me. I felt uncomfortable like some prey being stalked by a hawk, ready to be pounced on. 

“Please come through.” He finally managed to say.

                He angled his body slightly, giving me just enough space to squeeze through. As I passed by, a strong stench of tobacco and burnt rubber with a quiff of strawberry jam oozed from him. I allowed myself to continue and take a seat at the awkwardly small desk.

He took a seat next to me.

                I couldn’t help notice how large the room was, yet it was completely wasted with just one small desk and two really uncomfortable chairs. The walls were a morose shade of gray and the carpet was an unflattering green. No logos, or evening paintings.

“I like things to be simple.” Mr Redwick interrupted.

                My cheeks seized up into a bright red colour, I felt a surge of embarrassment swarm over me,

“No it’s lovely.” I sheepishly replied, dreading he could somehow read my thoughts.

 “My wife constantly nags me about adding more life to this place.”

“Your wife?” I interrupted.

“Yes Maureen, my beautiful wife.”

                Instantly my body released itself from all the tension and I began to relax once I saw the look of joy, when he mentioned his wife.

“Ok so first question Ella.” He paused drumming up suspense, “When can you start?”

                That question hit me like a ton of bricks, I was utterly confused. I’d never been to any interview where grilling hasn’t chipped away at my confidence. I came prepared with a stack of answers. I even read a guide book on mediation called, “How to control your nerves and keep calm.”

 “Urm would you like to know a bit more about me?” I stupidly asked, pinching my leg as it just dawned me I’d already been offered the job!

“No like I said, I like simple.” He grumbled.

“Ok well I can start as soon as possible.” I eagerly yelled, punching my arm in the air.

“Good.” He paused, staring down at the desk for a second. “Ok let me show you the rest of this place then.”

“Brilliant, this is exciting.” I blurted out enthusiastically.

                Mr Redwick stood up, displaying the entirety of his hideous pin striped suit, to me. Just as I thought he was about to turn around, he stooped his head low, close to my face, “There was one question.”

                I jerked back as his nose touched the tip of mine.

“What colour are your eyes.”

                My heart palpitated from the shock. I quivered, but he remained close to me, waiting for a response.

“B...B...Blue, I think.” I stuttered.

“You think? You need to more specific Ella. “Think” is not good enough. Are they blue or not?”

“Yes my eyes are blue.” I answered, this time using more of an assertive tone.

“Perfect.” He smiled, again revealing all his teeth, “Well then let me give you a tour of my office.”

                Mr Redwick straightened up and headed for the door, opening it and waiting for me to pass through it. He passed me and reached out for the door opposite, opening it.

I popped my head through the door again, my eyes sprawled around the large empty room. Again another room wasted with hardly any furniture. It was almost like someone had died in there leaving behind this eerie atmosphere. It gave me the chills.

“This is my office.” Mr Redwick pointed out.

“So this is where all the action takes place.” I chuckled, attempting to break the tension, however I failed to amuse Mr Redwick.

“Follow me.” He coldly responded.

                Lastly we headed to the third door. Mr Redwick, again, kindly held it open for me “Be careful of the steps.”

                The steep wooden steps led to a basement. I looked over my shoulder to see Mr Redwick hastily waiting for me to make my way down. His body stood firmly against me, I had no choice but to march down those steps.

                I put my right foot on the first step. The flimsy wooden steps were hollow making a loud creaking sound. It was strange having an office in the basement, but Mr Redwick wasn’t exactly normal himself.

The opening at the bottom of the steps allowed a light to blare through but it was awfully quiet down there for an office. I took another step and again looked over my shoulder, Mr Redwick was literally standing over me. His warm breath lingered over my hair and that hideous smell, the only thing that picked up my pace. Was it too late to decline the job offer and run? My instincts were playing havoc with me, forcing me to just scamper but I didn’t have much choice, with him right behind me.

                The light suddenly flickered, I took the final step before I could see what was below, my body frenziedly tensed up. Suddenly out from nowhere this immense figure leapt out in front of me. I screamed!

“Help!” I roared, shutting my eyes.

“Ella...Ella.”

I could hear my name being yelled out, I must have spaced out. Someone heavily patted my shoulder.

  “This is Sandra, my HR manager.”

                I opened my eyes, to find this tall redhead lady standing in front of me looking a little pale. Her gaze was of confusion.

“I’m so sorry.” I apologised profusely, “I haven’t interacted with people for a long time...so I tend to get over excited and nervous...” I muttered, attempting to control damage limitation, but she wasn’t buying any of the rubbish coming from my mouth.

“Shall we proceed,” Mr Redwick spoke in a firm tone.

                I was being so silly! Telling myself off under my breath, maybe my nerves where taking over, forcing me to behave in a dense manor. I loosened up, taking in a few short breaths, just as it said in my “How to control your nerves and keep calm,” guide.

                Mr Redwick, once again, took charge and continued ahead to the door in the corner, he held the door open again.

“This way.” He smirked.

                I smiled at Sandra, who didn’t express any form of emotion, I really must have really offended her.

                I walked to the door and entered the room. The room was dark, my eyes abruptly searched for some form of light. But I maintained a calm exterior, no more over reactions, I declared to myself.

Unexpectedly I felt a heavy shove, forcing me to the floor. Followed by a loud thud echoing around the chilly room.

“Mr Redwick, what happened?” I asked, taking in my short breathing exercises.

                The lights flickered on, causing a small burning sensation to my eyes. I rubbed them, easing them open to see what had happened.

                My heart sank, causing an uncomfortable reflux commotion in my stomach. The concrete floor was full of clumps of different coloured hair moulded with bouts of blood, some old and some horridly fresh. Nail clippings were everywhere. A thump, a finger, a foot! I squealed, enclosing my body into a ball. I was stuck in some human butchers. I cowered, squeezing tight my eyes, I didn’t want to see what other others horrors lay here.

“Ella.” Mr Redwick spoke in his stern voice, “You do want this job right?”

“No...No please let me go.” I trembled.

                I could hear his footsteps approaching me. I kept my eyes firmly shut. All of a sudden I felt his hand over my head, he grabbed a clump of my hair and wrenched me to my feet. I squealed in pain, “Please...” I begged.

“Ella I won’t hurt you...just open your eyes please”

“No.” I whimpered.

“Ella.” He angrily tugged my hair.

                I opened my eyes, I wish I hadn’t. The display of different shaped carving knifes, swords and an axe neatly hung on the wall, some still stained in blood, turned my knees weak again. Mr Redwick stood beside me, his evil smile and those callous eyes, those where that last things I’d see before I died. Alone in this dungeon, I wanted to scream but my throat had bunged up. Which weapon would he use on me, the small carving knife or the axe, cutting open my body and allowing the blood to steadily seep through. I lay here rotting to death, I threw my head forward in desolation.

“Let me introduce you to my wife.” Mr Redwick flamboyantly twirled around.

                He shoved me against the large wooden table and floated across to the cupboard, standing in front of us.

“Oh one second.” He clicked his fingers in the air, “Sandra!” He yelled.

                The sound of classical music blasted into the room,

“Maureen loves classical, over the years I guess I too have become quite accustomed to it.”

                He placed his hand onto the handle, pushed it down and swung the door open.

                I gasped, throwing myself back onto the table, grazing my back. A lifeless body hung behind the door, a body made up from hundreds of others body parts. You could see the dire needle work. The black stitches he used to hold the different body parts together. Her left hand was bigger than the right but both painted in red nailpolish. Her blonde hair had been stitched on to her head. The lips painted pink, still dribbling in blood, looked to have been stuck on, just like the nose. He attempted to dress her in a wretched pink dress, but the lifeless body looked too ghastly for it. 

“Stop, please stop!” I squealed.

                I couldn’t look at her any longer, it echoed out the poor cries from the tortured victims. The ladies, here in this very room, standing where I was, knowing what was to come. The fear in their eyes.

“Ella I don’t want to hurt you.”

                Mr Redwick leapt around the room, enjoying the torment, the more the tears streamed down my face, the more he danced.

“Maureen has always loved blue eyes.”

                It felt like a dagger had just stabbed me directly into my heart. I instantly looked up to examine the lifeless body. There were two gaping holes in her head, one for each eye!

“No!” I cried, “Please...”

                Mr Redwick roamed around in his draws. With his back turned to me, I should have run, but my feet felt like they were dug into the ground. I was frozen, no control over anything.

                He finished fluttering around, turning to face me, holding up a small needle.

“Ella this won’t hurt, I promise.”

                He shifted himself closer to me, firmly holding onto the needle. I felt a slight sensation in my fingers, allowing them to shuffle. Another step closer to me, I hastily reverted to my guide on controlling nerves, if any time I needed it, it was now!

His ferocious eyes filled with tiny red vessels eagerly  relished in this moment.

“Maureen my love we can finally complete you.”

“How long have you been married?” I blurted out.

                Mr Redwick came to a standstill, his face lit up, “Almost three years.” He smiled proudly. “You know no one has ever asked me that.” He spoke, tilting his head to the right.

“How did you meet?” I continued to distract him.

                However I needed to relax a little more. He stared in me the eyes, firmly holding onto that needle, I felt it brush against my skin.

“She came to me in my dreams, the moment I saw her, I knew it was love. You know every anniversary I come here with a bottle of the most expensive champagne. We lye here, on this very table and enjoy married life.” 

                He was utterly crazy.

                His attention spun back to the needle,

“She’s beautiful.” I instantly interrupted, “Especially with her black hair.”

“Black?” He said in a bemused manner. “No!” He quickly spun around to check Maureen.

                Now was my only chance, with the needle still in his handle, I did what I thought could only be the best thing. With his head turned away, I used all the power in my leg to kick him in the balls. Mr Redwick yelped in agony, as he recoiled, desperately holding onto his balls. The needle still firmly in his hand,  I quickly jabbed it into his leg. He released another harrowing scream.

                With adrenalin rushing through my body, I leapt off the table and grabbed the closest thing to me, the axe. I rushed straight for the door.

                The door was heavy. I slide the axe between my legs, desperately yanking on the knob, pulling the door towards me. Just as I saw a small gap, Mr Redwick jumped towards me clutching onto my leg. I cried in frustration, “Let me go!”

                The strength in his arm was tremendous, he wanted my blue eyes and he wasn’t going to give up. His hand gripped my leg even firmer, I was fast loosing blood circulation.

“I want your eyes!” He squealed.

                I couldn’t let him. I reached down for the axe, clung onto it with both hands and swung it into the air. With full force I jolted down onto Mr Redwick’s arm, slicing it away. Blood jutted everywhere from the severed arm.

                Now with circulation back in the leg, I yanked open the heavy door.

                Sandra’s office, the classical music propelled from the speakers. The deadening sounds alarmed my ears, I wanted it to stop. She was nowhere to be seen. I clung onto the axe for safety and clambered up the steps. I didn’t dare look back.

                My heart beat ferociously, the loud sound bouncing off the walls. At the top of the steps, again I used all my strength to pull open the door.

                I’d finally reached the corridor. I stood there in a blood covered axe, Sandra must have escaped. I stumbled to the main door, I wept and trembled, I needed to be out of this hell hole.

                Close to the door, I could smell freedom, tears of joy fell from my eyes.

                Suddenly the door to right opened and out came Sandra roaring, waving a sword in the air. I couldn’t be this close and give up. Without hesitation I swung the axe into the air and lodged it into her abdomen. A high pitched screech deafened my ears. With the axe firmly wedged in her stomach, I reached out for the main door.

                I was now so weak. I pulled the door as hard as I could but it wouldn’t open. I rested myself against the wall, taking in a few short breaths.

“Maureen!” A male voice shrieked, from downstairs.

                Blood rushed to my head, fuck this! I grabbed the door knob, threw my leg against the wall and heaved it open. A small gap gushed with air, I squeezed through it, rushing to the main street.

                Outside people just walked along, hurriedly desperate to get to their locations all consumed in their own little world. They had no clue as to what horror lay behind that wooden door.

                Suddenly I felt a heavy tap on my shoulder, I swiftly turned around.

                I nearly leapt out of my skin.

“You ok?” Said the old man, walking his dog.

“I...I...I just had an interview.” I mumbled, horrified.

“You look a mess, must have been an interview from hell.” he chuckled.

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