Memento Mori

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10

"What happened to your face?" Asked a man in a stylized cantaloupe colored dress shirt. He wore an apricot colored silk tie loosened around his neck. He looked exhausted.
My eyes explored the surrounding area. The man had a metallic-finish office desk layered with doodads purchased from novelty stores. The walls were decorated with children's drawings and excessively bright and colorful banners.

"I got in a fight with a bovine," I sarcastically told him.

Sedate Mr. Exterminator and push his comatose body to the ground. Herd some angry cattle from a nearby pasture to trample Mr. Exterminator. The weight of the animals should shatter his ribs and perforate his lungs.

The man looked at me the way mom would look at me when I was full of shit.

"Phineas Hines?" He asked, extending his hand for a welcoming shake. He introduced himself as Mike, lead coordinator of the arts department. His handshake was crushing and firm. My hand was limp and soggy from perspiration.
"Have a seat," he motioned to an uncomfortable plastic chair, similar to the ones in the waiting room.
"So, you're interested in the Character Designer/cartoonist position?" He had dark circles under his eyes. His lips were dry and cracked. He looked extremely tired.
"Yes sir," I replied.

Mike explained the delusive position that so many wishful applicants had hoped for.
"The position is lead planner and producer of the company's future mascot; colorful, adoring lollipop people."
He delivered it like he's said it a hundred times before. "If you were the chosen candidate, your responsibility would be to lead a team of driven and persistent designers, and create an animated world that blends with the company's thrilling and quirky environment."

I was way underqualified for the position. I started to get really agitated. My forehead was damp and dripping sweat.

"May I see your submissions?" He asked.
Sweat flowed from my hairline and obstructed my vision. I vigorously rubbed my moist forearm along my eyes. I was falling apart. I started to make a low grunting noise due to the humiliation.
"Do you need a tissue?" He pushed a box of facial tissue forward.
"No!" I shouted. "No! I'm fine. You just need to adjust the temperature in here!"
Mike instinctively narrowed his eyes at me and slowly shifted his focus to the thermostat in the room. It read a comfortable seventy degrees.
"I have Chesterhindes' disease. It's very rare. If I don't take my medication, my skin swells up and turns fire red. It's very painful. Sometimes I get diarrhea."

I don't know why I told him that.

Mike looked at me with complete disgust.
"Alright Mr. Hines. I think for the company's best interest, we're going to go a different direction. Thank you for taking the time…"

"Wait, wait!" I shouted. I frantically fumbled with my collection of artwork, eager to show him my submissions.
He aggressively plucked the portfolio from my soggy fist.
Uninterested, he opened the folder.
The pure horror on his face was an eyesore.
"Is this some kind of fucking joke? What are these?" He demanded answers.
My submissions.
My drawings.

Fluffy Cotton Candy Pop's dismembered head was sucking Javapop's spit stick. Butter Rum Pop, Custom-word Heart Pop, and Penis-shaped Lollipop were having a lovely bukkake party with Sweet and Swirly Sucker Peppermint Lollipop. Mega Groovy Swirl Pop was happily preserving Super HOT Habanero Lollipop's head and genitalia in a pool of acetone.

The artwork was vulgar, but yet impressive. I didn't remember drawing them because my face was used as a punching bag.

I was escorted off the property by security guards that had no muscle mass and severe acne. I was told I was a threat to patrons and banned from the premises indefinitely.
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