The Road to Hell
I pulled down the sleeve of my blazer, one I hadn't worn since sixth form, as I stared at the sign.
"Funny right?" I turned to Adele, who was biting the corner of her nail.
"It's certainly different," I replied.
A quaint little store that was nestled in the back roads of Oxford Circus. Adele and I had booked a hotel to spend the night yesterday before we'd travel back to Scotland tomorrow. What kind of job I'd be receiving was beyond me.
"What is it that you do Adele?"
"Currently just studying Mae, I'm on probation at the moment until I finish uni, but once that's done, I've got a job here as an HR assistant. Payroll and stuff like that. I come here maybe once a month so shadow the current manager so I can hit the ground running."
Adele pushed the door in and walked inside, me following behind her. There were racks of clothes lined up across the floor.
Sequins, jewels and gems decorated the costumes, some even had a pair of wings attached to the back. I handled the fabric delicately in my fingers. The thin papery substance was thinner than chiffon, but there was a heaviness to it.
"Mae." I lifted my head up to Adele's voice who was a far way into the shop, she ushered me to come on, and I picked up my fallen bag hurrying after her.
"Mae this is my manager Natalie."
Natalie stood tall next to Adele, her short blonde pixie cut hair had been blowdried and waved about near her chin, brushing against her caramel skin. Her dark blue eyes pierced mine, scrutinising me before she smiled and held her hand out.
"Hi, you must be Mae." Her voice was like silk—soft and weightless, and I don't remember taking hold of her hand until it hung by my side again.
"Adele says you're looking for a job?"
"Yes, of a kind, sort of, it's a bit complicated."
Natalie chuckled, she held my shoulders smiling.
"You're nervous, I can tell, relax, take a few breaths. In." I did as I was told raising on my toes with a inhale. "And out." I exhaled, sinking into the carpet slightly. It did make me feel better.
"Now, usually I'd be conducting interviews, but you're in luck the owner is in."
Adele gasped my once calm demeanour shaking and falling off the edge of the Earth.
"Magenta is in," she squealed.
"Yes, she'll be conducting your interview. If you could head through those curtains, up the stairs and the door on the far end."
I looked to Adele, though I knew she wouldn't be able to come in with me I became extremely nervous. I held the straps of my bag and breathed out, before smiling at the pair.
"Sure thank you, see you in a bit Del?"
"See you in a bit Mae."
I followed Natalie's instruction heading up the narrow stairwell to the polished wooden floored corridor. All the doors on either side looked the same to me however the one on the other end of the hallway seemed to shine, the light hitting the doorknob at the right angle felt like I was opening the door to pearly gates.
I knocked on the door, rocking on my heels. The door swung open, and the dazzling scent of hazel filled my nose while fiery orange hair encircled me. I tilted my head slightly to a pair of dark brown eyes.
"Mae Geoffries, I was just about to get you. Come in." Magenta stepped back, fixing her rose gold Panama hat. I caught sight of her rings, at least two on each finger adorned with various gems and stones, they sparkled and gleamed in the light.
"Thank you for this opportunity."
Magenta rounded her desk, sitting down on one of the chairs while I sat on the other side, sinking slightly in the furred fabric. I pulled out my CV, placing it in the table.
"So tell me a bit about yourself, Mae?"
I cleared my throat sitting up slightly.
"Well...um...ah, I live in Inverness currently after moving from east London with my mum. Finished sixth form with an A level in design, art, business, and psychology. To be honest, I only chose the last two subjects on a whim. My main focus was on design, and I thought art would go quite well with it. Got an A for design a B in art, business and psychology I've convinced I scrapped that C." I laugh slightly, noticing the hard gaze Magenta had on me. I clear my throat again.
"Currently working at a bar in central Scotland called the Bridgely. It's like the only good bar near the university, so we get all the uni students but then at the same time during the holidays it's really quiet a few stag and hen dos every now and again but nothing much."
"And why are you looking to work here?" Magenta asked.
Ah, what a question? Well, to be honest, I've been put on involuntary holiday for an upcoming trial which could result in me going to jail for a long time. I clear my throat.
"Just a change of scenery really, something a bit more mature I guess, I don't want to be 26 still pouring tequila down some young adult's throat."
"So it's not because of your potential life sentence?"
My throat seized, and the room slowly began to spin like I was on a helter-skelter that got faster with each turn. I squeaked the only sound coming out of my mouth.
"It was very easy to put what you said together. I like to keep track of what's happening around where my employees are, and your issue made the news albeit they excluded the fine details of you they, however, did mention the bar and well put two and two together. So Mae why are you looking to work here?"
Though her tone hadn't shifted in the slightest from the way the words sounded, there was a tone of light warning. Magenta didn't want me to lie to her, she wanted the truth and would not judge me for it, I clear my throat.
"Uh...so I was maybe minutes from being gang-raped. The only reason it didn't happen was that I killed someone. Now because of the laws surrounding that there's a good chance I'll be sent away, for a long time. My mother is in a wheelchair an accident that could not have been any more unlucky, we've moved hundreds of miles from her closest relatives. Could you imagine her having to move back to her parents so they can look after her, my grandfather is 72 years old? And..and." I started to laugh my hand, holding the side of my head. "The funniest thing is that when this is all done and if I get acquitted I will have to find a new job, I need to find a new job, but this thing is following me like a dead body." I huffed loudly wiping the sides of my eyes trying to not let the tears fall further down my face.
A small bit of tissue came my way, and I looked up to Magenta sitting on the desk next to me, I took the tissue from her dabbing my eyes and wiping my nose.
"Has Adele told you what we do here?" I shook my head. "We are a luxury costume store, we provide tailored costumes for clients. However, we do more than that. Tell me, Mae, what do you know of the supernatural." I frowned slightly.
"I've seen twilight, a few tv shows."
"And what if I told you they are real and very much among us living life."
"Then I'd say this must be a Wattpad story." Magenta laughed and stroked my head.
"I'd like to offer you the job." My eyes widen, after everything I'd just said I been offered the job.
Wait, what is the job?
"Now you won't be able to work immediately, I expect all my employees to be graduates. You say that your main passion was design. Have you considered taking that further?"
"I..." This was insane."I have, but with everything, I just haven't been able to."
"Don't worry about your trial Mae, as of now you are an unofficial employee of FolkWhore. One thing I ask for you is to in these next months think about what you want to do. We can meet again after the trial, that sound ok?"
"Yes, Magenta, that sounds excellent." I stood up and shook her hand, stuffing the tissue into my back pocket. I shut the door behind me.
This was good news, and for the longest while, I felt optimistic.
A.N. The first time Mae met Magenta, poor girl doesn't even know what she's getting herself into. Let me know what you think, and most importantly, thanks for reading.