Opinion » Maxed Out

Maxed Out

The B-grade seasonal worker horror show



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But the reality… sucked. Five hundred a month to share a bedroom with two people he didn’t know, an animal house full of hungry dreamers just like himself, Shreddies and tuna that disappeared as soon as he brought them home, no girls, no dope, no skiing, no shifts yet at one job and just a few hours a week at the other – washing dishes.

He’d called his dad and grazed around an oblique request for some money when he realized the two thousand bucks he’d brought with him would never last until real paycheques started rolling in. His old man told him he’d give him as much as he wanted… as soon as he came to his senses, came home and started back to school. "Screw that!" he thought. "I’d rather shoplift, panhandle or pimp my sweet young ass than spend the rest of my life staring at actuarial tables."

He heard the footfalls again, this time paralleling him higher up the hill that ran along the sidewalk. "Who’s that?" he shouted into the wind. The sound stopped. He stopped. Peering into the looming trees rising above him, he thought he saw something shining, something staring back at him.

"Who’s that?" he shouted again. The glint faded into the background, accompanied by a rustling of branches, sound of movement.

"Must be kids," he comforted himself thinking. It was, after all, Halloween. He was on his way to Tapley’s to try and pass himself off as a 15-year-old "hippie" for a big candy score. He knew his diminutive frame and sketchy facial hair looked far more 15 than 20, a point driven home with humiliating regularity by every bouncer at every club and bar he’d been to since arriving in town and, truth be told, he was still kid enough to relish the thought of gorging on Halloween candy.

He turned and ducked as something unseen brushed the back of his head and buckled his knees. "Whaaaa... " his voice high, almost girlish. Nothing was there.

He stopped, uncertain whether he really wanted to go on. He felt chilled then realized it was getting colder. Snain turned to snow and his wet clothes began to tighten around him. Moving on, thoughts of candy buttressing his waning bravery, he heard sounds, low moans as he approached the school drive, whispers and movement, commotion, silence and then a low, menacing growl.