The day began at 3AM.
“One! One Especially Large Rodent! Ah Ah Ah!!” screamed the Yeti as he ran down the hall, presumably in chase of a mutant rat, aggressive squirrel, or overly optimistic applicant.
Minion #13 sighed deeply, and rolled his head to the right. Two large, violet eyes peered back at him, over the top of the standard issue blanket. He pulled his own blanket up closer around his neck and closed his eyes again, trying to sink back into sleep. It had been a good dream. Something about ice cream and sunshine, set in the days before he had accepted Minionhood.
From down the hall, there was a loud crashing sound, followed by Yeti shouts of “Something is wrong with everything…except the way I sing!”
Minion #18 whimpered.
Minion #13 tried very hard to go back to sleep. He tuggeed the blanket higher around his ears, threw his pillow on top of his head, and focused on “The Worst Pies In London”, playing it over and over in his head, trying to get just the right degree of off-key…not overdoing it…
“Coookieeee!” came the scream of the Yeti down the hall.
Minion #18 squealed, just a little bit.
He gave up.
One of the more interesting “perks” about Minionhood was the Amazing Transmogrifying Automatic Thermos, or AT-AT. The thing could make the most incredible coffee out of absolutely anything you could manage to cram inside it. Cramming disposables into the AT-AT, however, did come with certain challenges.
Minion #13 approached the machine circumspectly, watching for the slightest twitch of movement. The AT-AT sat placidly on the breakroom counter, but Minion #13 noted that its pressure pump handle was perched on high alert. Slowly, he pulled a pair of yesterday’s socks from his pocket, and began to move toward the wall, sidling around the back of the thermos. Just as he reached the corner of the counter, however, the AT-AT spun toward him, handle flying backward to allow the lid, with its single, glowing, red eye now revealed on the underside, to rise to attention with pneumatic gravitas. Minion #13 froze. He was pretty sure its vision was based on movement.
The eye twitched right and left, clearly casting about for prey. Minion #13 remained frozen, waiting for an opening. And then, Minion #18 came wandering through the door, a towel draped over her head as she vigorously scrubbed at her damp hair. The AT-AT raised its spout, taking careful aim. Minion #13 knew the stakes couldn’t be higher. With a mighty cry (of warning? of challenge?) he flung himself upon the AT-AT, cramming the dirty socks down its canister with one hand while wrestling it to the ground and slamming the lid with the other. He laid beside it on the floor, panting, for a moment once the deed was accomplished, listening to its quiet, chortling gurgle as it transformed the socks into gourmet coffee.
Minion #18 pulled the towel off her head and began drying the ends of her hair. “Coffee not ready yet?” she asked with mild disappointment. Minion #13 shook his head mutely, and watched without a word as she shrugged and walked away.
* * *
It was at lunch that the rumor first began circulating. Apparently, Minion #4 had been requested to procure a Minion Internship Lending Form in order to requisition an additional Minion for this year’s event. Minions #6, 11, and 18 had already been chosen to go last week, and everyone else had resigned themselves to another year in “the hole”, as they lovingly referred to the compound. But the MILF request meant that the door to the world of humanity stood open a while longer. Hope rushed through the cement compound like mold through a sponge.
Minion #13 tried very hard not to show his excitement, but after lunch he walked quickly to the bathroom and very thoroughly brushed his teeth, carefully inspecting them for any traitorous points. They looked perfectly human. Then he washed his face, turning on all the lights to check the color. It was hard to tell for certain under the flickering fluorescents, but he really thought his skin showed no sign of greenish or bluish tendencies. He brushed his hair (still happily maintaining its distance up his forehead, and not even trying to sneak in via his eyebrows like poor Minion #8) and carefully straightened his hood and robe. He tried smiling at himself in the mirror. He decided not to try that in public.
As he sat down at his desk in the Computer Room, he noticed that he was not the only one to make a little extra effort. Minion #21 had donned a rather nice black beret (which did manage to hide the tips of his pointed ears…though not their extraordinary length), and Minion #14 had changed into a rather bulky coat that completely covered the bat wings sprouting from her back. It took a few minutes to realize what was different about #7. He had applied makeup, so as to hide the somewhat greenish tinge of his skin. He’d done a good job, thought Minion #13. As long as he didn’t open his mouth, he probably had a shot.
“I hope it’s you,” a tiny voice whispered next to Minion #13’s elbow. He jumped in surprise, but when he turned to look, there was no one there.