Minion Tale
A Minion Tale, Part 2: The Inhabitants

Being a Minion consisted primarily of two things: ferrying paperwork and avoiding the Dark Overlord. The paperwork wasn’t that bad, really. The entire compound was devoted to the creation of a three-day event called Scarefest, which was apparently a lot like Halloween but longer and with better games. Minion #13 had never been to a Scarefest yet, because he was new. And also because most Minions were not allowed to attend. There had been special dispensations for particular jobs, of course, but only the most “human-seeming” Minions were chosen for those. Minion #7, for example, would never be chosen, as his skin had taken on a greenish hue and all of his teeth had begun to become very pointed. Apparently that sort of thing happened sometimes, when you became a Minion.

So far nothing of the sort had happened to Minion #13, and so he was hopeful that he might actually be selected to attend. Of course, all of the Minions were supposed to view Scarefest as this great service to humanity, a transformative event for others. But everyone wished to be chosen to attend, even if only to be allowed out of the compound for a few days.

Minion #13 hefted another large pile of paperwork and began to carry it to the other end of the Paperwork Room for filing. Scarefest seemed to produce an inordinate amount of paperwork. Particularly when you considered that all the actual ordering of tickets, communication with humans, etc. was done online. Partly, of course, it was because the Dark Overlord demanded that all paperwork be filled out in triplicate. Needless to say, that led to three times as much paperwork. But there were also endless obscure filings and reports that Minion #13 had never dreamed of before, in his human life. There were Spiderweb Increase Requisitions (SIRs) and Spiderweb Management Application Consultations (SMACs). There were Anaconda Reserves Speculative Evaluations and Friendliness Assessment Ratio Tables. There were General Impact Management Profiles and Internal Gross Overhead Rates and Deceased Or Otherwise Former User Systems. And most concerning, any stack of paperwork which reached over two feet high had the disconcerting tendency to grow glowing red eyes and a mouth that grabbed at whatever Minion body parts its current height allowed it to reach. They called them the Paperwork Monsters, and while they had never seriously harmed anyone (at least, as far as Minion #13 had been told), they were terribly annoying. Especially once they reached four feet tall and started their “roaming phase”.

Gingerly setting down his current armload on top of a cabinet, Minion #13 snatched a Swampodile Population Increase Tally from the jaws of the five foot tall Paperwork Monster who was about to consume it (that was how they grew) and crammed it into a folder. As far as he could tell, no one actually ever came back and read any of the paperwork. Most of the Minions alternated shifts in the Paperwork room, but it was all filing away, never referencing for any other purpose. The only time Minion #13 had ever seen anything taken out of of the filing cabinets was the day the Dark Overlord had swept in and demanded proof that all forms were still being filled out in triplicate. Many, many file folders were opened to provide that proof. The surge in Paperwork Monsters was one they were still combating to this day.

Overall, Minion #13 didn’t mind paperwork duty, though. The Paperwork Room was one of the few rooms in the complex that had windows. Granted, they were narrow and quite high up, but at least they let some natural light through. And at some point someone had installed a metronome, the steady tick-tick-tick of which almost made the motions of filing feel like a dance. Swoop-one-two, snatch-one-two, smack-one-two, walk-one-two, pull-one-two, smack-one-two, flip-one-two, file-one-two. Repeat. One. Two.

Minion #13’s other primary job was Internet Interface Minion, which was really just a fancy title for sitting around on a computer answering questions from people who wanted to come to Scarefest and filling out spreadsheets. The Computer Room was the polar opposite of the Paperwork Room. Rows of black desks held computer screens in front of rows of black chairs holding glassy-eyed Minions. The walls and ceiling were painted black. Dark red carpet covered the floor. The Tiny Turtles covered the carpet.

When he had first been led to this room, he had laughed at Minion #23’s admonition to be careful of the Tiny Turtles. And then he saw them. There were 28 of them, according to the Yeti’s latest count. Each had a shell about the size of a fifty-cent piece or an especially large quarter. They were completely adorable. And they were given free run of the room. Occasionally, from the concentrated silence (and occasional sobs) of all the Computer Minions focusing, there would arise a giggle, a chuckle, or an outright squawk of laughter as one of the Tiny Turtles began to nibble on the bare toes of a Minion. And then all the Minions would look up, look to the laughing Minion, and smile. It was the best part of most days.

The Computer Room also contained a very large fish tank which contained three rather small goldfish (and coincidentally provided most of the light in the room). These goldfish were named Freddie, Jason, and Michaela, because Hilda the Vampire insisted that the largest of them was female. Neither Minion #13 nor any of the other Minions believed she actually knew how to sex a goldfish. The goldfish were small because they were relatively new arrivals, having been bought to replace a previous set of goldfish (Egon, Carol Anne, and Pumpkinhead) which had met with a sudden and untimely demise in the mouth of the Yeti during his initial interview. He had been made to buy the replacements out of his first paycheck. Or at least that was what Minion #13 had been told, but it made little sense when you considered that he got paid in fish sticks and chocolate pudding cups.