The Recruiter

The lobby was empty. A bored man sat behind a desk, idly thumbing through a magazine without really looking at it. He was wearing a simple turtle-neck but I could tell he was a military man. It wasn’t the shaved head, bulky frame, or piercing eyes but mostly a kind of stiff arrogance that I long associated with my dad. The long sleeves almost certainly covered up the proud ink of a soldier.

“You lost?” he asked.

I shivered. I hadn’t really thought of how I should explain what I was doing there, so I just blurted out what was on my mind.

“I’m here to turn myself in. For the program.”

He peered at me, weighing and judging, before closing the magazine.

“Fine. Come with me.”

Standing gave him a few inches over for six foot one frame, but he seemed massive. I didn’t feel like he drove Hum-Vees as much as he doubled as one. Always in front of me, he was my guide down dim hallways, leading us to a room with a black door. He paused, hand resting on the door knob.

“You know you’ll have to prove you can do it.”

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