My intern, Sven, who reminds me of Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting, only cuter, wanted the morning off. He had to finish his application for the Rhodes Scholarship. I was inclined to give it to him, especially since he has come to work every morning for past week at six to make sure the coffee was fresh and scones just out of the oven for me when I came in to work.
I'd hired him at the end of his spring semester at MIT because he could type. He auditioned for the job by giving me a foot massage. How could I not hire someone so dexterous?
He's worked out well so far, even if he's only here mornings. He's written checks to the cottage industry I employ- typesetters, editors, cover designers - and balanced my checkbook. He's already called a dozen television and radio shows and has me booked to talk about Whose Hand? A Skeeter Hughes Mystery when it publishes in mid-August. He even lined up a caterer to make tiny crepes stuffed with goat cheese and asparagus tips for the launch party Aug. 24, 7 p.m. at Once Upon A Crime Mystery Bookstore in Minneapolis. He ordered a case of Chardonnay.
"Tell me again why you want tomorrow off," I said.
"I hate to leave you in a lurch but if I don't get my application in right away I may have to wait another year and that's just too much," he said.
"What's your sport?"
"You certainly have the muscles for it," I said. "Well, ok, if you must you can go, but I want you back in 24 hours, you understand?"
"I wouldn't leave you longer than that. Who knows could happen?"
What will I do when he gets the Rhodes? He'll be gone for a whole year. I guess I'll just have to hire his identical twin, Ben.
So... fellow writers. What's your fantasy?