#NaNoWarmUp October 7, 2013: Harley Hunter

… Harley Hunter. 23 years old. I played football in school from 7th grade right through my senior year at college, offensive line. I graduated last year and got a degree in Liberal Arts. I’m trying to get into the NFL, but physical training doesn’t get me out of my ma’s apartment, so I gotta get a job. I can’t be no lawyer or one of those tax form guys, but museum security guard? I can be that.

… Jobs? I ain’t had no jobs before. But yeah, I been on football teams for ten years, so I got some good skills. I’m a team player, so I’ll work well with other guards. I’m always calm under pressure. Thirty seconds to go in the final quarter, my team down by a TD, I’m the guy you want out in front of you blocking so the other team doesn’t stop the play. If someone’s kid is running around screaming, I can handle that.

… No ma’am, I don’t lie to nobody. My ma raised me not to do anything to make my granny come back from her grave and hit me upside the head. And my coaches always said that only gentlemen play football, and that to stay on the field and not the bench we had to keep our behavior in check.

… That’s an interesting question. I want to make sure the team works well, but it’s more important to do what’s right. So I’d have to say that if I saw a coworker hitting on a museum guest, I would report it to the head of security immediately so it could be dealt with. But I would request my name be left out when talking to my coworker…. Is that an okay answer?

… Like I said, I’m good in pressure situations. Well, my dad was in the hospital a lot when I was a kid, so I saw people come in bleeding or with broken bones. It don’t bother me. If a museum guest has a medical emergency I would ask if anyone in the museum is a doctor. Then I’d call 911 and let them know the situation. Stay on the phone until they say it’s okay to hang up. Clear the room of anyone who is not directly involved, and have one volunteer go outside to direct the ambulance people when they come.

… No, ma’am, I don’t know much about art. I know there’s that Picasso guy? He did some funny-looking stuff. I don’t know how they can call it art, my baby sister in first grade can draw better. But I probably just don’t get it. I think the fact that I don’t know about art shouldn’t stand in the way of me getting this job. I’m not trying to be no tour guide, and it’s a good thing that I know my place because if someone asks me a question I won’t try to make something up, I will tell them how to find someone to ask to get the right answer. And it’s just as important to know where to get an answer I don’t have as it is to give the right answer if I do have it.

… Thank you. Do I have any questions? … Is there anything you’re looking for in an employee that you haven’t seen or heard from me yet?

… Look, straight up? No, this is not my ideal job. But I may never get my dream job to play in the NFL. I’m a big guy. I’m intimidating to a lot of people, like kids, and maybe that alone will make it so people will think twice about doing something wrong at the museum. I don’t have a lot of career options, and I don’t want to be out working on the street in the middle of a New York summer. I am a hard worker, just ask any of my coaches. I’m a good boy, ask my ma. Give me a chance, and I will make sure you do not regret it.


That was pretty much how my interview went. I wasn’t even sure if I was gonna get the job. And now here I am, helping the Mayor’s daughter move a statue… which to be honest, probably isn’t allowed, but since the war started nobody comes here anymore. I don’t even know why they still pay me to hang out by myself all day. The other guards quit and moved out of New York City, but this job has grown on me. I like it, and I’m good at it. Maybe helping Cassandra out today will lead her to saying good stuff about me to her dad, and then maybe he’ll hire me as his personal body guard. Then maybe I can work my way up to the Secret Service, that would be awesome…

This is an exercise written as part of NaNoWarmUp, a personal writing challenge in October to write 25,000 words as preparation for writing 50,000 words in November. This year I’m using the daily writing goal of 800 words to write ABOUT my Cassandra story from the point of view of other characters. In November, I hope to be prepared to start writing a new first draft of Cursed from Cassandra’s point of view, a more complete story after figuring out how other characters perceive Cassandra, her prophecies, and the Trojan War.