I had an idea about a guy working for someone he thinks is the devil, but it never went anywhere. It also got lost in one of the… 47(?) hard drive crashes I’ve had over the years. The idea was semi-horror/fantasy based, with a bit of mystery and mysticism mixed in.
The idea was this, a man is approached by a recruiting officer for a company (I never came up with a name, but it would have been something bland like Infinidim Enterprises) and gets a high paying job with the company to do… something. I wanted to call him a Public Service Representative or something like that, but I never came up with a title. After he starts working, he discovers that the job isn’t exactly what he had described to him. The actual job is trading objects for favors, and the company can grant almost any favor it wants. This is where the fantasy comes in. Agents get opportunities sent to them on their phones or in e-mail like salesmen do, and they have to approach the subject like a salesman, but the method deviates from there.
The fantasy elements come in that they have devices that can transport them places, stop time and even bend reality. See, what they’re asked to get are usually inconsequential items, and they’re allowed to offer almost anything. The only real request given by the boss is not to give up more than the item is worth because they still want to keep costs down. The trick, our hero is told, is to find just the right time to ask for the object and give just the right incentive.
He’s sent through training with another agent who tells him how everything works and even takes him on a job. In that job, they happen to land themselves in the car of a man who’s about to be killed in a road accident. The training agent explains how they want whatever it was they were sent for and in return they’ll shift things just enough that he won’t even get his paint scratched. They do, he does, happy endings all ‘round. The hero is a little shocked at the method, but he admits that no one got hurt and the guy was exceptionally grateful to gain his life for what I believe I’d decided was a keychain fob of some description.
Our hero’s first requested object is a tea set that someone got from their great aunt in her will. The aunt never used the tea set, they guy never took it out of the packaging, and our hero even has a suggestion that offering the guy twenty bucks will do the trick. So, he offers, he gets it, and he’s off to a great career. That’s where I stopped working on the story and never came back to it.
I wanted to have the guy wondering why his company wanted the objects, what they did with them, what was going on really. I had a subplot in mind where one the agents starts getting too aggressive and becomes troublesome because he creates situations where people give him what he wants so he’ll stop tormenting him. That guy has to be taken down and it takes more than a talking to by the HR person to do it.
The two problems I had were A) I couldn’t think of where to take the hero that would be remotely interesting and B) I couldn’t decide on how it should end. If you’ve got a mystery in mind, you should have some idea where you’re eventually going to take it and I had nothing. I have the skeleton of an idea, but I didn’t have anything else. The hero was also bland as hell, but I had him playing observer up until that point so I didn’t hold it against him.