In Which We Learn about Zombie Penguins

Intern Becky

Sketchy Becky, the intern

Hello! I’m Becky, and I recently started interning at Dorchester. Now, you might think Dorchester is a publishing house. That’s exactly what they want you to believe. In reality, Dorchester is a paranormal crime-fighting unit. Take a moment to let that sink in. Aha! Suddenly, many of their books make absolute sense.

Dorchester authors are actually covert agents. Some of the “novels” are their mission reports. What better way to hide the truth but  in plain sight? I’ve got to admit, it’s an excellent way to prepare the general public should the reality about the world’s paranormal activities ever get out.

As an intern, it took a few days for the truth to be revealed to me. (Evidently, I passed their secret test. I had thought it was about grammar as well as the correct ratios of pirates to bosoms and how they should heave, when in actuality, they were studying my strategic methods.) Early one Thursday morning, I was whisked away to attend a mysterious meeting. It seemed pretty normal at first. Everyone who could fit was crammed into one of the chairs surrounding a conference table, with the excess sitting on the couch. Then…the door shut. Notebooks were replaced with elaborate communication devices, connecting the team to authors out in the field. Reports were coming in of birds falling from the sky in the south, and schools of fish turning up dead over night for no apparent reason. Myriad surfaces caught the light, rendering the room a momentary disco party.

Zombie Penguin with dead fish

Cute up until it takes out your knees and eats your brain. Will be deadly during the next ice age.

Above the conference table, the whimsical portrait of two potential lovers reading books flipped over to reveal a glossy computer screen. Wide-eyed, I goggled at an incoming  map, glowing red dots revealing masses of undead in hot spots around the city. It did not get prettier when it zoomed out to show first the country and then the world. I hope you never want to visit the South Pole. Apparently we humans lost that territory over a decade ago. Zombie penguins aren’t cute, by the way. They’re vicious. 

The actions of Dorchester are dictated by The Council. I’ve never seen them before (obviously, since I’m only an intern), but my instincts predict shawody figures cloaks with giant hoods. And I have my fingers crossed for some British accents, but I suppose I will settle for a prophetic riddle or two. Considering the defeat of a recent clan of vampires (they targeted distracted souls who were too busy reading during their morning commute to notice the fangs until it was too late), I’d say they’re doing a pretty good job.

Like their crime-fighting “author” counterparts in the field, those remaining in-office are tough and brave. They have to be, as Headquarters unfortunately resides in a building poised above a giant inter-dimensional portal to Hell. They go through doormen pretty quickly. And it is never fun when some wisecracking poltergeist tries to make off with the slush.

Anyway, I have to go. We’re off to hunt down the ice demon who’s planning to begin another snowpocalypse here in New York. I’m in charge of lugging around the spare blowtorches. I’ll try to report in again, but if I do, don’t be surprised if I have a completely different tone. It may be that I’ve already said too much…

-Becky, The Third Intern

P.S. Sketchy refers to my artistic abilities. As opposed to me really being of a sketchy character.


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