I’ve chatted with countless monsters over the years, from Dracula to the titular piece of furniture in Death Bed: The Bed That Eats, and they all seem to believe they’re destined to saturate the world with chaos and calamity until they themselves are obliterated. But this, in my opinion, is an unhealthy mindset. Wouldn’t we all be better off if the fiends of the world stopped ripping off limbs, and instead focused their energies on something more productive, like entering data into an Excel spreadsheet?
Some pessimists out there might assume that monsters are a lost cause when it comes to gainful employment, but I believe the only difference between a well-regarded professional and an unholy monstrosity is that somewhere along the way the monster was given some bad career advice. Therefore, as a world-renowned career counseling enthusiast, I’m going to utilize this post to suggest some alternate career paths for five malevolent brutes.
Creature from the Black Lagoon
To my mind, there is only one perfect vocation for amphibious humanoids with a distaste toward humanity. Yes, you guessed it. I am, of course, referring to professional golf ball diving. The Creature will surely savor every moment away from people as he searches water hazards for lost balls. The pay is nothing to scoff at either. According to ESPN, hardworking ball divers can make an income between 50,000 and 100,000 clams per year. (And if you’re reading this, Creature, I’m afraid I’m not referring to actual clams.) Swimming in hazards can be quite…uh…hazardous for a human being, but this should prove no problem for old Gill-man. His armor-like scales may not be able to deflect bullets (as he’s learned on more than one occasion, if we’re counting the sequels), but they should protect him well enough against all the broken glass and sharp metal pipes hidden in the murky depths. Maybe he’ll even make an alligator friend along the way.
Sadako may spend most of her time as a malevolent force, imprinting rage and terror into home video tapes, but that doesn’t mean she can’t also make room for some on-campus and on-the-job training in electronics technology. After she finishes her apprenticeship, our unfriendly neighborhood ringu-wraith will be the quite the adept TV repairperson. She won’t even need to open up the televisions. She’ll be able to step right in and fix the technological issues from the inside. And I don’t know about you, but I would definitely appreciate a repairperson who has a perfect track record for showing up exactly when she says she will. If she says she’ll be there at 7, she’ll be there at 7.
When considering amoeboid aliens with insatiable appetites, it’s easy to focus on the negatives. There’s the death, and the destruction, and the bucketloads of goo. But let’s try for a few moments to look on the bright side here. The Blob has eaten everything from human beings to theater seats to electricity, and because of this, he’s likely cultivated for himself the most highly-developed palate in the world. There’s no doubt in my mind that this gelatinous gentleman would thrive as a flavorist. He could engineer artificial and natural flavors the likes of which no human taste bud has ever conceived. Imagine the possibilities. Rat spleen and wet concrete potato chips. Helium and lawn mower cough drops. There’s a whole world of undiscovered flavor combinations out there, and who better to expand our gustatory horizons than the ultimate gourmand?
As one of the greatest shinobi of his time, Orochimaru could use his skills and powers in any number of ways. But, of course, Orochimaru cares more about developing new skills and powers than actually using them. He’s both a Frankenstein and a Frankenstein’s monster, endlessly experimenting on his own body. With this in mind, I’m going to recommend that Orochimaru try his hand at becoming a stunt journalist on YouTube. If he’s going to treat himself like a guinea pig, he might as well film the whole experience and get monetized. He could create videos like Taking the Demon Blood Bath Challenge and 1 Week Eating Nothing But HUMAN SOULS?? And let’s not forget about the all-important unboxing videos. In one mystery box, he might find vials full of banana slug cells, badger blood and meteorite powder. His audience will be dying to see what horrors or hilarity will unfold after he injects the substances into his right eye. I’d bet the farm that the Legendary Sannin will reach a million subscribers in no time. He’s no stranger to acquiring followers, after all.
The major problem with demons isn’t that they possess and control people’s bodies; it’s that they offer this service for free. Infernal imps need to stop wasting their talents forcing girls to speak in backwards-Latin or upchuck pea soup onto clergymen. This isn’t exactly productive. What I propose is that our legion of demons charges fifty smackeroonies an hour to be a personal trainer. Once our mass of malignant spirits possesses the human, the client can sit back (in the recesses of their own consciousness) and relax while the demons do all the work. What with the spider-crawling down the stairs and the spinning around of the head, this will definitely be a full-body workout. Say what you will about thrashing about on your bed while your soul is ripped apart by evil spirits, but it’s a great way to build your core.
Originally published in June 2018.
Jeremy C. Shipp is the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of Cursed, Vacation, and Sheep and Wolves. His shorter tales have appeared in over 60 publications, including Cemetery Dance, ChiZine and Apex Magazine. Jeremy lives in Southern California in a moderately haunted Victorian farmhouse. His novellas The Atrocities and Bedfellow are available from Tordotcom Publishing.