I answered the want ad in the paper without knowing what a hierophant was, let alone what an assistant was supposed to do for them. But I was getting desperate for work and I applied for just about everything.
Usually I didn’t get a phone call, and this time was no exception. Rather, my, uh, potential employer, came to my parents’ place and knocked on the front door. It was the middle of the day, but I happened to be home (unemployed and graduated), and answered.
On the doorstep stood an old man in a red toque and long red coat. He had a large canvas backpack over his shoulders like a hump, and in his left hand was a golden cross with three, I guess, crosses through it.
“Jackson?” said the man.
“Uh,” I said. “Yeah.”
“You wish to assist me in interpreting and spreading ancient messages long hidden?”
“You’re the hirer? Fant?”
“Hierophant,” said the man.
Not only was I contacted about a job, but the guy actually showed up at my house. I couldn’t mess this opportunity up. So I invited him in for coffee.
“Do you speak any ancient languages?” the man asked, sloughing off his backpack while I put on a pot of coffee.
“Uh, I know some basic French,” I said. I didn’t know if French was considered “ancient.” “But I’m a quick learner, and I’m totally ready to be trained for anything.”
The hierophant nodded thoughtfully. Eventually I brought him his coffee. He drank.
“In the mountains,” he said, “there is an old temple. A lost temple. None know of its whereabouts, other than me. A higher power led me there, you see. The temple is an archive. Ancient wisdom. Secrets. Mysteries. I have become a bridge between the heavens and the Earth. I must teach.”
“So I’d be like an assistant teacher?” I said.
“Sort of,” said the hierophant.
“Would I get summers off, or?”
“The knowledge is vast. I see no end.”
“So it’s full-time. Long-term.”
“Is there room for advancement?”
“I welcome an equal.”
“Ancient wisdoms. Mountainside lodging.”
“Per donation. More than enough to live comfortably–even wealthily, if that matters to you. People pay dearly to be the first in thousands of years to learn divine knowledge.”
A little vague, but a live-in cabin in the mountains, lots of reading and teaching. It sounded pretty good, actually.
“I can start as early as tomorrow,” I said.
“Why not now?”
“Uh, I guess I’m not really doing anything.”
“Excellent. Pack your things. We walk.”
“To the mountains?”
“To the mountains.”
Today’s three prompt categories were, “An assistant,” “The hierophant,” and, “IN THE MOUNTAINS.”
I want this job.