Saturday, 1 July 2017

THE GOING RATE...



Lee looked at the strange figure in front of him and eyed it up and down in a quizzical sort of way.  He wasn't quite sure if red was really Nick's colour... and as for those horns and the tail, well... but he'd let that lie for the moment.

"How much?" he asked at last.

"Two cents" came the reply.

"Two cents?  Are you kidding me?  It's gotta be worth much more than that.  C'mon!" he bellowed, indignantly.

"That's the going rate for a soul these days" Nick said, dismissively.  "You think you'll get more upstairs?  He pays nothing... figures they all belong to Him anyway."

"But two cents, man.  That ain't worth spit."  He began to wonder if he'd made a mistake getting involved in this deal.

"Take it or leave it" came the reply. "Now, I'm busy... either sign or stop wasting my time.  There's plenty more fish in the sea you know."  He stood up as if to leave, fully aware of the effect it would have.  He'd done it too many times before.

Lee panicked.  This might be the only chance he'd ever get... the only chance for getting his name in lights short of changing his name to 'Exit'.  The only chance of attracting women (men, even... he'd always wanted to try), the high-life he'd always craved, back from he was a little boy that nobody liked because he stank of pee and looked at other boys' 'bits' in the toilet.  His one and only chance of escaping the obscurity which defined his life, slaving away in his little basement room night after night, in that drug-induced haze which freed him from his inhibitions and allowed his imagination free-reign.  A twisted, sick and perverted imagination, true, but it was his ticket out.  Or so he thought. 

He seized the paper in front of him greedily, and scrawled his signature in the space provided.

"We're done" said Nick, as he headed for the door.  "I'll be in touch."

His laughter as he ascended the stairs from the little basement apartment stayed with Lee for the rest of his days.  It haunted his dreams and allowed him no peace for the remainder of his empty, miserable, wasted life.

And short, too. 

2 comments:

Colin Jones said...

The Devil punishing sinners makes no sense when you think about it. Surely it would be logical for Satan to reward sin - rather than being a pit of eternal torment and damnation, hell should be a paradise of vice which would encourage human beings to live thoroughly despicable lives knowing they'd be rewarded in hell forevermore.

Kid said...

Well, if the Devil DID punish sin, CJ, it WOULD make a sort of sense. You see, the Devil is the Prince of lies, and his promises are all false. Therefore, he tricks you into selling your soul for the thing you most desire, only for you to find that very thing is ultimately the cause of great unhappiness and, eventually, your downfall. As for Heaven and Hell though, it's our own choices which decide which one we end up in, so if we end up in Hell then we've punished ourselves. If you believe in those particular concepts of Heaven and Hell that is. Outside Jerusalem was a place called Gehenna where the dead were cremated, and quite literally it was a lake of burning fire. When the Biblical writers were trying to describe Hell, they used imagery with which their readers would have been familiar in order to impart an idea of just how awful Hell would be. It was figurative language in other words. So scholars believe anyway.

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