Daniel Webster’s deal

“So, yeah, I called the hotline and I’m waiting for a callback,” Daniel told his friend.

Nate shook his head, incredulous his friend would take the risk. “So, are you really going to go through with it? I mean, yeah, you don’t use it, but what if you need it, someday?”

Daniel laughed. “What do I need it for? If I can get something for it now, why wait? It only makes sense if you think about it.”

Still Nate was unimpressed with Daniel’s logic. There was nothing in the world he wanted enough to sell his soul. He wasn’t all that religious, but he was pragmatic. What if, one day, he did have a need for a soul? Maybe one of the crazy religions of the world was right and he’d need a soul to get into a good afterlife.

“Where’d you find the hotline? It’s not like it’s advertised, right? Or did I miss something somewhere?”

Daniel pulled a tattered magazine from his backpack. It had wildly made-up rockers with super expensive guitars on the front. He thumbed it open, flipping pages until he found a full-page ad near the back of the magazine.

“Here,” he showed Nate. “This ad. It’s about music and such, but I figured if the Devil’s buying up souls, he doesn’t much care what he’s giving in return. So I called.”

“I dunno, Daniel,” Nate shook his head again. “I still don’t think it’s a good idea. I mean, even if you get what you want for your soul, it’s still your soul!”

“I’m not going to get something puny, Nate. I’m smarter than that.” Daniel told his friend. His phone started ringing, so he held up a hand to forestall Nate’s continued argument.

“Hello? Yes, Daniel Webster….Oh, are you sure?”

Nate watched his friend’s face lose all its excitement, transforming into despair.

“Alright….Yeah, thanks. G’bye.”

Daniel ended his call, his face crumpling, tears beginning to pool in his eyes. He looked up at Nate.

“Everything okay, Daniel?” Nate’s voice was hesitant. He didn’t want those tears to spill out of his friend’s eyes.

“No,” Daniel wailed. “He doesn’t want my soul. Says it’s not up to the exchange rate. Something like that. I didn’t even get to talk to him, just some secretary or whatever.”

Nate was relieved but also disappointed for his friend. Curious about what Daniel wanted for his soul, he asked, “So…what did you want to get? I mean, for selling your soul, if he’d wanted it?”

“I just…just wanted to be a writer…”

Nate didn’t think that sounded so bad. Definitely not so bad that the Devil would refuse to take the deal

Until Daniel continued, “like Stephen King, but better and more famous.”


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