It feels like an absolute age since the last time I entered one of Chuck Wendig, o’er at Terribleminds.com’s flash fiction challenges, and last Fridays seems like too good an opportunity to miss.
In essence you take a sentence constructed as part of last week’s challenge and then use that as the first part of your story for your entry for this week’s challenge. There were a lot of entries to choose from, but the sentence that screamed out most to me was, Jen Spears sentence…
“There was a lesson in this somewhere, probably something along the lines of always get a receipt when you make a deal with the devil.”
So here it is, hope you enjoy it and want to leave a comment or two.
There was a lesson in this somewhere, probably something along the lines of always get a receipt when you make a deal with the devil. Of course the bigger lesson would be never to deal with the devil at all but that ship had not only passed for Taiga Pen, but it had hit an iceberg, sank, and had a top grossing movie created to tell its story, technically two movies.
Which-ever way he looked at it, his soul was in the property of the devil and he had been put into a situation he had never imagined.
What was the deal, I hear you ask? Well before I divulge that, I’d like to spend a few minutes trying to describe the man who fell afoul of the Prince of Lies so effectively.
Taiga was, and I choose my words carefully, Taiga was a dick. He was an arrogant, charmless idiot who thought the world owed him everything and that he should never have to earn anything. He had a desire for vast wealth and power. Yet even with his arrogant attitude there was nothing extravagant about the way he lived. He lived at home with his mother, who in her own way was probably a little too dominant but not in a Bates’ Motel sort of way. He worked as a mail room clerk, pushing a mail-cart around the offices of JK Bork and Sons, and he spent his evenings at the local wine-bar pushing his unwanted attention on to the clientele.
Taiga was the type of man who had to be seen. His ego couldn’t stand anyone not noticing him, he would brag, boast and lie. He had to make everyone think he was the best. Of course no-one did, his attitude had the exact opposite effect to the one he wanted. He didn’t mind in most cases, as he thought himself better than them anyway, but there was one person he would have given anything to have notice him, Ann.
Every day, Taiga handed Ann her mail and she stare through him as if he wasn’t there. Her red hair bounced on her shoulders, and he could scarcely take his eyes of her magnificent legs. Since he had first seen her, Ann had been the thing that Taiga desired the most.
As it turns out, summoning the devil is a surprisingly easy to do. You don’t need black candles, heavy metal music, black clothes, pentagrams or any other nonsense. The only thing you need is a strong desire, and a weak mind. The devil hears that like you rang his cell-phone. He’s never too busy to reap a soul.
The Devil seemed like a perfectly ordinary man, just sitting at the bar that evening, dressed in a maroon suit and a smile. They’d started talking and it wasn’t long before Taiga told him everything about Ann. The man offered to help him for the small price of his soul. Taiga was dubious but this was his chance to get everything he ever wanted, it was worth his soul, it was worth a million souls.
Within minutes the deal was done and Taiga’s soul now belonged to The Devil. Taiga was just keeping it warm until he died. When he was asked what he wanted in exchange, his heart raced with possibilities. He’d given him his soul so why shouldn’t he get everything he has always wanted?
He needed to become the type of man that he thought Ann would want, her perfect man, someone who she couldn’t refuse.
Slowly and very deliberately he turned to the man and said…
“I want to be big and strong. I want to get to the top of JK Bork so I can look down at people. I want Ann for myself. I want to carry her away and I want her to be mine until the day I die.”
The man looked back at him, with a thoughtful expression, and nodded gently. “I see you are a man who knows what he wants. You want to be powerful; you want men to fear you, and women to scream for you? You want Ann to be yours?”
Taiga’s heart was thumping in his chest, was he really only minutes away from becoming everything he had ever wanted?
“Yes” Taiga said breathlessly. “Yes, that’s it. I want all that.”
“Very well” said the devil. “One soul, one wish”
Then with a smile that had lost all its warmth and civility, he looked straight at Taiga. “Have fun.”
So the deal was made, Taiga did indeed become big, strong, and powerful. Men did fear him, and woman screamed at him in their millions. He also got to the top of JK Bork and looked down on a great many people, though as they say the devil is in the detail.
Taiga found himself, roaring with anger, his large hairy frame hanging from the spire of the JK Bork building. He was holding Ann tightly within one ape-like hand and swatting away fighter planes with the other. People were running away from him, and a vast many of them were screaming. Exactly as he asked for, Taiga and Ann were together for the rest of his life.
Taiga’s life ended when he plummeted to his death, four and a half minutes later.
- Smoke and Mirrors Flash Fiction Challenge (silverjames.com)
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- Flash Fiction Friday: Ann Wilkes (horroraddicts.wordpress.com)
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