1890, Robin Ellwood


“Have you thought over our little deal yet, Robin?” the hooded man asked.

He need not have worn his hood up. I knew who he was. He was Death. He had to be. Who else would ask a man to sell his soul?

“I have, good man. And I am forced to withdraw”

He chuckled darkly. It sent a chill down my spine. “Mr Ellwood, that really is a shame”

“How so?”

“I have watched you. You are in your prime this way. It would be a shame for you to grow old and ugly. To settle down and choose a wife”

I had to admit, he was right about that. Settling down from my lavish lifestyle was the one thing in life that terrified me. As it was, each night I could stay out until whatever ungodly hour I fancied, sample the newest wines and other fine items. I will not lie to you, I was a frequent visitor of various opium dens. But even now in my youth, I felt myself grow older as each day passed. And it killed me.

“Are you sure, Robin?” he asked smoothly, his words sounding more delicious now.

“Yes. I mean no. I mean... I don’t know what I mean”

“Come now, Robin. Your soul for eternal youth. It isn’t so much to ask for”

I bit my lip. I didn’t want to grow old. I didn’t want to die. To disappear.

“Deal” I said after a while, sensing the smile on the hooded man’s lips.

He pulled a roll of paper out of nowhere and I glanced at the inky scrawl that graced it.

“Do I sign in ink or blood?” I asked nervously, intending it as a joke.

“In blood” he chuckled, grabbing my hand.

He pricked my fingertip with a fancy looking blade. I watched as the blood welled up on the end of my finger, slowly accumulating enough for gravity to take hold and force the droplets onto the page below. The paper vanished and the man smiled again, though I couldn’t exactly see it.

“Pleasure doing business with you, Robin” he said, still smiling.

And with that, he stood and left. I felt cold, empty. Yet somehow, I felt alive.

The End

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