Satan appears, offering you legs and lungs in exchange for your soul

The Unholy Tempter looks just like Jack Nicholson, because you're more likely to be in awe of Jack Nicholson -- you might even request his autograph -- and less likely say if he manifested before you all medieval blood-red and many-horned, which these days might only have the Fallen One snapped on a cel-phone and posted on You-Tube.


Getting down to business, shrewdly you wrangle seemingly the best terms ever for human legs and lungs; and not just ordinary human legs and lungs, which might be enough to get you invited to ordinary parties, but for the nimble legs, and lungs attached to a dulcet voice -- for the legs and lungs of an entertaining multi-talent that can sing and dance that so-cool Valentine Brown into a corner!


It seems fair payment: transferring the majority of holdings, however retaining what hereafter shall be referred to as the tiniest smidge of your immortal soul.


The very best deal, you're sure. A living commodity, like a peanut bush is, the soul mirrors the proprietor, and grows and withers in response to his exploits. And you are confident you can grow back your smidge of soul inside six months -- perhaps sooner, now that you suddenly spring legs and can get around. You double over, hacking and gulping through new lungs, like a fish out of water, needing really quickly to get right the in-out of breathing air not nearly as sweet tasting as your cold stream.


Odd, that Jack Nicholson smirks -- "Y'happy, are ya?"


Replying that you are, instead it comes out all Welsh Trout -- and you get what Jack's up to.


"Pleasure doing business -- Be seein' ya!" -- and Jack laughs his long mocking laugh, creeping you out just as he did in The Shining.


But he does hold his tongue -- mockingly, again -- actually pinching his stuck-out forked tongue between thumb and forefinger, and only letting himself loose when you're done glubbing and burbling.


"Human speech will cost you extra, Friend -- not a whole lot extra -- only the tiniest smidge extra. Or. Tell ya what I'm gonna do, just for you, because I like ya. I'm gonna give you the half-hour demo version. Sorry, it's only configured for sing-mode. You'll sing sweet, like Gene Kelly, just only when the music starts. And only the half-hour. You'd like that, right, Friend?"


You nod, narrowing your stare.


"When you're ready for the full install, lemme know -- and I'll do your full install. And I'll tell you what else I'm gonna do for you, because I like ya. Two payment options, Friend. You like that?"


You nod, just the once.


"You sign over that tiniest smidge. Or -- You'll like this. Bring me someone else's whole immortal enchilada -- either one, Friend. Lemme know. I'm in the yellow pages, right after Sappers."


Jack done, grinning so big you tremble, scared he might swallow you like a worm, then he turns sideways, thin as a crack, and gone as you blink.

The End

31 comments about this story Feed