Darien Black was sitting in his bedroom when the doorbell rang. For some reason, it seemed to lack its normal, cheery sound, and sounded instead like an ominous church bell.
"Just a minute!" he called.
Darien ran down the stairs, leaping over a pile of clothes at the bottom. Upon opening the door, he was faced with a man in an expensive suit. He had black hair with streaks of grey, and had a warm smile on his face, his hand outstretched in the offer of a handshake.
"Good evening, Master Black, I'm here on a business proposition that I think may interest you. May I come in?"
Darien was stunned by the sudden appearance of this strange man, but stood aside to let him pass. When he closed the door, the foyer seemed dark, even though all the lights were on.
"Uh, why don't you have a seat in the living room. I think you might be mistaking me for my father, but he'll be home in about twenty minutes if you care to wa-"
"No, Master Black, I'm not mistaken. You see, I've come to offer you the chance of a lifetime. I'm here to give you everything you've always dreamed of, at a price, of course."
"What have I dreamed of?"
"Magic. You want it. Every waking moment of every day you wish you had magic. You want to be able to set things on fire when you're angry, you want to get people to do what you want, you want to be able to take control of your life, to never have to submit to the whim of another ever again."
Darien was stunned. He had never had someone tell him his entire life story before, and had certainly never had someone offer him one of his deepest desires.
"Who are you?"
"Satan. I run Triple Six Enterprises, where we sell a variety of household goods for the everyday person, but I believe I'm known much better as the High Lord of Hell."
"I don't believe you. Prove it."
Without blinking an eye, Satan calmly said:
"In three minutes, a car will crash right outside your house. There will be no survivors and people will be trying to wash the blood stains off the street for weeks."
Darien had nothing to say to that. If he wanted proof, he only had to wait three minutes to see if the man was telling the truth. Then again, he could throw the man out as a fraud and go on with life, but the stray thought crossed his mind. What if the car does crash? It was highly unlikely, but it couldn't hurt to wait.
The minutes on the clock ticked slowly by. Darien watched the second hand as it clicked its way up to the twelve.
Tires squealed outside and Darien rushed to the window to see what was going on. He saw a red car overturned in the street, wheels still spinning.
He turned back to the man in shock, but Satan had remained seated calmly, an indifferent expression on his face.
"Would you like me to get out the appropriate paperwork?" he said.
Darien nodded and sat back down. Satan opened his briefcase and took out a piece of paper.
"To gain this power, you must come to my realm of magic. You will live a normal life span, but when you die, I get your soul. Sound fair?"
"Where do I sign?"
An eternity of torment was bad, but life sucked too. Why make life and afterlife horrible, when he could make at least one of them worthwhile.
"Here's a quill. A bit old fashioned, I know, but I haven't come up with another kind of pen you can write in your own with yet. Just cut your hand with this sacrificial knife, dip the quill in the wound, and sign at the bottom in the space."
Darien took the knife to his hand, and after a moments hesitation, let it bite into his flesh. He dipped the quill into the cut, and signed.