The Bargain

Excellent, that's a good fellow. It's nothing really, just a little favour. We scratch your back and you scratch ours. We help you with your work and you help us with ours."
"What sort of work?"
"As I said, my employer is a man of science, just as you are yourself. A brilliant mind trapped in a lifelesss form. The act of a harsh and punitive parent. Ever since the fateful day he was struck down my client has devoted his life to research. To finding a way to end this terrible exile and return to the world of men. Now we believe have found such a way and all we need is a volunteer. Someone with the right sort of vision, someone who won't be put off by a few moral scruples."
"Speak plainly." Ambrose scowled. "Tell me plainly what is required."
"As I said. It's nothing really." Ambrose replied smoothly. You'd just need to agree to surrender your mortal form to the master. Just for one night. To let his mind inhabit your body."
"Is that even possible?" Ambrose looked skeptical. "And if I do this how do I know this employer of yours will let me back in?"
"It's all set out in the contract. See here." Ambrose pulled a neatly folded document out of his breast pocket. "But you'll need to decide quickly. Your beloved Fay doesn't have much time. Right now all manner of worms and maggots are starting to fester in her organs. The kidneys are turning leathery and the blood is hardening in the arteries."
"Fine, fine, I'll do it." Pritchard was sweating. Life meant nothing without Fay. "Where do I sign?"
"Right here." Ambrose produced a long gold tipped pen which he abruptly stabbed into Pritchard's exposed forearm.
"Ow, dammit that hurt." A thick stream of dark red blood welled up and Ambrose dipped the pen in it.
"A quirk of my employer," he explained. "He likes to have all his contracts signed in blood, theatrical I know but ... the whims of an eccentric genius."
Pritchard muttered a few low oaths and signed the contract.
"Now, make it work. Bring her back."
"But of course," beaming with satisfaction Ambrose slowly drew the lever back and Pritchard's machine hummed into action.

The End

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