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Featured Story, Week of June 3, 2018: "The Fine Print"

Each week we feature a story written by one or two of our group members at our weekly meetings. For this week's featured story, the prompt was "the thing finally worth selling your soul for." We had 20 minutes to write.

The Fine Print

By Ryan Carbery

“Any soul is worth saving, at least to a priest. But not ever soul is worth buying. So you can take the offer as a complement.” -William S. Burroughs.

“I'm not sure what you're getting out of this deal.” It feels like no one had asked her this question before. Is her or him appropriate? I kind of just assume looking like Julie Newmar was because of that Twilight Zone episode. I was cool with it.

“Just your soul, deary. Just one little ol' soul.”

“Yeah, I mean, I get that. But, like, why?”

“Excuse me?”

“Why do you need souls? What do you do with them?”

“You don't need to worry about it. You don't even believe in souls.”

“Well, I don't believe in a lot of stuff. But Julie Newmar with horns just walked into my living room and offered me the ability to alter my life decisions for the price of my soul. I'm always willing to re- evaluate my position based on new information.”

“Look, I'm offering you-”

“Yeah, life decision editor. Say yes when I had said no, go when I decided to stay. I get it. I'm just trying to understand the exchange.”

“For your-”

“For my soul. Yeah. But, like...okay is this some monkey paw shit?”

“Monkey paw?”

“Yeah, you know, some old couple gets a monkey paw with three wishes but each of those wishes goes south on them.”

“Who uses monkey paws for-” She seemed frustrated. She pulled on the hem of her sport coat thing, whatever that's called on women, even though it didn't really move. “How this goes is up to you, deary.”

“Yeah, but, like, you're the one who's playing out the consiquences aren't you? Like some sort of cosmic dungeon master?”

“What's a dungeon master?”

Well, take that evangelicals. You were wrong about that one. The devil doesn't even know what role playing is.

“Alright. So. You get my soul.” “Yes.”

“And then what?”

“What do you mean?”

“Do you collect it like a repo man or something? Show up at work and take it away? Is there a time period?”

“When the time comes, I will collect the soul.”

“Right. But when's that time? Do I have a grace period? What if the ability to edit my life doesn't work the way you said it does? Is there arbitration or do I have to find a really good fiddle player to challenge you or what?”

“Fiddle player?”

Not Charlie Daniels! I thought for sure that one would be real at this point.

“Do you have, like, reviews? How many people have you bought souls from? Could I talk to any of them?”

“This was so much easier before mass media.”

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