An Easy Deal. Short Story.

“Now, I’m sure none of this is what you expected.”
Connor shook his head, “No, not at all.”
“We’ve had to streamline a bit in the modern day. People just don’t go into that whole ritualistic sacrifice and slaughter, it used to be huge though. It’s going to come back around though, just you wait.” The man behind the desk gave a small chuckle, Connor smiled nervously, the office was smaller than he expected, about five foot by ten, it was sparsely decorated, a simple large desk had been crammed in somehow and took up most of the space, there was a large window on the back wall, but Connor found it difficult to look at. It was like seeing the world through a heat haze and it made his head hurt if he looked at it for too long. The man sitting across from him wore a slightly wrinkled charcoal grey suit, his hair had been neatly arranged at some point, but now it was sticking up in places.
“The truth of the matter is we do need blood, blood contracts are the oldest and strongest available. Now, I’m sure you’re asking yourself ‘What is a blood contract?’ Well, simply put it writes the contract into your very DNA, that sounds scary, but it actually doesn’t take up a lot of space and is completely harmess. It just ensures that both of us hold up our end of the bargain. It can’t be destroyed or erased, once it’s done it’s done. The reason we call it a blood contract is because you have to sign in your blood. Don’t look so alarmed! Don’t worry it’s only a drop or two, you’ll barely feel it. You’ll use a single-use, disposable pen which will harvest your blood and allow you to write with it. It’s quick and almost painless.”
“And what do I get for that?”
“Now that’s just the standard package, wealth, women, or men if you’re into them, large house, fairly successful life. We can throw in fame, but it does cost a surprising amount if you don’t come by it honestly.”
“How much for the fame add on?”
“Well, as it stands we get your soul, for fame we have to add something in, bit of demonic power. You won’t be able to control it, but it will seed a bit of chaos wherever you go. Nothing too dramatic or dangerous, but enough to keep things lively. You can see it in action with some of the more out there celebrities. Your immediate family will be safe enough, as will you if you’re a bit sensible.”
Connor shook his head, “No, I don’t like the sound of that.”
“Not many do, but there’s no rush, if you decide to do business with us today you can always add it on in the future at any point.”

The man reached into a drawer behind his desk and took out a single white sheet of paper along with a pen sealed in plastic wrapping.
“If you’d like to just sign here?”
“What? That’s the contract? I thought it would be a stack of paper.”
“Yes, most do. It’s as standard enough contract, I, fill in your name, agree to trade my soul for wealth and success. The house and the women, or men, come later, after you’ve completed a personality test that will help us determine the best matches. Then there’s just some protections for us, like we can’t be blamed for anything you do with your power, wealth or success and we are not responsible for any of your actions after signing. We had to add that last bit in a few decades back, we had a messy situation on our hands then.” The man shook his head with a small smile, then pushed the piece of paper towards Connor. Connor picked up the pen and unwrapped it, it fit his grip perfectly, he felt a short, stabbing pain in his finger then it was over. He held the pen poised above the line, “What if I change my mind. What if I’m not happy?”
“We guarantee happiness, if you’re not happy you can always request your soul back, in that case we do a straight swap, we take back what was given and what was gained and you take back your soul. I will warn you this will leave you with nothing if you do get a refund, you will have the clothes on your back and one thousand of whatever currency you wish. There are also limits to protect us, such as you cannot request a refund if you are terminally ill or dying, you need to be in good health.”
Connor took a slow breath, that all seemed reasonable. Extremely reasonable. He lowered the pen and signed. As he finished the man stood and shook his hand, “Thank you for coming aboard with us today.” He walked Conner the few feet to the door and opened it, “If you’ll just head own the hallway and take the first door on the right, they’ll get you sorted with your bank transfer. You can arrange your success and wealth however you like. Inheritance from a dead relative, selling some new software, lottery win. It’s quite fun.”

Connor left the room, the man moved back behind the desk, his appearance began to change, his hair smoothed out becoming perfect again, his suit became crisp. The office stretched out becoming a bit bigger, the desk more imposing, the view more impressive. There was a knock at the door, it opened slightly and a woman popper her head around, “You’re next appointment has arrived.”
“Great, send him in, I’m ready for him.”

About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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