Right Where Your Soul Ought To Be | Short Story # 2
Written: August 25, 2020.
“To succeed in your life, you say?” The Devil asked.
“Yes.” Barton said to him, as the Devil whipped up a scroll from thin air. “Don’t you think that’s a bit old-style? You don’t even have a pen for me to use.”
“Don’t I, now?” The Devil looked to the side, and a pen suddenly appeared in his hand. “Just right over here, m’boy.” He pointed down on the dotted line. “Right where your soul ought to be.”
That was about twenty years ago from when Barton first met the Devil. His pregnant girlfriend left him for some better guy. He didn’t have any money on his name. He only had the debts of his father, and the growing expenses of his mother’s hospital bills to worry about back then. That was when he met the Devil, which he could’ve sworn he had asked instead for a guardian angel the moment he yelled his drunken lungs out to the world, that fateful night.
The Devil had come to him at his most desperate hour, and sold him a deal. You know, the usual bargain. But to be exact on what Barton was to gain, he simply asked to succeed in every single thing in his life — in every choice he made. It had to be a win; a victory for Barton Nelson. The Devil only asked for one thing; always the one thing. And Barton happily (and also drunkenly) complied to the Devil’s request. What use does one have to their own soul anyway, right?
Again, that was about twenty years ago. And since then, Barton Nelson won every single horse race, every single slot machine, every single chance he got to asking a girl out on a date. He became a millionaire overnight, traveled every part of the world, built his own mansion, and had his own family. His son Chester is at the top of his class. His daughter Denise is a star-child, and has over fourteen million followers on social media. Ernest, his oldest, is now a potential pilot for a future space mission to Mars! Could you believe that? Barton sure couldn’t. Not only did his deal with the Devil change his life for good, it also spread to his children. Well, almost all of his children.
He never saw his old girlfriend anymore, nor find out what happened to their kid. Barton had the world, but not his past. It bothered him why he never saw them again, within these twenty years. Surely he would’ve loved to see how his first kid turned out to be. But there was nothing there he could find.
“To see your first child, you say?” The Devil asked.
“Yes.” Barton said to him, as the Devil looked at his tablet. “I see that you’ve upgraded.”
“You’ve misinterpreted the deal, boy.” The Devil said. “There is no first child to go back to.”
Barton flinched. “What? How? What did you do?”
“I simply took what was mine.” He said. “Your soul.”