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(STBSS) Negotiations with the Devil

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posted on Jul, 10 2005 @ 06:50 PM
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“The negotiator”


Dan Nelson sat staring across his patio table at the slightly balding David Mesnick, wondering how he was going to say what needed to be said without scaring the guy away. He had steaks going on the grill and had already served up frozen marguerites for himself and his guest. Finally he decided to just get the conversation going.

“So tell me Mr. Mesnick, Or should I call you David, How did you find out about me?” He had to admit it wasn’t the best opening line, but it would have to do.

David was more then a little self conscious, He was on the verge of making a deal unlike he’d ever imagined, or of making a complete fool of himself. This was in no way an easy conversation to partake in. He realized Dan was waiting though so decided to take the plunge.

“Word of mouth.” He started. “A friend of a friend gave me your card, they told me you could make my wildest dreams come true. I simply have to make a deal with you.”

Dan smiled; at least they were on the same page. Perhaps this conversation wasn’t going to be as bad as he first thought. He chose his next words very carefully.

“You won’t be making a deal with me. You will be making a deal with the dark forces of the universe. I want to make this as clear as possible before we go further, you will be selling the only true possession you have, your soul. Is that clear?”

“Yes.” David replied. “I know what I’m offering. It’s just, I don’t know how to explain, I want to be in love. I never have. I want to find the woman of my dreams and settle down and have a family. I’ll do whatever it takes to achieve that.”

Dan looked him over for the first time and realized why this would be his request. David was not a very imposing man. Besides the baldness he was short, scrawny and had a serious complexion problem. Still, a dream was a dream, a deal a deal, that part would be fairly easy to accommodate.

Looking over his shoulder he motioned with his hand, instantly a servant came thru the door and checked the steaks, then walked over to the table where they sat. “Is there anything I can get you sir?” He asked.

“Fresh drinks. These are getting warm.” Neither drink had even been touched; But Dan had a point he needed to make.

“So David, If I told you to simply sign on the dotted line and when you left my home you’d not only find the woman of your dreams, she’d instantly fall in love with you and the two of you would live happily ever after, would you sign?”

“Yes I would!” David replied. His abruptness even shocked him. He hadn’t expected to comply so easily.

“This is why you need my services David, I won’t let you settle for less than what you are worth. I am a negotiator. I can bargain and plead your case and get you far more then what your willing to just settle for.” Dan told him.

“I want to fall in love.” David replied.

“I know, and that will be the first and foremost demand we make.” Dan continued. “But as long as your making requests, why not shoot for the moon. The worst that can happen is you can be told no.”

“You’re saying I should ask for more?” David asked.

“Much more.” Dan replied. “I don’t know how much we can get, but I do know we can get more then just the perfect mate. What other dreams do you have? Do you want power? Money? How about a harem or a public office? At the beginning of the negotiations nothing is out of the question.”

“I’ve never really thought about it, but allot of money would be nice. A home and a vacation home on the seashore. I want a Corvette. NO, I want a Lamborghini. I want children too.”

“Now were talking.” Dan told him. “All of these things can be asked for. I can’t promise they will be delivered, but I can damn sure ask for them in the opening negotiations.”

David looked away and then back to Dan, a worried expression on his face. “Look, I haven’t lived the best of lives. I’m probably going off to the netherworld anyway.”

“That’s not true.” Dan replied. “It’s the age we live in David. Most people are now carted off to the hospital and kept alive with machines. They know death is coming and right away make peace with their creator. Trust me, no one is more devout then the soon to be dead. The machines in the hospitals are costing the dark forces more souls then they are willing to give up. That’s the only reason I can negotiate with them. What do you do for a living?”

“I’m an accountant.” David replied.

“I was sure hoping you’d say you were a priest, but oh well. I’ve never negotiated for the soul of an accountant before, but I’m sure the price will be more than enough to make you happy for the rest of your life.” Dan said.

“I suppose that if at some point I’m unhappy with the agreement or want to back out, I can’t, can I?” He asked.

“Actually you can.” Dan replied. “I have a standard clause inserted into every agreement I have ever made with the dark forces. You will have an out. If at some point you wish to be free of the obligation you’ve made, you need only deliver 100 souls to negate your agreement. Do that and you’re free to make peace with whatever god you wish to serve.”

David didn’t really understand the out clause, but he didn’t care either. Smiling at Dan he had one question.

“Where do I sign?”

Dan smiled. “The steaks are done, we have drinks to finish and life is full of promise. Lets enjoy this moment of summer and dream some more on your future David.”

“No.” David replied. “I just want to start my new life. The sooner the better.”

“Fine.” Dan told him. “I’ll start the negotiations and contact you in a few days with a final offer. Keep in mind your free to reject it.”

“I Will.” David replied and rose to leave. Dan walked him to the door and watched as he walked to his beat up Pontiac and slowly made his away around the drive and back to the gated entrance.

Dan leaned back against the wall next to the door and downed what remained of his drink. David Mesnick would be soul number 97. He only needed to deliver three more souls and he would finally be free of the deal he had negotiated for himself.




posted on Aug, 2 2005 @ 10:59 AM
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Good story! Nice twist on an old tale



posted on Aug, 2 2005 @ 07:09 PM
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Why thank you mpeake, I appreciate the kind words. It's not often one gets responses to stories on this site. You made my day


Love and light,

Wupy



posted on Aug, 2 2005 @ 09:40 PM
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Awesome. This reminded me of some of Steven King's early work, or even some of Neil Gaiman's short stories (which is high praise indeed). You know the writing is good when you basically come out and say "The negotiator signed a deal too and this is his out" yet the audience still doesn't get it until the final sentence. I also liked the way your character began his tale with pure motives - fall in love and live happily ever after - and was quickly corrupted and began to entertain images of vast material wealth. A nice comment on human nature. Can't wait to read more of your stuff.



posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 06:14 PM
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I too enjoyed the modern day twist of an old tale, as usual it was very well written. As for this contest, you met all my qualification, you invoked the feeling of summer, your dialogue was good and well course it fits into an ATS category. Your characters were also both interesting and by end, I had clear images of each of them. This was your second highest scored entry and obviously placed well in the top 20.



posted on Oct, 2 2007 @ 12:23 PM
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that was great! I didn't know this existed until I was told about it in the latest thread on the board about selling your soul to the devil.

Very very nice story.



posted on Oct, 3 2007 @ 07:19 PM
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Excellent I really enjoyed your story and was pleasantly surprised at the twist.



posted on Oct, 12 2007 @ 06:46 PM
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That'd be an excellent story for the Twilight Zone, the twist was great. Well played, Mr Wupy




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