The Art of the Deal

I just want to say, thank you for the opportunity to talk with you today. The Internet is a strange place, filled with all types of delusional lunatics looking to exploit people. As a result of this, most people read my initial pitches with an understandable reluctance. As stated in my initial letter, you were referred to me by a party that wishes to remain anonymous for the time being. It’s a standard business practice, nothing to be worried about, I assure you. I can’t help but feel this aura of hesitation. We’re just two people talking, just hear me out. That’s all that I can ask.

My name is Clint Walker and I work for the Devil. Not directly mind you, I’m more of a subcontractor of sorts. Don’t get me wrong the guy offers one hell of a benefits package. It has everything you could ever want, paid vacation medical, but in the end you tend to smell like a burnt out barbeque pit. Not judging the guy, but he smokes constantly, it’s like he belongs to some strange Rod Sterling opening monologue cult. Don’t even get me started on the constant meetings. He has no sense of privacy. This one time I’m having dinner, beautiful girl met her at a bookstore and all of the sudden he just bursts in. It was a horribly theatrical entrance complete with ominous music and pillars of fire. He sits owes me a coat rack, God I loved that coat rack, it tied the room together.

“How is the ravioli,” I ask.

“Who the fuck is that?” she screams.

“Oh that’s the Devil, don’t mind him. He’s a rude asshole, who didn’t get my message about wanting a goddamn day off.”

Needless to say, it didn’t work out with her. Relationships are inherently difficult, especially in my line of work.  I’m still confident that there’s someone out there for me. I’m an optimist when it comes to love.

Sorry, I am getting completely off track. I tend to ramble sometimes, just do me a favor if I go too off the subject feel free to just reel me in.

Most of my clients at this point want a little backstory of how I began working for the Devil. I was on Ebay, selling my worldly possessions to pay for my inability to pick creativity named horses, when I came across an auction for a soul. Some guy in Indiana thought it would be funny to grant his soul on a napkin and for some reason, I simply couldn’t resist bidding on it. Figured it would make a funny party gag. Despite some last minute competition, I won and after seven weeks the package containing said soul arrived at my apartment.

The following day, the Devil showed up.

Through his underground connections, he had heard about my unfortunate gambling situation and offered to buy my soul for the ability to pick the correct horses at my local track for six months. That sounded like a very specific amount of time and so I declined the offer. However I countered that I happened to have an extra soul just lying around, collecting dust as it were. Maybe if he were willing to negate said debt, perhaps that soul could be his.

The Devil just starts laughing his ass off, which if you haven’t seen before is just an emotionally scarring event. Long story short, we work through the paperwork and the next morning my bookie Johnny Fingers, has both his hands ripped off in a helicopter accident. Why did he lose both hands in a helicopter accident? The Devil loves his irony.  To this day the Devil constantly jokes about how Johnny Fingers can’t wait to get his hands on me in the afterlife, the sad thing is, I’m not completely sure he’s joking.

So having tipped my toes in the amateur soul stock exchange, I decided to quit my job and dedicate my time to this new trade. Within six months, I had acquired seven souls of varying quality with about another thirteen soul collections being negated due illegal methods of acquirement. How was I supposed to know there were rules to collecting souls? There’s not exactly a guidebook to this sort of thing. There is however a pamphlet, but it’s filled with Druidic writings and frankly I didn’t have time to decipher it. Who does?

Let’s cut to the fat of the matter. My pitch is simple. You are what we in the business call an honestly good person. You have lived a good life, a pure life and I want to buy your soul. Normally most of my clients manage a chuckle at the pitch. It sounds like an absurd idea. For the first six months I practiced delivering that line hundreds of times in the mirror.  It just never escapes the absurdity level.

Let’s just assume for a moment, you were to bite at this proposal. What’s in it for you?

Now unlike a direct deal with the Devil, who will attempt to screw you in the fine print, it’s what he does. He’s been doing this for a long time. Who am I to question his methods? My offer on the table is fair and reasonable. I run a customer friendly business. I want you to feel you got a good deal. At the end of the day, I would love it if you told your friends. Did I mention you get ten thousand dollars for every person you refer to my firm? This of course is paid after they sign their contract, but as you can see I’m fairly good at negotiation.

Selling your soul to someone like myself offers benefits that you do not get with the Big Guy. We offer an immediate six month vacation plan. I would highly recommend our Asian tour package, it offers an all-expense paid travel experience through the highlights of China and Japan. We also do offer a cruise package, but fair warning the boat is manned by demons. People find them to be less customer focused and more visions of nightmarish reality, it’s not for everyone.

We also offer a lifetime of both financial and personal security. I know what you’re thinking, we live in tremendously precarious world economic times. Let’s say next week, the economy collapses, under this contract, you’re covered. People could be beating each other to death in the streets with fragments of a destroyed world, you however will be whisked away by certain unnamed paramilitary forces to an uninhabited island paradise. Just imagine sipping a Pina Colada while watching the collapse of civilization. Is witnessing the death of people not your thing, well we have three golf courses and nightly musical shows.

See I did that rambling thing I was warning you about and I nearly forgot the best part. Did I mention there’s a way out? Six months down the road, if you for some reason want your soul back, give me a ring at the office. My staff will be the first to tell you that I practically live there. I run a company that I love I don’t consider it work.

This brings us to the big question. Why did I choose you?

Most people ask that, you haven’t though. It’s a lot to take in, I understand. Here’s a standard contract, read it over. Do you have a lawyer, you always want a lawyer to read over any contract. Your signature would normally go here, but since this is a sample you’ll notice the signature section is already filled.

The name is familiar isn’t it? The signature is a bit off, but still legally binding. I find the stress of signing your soul away tends to make the signature appear a bit jumbled.

Let me tell you the story of this contract. This woman comes to me, her child is dying. She’s gone through five different doctors and they agree that within three months her child is going to die. This is her breaking point. Don’t get me wrong she loves her husband, but decides to hide her involvement in this matter. We meet and after a beautiful dinner, I make an offer. See, three years ago I came across this doctor. His methods were unconventional and not exactly ethical. He was going through a nasty malpractice lawsuit, I offered in exchange for his soul the best legal consul at my disposal. Granted he lost his ability to practice legally, but he didn’t spend one day longer in jail than necessary. I am a firm believer that no piece of paper will ever take the skills from a doctor. Anyway, I used his skills to save a child and in turn acquired the soul of this woman. The doctor gets to practice, the kid gets to live and I get a soul. Everybody wins in this scenario.

By the way, how is your daughter feeling?

Come on don’t act surprised, did you think that she just got better due to some miracle. Divine intervention is horribly overrated. Still it’s a quant concept, like love. Your wife was willing to sell her soul to save her child. Being a betting man I am willing to wager that you would sell your soul to be with her. Two souls for the price of one. It’s a good deal on my end.

Don’t be mad with me, look you married her. In sickness and in health and through deals condemning your souls to a third party and all that jazz. Like it or not, you are in this situation together. The sense of betrayal you feel right now, is normal maybe even justifiable.

I am not evil. Not in the traditional sense, I just couldn’t bring myself to break up a family. So here we are. It’s a good deal. Travel the world with your family. Spend every night telling your daughter how much you love her. In time, maybe you can bring yourself to forgive your wife. Hell, the idea is horribly romantic when you think about it.

Your other option is to simply walk away.

While that sounds tempting, know that you will never see your wife and child again. My resources will not allow that. Maybe we could work out the occasional holiday card or something, but I cannot in good faith allow meaningful contact. Sorry, that’s a nonnegotiable aspect of my business.

Do we have a deal?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s