This week I have chosen Kim Glennie’s words: Item – spoon; Word: evaluation
Thanks Kim! Enjoy!
As he stood in the top floor office of the massive building looking out the window at the city spread below him with all its twinkling lights in the darkness, he knew this time would eventually come.
He was a fine looking gentleman, dressed impeccably in an Armani suit that most people couldn’t afford even if they were to pay a whole year’s salary for it. The shoes were of Italian design and highly polished. Of average build, he worked out daily, and most ladies would say he had a handsome face. His hair was black with a touch of silver at the temples. He had bright white teeth and a lop-sided smile that seemed to say he was always in on the current joke, even it was on him. But it was his eyes that people remembered the most about him. They were bright blue and piercing, able to see right through you some people said.
With a heavy sigh he turned away from the amazing view and settled himself in the large leather chair at the head of the huge oak conference table. Reaching forward he picked up his tea and added his usual three lumps, stirred it with a solid silver spoon, and took a sip. It was delicious as always.
The large antique grandfather clock in the corner of the room started to chime the hour. At the opposite end of the conference table a sort of fog or mist began to form, growing more and more solid with each and every chime of the bell from the old clock. When it was done striking the midnight hour a man stood there, dressed just as impeccably as the first in a fine black suit, black polished shoes, carrying a walking stick and wearing a black fedora. You couldn’t see his face though since his head was bowed.
The seated man spoke. “On time I see.”
“But of course,” the new comer said in a deep voice looking up.
His face was handsome, chiseled you could say. Under a fine pointed nose were a thin black mustache and a small black beard that both ended in points and looked to be waxed to keep their shape. His mouth was filled with teeth that were dazzlingly white, but again with this fellow it was the eyes that caught your attention the most. You see there were none. In their place was just blackness.
“I’ve come to collect on our little deal Mr. Arthur Hager,” he said in his deep voice.
“Have you now?” said Arthur, taking another sip of tea.
“Of course I have, that is why you are here, at this time, alone and ready.”
“Oh is it? I’m not so sure.”
“What are you talking about? You signed a binding contract. I fulfilled my side of said contract, now it is your turn to fulfill yours.”
He began to walk around the table toward Arthur.
“Not so fast please, Mr., uhm, I never did figure out what to call you?” inquired Arthur.
“Lucifer will do, no Mr. needed. And what do you mean by ‘Not so fast’?”
“Please have a seat Mr. – oh – uhm – Lucifer. We have much to discuss.”
“I don’t think we do,” said Lucifer pulling out a chair and sitting down out of curiosity.
“Thanks to you and our contract I have had a very nice life. Part of that life has been the ability to use some of the best lawyers in the world. So, I had them do an evaluation of our little contract,” said Arthur, pulling out a huge stack of papers from under the table.
Lucifer narrowed his eyes but said nothing.
“Admittedly at first it seemed air tight. I received everything that was promised me.”
“Of course you did. You selfish humans all ask for the same thing: wealth and power.”
“Yes, well. Be that as it may, as I said, I did get what I asked for. I came up out of the gutter where you found me as a teen in a gang, cleaned up my act, and became one of the richest and most well known men in the world. I have no criminal ties, no illegal business practices – everything is all above board.”
“So you admit I kept my part of the contract then?” asked Lucifer, not understanding the point to all this.
“Well yes! Just look around you! I am surrounded by my wealth! I have it all! Money, friends, women, power! Why would I want to leave that now?”
“Obviously you don’t, but the contract was for a specific time and that time has passed. It is now time for me to collect the fee: your soul,” stated Lucifer, making to stand up again.
“Please! Remain seated!” said Arthur forcefully, “I’m not done!”
“What else could there possibly be to say? You said yourself your lawyers found nothing wrong with my end of the contract!”
“With your end, no. But…”
“But what?” asked Lucifer, his eyes narrowing again.
“It seems that there is a law in this state that says that no one under the age of eighteen can enter into any contract without the consent of their parents. And I don’t see my parents signature anywhere on the contract, do you?” asked Arthur smugly.
Lucifer sat in silence for a moment, stunned.
“So then it would seem that our business here is finished. I would appreciate it if you would leave and never come back,” said Arthur with that lop-sided grin on his face. He took another sip of his delicious tea.
Lucifer started to shake. They were just small tremors to start with along his arms and legs, but they were getting worse. He made odd choking noises in his throat.
“Look Lucifer, I know you’re upset but – “began Arthur.
Lucifer broke out laughing hysterically. He shook all over. Tears flowed from his eyes. He pounded his fist on the table.
“Upset?” he choked out. “Upset? HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!”
Lucifer pushed his chair back from the table and stood up, and up and up to a height of at least twelve feet.
“You foolish human! You think your laws apply to ME? ME?” He thundered. “But of course you do! With your ‘Devil went down to Georgia” song and books like ‘The Devil and Daniel Webster’ to give you false hope! You moron! You imbecile! Do you not know who I am? I am evil incarnate! I am the Prince of all Darkness, the Lord of Demons and the First of all Liars! What makes you think I would care about your earthly laws?”
Lucifer pointed his walking stick at Arthur.
“We have a contract Mr. Arthur Hager and I am here to collect my due!” bellowed Lucifer.
Arthur was lifted out of his chair, screaming, as his soul was ripped from his body and sucked into Lucifer’s walking stick. With a puff of smoke Lucifer was gone.
The next morning the janitor found Arthur’s body slumped over in his chair at the head of his oak conference table.
Burned into the surface of the table were the words: “Don’t buy what you can’t pay for.”