They say the devil will make a deal with you at the cross roads on a moonless night. The man outside is not the devil, but something… else. And it does want to make a deal.
I pass him, on foggy nights or particularly cold ones. The first time I saw him, I wasn’t so certain he was really there. But there he stood, cigarette in hand, back against the light post. The glow of that damned cigarette is what first caught my attention. I sat, waiting at the stop sign for imaginary traffic as I studied him. After a moment, he takes notice of his audience and tips his hat. I’m not sure if I pulled away out of fear or … Fear I suppose. There was a slight morbid curiosity rising in my belly, but the fear took over as I hit the gas and pealed away from the corner.
I sat up that night. Thinking about him. Wondering if he might be the Devil himself. But why would the devil be anywhere near a little backwoods town in Georgia?
I passed him again, after the same encounter over a period of months. This time it felt much, much different. As if, should he offer me a deal… I would be inclined to accept. Life for me was in a bit of a low point. Too little money, Too many bills. No ambition to finish school, or work on my writing or art. Hating where I’m living, hating my car… Cynicism had become my very core. I suppose I needed someone to change it, and I was almost ready to pay any price.
He approached the car this time, and I invited it.
15 feet. Even over the car noise, I could hear his leather soles crunching the frosty grass beneath his feet.
8 feet. Close enough I can start to make out certain features. Sharp angled lips. Sharper teeth.
2 feet. He’s smiling. His breath is making the glass frost over. The pane moans and creaks as if too cold to stand it.
The air in the cab plummets to freezing, despite the heat being on and an overstuffed coat. The window starts to sink. My mind starts working enough to rationalize the moment.
The window was broken. It’s been off track since I got the van. It never goes down more than halfway… It slipped all the way down.
He takes a long drag from his smoke before addressing me.
“So, you’re finally ready to talk, huh?”
My voice refuses to leave me.
“I thought as much. Have you figured out what you want yet?” His hat hides his eyes from my view still, albeit a gleam of light is visible. “Fame? Fortune? The perfect life?”
“I want… ” I’m surprised at how certain my voice sounds. ” For things to be better. To not wake up and be invisible. I want things to be right. Nothing is perfect. And perfect is boring. ”
“And you’d give anything for it?”
“If the price is right.”
“Deal.” He extends his hand, bringing his gaze up to meet mine. An unnatural light fills them, washing them over as bright milkly orbs. They shone like the moon.
“But, but your price?”
“You’ll figure it out.” He grabs my hand, staring straight into my eyes…
I woke a few minutes later. A car behind me was honking its horn. I pulled away after searching for the stranger one last time.
Its been about 7 months since that night. Life has been perfectly falling into place since then. I got a better job, a better place. My husband was getting a perfect job. Now if only I could go to sleep without dreaming about his eyes. The eyes I dreamed my children would have…
Credit To – A Humble Lass
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