Life in Writing
Once each week I browse through the R-writing prompts on Reddit and write a quick flash fiction based off of the most interesting one I see. Then each Friday I post them here for each of you to enjoy. This week's prompt:
[WP]You sold your soul to the Devil some years ago, today he gives it back and says, "I need a favor".
There was a distinct odor as I entered my penthouse. A scent that had been forever burned into my memory years ago.
“Sarah?!” I called out, hoping I would find my wife at home. “Why does it smell like sulfur in here? Your mother isn’t doing one of her craft projects again is she?”
I had to stop myself from gasping as I entered my living room. There, soiling the white microfiber couch my wife had picked out was Satan.
“I hope you wiped your hooves before you came in,” I grumbled. “We just had the carpet put in.”
“Of course I did, John.” Satan replied, stroking his black goatee. “I might be the devil, but I’m not a savage.”
“Why are you here?” I asked looking the creature up and down. “As I recall, the deal was that you would leave me alone until I died. Of course, if anyone would go back on a deal I suppose it would be the Prince of Lies.”
“I’ve never much liked that title,” Satan replied. “But to answer your question, I’m not here to collect on your debt; I’m here because I need a favor, and I’m willing to let you keep your soul for it.”
It was difficult but I kept my emotions neutral. “What kind of favor?”
“You remember Sarah?” he asked.
“You mean my wife?” I asked. “Well I did sell my soul to you to get her to love me, so yes, I think I remember her.”
“Just checking,” Satan said. “A lot of my clients stop caring about their wives once the concept of guaranteed hellfire sets into their minds. Anyway, how is your relationship with her mother?”
“Her mother?” The truth was that I hated my mother-in-law. She didn’t think I was good enough for her daughter, and I had theories that she was actually a witch. Last year my pet cat disappeared while she was watching it. She said it ran away, but when I helped her with her luggage I found a book titled, Pagan Sacrifice for Dummies. I tried to tell myself it was a coincidence, but if Satan himself was asking about her, I must not have been far off.
“Our relationship is great,” I lied.
“What irony,” the devil said, shaking his horned head. “You call me the Prince of Lies and yet I’m the only one being honest in this conversation. It matter little though, I was hoping you disliked her as I want you to help me take her away from this world.”
“My interest is peaked,” I replied.
“You see, running Hell can be an awfully lonely business, but I’ve never found someone who I found as worthy company until I noticed your mother-in-law.”
“You want to take her down to Hell with you?” I asked.
“I need you to convince her she should go,” Satan replied. “If you do, I’ll give your soul back.”
I grinned imagining life without my mother-in-law. “You’ve got a deal.”
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If you're interested in reading more flash fiction, check out a few of these stories:
The Red Planet
Save the Zombies
Saved by the Yetti
Daniel M. Quilter is the author of A Soul Divided. On this blog he'll interview other authors, review books, share nerd wisdom from popular sci-fi and fantasy, and occasionally share his insights on writing. See a list of his works or see what he's working on.
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