The Contract

Sonya Lano | 25/08/2011

I looked the fiend straight in his feral, glittering eyes and said, “Let’s do this.”
He grinned, a quick flash of crooked teeth implying an equally crooked soul, and slid the piece of paper across the table to me, the hushed rustle like a sibilant hiss in the suffocating silence of the room.
“Sign,” he invited with a depraved smile, and his voice, his tone, the gleaming look in his eyes all said that he knew what signing would entail. “Sign…and join us.”
I held my hand poised above the document. Was I sure this was what I wanted? Did I truly wish to consign myself to hell for the pittance of earthly reward I would receive?
Be certain, whispered a voice in my mind. Be very, very certain.
Before I could change my mind, I signed with a flourish.
The fiend’s grin widened, knowing he’d roped another soul into his devious scheme. “Welcome to our ranks,” he rasped. “Now it’s time to pay the piper.”
Rising, he held out his hand, motioning for me to precede him from the cramped, spartan room where we’d conducted our detestable business.
I walked on trembling legs out into a dim hallway whose bleak light reflected my doomed mood.
What had I done? Was I really so far gone that I’d signed?
Apparently I was.
And there was nothing I could do about it now. The deed was done, the contract signed.
“Follow me,” the fiend smirked, a crafty look creeping into his eyes because he knew he was leading me into the very maws of purgatory. He couldn’t wait to deliver me to perdition; his wicked glee was nearly palpable.
“Ah,” he breathed smugly and halted with complacent satisfaction before a door. “Here we are.”
I looked at the door, true horror dawning within me: I could hear their screams now, the shrieks and curses and insane laughter of the wild, ravenous demons on the other side waiting for me to enter so they could sink their claws into me. I quaked in fear. I couldn’t do this!
But my signature was on the contract; it was too late to renege.
The fiend’s smile widened. He opened the door.
It was time. No more delaying the inevitable.
Taking a shuddering breath, I stepped inside…
To begin my first day teaching high school.

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