This strange noir mystery short story may have only been released as a solo ebook in November 2019, but this story actually has quite a history. This story was entered into a competition back in 2012 with a publisher who is no longer active. It came in as a semi-finalist, the first award I ever received for my writing. It was ultimately published twice by them in two editions. Once as part of the anthology, RealLies, which you still might be able to find in print somewhere. Then again as a standalone story. I almost ended up having a novel of mine published with them, but then negotiations fell apart and ultimately the publisher closed its doors.
Long story short, the rights came back to me. For the longest time I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it. At almost 10,000 words, it was too long to really submit to most short story calls and it was far too unique to really fit into an anthology of my own work. Trolls that change form, a film noir style, and a hard boiled detective story surrounded with sarcasm and a dry sense of humor, it had a hard time fitting in anywhere.
Then in November 2019, I got curious about independent publishing. I was sad that this weird and funny story was gathering dust on my computer and I didn’t like that I associated it with its previous publisher. It needed a new place to call home but was far too strange to fit in anywhere. So I decided to self publish it.
Now I’m happy to announce that it is available in AI audiobook format, free to listen to in its entirety on Youtube. For the first time in ten years, it’s available in an audiobook format.
Rest assured, it’s still a strange and has a very dry sense of humor, but I’ll always have a soft spot for it. I hope you’ll take an hour and give it a listen, if you’re okay with trolls speaking with an AI voice!
Prompt: Someone wants to give away their soul for something. Satan tries to talk them out of it.
“Look, your soul isn’t worth that much.” Lucifer said as his fingers glided over the piano keys.
“Come on,” she smiled. “If you really are who you say, nothing should be out of your reach.”
Lucifer frowned, “Don’t try that game with me. It’s insulting.”
“It’s one phone call. How bad could it be?”
“You don’t know him like I do. He’s always been a sore loser, and it’s always bad when we fight. Besides, aren’t you concerned about what I’ll do with your soul when you die?”
She shrugged, “Honestly I’ve never been really attached to it, and you’re trying to change the subject. I’m giving you one pristine, undamaged soul for a measly little phone call. What will people think if you turn that down?”
“Alright, fine.” Lucifer sighed. He ended his playing and shook hands, then he pulled her in close, “If I regret this, just know that you’ll be stuck with me. Eternity is a very long time.”
“Totally worth it,” she smiled. “I’m waiting by the way. You can’t just agree then back out.”
He gave her a long-suffering stare before pulling out his cell phone. The contact was in his favorites.
“It’s me. Look, you won’t believe what this woman sold her soul for. She thinks she and I can beat you in a game of hoops. What? No, basketball. Don’t be dense, you know the game. Are you up for it?” He laughed. “Only if you’re sure.” He glanced at her and grinned. “Alright, this Saturday then.”
“So he agreed to it?”
“Oh yes, he loved the idea. But he did make a slight change to our contract. He and I will be teaming up against you,” Lucifer smiled.
“What? He can’t do that!”
“Of course he can. He’s God.”
Originally posted on r/WritingPrompts
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