“Are you really sure?” The Devil asked the third time. Vijay looked at him annoyed.
“Are YOU really sure that you are the devil? I had expected you to coerce me into this and here it seems that you almost don’t want me to sign the papers.” Vijay said inking the paper to sell his soul to the Devil.
“I just want you to be sure. More than once before, I have been short-changed by people pleading ignorance and what not.” The Devil said smiling. Her voice was oily and when Vijay had first heard the voice, a shiver had ran through his body. His whole body was covered with goose-bumps and he had felt a hundred licks all over him — and not the puppy licks, licks of a beast tasting his prey.
Even now, her voice creeped him out. But the offer was too tempting — all the success he wants and all for his soul. That measly useless piece of crap that he had not find any use for anyways.
“As long as you keep your end of the bargain. There are no catches or glitches like I have seen in the movies.” Vijay said sternly.
“Of course not. Your life would be the epitome of perfection as long as you are alive.” The Devil slithered. Vijay felt like an eel had tried to roll through his oesophagus.
“And you aren’t going to kill me right now?” Vijay confirmed. He had asked these and a hundred more questions before even thinking about signing. However, Devil’s continuous ‘Are you sure?’ had made him unsure.
“Of course not. You will live a long and full life. Minimum 50 more years. I can’t tell the exact time because God doesn’t allow that.” Devil said, her voice filled with regret.
This was the first-time Devil had mentioned God. Vijay’s interest piqued.
“He is more powerful than you, God, I mean?”
“More powerful, I don’t know. Is your hand more powerful than your whole body? It can hurt your body and even kill it, after all. But it would die immediately afterwards too. Similarly, it is difficult to gauge God in terms of power. He is not an entity. He just is.” Devil said in a pensive tone. For the first time, her voice didn’t seem slimy to Vijay but thoughtful. Suddenly Vijay realised something.
“You are the most powerful being in the universe.” Vijay said with awe.
“That I am.” Devil said coming back into her element.
“Then how can someone cheat you?” Vijay asked excitedly. He hoped that Devil might accidentally give him a way to save his soul. It would be excellent to con the Devil, thought Vijay.
A glint came into the Devil’s eyes and was gone.
“Oh, you know. People would say that they didn’t know that the contract said this and that and would plead mercy. God would melt like an ice-cream in a desert and the soul would slip through my hands.”
Vijay smiled. The Devil might be powerful but he wasn’t too bright.
“But you have a contract.” Vijay asked innocently.
“Bah! Contract or no contract. God always falls for genuine ignorance.” Devil said with annoyance. However, his face shown with a radiance.
“So how does asking a hundred times help. A person can still remain ignorant.” Vijay asked reaching close to the key to fool the Devil.
“That’s true. But, occasionally, someone gets curious and asks me the details on how to defeat me. After I’ve told him or her the whole details, feigning ignorance is impossible. That person is then mine. Ah, I see that you have signed the contract. Good.” The Devil said and took the paper out of Vijay’s hand.
Vijay looked at her, blood drained out of his face.
“I am the fool, ain’t I?” Vijay said in a small voice.
“Well. You are still getting what you came here for. But now, once you die, you will be mine, no backsies.” Devil’s lips curled like a fox.
“The contract doesn’t mention what you will do with my soul. Doesn’t that count.” Vijay asked hopefully. Suddenly, the idea of his soul in the hands of the most powerful and cunning creature in the world didn’t seem that mundane.
“Aww.. Caring for your itsy-bitsy soul now. So cute.” Devil said, her laugh sounding in Vijay’s whole body. Devil vanished as the laughter reverberated in Vijay’s rib-cage.
That was the moment he remembered all his life. A life filled with success at every corner. Everything he touched turned to gold. It took him less than six months to fulfil his every desire. The next few years went in finding new ways to succeed.
He became a rich businessman, then turned to curing the world’s most dire diseases and shifted to make the world a better place.
Eventually, he became president of a country and then was able to even unite the whole world under him. That was the task that finally challenged his soul-worthy contract. It took him years to bring people together and cooperate instead of compete with each other.
During his last days, he saw the whole world with pride. He had truly changed the world for the better. He knew it won’t last forever but at least there would be a blip in the timeline where humans were in excellent form and his name would be on it.
Drawing his last breath, he felt he had done his soul justice.
“Hello, old friend.” A crackling voice greeted Vijay.
Vijay smiled looking at the Devil. She hadn’t aged a minute since he last saw her. Vijay also realised that he was also the same youth that had signed the contract. His body was in front of him, now decaying. He could feel every decomposition in his body but none of the pain or suffering attached to it.
“You think I did my soul justice.” Vijay asked the Devil despite not feeling the need of the answer.
“I love how you have built the world. But I am more excited to see how you will destroy it.” Devil said in her oily voice.
Vijay looked at her confused. Devil gave him a page.
“This holds what I will do with your soul. I hope you like it.”
Vijay looked at the page and a thousand expressions changed on his face. The last expression was of acceptance and peace.
“I shouldn’t be surprised.” Vijay said and stretched his hand towards the Devil. The Devil took the hand and the two merged for a second and then separated.
“Thank you.” The glowing soul said in a dreamy feminine voice. Vijay had never heard a more melodious voice in his life.
“Now what?” Vijay said in a greasy tone. His voice was grating to his own ears and the rasp made him irk.
“Now, you find someone to take your place.” The glowing soul spoke.
“And until then…” Vijay asked.
“Until then, you will destroy everything you ever created. I will be gone in a few seconds. Do you want to know anything else?” The voice said. Vijay couldn’t believe he ever thought this voice to be slimy.
“If I’m the creator and I’m the destroyer, is there any God?” Vijay asked.
“You know.” The melodious voice said and vanished.
Vijay knew. He realised that he knew.