Going Up

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The demon was late. Levastial counted his blessings1, as he really had no idea what he was going to do if she did show up.

1 Twenty-three-thousand, four-hundred and sixty-two so far this year. When an angelic accountant counts his blessings, he does a thorough inventory.

Harold Oaks, of 93 Westminster Lane, was not a terribly important man2, but apparently whether he sold his soul or not would have a notable impact on the people around him, which would in turn impact the people around them. Levastial hadn’t been able to keep track of the finer details, as his expertise lay mostly with the weights of souls and feathers, but he grasped enough to realize that the potential collateral damage was far more significant than Mr. Oaks ever would be.

2 All men and women are equal in the eyes of Heaven, of course, but some were more equal than others.

No one was quite sure how the forces of Hell had spotted this. It had all come about at the very last minute, and Levastial was the only one who could be spared at the moment. Gabriel had told him he wouldn’t need to fight the demon or anything, just convince Oaks to keep his soul where it was. But Gabriel had also said that about…

It wasn’t worth dwelling on. Gabriel was an archangel, and incapable of lying3.

3 However, in Levastial’s experience, he was still perfectly capable of being completely wrong about matters.

Levastial didn’t know much about bartering souls, but he was fairly certain midnight was the appropriate time for such deals. It was well past one-thirty in the morning by the time Mr. Oaks gave up. He muttered something that would have been horribly blasphemous if it had been aimed in the other direction, climbed in his car, and drove away.

“I thought he’d never leave,” a voice purred.

Levastial jumped. His heart was racing and his breath caught in his throat. As an angel, he didn’t actually need to worry about such things, but he was scared enough to forget that at the moment.

The demon in front of him was not overly monstrous. If it weren’t for the ram’s horns on her head, the tail, the legs that ended in furry goat hooves, and her deep red complexion, she’d look like an average human. Well, she’d look like a human, at any rate. Her figure was well outside what could be considered “average.”

She wore black leather, something like a corset. There probably was a name for it, but it wasn’t the type of thing Levastial encountered often. It revealed enough of her blood red skin that he felt he should be offended by it, but given the swimsuits girls wore these days, it was almost conservative.

“Y-you’re She-Who-Slips-Between-The-Shadows-At-Midnight, aren’t you?” Levistial managed to ask.

She walked towards him, rolling her hips and smiling at him seductively. “Call me Midnight.”

“W-Well, Miss Midnight… I can’t help but notice you’ve… um, missed your appointment.”

She glanced in the direction Mr. Oaks’s car had disappeared, and shrugged. “I wasn’t here for him. I’m here for you.”

Levastial tried to take that in. Midnight was polite and waited.

“If you’re trying to get me to sell my soul,” he said, five minutes later, “you’re in for a bad time of it.”

She laughed. It somehow reminded him of a tiger stalking its prey.

“I’m not here to buy your soul,” she said. Standing up straight, she thrust her arms out to the side, as if putting herself on display. “I want to sell you mine.”

Levastial frowned. “I’m not an expert, but I don’t think it works that way. I mean, I don’t want to be rude, but do you even have a soul?”

Midnight turned away, looking suddenly vulnerable. “I don’t know. But I’m tired of this. I have been for centuries. It’s not exactly rewarding work, corrupting the souls of men.”

“But you do it, anyway. Our records say you’re one of the best.”

She looked back, a weak smile crossing her lips. “I’ll admit, I like the challenge of it, but… I never felt happy, even when I got a particularly stubborn or pious man to give in to temptation. Recently, I’ve come to realize that I felt oddly satisfied when I failed. If I gave it my best, and they saw the light at the last moment…” She trailed off.

Levastial thought of the satisfaction when a soul stopped just shy of tipping the scales.

“Do you really think you can do it?” he asked. “Change sides, just like that?”

The shadow of a smile faded away. “Angels can fall, right? So why can’t a demon rise? I don’t expect it to be easy, but I want to try.”

“I’ll have to speak with my bosses,” he said. “I can’t just make a decision like this on my own, you see.”

Turning away again, she stared up at the stars. “I understand.”

In a moment of forwardness that caught him completely by surprise, he stepped over to Midnight and placed a hand on her shoulder.

“If you truly are sincere, I’ll see what I can do.”

She nodded, then came to a sudden stop as the cuff of his sleeve brushed against her bare back. Whirling around, she grabbed his arm, pressing her cheek against his sleeve.

“Miss Midnight, I’m quite sure this isn’t-”

“Soft,” she whispered, a strangled longing in her voice. “Are all angel robes so soft?”

He stared at her for a moment before the question registered. “Yes, I suppose. I mean, more or less. I make it a point to keep my robes well-laundered at all times, but…” he trailed off, not sure what else to say.

“That’s my deal, then,” she said, still rubbing the cloth against her cheek, her eyes closed in pleasure.

“Your deal?”

“Mmmm…” she murmured. “You have no idea how uncomfortable it is, wearing leather every day. I’ll sell you my soul for a set of robes like this, and you do my laundry for me.”

“You’ll want three robes,” he said, his accountant nature taking over, “anything less is simply impractical. And I’ll do your laundry for one month only.”

“Three months,” she countered, her voice growing professional, even though her blissful expression didn’t change.

“Two months, and I’ll teach you how to do it yourself when we’re done.”

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Prompt: Deal With the Devil

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This week’s prompt is making a deal with the devil.

Good luck and good writing!