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"Well, this... is quite an awkward situation, huh?" the man said.
Ka'arnage stared at the monster, anger welling up in him. The fire on his head burned bright blue now, and he squeezed the contract tightly in his hands, frustrated at his stupidity and at the fact that he was thwarted by a man who had barely only walked this earth thirty-and-eight years as opposed to his thousands of years in existence.
"Look...ah, demon: I don't mean to rub it in, or anything, but a deal's a deal and I'm clearly playing by the terms of our agreement..."
"But we agreed... You said, mortal, that you'd offer your soul in exchange..."
"No, I signed that agreement. In exchange for a shitload of money for ten years, the price I had to pay was my soles, and nothing more. That's what we have there - in that pile."
In a corner of the room, a heap of shoe soles was stacked, almost mocking Ka'arnage who was one of the most favored contract soul collectors in all the Nine Circles of hell.
"But that could also mean..."
"Ah yes, Ka'arnage. You could take off the soles of my very feet, and then, like a chaos-seeking demon, take my soul inadvertently, but then the agreement did not include blood. Any blood loss suffered during the extraction will breach the agreement," the man said, looking smug as he sank into the chair. "Bourbon?" he asked, raising a glass towards the infuriated demon.
"I'm in a good mood to rip your head off your shoulders, mortal. Do not push your luck."
"Temper, temper... Look, you simply cannot blame me. I guess there weren't any preschool classes when you were chased from... up there, were you? I guess you really didn't learn to write," the man said, gingerly sipping his Bourbon and enjoying how events had turned out.
Never did he think such a golden opportunity as this one would fall directly into my laps.
Allen was battered, shattered, and scattered when he reached out to them. A failed marriage within two years of the damn union, a failed college education, he was the picture of a sad story - the kind that made people laugh.
Until he reached out to them.
It was at the pagan convention that Allen met Sansa. He was a satanist, or so he said. He kept telling him that the only way he could achieve the prosperity he sought was through a contract signed with satan, at least if he wanted it fast.
Allen was to write a letter containing my want in which the first and last words were inked with his own blood. The letter was to be kept under his pillow, while I was supposed to draw a pentagram on my bedpost.
That night, he appeared in Allen's room.
Ka'arnage, adjudicator of the Inferno. He looked like a giant bat that had been barbequed but managed to survive; he smelled like an abattoir and there, I made a mental note to try not to go to hell. He was the one sent to give me the terms of the contract - for the next ten years, I would be stinkingly rich, highly influential, and very popular. And then I'd die.
Normally, he wouldn't have taken such a stupid bet, but Allen saw the mistake.
"Sole" instead of "soul"
As he put on his shoes, preparing for another day of overseeing his multimillion-dollar business, he completely ignored the demon in his sitting room.
"You will not get away with this, mortal."
"Keeping on seeking soul-ace in that, bro. I've already won," he joked, laughing off.
His joy was short-lived. As he reached the stairs, he was laughing so hard that he missed the 'Wet Floor' sign, and by the time he noticed, it was too late. Allen slipped and landed, fracturing his skull multiple times as he fell down the stairs.
And at the feet of Ka'arnage, he landed.
"H-how..." he murmured, feeling his soul already leave the body.
"You wouldn't have slipped if there were soles on those shoes."