Picture it and Write: The Deal

by joetwo

Hi there! This is my offering for this week’s picture it and write from Ermilia’s blog here. Once again, the picture is not mine, I only use it for inspiration. Anyway Enjoy.

The Deal

Mark was having trouble sleeping. He had had a bad day in work, the worst in memory. One of his colleagues had falsely accused him of stealing her work and it looked like the boss was going to side with her. He was in such a bad mood when he returned home that he snapped viciously at Marion and she had stormed out to stay with her sister. He had taken a couple of heavy drafts of liquor before he hit the hay but it wasn’t doing much good. It was only when the clock showed five in the morning that he finally entered into a fitful sleep.

Mark closed his eyes and found himself in a well appointed office, in an older style. There were rows and rows of books lining the wall as well as wide windows looking out to nondescript light. It looked like a lawyers office from the TV.

There was a cough from behind and Mark turned to find a well dressed man sitting behind a desk. “Mr Williams” He gestured to a seat on the side facing Mark, “Please take a seat.” Mark accepted the offer and nervously sat down. He then looked quizzically at the man.

“My my my.” The man shifted over some papers, “You have had a very bad run of it Mr Williams. Wouldn’t you agree.”

Mark swallowed his anger at the man’s presumption but answered, “You could say that. You may well call it the worst day of my life.”

The man smiled at that “You very well may Mr Williams. But the good news about it being the worst day of your life is that everyday from now will be better.”

Mark would not stifle a snort “Forgive me Mister???”

“Azrael” The man said pleasantly.

“Ok Mr Azrael. But how can you guarantee that the next day will not simply get worse?”

“Mr Williams. The organization I represent has a considerable amount of influence in the world today. I assure you, in return for your agreement we can guarantee your life will certainly change for the better.”

Mark could smell something fishy. Over long experience he had found that if something was too good to be true, it probably wasn’t. “What could I possibly have that you would want? What would this help cost me?”

Mr Azrael put out his hands in a manner that reminded Mark of the preachers that inhabited the nether regions of basic cable “Mr Williams. That is the beauty of it. What we seek is something you are not even aware you are in possession of. Something you will have no intention of using for a long time and which we I assure you will keep in trust indefinitely. For this most meager offering, we can provide for you all the success, riches, desires that a man like yourself can want. What could possibly be wrong with such a deal.”

Mark though for a few long seconds “But if you are willing to offer so much for this. It must be very valuable in the long run. What exactly is it you are after?”

Mr Azrael sighed and looked directly at Mark “Mr Williams. You can question us if you wish but my organization has dealt with many over the years. This offer will provide all you ever want at no upfront cost to you. But it will not be on the table for long.”

Mark thought again for a minute. He thought about the day he had, he thought about how he missed Marion and wanted his words to be forgotten, he thought about the myriad of ways his life could be better. “OK Mr Azrael.” He said, “I’ll sign.”

Mr Azrael beamed. “Excellent choice Mr Williams. You will be thankful for this decision until your dying day.” He removed a number of sheets of paper from beneath his desk and a box filled with ornate pens. “Choose whatever pen you wish. They all work as well.”

Mark looked at the document. The print was tiny, hard to make out even from his seated position. He took a gold pen from the box and looked at it. Its glass insides were empty. He moved to ask Mr Azrael for some ink when he felt a prickling sensation in his fingers he then looked again at the pen to find it filling with a red liquid. “Is that…” He quivered.

“Don’t worry Mr Williams. I assure you it is quite safe. We are somewhat antiquated in our method here I am afraid but everything is perfectly legal and effective.”

Following Mr Azrael’s advice he signed his name in dark red on several dotted lines amongst the dense text. One the final swirl of his hand he could hear a buzzing sound and he woke to find himself lying back in his own bed, the morning sun breaking through the half closed curtains.

The buzzing was coming from his phone. There were two notifications. The first was an email from his colleague at work, sent to his boss but cc’d to everyone, stating that she was mistaken in the accusation and asking for Mark to get the praise and promotion the work warrented. The second was from Marion, saying that if he would talk, she would listen.

Mark was overjoyed. It was everything he had wanted, his life was turning around. He rubbed his hands in glee but was paused as he felt a prickling sensation in his fingers.

‘It was only a dream’ he thought to himself, ‘It couldn’t have been real’.