Fantasy Fiction Funny

Terry McColloch was the kind of man who could be described perfectly with one word.


He was not a particularly interesting person, but he could talk the talk and walk the walk and so he was, well, successful. He liked nice things. In fact, he expected them. He had grown up in the comfortable lap of that codling lady known as luxury, and he had made an easy transition into Harvard and then into business.

What is meant by business? Terry didn’t even know. It was just business. And that is enough.

Terry drove an expensive car, wore an expensive watch, and dressed in expensive suits. All necessary things to keep his image spinning on all four cylinders. He didn’t live in a house, but only because he hated the thought of having to deal with a backyard or obnoxious neighbors. Instead, he lived in a hotel suite at the top floor of a high-rise apartment building in the middle of New York. Women loved the views. He loved that housekeeping took care of the mess afterwards.

Sure, in the past he had run into his share of – shall we say . . . problems, but there had never been anything he couldn’t get is father to take care of with the credit card, and later that he himself couldn’t smooth over with a small, green pieces of paper. Gambling debts, women, business scandals – all of the above were easily remedied by money. Sometimes lots of it. Sometimes just thousands. Terry didn’t much care which. He lived a life that he enjoyed, and he had no intention of leaving it behind. Money wasn’t hard to get anyway.

Friday, June 6th had been a typical Friday in the life of Terry McColloch, and he sat enjoying a red wine and a Cuban cigar as he leaned back in his favorite recliner. The golf game from earlier that day kept cycling through his mind (obviously a necessary activity for the business) and contemplating whether or not to go out that night. He figured he would, he always did, but he was enjoying his cigar and the wine for the moment.

He let out a deep sigh. He was thirty-three years old, and he felt good. He looked down at his forearm and slid his glance up his arm admiring his hairy wrist and bulging bicep. He liked how the polo shirt felt on his arms. Nice and tight. He smiled in the dim light and imagined his perfectly boyish grin and his scruffy, square jaw. He knew women loved that smile, and they were practically already in his bed if he mixed in just a tinge of masculine mystery.

Terry laughed. He did feel like the clubs tonight, he just had to decide if he preferred a brunette or a blonde. He pushed out of his chair and poured the rest of the wine down the sink. He left the cigar smoldering on the ash tray.

He walked over to the bathroom and examined his face and body in the mirror. A blue patterned suit and unbuttoned white shirt would be perfect tonight. He rubbed his jaw lovingly and decided he wouldn’t need a shave. The scruff level was perfect.

He dressed efficiently, completing the affair with two sprays of cologne and watch slapped on his wrist, then he examined himself one last time in the mirror and walked over to the door. He didn’t reach it. 

Black clouds erupted from the sleek floor and in a moment, the room was completely dark. A fiery glow lit the room as red light shot up from a circular wreath of smoke spiraling up from the floorboards. Terry could barely distinguish a black outline rising from the floor. Goat horns were silhouetted in the light and a long tail lashed the sulfur vapor. A smell of sulfur and ash smacked into his face. Thunder cracked and with a shout, a devil leapt out from the inferno. It stood slightly crouched in front of Terry then it looked up, and its gleaming red eyes locked onto the man’s quivering face. The devil spoke.


A scream and then a thump. Terry had fainted. 

When he came to, he was propped up in his recliner with a wet cloth over his head. The room was dimly lit, and a glass of water with six ice cubes dripped beads of condensation onto a small table by his right hand. Terry lay frozen and stiff trying to sort fact from fiction. Maybe he shouldn’t have had that whole bottle of wine. He thought he had seen . . .

The devil walked into the room.

“Ah! I see you are awake!” It spoke with a raspy chain-smoker voice, but it sounded very cheerful.

Terry opened his mouth to scream.

“No, no, no!” The devil waved his hands in agitation. “Please! The time when I’m here on earth is the only time I don’t have to listen to screaming. I would desperately appreciate it if you refrained. Yes?”

Terry shut his mouth.

“Thank you.” The devil bowed politely and nodded towards an empty recliner. “May I?”

Terry nodded.

“Thank you again. Aren’t we getting along?” The devil plopped himself into the seat and crossed his legs. “Now then, you’re probably wondering why I am here.”

Terry didn’t move. He wasn’t in fact wondering much of anything at all. He was just scared. Very scared. (We have already said Terry isn’t a very interesting individual, but in this case some slack must be cut for the poor fellow.) 

The devil waited. Then he leaned forward and narrowed his glowing eyes in confusion. “You are wondering, aren’t you?”

Stunned silence.

The devil’s tail writhed impatiently. A couple seconds ticked by. He jumped up. “SPEAK IDIOT!” His voice roared like thunder and the room seemed to shake. The lights flickered and went out then on again.

Terry McColloch managed to mumble out a string of noises that sounded like a gurgling garbage disposal filled with balloons.

“Eh, what’s that?”

“rye er oo eer?”

“Say again?”

 “Why are you here?”

 “Ah I see!” The devil sat back down and leaned back with a smirk. “I thought you might be asking that.”

He winked and looked over at the counter. The Cuban was still sitting in the ashtray. “I appreciate you leaving a cigar out for your visitor, but anything smokey or flamey gives me mild PTSD, you know? Do you mind if I help myself to some ice cubes? I took the liberty of giving you a glass but didn’t want to get too comfortable.” 

Terry grunted something that sounded like a yes and the devil got up once more and filled a glass with ice cubes. He returned to his seat and sitting down began crunching away at each cube obviously savoring each bite. Once he finished the glass, he put it aside (on a coaster of course) and carefully placing each arm on the soft armrests of the recliner, turned his full attention to Terry.

“Well now! Let’s get down to business, shall we?”

Terry shivered. Somehow the hungry look in the devil’s eye reminded him of uncomfortable board meetings and detestable executives who thought they had him in a corner he couldn’t back out of. Terry had always been able to pay his way out of these encounters, but he now thought that he was caught in a totally different corner. He sat silently and the devil continued.

“You see, I am here now (by the way, pardon the dramatic entrance; the higher-ups love it for some reason) because your father made a deal with me. One soul for a wealthy life. Simple enough, right?” The devil wheezed and snorted, and Terry realized he was laughing. “Well, no actually. Your father it turns out didn’t have a soul to begin with! It really is true when they say politicians and businessmen are soulless. Although maybe he had already made a deal with one of my colleagues, but anyway that leaves only you. So! I’m here for your soul.”

Now Terry stared. This above all shocked him. “I – I, I have a soul?” He had been told so many times that he was soulless that it had finally begun to sink in.

“Of course! You aren’t fully businessman, you know, you probably got the soul from your artist mother.”

“And you’ll be taking it from me?”

“All a matter of course dear boy.”

“I see.”

An awkward silence filled the room. Terry was wondering what it would feel like to have his soul taken from his body and if hell was as fiery as he had always been told. He felt like a led weight had been dropped into his stomach. The devil was wondering if it would be impolite to ask for some more ice cubes or perhaps, ice-cream.

A sudden thought leaped into Terry’s head. “Why are you coming to me now?”

“What’s that?” The devil jolted from his daydreams. “Oh yes. Well, obviously your dad just died. Sorry, by the way, old chap. I went to collect his soul, but the old podger didn’t have one so here I am!”

“So I’m going to die?”

“You all die! You’re a mortal stupid.” The devil checked himself, regretting his lapse of manners. “But if you are asking about if you are going to die now, then no. At least not unless you want to?” He leaned forward in the recliner.

Terry hastily shook his head.

“I thought not.” The devil stood up. “Well, I must be off! Thank you for the ice cubes.” He began to shuffle slowly in a circle.

“Wait!” Terry barely knew what he was saying, but the devil stopped his circular motion and raised his black eyebrows.


“I, well, please – I mean, if it is possible, could I . . . I mean, could you, well, is there any way to . . .”

“Come now, out with it!” A tinge of a growl colored the devil’s voice.

“What I meant to say was, is there any way for me to save my soul?”

The devil laughed. “Quite hardly! You are a businessman, are you not?”


“Then you are probably going to hell even if your dad hadn’t made a contract with me.”


“Yeah.” The devil scrunched up his face in sympathy. “But if you really want to try and avoid it, I could release you from the contract.”

Terry looked up quickly. “Really?”

“Yes. Obviously there will be requirements, but I could give you a fresh go.”

“What do I have to do?”

“Quite simple really, you must forfeit all your earthy possessions as of today and restart. No leg up from dad, no trust fund, nothing. Just you and your great big brain.”

“I see.” Terry’s voice was flat.

“And you must be a very different person from who you are today.”


“And then maybe you’ll have a chance at the pearly gates.”

“Mm hmm.” Terry’s mind seemed to be somewhere else. He inhaled deeply and looked up. “So, what’s hell like?”

The devil sat back down and picked up Terry’s glass of ice water. He fished out a couple cubes and began to suck on them. “Well,” he stuffed the cubes into his left cheek. “It’s hot.”

“What do you do down there?”

“To be quite honest, I mostly just sit around.” The devil smiled.

“And? You can’t just do that all the time!”

“On occasion we play games. Pool is a particular favorite of mine. Sometimes I dabble in chess.”

“Ah.” Terry leaned back in his recliner. “Do you have any golf?”

“Yes, though I don’t play very often.”

Terry nodded and he began straightening his suit. He smoothed back his hair. “Does it hurt very much?”


“That’s what I meant.”

“Not really. It is mostly just a bore. Unendingly boring.” The devil grinned at Terry who was wrapped up in his own thoughts.

Terry abruptly laughed and then stood up. “What else is new?”

He looked at himself in the small mirror hanging across the room. He thought a tie might pull it all together after all, and the night was still young. “Say, drop by again sometime. I like you. Maybe we could get drink together next time. Smoke a cigar or two?”

“Ice cream.” The devil bowed slightly and began to turn in circles. “I prefer ice cream.”

“Whatever you say.”

Sulfur filled the air in billowing clouds, filling the room with darkness. Red light flashed. Thunder clapped. Then suddenly all was light again, and Terry glanced down at a smoking circle of floorboards. The devil was gone.

Terry McColloch laughed and walked to the kitchen. He poured himself a stiff scotch, gulping it down in two quick swallows. Then he put on a tie and adjusted his suit.

He lit a cigar as he walked out the door.

August 18, 2022 23:46

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Tommy Goround
09:40 Aug 20, 2022

Clapping. A smooth read.


Benjamin Spivey
14:29 Aug 20, 2022

Thank you!


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Sharla Gutierrez
16:09 Apr 20, 2023

Great story and plot twist! Love the story very much and wish you the best when writing! <3


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Chris Rohe
16:12 Aug 25, 2022

Charming as the Devil! Thank you for the read.


Benjamin Spivey
01:57 Aug 26, 2022

Absolutely! Thank you Chris!


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Zoe Landers
19:20 Aug 24, 2022

Nice story! It read well :)


Benjamin Spivey
00:03 Aug 25, 2022

Thanks for the kind words!


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Samuel Yates
12:19 Aug 22, 2022

A good read, with a bit of a twist.


Benjamin Spivey
13:52 Aug 22, 2022

I appreciate it!


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