It was a cold night. Not just wintry cold, but a deep, damp, clammy cold that climbed into your joints and made everything hurt. A light fog covered the ground yet it shed no light.
If you squinted, you could see two hulking bodies approaching the junction, each coming down a different path. No need for the complexities of physics. It was obvious they would meet in the middle of the intersection. There were barely any shadows. Surely the stars were glittering in the heavens, but none were visible.
“You called me and I came,” said the taller of the two.
“Have you brought the papers?” asked the bloated one.
“Indeed I have,” responded Old Scratch. “Please look them over and make sure everything is in order.”
“No need,” said the other. “I got your email. My lawyer says it’s exactly what I asked for.”
The tall one with the twisted features of a demon smiled. “Then I guess we can move forward. Remember, please that only those items written in the contract are yours. Other events not in the contract can occur. For such unrelated events, I bear no responsibility, either causally or to protect you.
“I thought I should also mention that we have a bonus for you. For each individual you bring to the crossroad to sign a contract, your power will increase.”
The bloated one snickered. “I already have a list,” he said. “It’s quite long and I’m sure you’ll appreciate it. Most are ready to sign. By the way, do you happen to have a pen?”
The demon opened his hand. In his hand was a softly glowing pen that was intensely black yet appeared to have an inner light. Instead of a standard tip, it had a thick marking nib. “I assume this meets with your approval?”
“Nice pen,” said the other. “Can I keep it? It has a certain … something.”
“Absolutely,” said Scratch “I made it just for you.”
The other took the pen and placed his signature on the dotted line.
Demon-face smiled, then laughed. “We are done,” he said and. With a brief flash of red, he vanished. Only the dark night remained. The glowing pen lay on the asphalt.
The deed was done. The other picked up the pen and put it carefully in his jacket pocket. He began a long, slow walk back to his limousine as a light rain began to fall. The world would belong to him.