Con Version; Chapter 2, Brown 282

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Stories from the Verse
Con Version
Chapter 2:  Brown 282
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Takano 84

Derek had arrived during a wet night at the crossroads of two muddy tracks in a clover field under a dark, clouded sky.  Distant lights over a hill suggested civilization in that direction, but when the crow perched on the overturned car was replaced by a Black man in suit, vest, and an antique style tie with a cane sitting cross-legged, he knew this was not a normal world.  The man claimed to have enspelled his wife Vashti so she wouldn’t awaken during their conversation, but that they were perfectly safe for the moment because some set of rules governing this universe required that opponents meet in a truce state.  He also claimed to be the devil.

No other verser had mentioned meeting the Devil.  Lauren had met and destroyed an ancient vampire, and she had met Merlin, but not the Devil.  He wondered what she would do right now.  ‘Help’ was all he had in his prayer box at the moment, and he prayed it.

“What do you want?” Derek asked.

“I’m here to make the traditional three offers.  If you refuse, I will bring terror and misery and madness to your life while you’re in New Orleans.”

“I thought you could not directly harm me.”

“Oh, I can’t.  But I have friends.  Lots and lots of friends.”  He smiled broadly with his teeth as bright white spikes against his anthracite coal black skin.  It was not a nice smile.  “And even among the righteous, there are so many that are willing to listen to a well told lie.  Now, may I continue?”

Derek thought a prayer to the King for help, again, and drew his laser rifle.

“Sure, say your piece.”

The being tittered, and then raised one red leather gloved finger that seemed to drip with blood.

“Standard offer for versers.  Your soul.  You will gain great powers and wealth in whatever universe you are in.  And best of all, if you never go to--well, a non material place--you never have to pay up.  Quite a deal, if I say so myself.  Sell your soul, and potentially never pay up.”

“Get lost.”  Derek put his laser rifle’s target on the being who instead of looking afraid held up another finger.

“You give me this town.  Go right, go left, go on the path behind you.  Don’t take the path in front of you.  You will have six years of astounding luck in this world.  And you get to keep your soul.”

“Thanks for telling me to go forward,” Derek snarled.

“You were going to anyway.  It's night, and it's the only direction with light.  But okay, last offer.  Take that laser rifle, and zap yourself in the head.  You don’t gain anything, and the Other Side is free to move in another knight, but you also are not in my way so I leave you alone, or in the same category of minor annoyance I always have.”

“Here’s my offer,” Derek replied coolly.  “Go straight to Hell, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars,” and he shot the Devil right between the eyes--but instead of a dead fiend, there were thirteen crows who flew off with mocking caws trailing behind them.

Vashti murmured.  “I had a nightmare.”  Derek got her to her feet, and the rain came back hard and heavy.  It seemed a last gesture of contempt from Mister Scratch.

Next chapter:  Chapter 3:  Cooper 1
Table of Contents

There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with eleven other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #498:  Characters Restart.  Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter.  It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.

As to the old stories that have long been here:

Verse Three, Chapter One:  The First Multiverser Novel

Old Verses New

For Better or Verse

Spy Verses

Garden of Versers

Versers Versus Versers

Re Verse All

In Verse Proportion

Con Verse Lea
Stories from the Verse Main Page

The Original Introduction to Stories from the Verse

Read the Stories

The Online Games

Books by the Author

Go to Other Links

M. J. Young Net

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