Those of you who follow me closely may know that my work situation has changed; no more do I commute to the Isle of Manhattan, but a much shorter distance down the stairs and into my basement. This is obviously to be a great personal shift and has the side-effect of taking away what has been my writing time; it's easy to write on the train, hard to on the way down the stairs. I will try to keep these pages alive and awake as I find a new schedule for myself.
Today's Flash Fiction Friday is another Deal with the Devil story and another involving the moon, loosely inspired by another image prompt. Enjoy.
"Another Man who Sold the Moon"
You can't blame me.
It was after the last strorm, after I lost damn near everything. Even being smart, even evacuating early, even making plans, it still didn't help. Yeah, I know I'm lucky, I know I'm alive. Most people are alive, even if the news lingers too long on those who aren't. I am and I was lucky and I still lost so damn much. You have to know that to know the state of mind I was in.
You can't blame me.
Anyway, the stories are mostly right on this one; it's surprisingly easy to find the Devil if you want him, and he's always ready to make a deal. That's what he does, but that's what I do. And I read all the books. From that old German one The Art of War to The Art of the Deal. Well, not those, but books like that. I need to give you a frame of reference. If I was gonna make a deal, I was gonna make a killer deal. You can take that to the bank.
No, it doesn't matter where I met him. At a crossroads. In a clearing in the woods. At a graveyard. A great dealmaker never gives away all his secrets. And that, my friend, is a secret.
It's the deal you want to know about, and I suppose you want an apology. First, remember that it isn't my fault. I read up, I planned.
I was clever.
Yeah, I asked for a lot. For us to be spared for the next storm and the storm after that and the storm after that, for all of eternity.
When you ask for a lot, the price is high, so very high.
He wanted the moon.
Yes, I know it sounds crazy, but I was clever. It was clear we couldn't sell the moon. There's no way to get it down, for one thing. But what I could sell, what he could take and put in a jar next to all the pretty skies he's keeping for the proverbial rainy day, what the deal could REALLY be for is the idea of the moon. I knew it had worked the next month, when the moon would have been full and no men shed their man-skin to walk the wilds in wolf-shape. When madness came to become a matter of outbalanced humours in the brain and not the influence of the heavens.
When a little bit of magic faded from the world.
by Lukasz Wiktorzak
It didn't matter. We were safe.
Until the next storm came.
The seas rose.
Our city was gone.
I fled by boat as I watched the waves overtake the last and highest of the towers, cursing his name. The current took me to land where, after a days' wandering, I found him at a crossroad, I accused him of breaking our deal. The moon was his, my city was gone.
"You gave me the idea of the moon. I preserved the idea of your city. A thought for a thought. A fair deal, no?"
So, since that time I wandered. I tell my tale.
But enough about me. Let me tell you about the lost wonders of my home.