Shallow Grave (part 5)

Shallow Grave

(part 5)

Thadd Presley

“They offered me Fifty grand. But remember I said I was going to publish it through Amazon? That means I’m not taking their money.”

“Fifty grand? That’s all?”

“Yeah, that’s a hell of a lot of money, Allen. And it’s only an advance on the royalties. I would eventually get more money when it begins to sell.”

“I thought that it being the devil and all that he’d make it a million or something.”

“Well, it wasn’t the devil then, was it. Plus, I’m self publishing.”

“OK. But, you can’t deny that they book was magically inspired. You told me you wrote it in like a week right?”

“I’m not sure. More like a few days.”

“That sounds like magical inspiration to me.”

“First of all, you don’t realize how much I write once I get started. In just a few mornings I can do 20 thousand words no problem.”

“Well, how did this one go? Did you know the whole story before you started or was it…”

“What? Was it magic? How should I know.” Allen looked up then and we both realized it was soon time for the bar to close. He raised his glass and I did the same.

“To us old pal, to you and your writing, to me and my new company, so that the next year is the best we’ve ever had to date.” I smiled and nodded my head.

We both drained our beers.

“OK. So was it.”

“No. It wasn’t magic. It never is. I wake up early and write stories. Coffee, cigarettes, and booze, nothing more.” He was looking at me and I knew he knew when I was lying. “Ok. This time was a bit different. The entire story was in my head that morning. Usually, I just have a glimmer or a scene and after awhile I can tell if it’s a short story or a part of a longer one. Well, I knew everything about every character, every scene, before the first word was written. I even had an address to a publishing house in New York. Avocet! The name was just sitting on my desk along with the phone number. It must have been given to me by someone because it wasn’t in my hand writing, but I can’t remember when or by who.”

“So the guy in your room that night was real and not just your imagination? You knew then that he was some sort of… I don’t know … demon.”

“He might be, Allen. I’m a bit scared and excited at the same time. I know the story is good, hell great, but it’s not worth selling my soul for.” I told him this knowing that I was tempted to send the book to New York just to know what they would say. “The publishers might reject the book.”

“If they do then you know this is all a bunch of crap and you’re no worse of then before. You got a story out of it anyway, right?”

“Right. I guess, if the devil deals with writers then I’m going to be rich.” I still wasn’t sure if I was going to do it, but Allen was sure I would.

“He does,” Allen said and suddenly stood up. We were both pretty drunk at this point and he walked towards the door without looking back. I followed him onto the street, ready for more questions but he didn’t ask anymore about the man or the deal. In fact, I’ve not see him much since that night twenty years ago.