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Of course, even regular deals (with cable or cell phone companies, for example) usually have "gotcha" clauses. Deals with the devil (or authorized representatives thereof) are guaranteed to be worse.
The irony, of course, lies in the all-too-common discovery that not only is the life you wish you had not better than the one you are living, it literally may be Hell.
Jack London (1876-1916)
“If this were the devil, then so was every Madison Avenue junior executive.” Nice stab at young eager professionals who only have one purpose in life: To get ahead in their chosen profession.
"Some people spread bad rumors about me because they didn’t get what they asked for," offered the devil. "People always ask for things they shouldn’t. Don’t you agree?" Love the dialogue here because the devil just suckered Charles by telling Charles something that Charles--or anybody near Charles’s age-- already knows. Charles nods in approval. When you agree with someone, you feel a little more comfortable with him/her! Make someone at ease and it’s easier to take money, or sell something.
“Do you ever deceive or lie to people?" asked Charles. "Of course I do. So do you. Should I not trust you?" We see here how much more at ease Charles is by asking the devil a philosophical question, and the devil has a skillful answer aimed at building Charles’s confidence.
The author knows human nature!!!
As I said before, this theme is nothing new, but the good writing behind this story with an interesting twist at the end, and good use of dialogue, shows how one can be suckered into giving up his soul and feeling good about it, until the end.
Very good story, easy to read and very entertaining. I couldn't find anything to nit-pick about. But like all stories, I would change parts of it to my tasts. I think every writer thinks about that and it's only nature.
Good story as is!!!