Jeremy couldn’t look the Devil in the eye. It was disconcerting. But he did manage to say, “I just want to skip all the bad parts of my life.”
The Devil grinned. He knew a thing or two about hard times. “So you don’t want to experience the negative?”
“No!” Jeremy’s reaction was strong enough that he almost looked up, stopping at the cloven hooves. “I want the experience, the knowledge I’d get from those periods. I just don’t want to go through them.”
The Devil nodded, wondering why this supplicant had chosen for Him to wear this form if he so wanted to avoid the negative. But that told Him how to get what he wanted. Perception was, after all, everything.
He extended a hand with long, claw-like fingernails. “Deal,” the Devil said simply.
Forgetting himself, Jeremy smiled and made eye contact, his vision blacking out as he took the Devil’s hand.
He came to again, awash with new memories from years remembered but not experienced, on a white bed in a white room, surrounded by machines and the sound of gentle weeping. “Well, barring a miracle, there’s nothing we can do,” he heard a doctor say.