Deal Of The Century: A Carrie Lee Night Short Story
Having a cabin in the woods is a favorite backdrop for slasher films. Like that guy sporting a hockey mask who drowned in the lake as a child because promiscuous teenage camp counselors were not paying attention. He decided to seek revenge by having an all out slicing and dicing killing spree. I never understood the spooky logic. I have been around the woods all my life and it still is my favorite place of serenity. In particular spending time at the cabin in the woods my great aunt left me when she died.
I’m in recovery from being a drunk and this cabin is the safest choice being twenty miles away from anything. I’ve been stuck here for a week now riding out my withdrawal. Battling against the cold sweats and the crawly skin that mimics being buried alive inside an ant hill can break anyone.
Tonight, all I want is to satisfy my craving with a harmless bottle of frosty lager with notes of orange. I want it to swish through my gums and saturate every inch of my mouth until my body stops screaming, but if I indulge in that one false move, rest assure I will never see the sunshine on my children’s faces again. What really makes this hard to stomach is that my husband was the one who cheated and sent me on this downward spiral. He knew I would turn to the only comfort that wouldn’t judge me in washing down all the sorrows with one big girl gulp.
The only thing Trevor ever gave me worth keeping dear to my heart was our four children; Elise 12, Carter 9, Clinton 5 and Maxwell 18 months.
I can still taste the Wild Turkey shots on the tip of my tongue as they had taken the children away. “Sober up or you’ll never see your children again”, were the last words I truly remembered while drunk.
Empty tears stream down my face and trickle onto the photo album. Emotionally compromised I decide to snooze to take the edge off.
The gentle crackle of the fireplace cradles me dozy along with the limp fleece blanket pulled up to my chest.
My senses pick up the lovely smells of golden autumn leaves tenderly flirting with the moonlight. My body drifts into a steady breath, as I can see my children playing in the park, but the dream is disturbed by footsteps coming from the front porch outside.
My keen sensitive hearing picks up heavy footsteps pacing back and forth on the porch.
“That’s weird”, I think while getting the urge to forget it and return to my kids waiting for me in my dreams.
No sooner when I see the back of my lids the front door bursts open. A stinging chilly gust follows as it prickles my face. I stand firm and grab the loaded shot gun from wooden rack above the fireplace. I allow the shotgun to lead the way as I cautiously tip toe to the front door. I flip on the rusty porch light only to find nothing.
I know in horror films if you go to investigate you mind as well sign your death warrant, but this is my property and I feel it’s my obligation to defend it. No trespasser is going to get the best of me, besides I’m in that anything goes of mood.
I patrol the perimeter of the cabin with a sturdy flashlight and my trusty shotgun. I carefully walk around the property without seeing any footprints or disturbances. I conclude the wind must of blew open the door even though I don’t even feel much of a breeze.
“Man what I wouldn’t give for a party in my mouth right now!” I cry.
Without any evidence of intrusion, I make my way back to the front door. My sense of relief is shattered once I spot a silver haired man sitting on the rocking chair in the dim light of the fireplace. It is kind of dark and I feel that he does not sense my presence. I use this to my advantage. I approach the man cautiously not taking the aim away from him for one second. I finally position myself behind him, place my clammy finger on the trigger, and place the double barrel against the man’s exposed back skull.
“You’re trespassing on private property. You have until the count of ten to get out of here!” I aggressively order while pushing the barrel further into the back of his head.
“I’m not a trespasser, I own this property!” the man confirms while standing up and slowly turning around so I can get a good look at him.
The man’s face is moaning horrid and red as a blushing beet. His full large eyes flaming a deep violet black. His pair of lips charred lava rock. He has a long horn like appendage cutting through his meaty throat yet it does not affect his voice. The odd part is he is dressed in a vintage suit almost like a gangster from the 1920’s. My first impulse is Halloween and he is a monster mobster. Then I think hard and I come up with the conclusion I don’t know what day it is.
“What are you?” I ask with the trembling shot gun still aiming at his head.
“I’m quite offended you don’t remember me or our deal”, he speaks in a static gargle.
I quickly redirect the shot gun and tuck it underneath the things pointy chin.
“Stop dic*ing me around or I’ll blow your head clean off”, I yell.
“Go ahead do it and see what happens”, the thing challenges.
“Do you really want to test that theory?” I ask back.
“No. I want to prove a fact”, the thing snickers.
I had enough of this messed up chicken game so I close my eyes and jerk the trigger, but nothing happens.
I lower the shot gun and place it on the ground with my hands up. I’m in surrender mode; I have no weapon against this thing. I’m helpless.
“What are you?” I gasp.
“You know exactly what I am, but since this place has left your brain a bit fuzzy I’ll refresh your memory for good old time’s sake. I’m your Jinn. I’m the one who granted your wish”, the thing reveals while sitting back down.
“I must be drunk”, I conclude.
“Drunk no, dead yes for the past ten years and your soul kept in my liquor bottle in my jacket pocket”, the thing laughs.
“Dead and my soul in a liquor bottle, what kind of stuff are you on?” I yell back.
“Believe what you want to believe, but the truth is we made a deal, you did not keep your end of the bargain and now you will live out eternity as my pet in this cage, your cabin in a liquor bottle. Be thankful, your in my favor because most are condemned to bottles as snug as a tormenting coffin, they spend forever trying to claw their way out”, the thing expresses while pulling out a pipe and smoking it like it is no big deal.
“I’m still not falling for any of this mumbo jumbo, I’m probably still asleep and when I wake up in the morning everything will be okay”, I cry.
“There are no mornings here, only nights. Truthfully when can you last remember seeing the sun or eating your breakfast of oatmeal and Greek yogurt?” the thing asks.
“Simple, I probably sleep during the day and stay up at night, it makes sense since I am going through withdrawal”, I fire back.
“I see you have been here so long you are delusional, but the truth is the truth”, the thing speaks puffing away his pipe scented with sickening sage.
“Prove it!” I demand.
“I wish you to sit”, the thing commands in a soft tone.
I laugh for a moment, but then my legs do the walking and I am sitting. The worse part is I feel pleased to do it and obeying my master makes me feel happy.
“I wish you to be silent and listen to me”, the thing orders like he is bored.
I feel my mouth clamp shut and my hearing becomes amplified. My eyes are forced to watch his pair of ghoulish lips as he speaks and worse of all I feel interested like listening is a treat.
“Before I recall our deal, I wanted you to be aware of the last deal I made. It was with a chap named Brock. His wish was to be promoted to one of the senior management positions at the company he worked for. He pleaded me that this position would give him job security and a better life for his family. I granted his wish with the exception that he could never sleep with Savannah again, his mistress. He agreed, but within a few months of receiving his promotion he did not keep his promise. He defied me by sleeping with her numerous times thinking he was invincible because now he was a powerful man. I lay in waiting until calling on him when he least expected. I ripped through his flesh, collected his weak soul and hulled him away. His family was not part of the deal to be punished if he surrendered into lust with Savannah, but since he provoked me his family did suffer the consequences, but their souls were released. So now there is you and our deal. When you hit rock bottom I was there to be your salivation. I granted your wish of having your children back in exchange for your sobriety. You defied the odds by remaining sober for two years; I was beginning to think you had won the game. Once you and your husband reconciled, I brought in my temptation pawn to lure him to cheat. I respected how long he resisted her, but eventually he forfeited and you caught them red handed.
You ran to the nearest bar and downed a glass of rum. When you realized what you had done you tried hock it back up, but it was too late, I snatched up your soul while you slept next to your children and brought you here”, the thing explains in great detail.
I can feel my mouth regain the function to move enough to spit out a few words.
“So why are you here?” I ask.
“I’m caught in a predicament. Your cheating Trevor has wished you back. If I bring you back to life and reverse the deal it breaks the rules, if I don’t grant Trevor his wish, it too breaks the rules. There are no protocols for this situation. My first thought was to return you as a zombie, but there are rules with messing with the Apocalypse, I guess we will have to see won’t we?” the thing speaks.
“I….” I try to make out some more words.
“I wish you back”, the Jinn snaps.
I wake up in a reclined therapist chair next to Trevor; he is tenderly holding my hand.
“I think this session of hypnosis has been more promising, I’m confident she won’t like the taste of alcohol for many years to come”, the therapist smiles.
“This will be good for the baby and for all of us…I’ll be here every step of the way”, Trevor speaks.
“Baby?” I question.
“Yeah…your four months pregnant with child number five”, he proudly speaks while kissing my forehead.
We leave the therapist office while I still try to collect myself. Trevor dismisses himself to the bathroom as I hang out in the empty waiting room. Suddenly I look to the left of me and there is a silvered hair man sitting next to me. When he turns his head to look at me his face is normal. I sigh in relief, and then he speaks to me in a British accent.
“Thank you for carrying another Jinn into this world my dear. This will be no doubt the greatest deal of the century”.