Stranger at the door by argorok1

Knock knock.

The knock on the door startled Marie. It was too late to be expecting visitors. She had just put her son to bed. Her husband, Eric, was hunched over at the sitting area in the foyer with a glass of thirty-year-old scotch in one hand and his head in the other. He had seemed uncharacteristically distraught as of late. Marie loved her husband, but she realized she hadn’t been very attentive lately. Between running her charity, attending social functions, and playing on the country club’s tennis team she hadn’t gotten the opportunity to ask Eric what had been troubling him.

She knew his company had recently dropped a couple of points in the stock market so she just assumed it was a money issue. To her, a little bit of cash was nothing to fret over. After all, they had come from practically nothing and now they had plenty of it. They would be fine.

The knock came again.

Knock knock.

Marie tugged open the heavy oak door to reveal an ominous looking stranger standing behind it. He was so tall that he had to duck his massive head under the oversized door’s ten-foot-tall frame as he entered the room. His skin was pale; almost snow white, a stark contrast to his intense shadowy eyes—two dark pieces of coal buried deep into the sunken sockets of his face. The stranger wore a long black trench coat buttoned down from his neck all the way to just below his knees. His hands and feet were massive—nearly twice the size of a normal man’s. When he smiled at Marie she caught a glimpse of his teeth. Jagged and pointed, they looked like they belonged in the mouth of a mangy dog. The stranger turned his monstrous head towards Marie's husband and began to speak. His voice was low and gravelly, but so powerful she felt it rumble through the room’s walls and her body alike.

"Eric Wallace. I have come to collect my debt."

It was at that moment Marie understood what was going on: The success of Eric's Internet startup, the big house in the hills, the fancy cars, the charity, and most importantly the horrible, giant, inhuman looking man who had just entered their home. Eric had made a deal with the devil. She flung herself to the demon's feet.

"Please! You can't take his soul!” she cried. “There has to be another way!"

The stranger reached out a long bony finger and caressed her wet, tear-soaked cheeks.

"Oh, my dear,” he began. “I’m afraid you misunderstand. Your husband didn’t sell me his soul. He sold me yours.”

Credited to Vincent V. Cava 
Content is available under CC BY-NC

Cc The Stranger's Debt is currently licensed under the Creative Commons Non-Commercial license. A full copy of the license may be obtained here.