“Soul Purchasing Company”

“I told you man, we’re not buying artists’ souls right now.” The clerk was a middle-aged man in a suit and tie.

In front of a company sign reading “Devil and Brothers”, there was a long queue.

“With all these advertisements everywhere, this is the kind of service you provide for your clients?” The young theater director was almost yelling.

“It’s not our fault – our artist soul category is closed now, for at least one year. We have a limited space in hell, man. Do you know how many deals we had this year with writers, poets, painters, film makers and other kinds of artists?”

People had been there since 6 A.M. to sign contracts with the company.

“I want to see the manager.”

“Mr. Devil is in a TV interview right now.”


“Ladies and gentlemen,” The host was a young woman, “Mr. Devil…” She laughed and clapped with the audience.

Mr. Devil entered, waving and smiling, with shining shoes and his famous red eyes.

“You own a very successful worldwide enterprise Mr. Devil, how did it all start?”

“Well, a few hundred years ago, I discussed the idea first with my close friend Dr. Faust, who was a bored scholar and scientist. He signed a blood contract with me giving me his soul, in exchange for some improvements in his job and a little fun and entertainment. Then I decided to make the business bigger, and today, here we are.”


The young director looked worried. “I can sell it cheaper, huh?”

“It’s not the price my friend; why do you artists always insist so much?”

“One international award only?”

“Please man, don’t you see how many people are waiting in the corridor? Politicians, bankers, lovers, couples, policemen, journalists, lawyers.”

“Ok, one local award and you can have my soul; send it to hell today.”

“Are you still haggling?”

“Ok then, only one intellectual looking girlfriend – preferably hot, and I’d be the company’s man in the theater world, no?”

“Sorry man, I can’t do anything for you.”

The second client was an old man and the clerk asked: “What’s your job sir?

“I own factories and have shares in some companies and …”

“Ok, ok, and your offer sir?”

“I don’t ask for anything. I am just tired of my soul. I feel heavy sometimes.”

“Ok sir, you have your blood?”

“Oh of course.” The blood was in a little glass bottle and he signed the contract.

“Guys, take this gentleman’s soul quickly. We’ve got a lot to do today.”

The old man went to the other room but after a minute, the girl responsible in the room came out. “Sorry, we have a technical problem.”

The clerk was sulky. “Technical problem? It’s not a plane take off, just pull out the soul and finish it.”

“But boss, this client has no soul.”

The old man was angry. “I’ll sue this company.”

“It’s not our fault that you don’t have a soul sir, maybe you have left it somewhere.” The clerk’s answer was ready.


The host was energetic and cheerful. “Ok Devil, what do you like to tell young people who want to be like you, strong and successful?”

“Well, some people think that I had an exceptional talent or connections, but believe me, if you always lie enough and betray all your friends and play as dirty as you can, you will be able to reach even higher places than me, but I was a little lucky too after all, hahaha…”

“Thanks for joining us today Devil.”

“Thanks for inviting me.”

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About Mustafa Hosseinioun

Mustafa Hosseinioun has published two novels in Persian and his work in English has appeared in bluestem, Juked and Two Words For. He is also a recently film maker and his short film "Lost Voices" has been nominated in the "Short to the Point" Bucharest/Romania international film festival,