Faustian Conversation I
You spoke my name.
What do you want?
No need to take that tone with me, I summoned you, and I am your master.
Man, you command my attention for this brief moment, but you will never be my master.
Grant me great wealth.
Everything has a price.
For a start.
What is entailed in that transaction?
You mean you don’t yet agree to it?
Not at all, I am exploring my options.
I can ensure that you will, regardless of spendthrift, remain maddeningly wealthy your entire life.
And the payment?
After your death, that wealth must be repaid with an eternity of suffering.
An eternity? Isn’t that a bit much?
I don’t make the rules.
No, but you carry out these negotiations.
What would you suggest instead?
What about a thousand years of pain?
A blink of the eye. Try again.
Perhaps. I will need to consider it.
This is dearly bought.
And dearly paid for, I assure you – you aren’t going to back out are you?
Since I have not agreed to any terms yet, I could not be properly said to have backed out of anything.
I have read much on the subject. I expected this.
Are you aware of the limitations of your method of protection?
Yes. Should I leave the circle, I am at your mercy.
Mercy does not exist. You will be eaten.
Just an expression.
How much more of my time will you waste?
As much as need be to consider these high prices.
What if I sweeten the deal?
What about power? I can grant you a portion of His, dominion over earth.
How much is a portion?
I assure you Man, more than you can dream of.
Your speech is very convincing.
This is my trade.
What about causing pain?
I don’t consider that work.
There must be a way to make this exchange which satisfies us both yet does not doom me to nearly unending suffering.
Souls are the only currency of value.
Need it be mine?
A bold proposition.
Surely I am not the first to suggest it?
Typically these exchanges are of a self-sacrificing nature.
I thought those stories were all lies.
Only the happy endings.
Was that your doing?
We prefer to use a light touch.
Have you made a decision?
Patience is a virtue.
So is decisiveness.
What if I negotiate a lesser exchange?
So you are backing out. Probably wise.
I am not backing out, as I said, a thousand million years of suffering seems excessive for a few decades of wealth.
If only you could see things from my point of view.
What do you mean?
You exist to suffer. It is your destiny.
Is that so? Why do you exist?
To punish the bold.
Don’t you mean the wicked?
Depends on your point of view.
Throw in a long life and great power and I will accept your terms.
You are a greedy man.
A virtue, but I cannot grant your request.
Beyond your power?
In part – I cannot set the length of your life, but I can assure good health for the remainder of it.
That seems reasonable, I’ll just have to be careful.
Very well, I agree to your terms
Agreed, sign here.
I’m outside the circle aren’t I?
I’m afraid so.