The Bargain

The Bargain

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. The photo this week was taken by a friend of mine who wished to remain anonymous

Seattle Terminal
Photo Credit: Sunday Photo Fiction

This was not how it was supposed to work.

Bill had looked forward to retirement; delayed gratification after years of frugality and self-discipline. He had played by all the rules; maximizing his contributions to his 401K and enduring a job that provided a good paycheck but no joy.

He sacrificed for his wife and children, providing them a good life.

He cared for everyone else for 40 years. Now it was his turn.

But when the diagnosis came back, his dreams died. Parkinson’s. A slow and debilitating disease.

You’re wrong! He protested.

It’s not fair!

Can’t you do anything?

The kind old doctor smiled. There is a way.

The details shocked him, but in the end, he agreed.

He arrived at the station, suitcase in hand. There were many others, like him, traveling to the crossroads. In his pocket was his down-payment; love letters from his wife. His most precious possession.

As the train pulled away, he closed his eyes and thought about what he was about to do. Once the contract was signed, he would have ten years of health, happiness, and prosperity.

It was his due, after all.

Who wouldn’t sell their soul for that?

Word Count = 196




16 thoughts on “The Bargain

  1. Poor Bill. I dread this scenario, although the way things are going, I may never be able to retire anyway. Would I sell my soul for 10 good years? Well, good question….!

    1. I wrote this with my brother-in-law in mind. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s nearly 10 years ago. His condition has deteriorated considerably and I I often think that this was not the life he and his wife planned. It’s a scary thought. Thanks for commenting, Iain.

    1. I don’t advocate selling my soul to the devil (It never comes out well on Supernatural) but you are right. Until we are faced with a challenge, we never know what we might do. Thanks for commenting C.E.

    1. Early retirement is not something I can do but it does make me realize that life should be lived in the present moment. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. Thanks for commenting Keith!

  2. It is so unfortunate when a person pays all his dues and he is afflicted an unfortunate ailment. No wonder people are ready to sell their soul for a fixed period of health and happiness.

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