Artistic License

Johnny lowered his fiddle, a grin on his face. “Well, Devil,” he said, his southern accent thick. “Looks like you done owe me that gold fiddle.”

“Hmmm…” the Devil said, thoughtfully. “I suppose I did say you would get this if you won.” He lay the fiddle on the ground at Johnny’s feet, and Johnny stooped to pick it up.

“However,” the Devil interjected, a vicious smile on his face, “it won’t do you much good where you’re going.”

“What?!” Johnny cried. “What the hell are you on about?! I won, fair an’ square! My soul is mine!”

“Boy, didn’t your momma ever tell you the pride is a sin?”

Johnny paled. “But you told me…”

“Did you forget who you’re talking to, boy?” The Devil laughed. “The don’t call me the Prince of Lies for nothing!” They disappeared in a flash of fire.

As the smell of brimstone and Johnny’s screams faded away, Charlie stepped away from the tree he had hidden behind. “Well,” he said to himself, “change the end slightly, have Johnny win, and it’ll make for a great song. Artistic license.”

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