The demon was on Derek’s bed when he turned around, casually sharpening its claws with a file and ignoring the rain of tiny sparks that sizzled on the rumpled bedspread with every stroke. “Hey there,” it rasped.

“You’re back!” Derek cried, jumping up. The chains on his pants jangled merrily as he bounded from desk to bed. “You’re bringing me power in exchange for the soul I sold you!”

“Ah, no,” the demon said, with a casual blow on its nails. “Look, Derek, baby, it’s not like the dark powers don’t appreciate the offer. But we’ve got more souls than we know what to do with, and lots of power to give out besides. Plus, this whole Black Sabbath aesthetic you’ve got going on in here? Yeah, it looks like we’d be doing you a favor by letting you in on our brand, Derekins, and we don’t do favors.”

“So…I get my soul back?” said Derek.

“Luckily, we were able to find a buyer for that particular item,” said the demon, “and one that is very much in line with our ethos of causing pain and misery. Those boys down in ironic punishments deserve a promotion for this one, let me tell you. You can come in now!”

The picture window in Derek’s bedroom was suddenly suffused in a supernova of white light. It burst open, and in drifted a radiant being on luminous wings.

“You sold my soul to an angel?” Derek cried. “What’s wrong with you?”

“See? That’s what I’m talking about. Pain and suffering, and our brand is untainted.” The demon dusted off its hands. “Well, I’ll leave you in good hands, here.”

“Do I at least get power in this life?” Derek said mournfully.

“You get the ultimate power in this life,” the angel said sweetly. “The power to be good and pure, to do holy works and charity, and to have no say or free will in the matter.”

Derek came upon the demon like a man possessed, grabbing it by the fur on its chest. “You can’t leave me with that thing,” he cried.

The demon waved goodbye. “Enjoy an eternity of stultifying goody-two-shoery, Derekins,” it said, blowing a kiss as it melted away into sulfurous vapor and vanished.

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