Linder Pace looked up at his friend and said, ” I have to say Lorne, you beat me but good on this one.”
Lorne shrugged from the other side of the dark heavy desk in his office and said, ” Why thank you Linder. Funny thing is back in the old days I’d have sold my Soul to the Devil just to hear you say those words.”
Linder didn’t doubt that.
Lorne Perth hated Linder- not disliked, not despised, but hated Linder Pace more then he valued his own life.
His own Soul even.
In the 50 years he had known Lorne, Linder had stolen Lorne’s wife Sadie, and when he grew tired of Sadie he divorced her and then married Lorne’s favorite daughter Bedelia. Now Linder and Lorne’s daughter were living in the house that Lorne’s Mother had been born in.
The same house his ex-wife hung herself in when she found out who the next Mrs. Linder Pace was going to be.
Linder signed the deed to Lorne’s family home and shrugged, ” well, bets a bet. It’s all yours. Again. When will you be moving back in? ”
Lorne took the deed and the heavy silver pen from Lorne and then set both things to his left. ” I’m not, I’m having demolished on Sunday.”
” Sunday, how’d you managed that? ”
Lorne shrugged picked up the pen and twirled it around his fingers.
” Come one now, Dad” Linder chuckled ” go on tell me. When did you learn to shoot pool like that? Hell Lorne, I didn’t even know you could play.”
” Can’t, but you do and I know you can’t walk away from a game Linder. You never could.”
” Yeah huh, but you didn’t answer my question Lorne, you shot pool like a demon and you didn’t just win. You whipped me. So what’d you do Lorne…sell your Soul to the Devil to win?”
” Oh- I’ll be honest with you…”
” Of course. ” Linder said under his breath.
“I tried to do that when you took Sadie from me. Old Scratch though, wouldn’t have touched my Soul for all the Souls in the world.”
” And why is that Lorne? ” Linder said as he worked his jaw from left to right.”
” She told me it wasn’t like the books or plays…she’s only interested in truly corrupt Souls and mine- well, Linder she almost struck me dead for wasting her time.”
Linder figured Lorne was drunk…only Lorne didn’t drink, and he didn’t smoke. Maybe, Linder thought the idea he was about to make Lorne a Grandfather pushed the guy over the edge.
Maybe Lorne was doing a lot of things now that he would never have considered doing before Linder thought to himself.
” So anyway I thought and thought -what horrible thing could I offer Old Scratch in exchange for one good game of Pool. It had to be something so dark, something so corrupt she’d be able to shut down shop for a week or two and take that Cruise to Alaska she’s always wanted to go on.”
Lorne sat back and picked the deed up from the table and fanned himself with it. ” How’s Bedelia ” Lorne asked about his daughter with a smile.
” You did not.”
Lorne dropped the deed and banged his head on the edge of the table as he reached down to the ground to pick it up. ” You would think something like that Linder.”
” So what’d you do Lorne, what did you give Old Scratch for one good game of Pool.”
Lorne shrugged, held the piece of paper up with Linder’s signature on it in dark black ink and said, ” Guess.”