Crippling Debt (Crappy Story)

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          I have a bit of a confession to make.....I'm about to be bankrupt and broke.  Yes, I know.  Very predictable.  However, I'm not quite bankrupt in the normal sense of the word.  I'm not bankrupt monetarily speaking (far from it actually).  No.  What I'm referring to is being spiritually bankrupt.  And again, I don't mean some Evangelical "Born-Again Sinner" Christian bullshit.  I mean that I'm actually losing out on a soul; my soul.  I know this sounds odd, but I maid a bargain that I thought I couldn't refuse, and so far, right now, everything's great!  Except, for one problem.  Let me explain.

            A couple of days ago, I was in debt, big time.  I decided to come to Las Vegas of all places to try to spend a little time away from my regular life.  I'm a twenty-four year old accountant for a major insurance company, and my life is pretty boring.  I spend countless hours, balancing transaction after transaction, spending my days off trying to keep ahead of all of the transactions and claims made, stress was adding up for me.  And I felt it was time to take a bit of a break.

             I had been living in a mediocre apartment for the last few years, and I had been constantly saving up money to have a house of my own, with no problems paying off the down payment.  I was never in a long term relationship for long, women would often come and go as the seasons changed it seemed.  I was never one to really feel like I needed to be in a relationship, I was always independent, and rather responsible.  I never needed someonee to bring me emotional comfort or listen to my problems, I handled those on my own.  

             I was given mandatory vacation time, since I hadn't taken vacation since I took the job.  I never wanted to take too much time off of work, as gaining that house and being financially independent was all that I wanted.  I wanted a nice sized house, and to be debt free completely by the time I retired, if only that were easy for everyone.  I get paid a decent amount every year, upper six figure salary (more than I feel I deserve).  But I still find that even with the salary that I'm making now, I don't feel secure enough to be able to live financially independent in the future.  Call me insecure, but I want to make sure I have the best future possible.

              Which sounds ironic, considering I was encouraged by my friends to go and party with them in Las Vegas.  I denied their offers before, but at this point, I had no other plans prepared before I was "kicked" out of the office, so I figured that it wouldn't hurt to have a few drinks and spend some time with my friends.  This was a big mistake.  I began spending more and more times in casinos to try specialty drinks, and one of my friends conned me into trying my hand at poker.  I barely knew how to play, and my friends were of no help.  I ended up losing $600 after a couple of games.  I was ready to leave, but they were able to persuade me to try to go for one of the all or nothing gambling tables:  roulette.  They convinced me to put down one thousand dollars (I was really drunk) and I ended up winning.  I was so shocked, and so excited that I decided to do a bet on the color black, and paid in $5000.  Once again, the ball on the roulette table landed on black.  I won back double, and was feeling very confident.  I decided to up the stakes by putting down $10,000, and bet on red.  I won.  I felt like the luckiest man alive.  I decided to go one step further, and placed a bet of $50,000 (all of the money that I didn't have set in stocks and had set in cash) all on red once more.  I lost.

               What we didn't realize is that if you lost at this casino, all of the money you ended up winning before would ended up being taken back, along with the money that you betted with.  At this point, I was under massive debt, and was afraid of what was gonna happen next.  My friends and I were approached by the owner of the casino, during which he demanded that I pay up the money before leaving.  I wasn't able to give all of the money.  I tried desperately to convince them that I would have their money, but they didn't have any of it.  They kicked my friends out, but held me back.  They held me in one of their back rooms, and confiscated my phone before I could call for any emergency services.

              The casino owner entered the room after the guards left and brought with him two chairs and sat down to discuss my predicament.  "Well....looks like you're in quite the pickle!  You can't pay off your debts!  Unfortunately for you sir, we'll collect from you one way or another.  If you have stocks or other forms of property, we will be confiscating what we can to make our money back.  And if you do not comply, we will add insult to injury and come to hurt you Mr. Neemoy.  We will come for you and take your life."  Before I could say anything, he shushed me and put his right index finger to my mouth.  "Ah! Ah! Ah!"  He said as he shook his other index finger at me.  "No negotiations, Mr. Neemoy.  We will give you an hour to decide what you will do, for the time being, you will remain in here."

                And with that, the casino owner left, and I was left alone.  I was trying to rack my brain of what I could do to pay off the massive debt I amassed.  Time began to pass, as I began to spiral into a mental breakdown.  "What am I going to do?"  I told myself time and time again. I had put most of my money into stocks that I could not afford to lose at this point.  I waited there for what felt like hours as I watched a clock in the corner of the room slowly tick by.  Ten minutes went by, then twenty, then thirty, followed by forty minutes.  I watched the clock inch down to 55 minutes, only five minutes left to "make my decision."  I felt utterly hopeless, and matters did not improve when I witnessed the most finely dressed man I have ever seen.  He had refined Germanic features along his face, a pearly white complexion, with matching pearly white teeth.  His eyes were a light shade of grey, and his suit was a shiny gray.  His tie was ash gray.  He might inspire hope in someone looking for a good business proposition, but he only insighted fear in me.  His hair was slicked back, and he approached me silently, until he finally sat down in the chair opposing me.  He spoke with a deep and defined voice, but there was a slight gravel to the tone of his voice, which only unnerved me more.

                "Good evening Mr. Neemoy.  You don't know me, but right now, I am your personal savior.  Within the next few minutes, the casino proprietor will enter into this room and allow you to go, and your money will rewarded back to you, as well as your winnings.  That is, if you take my offer."  I was in shock at the words being spewed out of this man's mouth.  "Not only that, but I also encourage you to bet all of your money again on the green 0 on the roulette gambling table, as you will be guaranteed a win, and win back a jackpot worth of money, as they multiply the winning from that slot twenty fold.  This offer is really one you can't refuse."

                  I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  This man was not only telling me that he would pay my way out of my debt, but said that he would guarantee myself a win at the hardest bet at the roulette table in the casino.  "Wouldn't that bring my winnings up to nearly 1.25 million dollars?  This sounds just too good to be real.  This must be some massive catch, where you try to take my money from me after I win."  I crossed my arms firmly to display my content impression of this man's offer.

                  "Oh, but I'm not after money, Mr. Neemoy.   I came to offer this gift to you in a one and only offer.  The consequences of not taking my offer will result in your ultimate death by the security guards in this casino, however if you take my offer, you will walk out of this casino unscathed and have enough money to buy your house and live independently in a few more years."

                I was even more unnerved by the knowledge this man possessed on my ultimate goal in life, to be financially secure and safe.  I thought about arguing, but I knew there would be no benefit to arguing with this man.  "What is the cost of your services?"

                    "All that I require is that you sign this contract."  He removed a contract from within his coat and popped a gold-embroidered pen out of his right sleeve.  "The cost is implied in the contract, however you will pay the same price whether or not you take the deal.  But ultimately, the choice is yours. "

                 It was the most simple contract I had ever seen.  It only had one requirement.  "The recipient who signs this contract will get their one wish granted in exchange for an ultimate cost, determined by the contractor."  I was very confused by the wording of the contract.

                 "Um...may I ask what this contract is implying Mr....."

                  "Mathus.  Please, call me Mathus.  And the contract is referring to an ultimate cost that you will pay during your final days to me.  Something small, well....small enough now considering you're escaping this fate for a little while longer."

                    I didn't think then what that implied, so I gladly signed the contract.  He stood up abruptly accepting the contract, he smiled that same unnerving grin he walked in with "Excellent!  I hope you have a wonderful evening Mr. Neemoy, and that you enjoy your gift!"
I never saw Mathus, or whoever the hell he was ever again.  Or at least that's what I thought until recently.

                   You see, all of the events that Mathus depicted would happen when I signed the contract actually happened.  I left that casino not only debt free, but also with an extra $1 million + in my bank account.  I invested in several successful companies that became massive and became a multi millionaire.  I bought a wonderful home, with specialized security systems and even ended up marrying and having two beautiful children, who both graduated high school and attended Caltech and Stanford University respectively.  My life turned out pretty great as Mathus depicted.  I quit my job a week after investing my winnings into the stock market and watching my investments immediately start to skyrocket, and I never regretted that decision.  My life had been going well for the most part, that was until about a week ago.

                 The events mentioned above occurred over thirty five years ago.  I am now at ripe age of 60, and even though I am living a comfortable life, I've been noticing some strange occurrences around my house.  This would mainly be at night, when I would see depictions of a man wearing a suit in my living room, in the hallways, and once in my bedroom.  He never disturbed my wife or my children when they were home to visit.  He only came to visit me.  He would stand motionless from a distance away form me.  I am a bit unnerved that only I see this man, since I discussed it with my wife and she never saw such a thing.  I could never make out his face, but I just knew it was Mathus, somehow.  This all built up to last night when I saw the figure approach my bedside and removed an envelope from his jacket pocket and placed it on my nightstand.  I could clearly see the smile of Mathus this time, and as quickly as I saw his smile, I blinked in shock, and he was gone. No other traces than the envelope he left.  In gold text on the front, it read READ URGENT in large letters.

                 "Thank you for signing our contract.  Unfortunately, this contract will soon be coming to a close, and we will require our payment.  This payment will be your soul.  To escape the possible damnation you may have been sentenced to that fateful night in Las Vegas, Nevada, you signed this contract to escape that fate.  Now, we require our payment for the fulfillment of your wish.  You have 24 hours to say your goodbyes to your family, and make amends for your funeral and will.  Tomorrow night at the same time, Mathus will come to devour your soul and present you before the council in Hell for accepting our offer.  We look forward to seeing you tomorrow night and we hope you enjoyed our services."


-The Council

                 I was in complete shock.  I wanted to wake my wife to show her, but I didn't want to place this burden on her.  I was the one who signed the contract and I'm the one who will pay the price.  I have told my family that I believe I will not awaken tomorrow, and that I have finished the family will.  My family was already in shock and in grievance, even though I did not disclose details of my predicament.  I finish this story to inform anyone who finds this article to head these three words of advice.  Number one, avoid casinos and other forms of gambling when you are out drinking.  Number two, never let your emotions get the better of you in a strange situation, as you may end up making a mistake you will more than regret.  And finally, number three, don't take a deal that sounds too good to be true.



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