by Joan Dobbie
copyright 2010 and 2011

I gave my soul to the Devil & the Devil was grateful. In return he took me again & again to his magnificent limestone studio, with its immense stalagmites & stalagtites, rising & diving again & again through a shimmering mist of sulfer & smoke. There he showed me his artwork, rich in detail & sorrow, much of it violent, always depicting harsh humiliation. And yet, exquisitely beautiful. For their Truth & Beauty his paintings had won many prizes, been sold & resold for Billions. And so, my Prince of Darkness was more than wealthy. Wealthier than Michael Jackson. Wealthier than Tiger Woods. Wealthier even than the President himself. He took me under his wing, gave me joy, & pleasures beyond calculation: gifts of starlight, moonlight, the midnight phosphorescence of the Caribbean sea… We traveled together many times around the world. In the cauldron of his arms, I discovered lands & cultures I had never dreamed of, customs the beauty & horror of which I could never have imagined. He promised me eternity, swore that he would never bring me home. And yet, came the morning I woke in my own virgin bed, no longer young, nor hopeful, & filled to the brim with a sadness that had no name.


*This Story appeared in the online Zine My Small Fictions, December 2010. And also appears on my website <www.joandobbie.blogspot.com>

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