In retrospect, when the end came, Clive Glaive knew he would have been better off with the deal for his soul instead of losing body parts piecemeal to the demon. Craving nothing more than to be a world-famous rock star, Clive’s evocation of the demon king Beleth was the poor first choice in a line of questionable choices.
Not content with playing gigs at run-down bars and hole-in-the-wall venues anymore, Clive went for the shortcut that many musicians, movie stars, and politicians sought: a deal with the devil. The summoning incantation cost him eighty dollars; the guy at the occult shop even threw in the necessary candles and incense for only twenty bucks more. That was weeks’ worth of booze and cigarette money, but what was that compared to the millions he would soon have rolling in.
The deal’s transaction, as it turned out, was surprisingly simple. This wasn’t Beleth’s first fortune and fame deal, in fact, the tall, thin, four-horned demon looked almost bored as he offered the terms and conditions for the “Full Rock God Package” to Clive.
Beleth asked, “Soul or other in exchange?”
“Other,” Clive replied.
“No. Wait, what do you mean by that?”
“In exchange for receiving your new status as a bona fide rock star I would own a specific part of your body. For instance, I normally accept a right arm to get you established in the business.”
“You don’t chop it off or anything right?”
“No, no, nothing like that. The right arm would just proprietarily belong to me.”
“Just the right arm?”
“What does that mean?”
“Well, the right arm gets you started. Household name status, tour bus, roadies, three get-out-of-rehab-free cards, and the first hit album complete with custom art by Derek Riggs, the guy who does the work for Iron Maiden.”
“Started? I am sensing a but here.”
“A right arm really isn’t much if you are avoiding losing your soul. To keep the fame going and get some upgrades it will cost you a few more parts along the way.”
Six months later, Clive signed over his left leg to secure a load of groupies that would accentuate his rock star status.
Three months after that, being a great vocalist alone wasn’t enough; Clive wanted to be the master of the electric guitar to increase his fame even more. With that came the price of the left arm.
On the anniversary of his debut at the ultimate rock star, Clive gave Beleth his torso for winning Billboard’s Rock Song of the Year award and the right leg for an even more financially successful second album.
As time progressed, it still didn’t seem like enough for Clive Glaive. He wanted more fame, more fortune. For Clive it was an easy decision, his head for a world tour and all his internal systems for his own hit reality tv show.
Clive didn’t see any harm in any of this, it was all proprietary after all, he didn’t own them but he still got the use of everything. What use could these parts even be to Beleth, souls are really what demons want anyway.
The fall from the top, as it came for many, was due to his own hubris. No amount of fame could make Clive happy, and with that came decisions which led to legal and criminal woes.
The last bargaining chip Clive had left was his soul and in the empty shell of his Hollywood mansion he summoned Beleth once more. “My soul,” Clive stammered. “I’ll give you my soul to put me back on top.”
A sly grin played across Beleth’s face. “One soul? Why would I want your one soul when I could have dozens?”
Clive stood there confused at the comment and then terrified as he watched Beleth’s underlings emerge from the shadows with daggers in hand.
Beleth said with satisfaction, “I am calling in those body parts. I have plenty of interested people willing to trade their souls for a new heart, a new leg, or new eyes. I think you can tell where this is going.”
The screams that came from Clive echoed for hours in the Hollywood hills.