Hell Of A Deal


By Mark Huntley-James

“Everyone has their demons, but I buy mine wholesale…”

Paul Moore, shopkeeper, Master of the Dark Arts and demonic broker, has just met the hottest witch who ever tried to kill him. A date is surely out of the question – she serves the demons of the Babylonian Triad, and no-one defies them… almost no one.

Paul thought he was the best, until the Babylonian Triad launched a turf war. Rival demons, competing traders, an explosive spice and ruthless church factions… Paul only wants to keep his home town safe and get the girl. He knows that being a Master of the Dark Arts involves sacrifice, but really doesn’t want to be the one dragged to the altar.
Hell Of A Deal is a fight through life, death, demons and trying to survive a first date. It’s not the end of the world, just the start of a new corner of hell.

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Sold by: Mark Huntley-James
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Everyone has their demons, but I buy mine wholesale.
I run Moore Magic from the old family shop, down the end of Blunt’s Alley amid the flat conversions – a tasteless emporium of gothic, new-age, wiccan and other accessories. It used to be a hardware store, but that died a slow death at the hands of the big DIY chain on the Lower Barrow retail park. I deal in evil incarnate; they use cut-throat pricing.
Business has been good in retail magic. I employ a tall, skinny Goth called Stacy, who is convinced that draping herself in black lace curtains counts as being dressed, and she flogs my black candles, occult jewellery and other tat. I also have to employ some particularly aggressive acne demons in an effort to stop the shop being over-run with adolescent boys – always just looking, never buying. I don’t use anything stronger because adolescent boys grow up, hormones settle, wallets get juicier, infatuated magic-nerds evolve, and they start buying candles in the forlorn hope of a dinner date.
I would get rid of Stacy, but she has a gift for unloading tat to tourists and wannabes, and knowing the serious customers when they come in. On a further practical note, job adverts for semi-naked shop assistants do not fly well in the staid community of Barrowhurst. A history of agriculture and light industry forged Little England and Middle England into a resolute pocket of tradition where the local Conservative Club activities are often regarded as dangerously avant-garde.
The point is that Stacy is just a front (a particularly lovely front in black lacy stuff) for the real business. I do demonic possessions. I can offer you deals on anything – by the day, week, month or all eternity. The most important thing is that I’m a middle-man, a re-seller. Think of me as a demonic stock broker. If you go direct, so to speak, and cut your deal with one of the infernal creatures of the pit, then you lose flexibility. They set the timescale and the tariff, which is usually your soul, in its entirety, forever. I offer much more reasonable, flexible and affordable terms.
The DIY chains put the family out of business, but I learned from their example – stock the basics that everyone wants, for a good price, with good quality, and a no-quibble returns policy. Almost. In this business there are always things you can’t take back.
If you want to spend the night with the woman of your dreams, I can arrange it. If you want to be lucky or wealthy or just look absolutely stunning for the all-important date tonight, I can arrange it. And there is no ‘small print’. Those old-fashioned deals with the devil were meant to ensure you never got something for nothing, and if possible, got nothing for everything you had. Now, the Lords of the Pits have woken up to modern commercial reality and they work through third parties like me.
Don’t get me wrong – demons and their kin are not cute, fluffy creatures. They can create the illusion, but underneath are bubbling pools of hate and evil. What matters are the terms of the bargain, and knowing it comes from a reputable outfit like mine.
You could try my old pal Mickey Twitch down at the Dream Palace, but he uses some really dodgy spirits and cuts corners with a chain-saw. Your hour of being the babe-magnet with the libido of a rhino can over-run. I’ve sorted out a few of Mickey’s messes – the industrial-strength hard-on that won’t go away, and when it does the punter is left with something nasty that even modern antibiotics can’t touch. My advice, don’t pinch the pennies for your supernatural experience.
“Paul. Mate. Hi.” Mickey has a particular way of starting a conversation that means trouble. A tone that says fuck-up. “Do me a small one…”
Mickey likes favours, because they cost him nothing, he never settles accounts and never does them himself.
“Paul. Mate. Got this client…” A perfectly nice girl who wanted an exceptionally full figure and men queued around the block. “I mean. Paul. Mate. She was satisfied. Lots of times.” Mickey smirks, even when he’s asking for someone to fix a fuck-up. “It’s just things went a bit south.”
Mickey, master of the understatement and the short-cut. Her arse was wide enough to take both seats on the bus and I spent a month coaxing her nipples back up to where they belonged. I’d normally charge a grand or more for that sort of work. But this was a Mickey special – owe you one, mate. If I ever collect on what Mickey owes me, I’ll be knee-deep in something.
The point is, I do deals at a good price. Not a stupid one. When size matters, whether it is an iron-clad pile-driver cock or self-supporting Zeppelin tits, take my guarantee – no mess, no fuss, no pain and no stretch-marks. And please remember, there is no such thing as safe sex with a demon.


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