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Horace B. Chambeau sold his soul to a small, grandmotherly woman with eyes like brass buttons at seven am on a Monday morning. She was waiting on the platform, in the throng of bodies just outside the train, shining like a beacon with her little coffee cart and powdered donut holes.

Several factors came into play for Horace that morning. First, she seemed quite harmless. Second, he had missed setting the alarm the night before. And, third (considering his sales goals), it was going to be a very busy day at the office.

It was an incredibly brief conversation once you factor in the whole soul thing:


“How much for the coffee?” Horace asked.

“Not much,” she replied, “just your soul.”

“Great,” he said, taking the cup.

“The pleasure’s all mine,” she responded just before vanishing.

In his defense, Horace had been certain that his employer had already taken his soul—and it was the best damned coffee he’d ever tasted.