Friday, March 11, 2022

Microstory 1840: Agreement

Oh, I’ve known about voldisil for quite awhile now. I mean, I didn’t know they were called that, but I knew there were people out there with inhuman abilities. I mean, I didn’t know that there were multiple people, but I knew that there was at least one. If you had told me back then that there were others, I probably would have believed you without proof, but if you had told me that most—or even some—of them were good, I can’t promise I would have believed that. This is the story of a lawyer who wasn’t a lawyer anymore, a friend of a friend, and a race to save my own life. I practiced law for 20 years. I wasn’t a particularly great one, but my skills were enough to live on, and my clients didn’t complain. They knew that they were getting what they paid for, and I was always upfront about my limitations going into every business relationship. I won’t get into why I was disbarred, but while I definitely deserved punishment in some form or another, it should have been another, like maybe a fine. I didn’t have anything to fall back on, but a friend of mine suggested I become a certified nursing assistant like her. It wasn’t too much education, and when I factored in expenses and all the pro bono work I did, it ended up paying about as much as I was getting before. I met a lot more people in my new line of work, which I loved. I was even sad to see them go, even though it meant that they were better, and that was obviously a good thing. I had this one patient who was in it for the long-haul, though, so I got to know him pretty well. He eventually learned that I was educated in law, and asked if I would do him a favor. It wasn’t the first time I gave out free legal advice, and it wasn’t itself illegal. I just had to be clear about my situation. I couldn’t charge for it, and I couldn’t represent them. He said that it was perfect. All I needed to do was look over this extremely long contract for his brother.

The brother had applied for a new job, and it was evidently very hush-hush. They couldn’t even tell him what he was going to be doing until he signed the non-disclosure agreement. All they said was that his résumé came up, and that he was perfect for a new position. So I took the document home, and read over it very carefully. I didn’t want to miss a single word, because it was fascinating how long it was, and I wanted to figure out what this was all about. These days, the length would be standard, but in those days, it was weird. There wasn’t a lot about the company, or even what the job was like. It talked a lot about compensation, and the consequences of insubordination. There was one line near the end that caught my eye. I still remember the words: anyone who reads this contract is subject to its terms, with or without a final signature. Failure to sign after reading this paragraph will result in death. Well, that was me. I read it, and since it was so big, and my patient and his brother knew they wouldn’t understand it, I was the only one who read it. I brushed it off, even though it was really creepy, because all I had to do was pretend I never saw that paragraph. That was how I found out that the supernatural was real. A demon—as I called him, with no better comprehension of spirit powers—just knew that I had read the line, and he started coming after me. What followed were a series of near death experiences, blood sacrifices, and a ton of running. I hate running, and I think he knew that too. In the end, I signed, but my life did not get easier after that. The job was darker and more twisted than I ever could have imagined, and after 75 years of hell, I’m relieved to have finally reached the sweet release of death.

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