One Soul for Another by K.J. White


The crushing weight of the world around Brina smothered her–the loss eating her alive from the inside out, the ache in her chest making it harder to breathe with each new inhale. She could not go on the way she had been living. But the deal still stood. All she had to do was say yes and it would all be over. All she had to do was say yes and Brina could take her place.

One soul for another.

The words played on repeat inside Brina’s head, pushing the darkness further away each time, letting the light seep through. For the first time in days, she thought there might have been hope sparking at the end of the depressing tunnel she had been traveling. The idea took shape in her mind, and she nodded to herself. It would be so simple.

The handsome man before her grinned, revealing a perfect set of pearly teeth. No one ever turned down his deals. He always came at the perfect moment, knowing when they were at their weakest. Brina took a step closer to him. He straightened his suit jacket and held a hand out, patiently waiting, ever the gentleman.

One soul for another.

Questions spun in Brina’s mind, not giving her enough time to answer. Was she willing to sacrifice herself to save the one she loved? Could Brina give up everything to bring her sister–her twin–back from the dark clutches Avery had fallen into? Would Brina accept the devil’s deal and trade her own soul?

She already knew the answer. Of course, she would. Brina let her gaze slide from the fallen angel in front of her to the pale, opaque veil behind him. She could just make out the person standing on the other side. The one who was the perfect mirror image of herself. The one who sent her pleading looks, begging Brina to save her.

One soul for another.

Tears ran down Brina’s cheeks as she watched her other half. They had never spent more than a day apart, but either way, this would be the last time they saw each other. Brina took a second and mouthed the words of love to Avery, not knowing if the woman could see her, but hoping beyond reason that her sister would understand.

Raising her chin, Brina took a deep breath and glanced back to the man in front of her. She shot forward and grasped the devil’s hand, without another moment’s hesitation. He slowly shook her hand, sealing the deal. A sense of relief washed over Brina, but all too soon Brina felt the shackles settle around her ankles, her waist, her wrists. No, not physically, but real all the same. The pressure pushing down on her chest made the loss she felt before seem like nothing more than a book resting upon her. Shock coursed through her at the unexpected burden.

One soul for another.

It took everything in Brina to drag her eyes away from the man. This time when Brina glanced over at the veil, she expected to find her sister smiling, relieved that she would not have to face the fires that awaited her. Instead, the woman wept. Avery collapsed, falling to her knees. Sorrow emanated from her, clear even through the milky curtain.

Confusion washed over Brina, but when her twin met her gaze, Brina understood. Avery never wanted Brina to sell herself. She never wanted Brina to trade places with her. She had been begging Brina to call off the deal, to not go through with it. A person’s soul was much too high a price. Even when he had Avery, he never truly possessed her, not the way he now owned Brina. He never held her soul, just her body.

It was never one soul for another.

No matter how good it sounded, a deal with the devil was never a good idea. He tricked her–lied when making his deal, choosing his words so carefully that Brina didn’t notice. But there was something even he didn’t know. Brina was a fighter, a protector. The only reason she accepted his deal was to save her sister. The weight of her new chains was not what she agreed to. Brina jerked away from him.

A cruel grin replaced the gentle one from moments before as his obsidian wings flared behind him and his eyes darkened with malice. Grasping her arm in his newly-taloned hand, he twisted her arm and pulled her back, flush against him. Leaning down, he placed a swift kiss on her cheek and whispered in her ear, “Haven’t you ever heard? There is no going back once you make a deal with the devil.”

This story was written for the February #BlogBattle flash fiction challenge. The word prompt was “Loss”.

“One Soul for Another” Copyright © 2019 by K.J. White. All Rights Reserved.
Photo by Tertia van Rensburg on Unsplash

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