30 Jan At Any Price
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"At Any Price"Written by
Estimated reading time — 7 minutes
Fame. Who doesn’t want it? Maybe some people prefer to stay out of the limelight, but not me. I crave being famous, seek it, fantasize about it endlessly. I can’t stop thinking about it and all the power and worth it would bring to my boring, terrible life. The world would know me all over. Fans would wait in line just for a chance to see me or take my picture. I would be in the newspapers, online, twitter, all media. Almost everyone in the world would at least have heard my name.
The problem was, I had no talent which could make me famous. I can’t sing, dance, write, play sports, and I’m by no means beautiful or a genius. And I didn’t even want to be famous for those things. To me, even those talents seemed too ordinary. There are thousands of people with those abilities. No, I wanted something even more. Unfortunately, there just isn’t much demand for a plain, ordinary, 20-something woman without a single thing special about her. Brown hair, pale skin, totally ordinary face. My life was so completely miserable that I never smiled, something my co-workers felt the need to remind me of constantly. Gee, thanks for pointing that out. I had no idea I never smiled. Perhaps if they could step into my shoes they would stop smiling, too. I am just like almost every other woman my age, except even the plainest of the plain had at least one thing they were good at. Not me. Ms. Average. So boring and unremarkable. How could I ever even dream of being anyone special? It was ludicrous. And yet I couldn’t stop. All day, every day I thought about having a better life. It was my first thought in the morning and my last thought at night. How could I have been given such a desire, and then, have no way of making it a reality? It was cruelly unfair.
I became obsessed. Soon the thoughts took over almost every moment of my day. It began to drive me crazy, just a little at first, then more and more as my obsession took hold. I knew I was losing it. What to do? What would you do in my place? I went to a psychiatrist, he just wanted to talk about having low self-esteem and being happy with what I had. How dare he? Did he not hear what was consuming my days and nights? Did he not understand? Be happy with what I had. That advice was so ridiculous it was infuriating. Oh, the rage building inside me. You can’t begin to imagine. Such a desire and no way to bring it to fruition. And medication? Worthless. All it did was make my brain foggy and sleepy. How can I even begin to describe this obsession? Imagine having to think about oxygen, water, or food every minute of your life. This wasn’t just a desire. It was a need. I had to be famous or I would have to end my life. I couldn’t go on this way. Something had to be done.
My mind began spiraling off into unhealthy directions. Who or what could help me with my insane need? What could I possibly do? Try to become a witch and cast a spell on the whole world and make them see me as something I really wasn’t? Ludicrous. Dumb to even consider it. And yet…thinking about the occult made me have another thought. A terrible thought. Could I? Could I follow through with my horrific, evil plan? The more obsessed I became, the more real the idea became. What did I really want? What could I give up in order to fulfill my deepest need?
It was sick. A small part of me knew that, but I couldn’t get my mind off my plan. I knew what had to be done. I would do it and reap the consequences later. Determined, I went to the store and purchased a ouija board. It was the best way I could think of to accomplish what I had to do. Alone in my small, cheap apartment I turned out the lights and set up a ring of candles. Lighting them one by one, I felt a sense of relief I hadn’t felt in years. Finally, I was taking action. Damn the repercussions. This was the only way, and it wasn’t my fault I had been driven to it. I sat in the center of the candles with the ouija board. I’d never used one before, having heard that it was dangerous and that one could never tell what evil forces you might be inviting into your life. But that was what I was counting on. Evil forces to help me carry out my plan.
I asked out loud, “Is there anyone or anything here with me now?”
The planchette began to move slowly. I knew that I wasn’t moving it. This task was too important to fool around. Slowly, the planchette spelled, I A M .
“Who are you?” I asked. Moving a little faster now, it touched the letters, T H E O N E Y O U W A N T.
“Can you help me?” I needed to know for sure. The planchette spun to “yes.”
My palms were sweaty but I was more than ready to see this through. “Do you know what I want?” It answered F A M E. I started to freak out a bit. This was for real. But I knew I could do this, I just had to be specific. I needed to get exactly what I was seeking or all of this was worthless.
I took a deep breath and announced, “You have to guarantee that I will be one of the most famous women ever. People will boast about seeing me. Men will be grateful for the chance to even gaze upon upon my face for a few moments. I will be known around the world for many years to come and my fame will be unparalleled. I don’t care if I have to move through time to get it. Put me in the past. Push me towards the future. Make this happen at any time at all. I don’t care where I am. Make me special and famous.”
Fame…beauty…desire…worth. I would finally be someone special. I would stand out in this messy, grubby little world as better than, someone to be talked about and admired. Better than all those sad, old, ugly women with their pathetic lives that came and went without notice. I would be recognized and adored, just as I always wanted. I would be remembered. It was worth any price. Any.
“Can you do that for me? Tomorrow? Can I wake up tomorrow with all of these things?”
The planchette moved and stopped on “yes.”
I felt a breath of hope and joy move through me like never before. This was it. I could have what I needed. All my longing, my need to be famous for years and years, was about to be fulfilled. Stunned with happiness, I asked one final question.
“What is the price?’ Because there is always a price for such things.
Y O U R S O U L
My heart froze, but I’d known it was coming. I’m sure I wasn’t the first person to sell their soul to the devil to get what they needed. No matter, I told myself. It would all be worth it. I would follow through on this terrifying plan. All that mattered was that my greatest desire be granted.
I whispered, “Agreed.”
And so it was done. I had made a pact with the devil. There would be no turning back, no begging to undo this, no hope of changing the course to come. And I didn’t want to. When I woke tomorrow, my wonderful and special life would start. All the pain would be over and the rewards would begin.
I laid down in the middle of the candles, afraid to sleep in my room lest I wake and find this was all a dream. Of course, I could wake up tomorrow in a mansion or on a private jet traveling to a destination beyond my wildest dreams. It could be anywhere. I sank into a deep, peaceful sleep with a curious smile on my face. A smile. It felt so good. How long had it been since I had smiled?
When I woke up, I could still feel the strange little smile on my face. It took a moment for my eyes to adjust to my surroundings. The faint outline of a handsome young man gazing upon my face in wonder became clear. I couldn’t believe it. Yes! This was the start of my sweet fame. Oh, how I’d longed for this moment and finally it was here. Another face came into view. This was a woman looking at me with a dazed expression. Probably jealous, I told myself smugly. Who wouldn’t be? She looked like the ordinary person I had once been.
I started to hear sounds around me, quietly at first, then rushing to fill my head. I could hear hushed conversations and footsteps echoing throughout what sounded like a great hall. Was I queen living in a castle? I needed to know. I tried to look around the room, but found that I couldn’t. I tried to move my head to see, but it was stuck in place. What was happening? This wasn’t right. I couldn’t even blink. Something was wrong! How could I be famous if I couldn’t even move?
I tried to open my mouth to speak, but it was as if it was sealed shut. I couldn’t move anything. My mind panicked and I tried to breathe deeply, but my lungs were not responding. It was as if my whole body was encased in cement. Nothing was working and I couldn’t feel a thing. All I could do was think.
Another group came into view. This group contained what looked like a family, with small children. “She’s amazing,” the mother said. “Yes”, the father responded. ” II never thought I’d ever get to see her in real life.” They turned to each other and shared a smile. What was happening? I’m amazing but I can’t move? I gave up my immortal soul for this? Years and years of…what?
Another person walked in front of me, an old man with kind eyes who gazed at me thoughtfully. “You know,” he mused to the docent, “I’ve looked at the Mona Lisa a hundred times but I still can’t figure out what the strange smile on her face means. I’ve always wondered what she was thinking about when this picture was created.”
The horror crushed me as I thought of my future. Forever trapped on a canvas. Famous and admired, just like I begged. My last thought, before I descended into true madness, was – never make a deal with the devil. He’ll give you everything you want…and then some.
Credit To – Lucy C.
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