There’s a small, inconspicuous building called “Padraic Willoughsby and Co.” in the industrial district of Birmingham, UK. Most of the time, its doors are locked and the windows are draped. However, on February 29th of every leap year, there will be a small plastic container outside the front door containing business cards. On the front of the card it says in large capital letters, “PADRAIC WILLOUGHSBY AND CO. ENGLAND’S THAUMATURGICAL SPECIALISTS.” On the back, in nearly illegibly small type it says “The blood of the innocent.”
Any night after midnight one can come to Paidraic Willoughsby and Co. and slide their card through the door, and the door will instantly unlock. Inside there is an empty room with white walls. No light reaches this room, except for a small sliver from the other end of the room. When you approach this room you will find that it is actually another door. When you knock on it, a voice will ask “What makes a man become exalted?” and you must respond with the phrase on the back of the card: “The blood of the innocent.” The door will open and you will come into another room, a kind of lounge. Inside it, you will find around 5-10 people, depending on the night, sitting around smoking and drinking brandy, all in late Edwardian period dress. There is absolutely no conversation at all in this room and, it is nearly silent except for the phonograph which plays the exact same record over and over, ad infinitum. If you attempt to speak to one of the patrons, they will promptly ignore you and pretend as if you were not there.
Towards the south wing of the room you will find a large, round table, slightly different from the others. On it will be a quill pen and a document. The document shows all of your personal information: name, birthdate, place of residence, criminal record, greatest fears, etc. At the bottom of the document is a long line that asks for your signature.
No one knows what happens if you sign it.
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52 thoughts on “The Unmentionable Bargain”
ok but no story
It’s a student loan document.
Personally I thought the ending was a bit of a let down. “No one knows what happens if you sign it”. Just dropping that line after all that build up seemed like the writer couldn’t think of an ending. The rest was really great though :)
I replied to you a year later
I replied 4 days after.
I replied far too late…
lol. if i signed it i wouldve been dead. but i have a feeling that some people might sign that anyway
So it’s REALLY the British branch of Wolfram & Hart?
Its ALWAYS about the blood, Rose.
That sounds very boring. Count me out.
I’m shittting bricks dude.
Some of us didn’t learn of this site until 5-6 years later so umm yeah duh our comments are going to be late smh
Well that escalated quickly
Signed it, turns out it’s just a purchase agreement for a timeshare…
I went this year, there were 8 people in the room. All of them were familiar to me, they did not outwardly respond to anything as this wasn’t necessary.
The document was as described….additionally it said ‘I will trust and love and relinquish resistance and fear’.
I signed….and no one does know what happens when YOU sign.
Where is it then? I am 33 yrs old and have lived in Birmingham since the day i was born, so give me a street name or an area where this building is and i will go myself.
I live in birmingham imma try it :)
It’s the Disney Corparation’s recruitment process.
Blatantly the Disney Corparation’s recruitment process.
… “February the 29th of every leap year”…
Wha ? :|
Sounds pretty clear to me.
Fucking hate this candlejack shit. Will this shit never
I live in Birmingham. I’m going looking for this.
Did he died?? Ps Candlejack OH SHI
thats stupid, everyone knows candlejack is just a stupid sto
I’d sign it, in big letters, so people would read my name, preferrably aloud.
no one signs it because at the bottom in fine print it says
“i agree to sell my soul to McDonalds”
as a WoW fan I help but think the writer plays WoW. “what makes people exalted” or “ad infinitum”
btw, thaumaturgy is miracle working.
THANK YOU, TAR.
Those people were driving me nuts. D<
No-one knows what happenes because no-one signs for it ¬____¬
this set of instructions is how Britney spears became famous, Btw.
this is obviously a contract to sell your soul to satan…and therefore as a black chick, i aint doin’ it!
conjoring and blood magic eh?…now i’m thinking harry potter; when he was punished and wrote ‘i must not tell lies’ on the paper and at the same time got it cut into his hand…
the ‘ink’ in this case may be blood…your blood
that is all.
??? Wonder what happens ??? :o
wow that took me like 3hrs for me to read. random. xD
It’s thaumaturgy, not thurmatagy.
@Ed and comment 4. Im White Wolf’s games, Thurmatagy is blood magoc, yes, but I have no idea what else it means. So in a way, you may both be right.
loosely, Thurmatagy is summoning.
Isn’t Thurmatagy(sp) blood magic?
Thaumaturgy (from the Greek words θαῦμα thaûma, meaning "miracle" or "marvel" and ἔργον érgon, meaning "work") is the capability of a saint to work miracles. It is sometimes translated into English as wonderworking. A practitioner of thaumaturgy is a thaumaturge, thaumaturgist or miracle-worker.
Thaumaturgy is a style of magic where you do something symbolically on a small scale, and get results on a much grander scale. The most famous example of a thaumaturgic work of magic, is the voodoo doll.
I’m thinking perverted thoughts, Readman. Thanks.
Good to know I’m not the only one
I think this is my favorite story on the whole site. I can barely muster the words to describe how good it is. It’s creepy, descriptive, straightforward, and it makes me think about the consequences of signing the arcane document.
But, of course, this is the “comments” section of the page, not the “gushing admiration” section.
But I do have one simple question. It was stated in the story that the 5-10 people in the room would be totally unresponsive to me. Wouldn’t that mean that I could punch any of them in the face, put makeup on their faces, redress them or do virtually “anything” to any of them. Theoretically, of course.
Read psychosis and I think you’ll change your mind.
You reply to this 5 years later?
You replied to this a year later?
you replied to this a month later?
U replied to this 3 years later?