Friday, July 19, 2013

A Cautionary Tale Just Like Any Other

It started like any cautionary tale. Just a boy with something to lose and someone to impress.
A fifth of whiskey, a battered 6-string, and the desire for something more. He was no hero. No, not a hero.

She was the type of girl who deserved a hit song.
The kind with a riff that makes you stop what you’re doing, and a chorus that makes you forget what that even was.

He found that riff in that there whiskey, but the words escaped him.
He lit his last cigarette and struck a conversation with the Devil.
The Devil smoked Marlboro’s too, but he smoked Reds.

The embers danced through the night sky like fireflies.

He was never a god-fearing man, no.
Didn’t much believe in the sort. He just liked to play it safe.
The Devil seemed like an unsavory character, but a likeable one at that.

The Devil was a bartering man. Penchant to acquiring souls.
A soul for a song.
A song for a pretty girl.
But the boy liked to play it safe.

The pair talked and talked. Striking a deal before the sun rose.

Despite his reputation, the Devil is a reasonable man, ya’ see.
Not so different from the rest of us.
Just fighting to stay relevant.

The boy downed the whiskey and grabbed his 6-string.
New-found confidence in tow, he had a heart to win.

He cut the record that night.

She heard it the next.
His soul still his own, he surely had her now.
And all it cost him was a writing credit in the leaflet.

The riff roared, awakening feelings unknown to her.
Each strum more powerful than the last.
She was his. This he knew.

The verse entranced— each note tugging harder at her skirt.
But he couldn’t do it alone.
This wasn’t just his song.

So he let the Devil sing the hook.

And sing the hook, he did. Each word tugging harder at her heart.

Where the Devil didn’t claim a soul that night, he took a heart with that hook.
And writing credits.

Writing credits that would forever be engraved in the young boy’s heart—reminding him of that night
he made a deal with the Devil and lost.

It ended like any cautionary tale. Just a boy with someone he lost, and no one to impress.

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