Wednesday, January 16, 2008


By Anonymous

Late one moonless night, Bob Johnson went down to the crossroads to sell his soul to the Devil. "Show yo'self now, Devil," he did holler into the darkness. "I aim to sell you my everlastin' soul!"

The Devil soon appeared out of the gloom. "And what, pray tell, do you want for your soul, Johnson?" he whispered, rubbing his red, scaly hands in glee.

“I aim to be the best real-estate agent in all a Mississippi!" Johnson replied. Well, the Devil he didn't say a word for some time. But by and by, his tail began a twitchin'. He looked Johnson up and down. "You serious?" the Devil finally growled. And Johnson told the Devil that he was.

The Devil said an everlastin' soul was a mighty high price to pay to be the best real-estate agent in all a Mississippi. And then he said, "Look here, Johnson, I got plenty a souls down in Hades. What I ain't got is companionship. Real companionship. An that makes me plenty sad.

"So I got me an idea," the Devil continued. "I'll make you the best real-estate agent around if you and me" ― and now the Devil he was a lookin' down at the ground bashful-like, scratchin' at the dirt with one a his cloven hooves ― "if you and me can snuggle for a little while. Jest 'til I sweep these 'ol blues away."

Johnson said that would be fine, and so him and that rascally Devil walked across the frontage road to the Comfort Inn, and the Devil got them a nice room with a king-size bed, and he did send Johnson out to the vendin' machines for a few Coca-Colas and a bag a tater chips. And then those two lay down together in that king-size bed and watched them some television. And by and by, the Devil did put his arm over Johnson's chest and squeeze that real-estate agent good and tight ― yet with remarkable tenderness.

Well, Johnson's nose filled with the terrible smell a brimstone and the stink a rotten Devil breath as he snuggled there with ol' Lucifer, snuggled with him 'til the cocks began a crowin'. But Johnson he was smilin' the whole time, 'cause oh my, did he have himself a big 'ol surprise in store for all them uppity assholes down at the RE/MAX office!

(This story first appeared in "The Deviled Egg Made Me Do It," an anthology of Southern folklore compiled by the late Dr. Louis Lamar Hodge.)

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