Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Selling Your Soul

My current novel project (4,200 words and counting) involves the main character selling his soul, the aftermath of that, and then trying to get it back. In the story, the character sells his soul for something really stupid, but it’s important to him, at least at the time of the sale.

The genesis of this story goes back to high school, where my best friend sold his soul for something pretty stupid. I won’t go into all the details now, because I’m saving that for the story. The short of it is he was searching high and low for a small something that he thought he’d lost, he got increasingly frustrated and said “I’d sell my soul for X” and slammed his fist down. When he slammed his hand down, X fell off of a pile of things he’d just gone through. There was no sulfur, no contract signed in blood, just panic and frustration and an offer spoken aloud.

This has gotten me to thinking lately about what a soul might be worth. Some might sell their soul for money, power, a second chance at life…These are all things that are important in different levels to different people. But what if you life was consumed with owning a mint condition Babe Ruth card? What if you were all consumed with owning the football used during the 1985 Chicago Bears Super Bowl game? What if you were really hungry and just wanted a Snickers?

And what would the effect of not having a soul have on a person? How would that person be viewed by others? Would they appear sickly or sinister or would they be hard to spot? What would happen at the end of your life when your soul is gone and death approached? And if you decided later that your soul was worth much more than what you sold it for how would you get it back?

I don’t necessarily have any answers for these questions, but these are the things that have been running through my head lately.


Botogol said...

Bart once sold his soul

mattw said...

Welcome Botogol!

I didn't remember that episode of The Simpsons, thanks for pointing that out to me.

I did think about the Halloween episode where Homer sells his soul for the donut and when Bart keeps saying he'd sell his soul for different things and then changes his mind.