‘The Contract’ By Gene Markey

The narrator’s friends put their epic quest on hold in order to stage an intervention. The chosen one is willingly possessed by a demon, and that demon has been acting drunk, disorderly, childish, and unpleasant using his body. The calm, mature narrator tries to smooth this over, but unbeknownst to his friends, he’s not the hero. The hero was coping poorly with the stress of violence, the pressure to save the world, and a lack of social support, so he contracted the demon to take over his life and save the world in his stead. In the end, because the contract stipulates “creating a better future for the hero,” the demon insists that the hero come clean and ask for their companions’ support.

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