TWA #5 – Soul for Sale Battle Thread

Soul for SaleGreetings, lovers of short stories. Join us today as we sell our souls to the highest bidder. Granted, there is usually only one bidder, but some get a better deal than others.

Our challenger this week hails from the UK. His sarcastic styling lends well to writing our favorite soul harvester. Ladies and gents, join me in welcoming David Webb, and his story “Going Cheap.”

Repping the TWA crew with a thunderous voice and an insomnia addled mind is Tony Southcotte. This week, he kicks this prompt all the way back to the frozen wastes of the Korean War. His story, “Frozen Chosin,” will surely leave you ready to make a deal.

Read! Enjoy! Comment and discuss!

We have two judges that will render their decision by Friday. The third vote comes from you, the readers. We ask that you read both stories objectively, and then leave a comment below or on the story itself. Authors aren’t allowed to comment on their own stories, but we’re sure they’ll be checking in here. We’ll tally up the totals and announce our champion on Friday the 13th.

On a side note, we are paying our authors a base level rate at the moment, but if you really enjoyed their story and want to help us make sure these awesome people get paid, please donate below. 75% goes to the author, the rest goes to keeping this place up and running.

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  1. Great stories from both authors yet again. I like how both men ultimately sold their souls acting out of love, that’s really the only way to have a character sell his soul yet still remain a good guy, isn’t it?

    In David’s story the main character is in pursuit of material things, but it’s the hope of a life with the woman he loves that seems to seal the deal. It’s the fact that he gets exactly what he wants with no surprises, which is usually the way these stories seem to go, that really sets it apart for me. No, poor Adam is left with the choice of pushing his punishment off onto someone else and knowing exactly what he’d be giving them. That would be a truly horrible decision to make. By the way, I saw what you did there with Sympathy for the Devil, and I like it.

    Tony’s story was deeply moving, not just for his vivid descriptions of the horrors of war in a frozen climate, but because his main character sold his soul to save the woman he loved, and they were instantly ripped apart. The way that he accepts this and his eventual fate makes this character quite endearing.

    Good job, gentlemen.

  2. Kind of ditto what Jen said 🙂 but I commented on the story page; did I do that right?

    Just tried to donate but I can’t, because clicking your button only sends me to log into PayPal but then I’d have to send a payment manually and don’t know where to send it. Shouldn’t the button drop me into sending actually to The Writer’s Arena?

    • I’ll take a look at it. The email to send it directly is, but I would like for that button to work better.

      Thank you so much for donating. i can’t even tell you how much we appreciate it.

  3. Wow, this was tough. I enjoyed both of these stories so much, but I am hard pressed to offer a suggestion as to which one wins my vote. Very tough, indeed.

    I offered specific comments on each of their corresponding threads, but I will offer a few more broadly targeted thoughts here:

    It seems that in so many storied scenarios through which someone sells their soul to the devil, it is in exchange for wealth, fame, or some other type of temporal fulfillment – generally characterizing the subject as greedy or selfish – ultimately awarding the devil a stained soul of little inherent value.

    But both of these stories were much more complex, each showing a great deal of thought and creativity from the authors.

    While David’s story embraced the traditional trappings of wealth and prestige in exchange for the soul, there is the underlying component of a motivational love interest which almost makes his choice redeemable, save for the fact that in the end he still opts for the easy-out by passing his damnation on to someone else. This introduces a new complexity through which he has to choose who is most deserving what would otherwise have been his fate. A very interesting conflict indeed. And tying a recognizable pop culture element (reality tv) that many already consider a tool of the devil made this story all the more unexpected and rewarding.

    Love is also the primary motivating factor in Tony’s story, but perhaps in the truer, selfless sacrificial sense, of which one could argue made Clayton’s deal with the devil all the more profound – indeed even more so in the fact that even through the remainder of his years his eternal damnation is ever-present while he lives those years apart from the love for whom he made that sacrifice. That is powerful.

    Both of these stories brought so much to the arena. This was an amazing battle and both contenders should be proud of their entries. For my part, I read each story a few times over the course of 2 days, and let them set with me over that time to see which proved to be the most resonating of the two. As a result, I find that I am most emotionally struck by the humanity of Tony’s “Clayton” character. Therefore, my vote must go to Tony.

    Well done, Gentlemen.

  4. Finally managed it after 24 hours of internet connection glitches! Do get that button sorted though. 🙂 Always glad to support this kind of thing; comes out of my own past life as a writer of strange fiction.

  5. Pingback: TWA #5 – Soul for Sale – JUDGEMENT DAY! - The Writer's Arena

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