• Deal with the Devil

    Once upon a time, there was a small town in what is now Germany known as Braungarten. In this town, there were many miserable little people, who worked day and night in order to gain enough money that they might pay their incredibly high taxes. These men and women all lived in small, wretched, filthy little hovels, as all their money was taken by the mayor for taxes. These people spent their lives doing nothing but working and, if they were lucky, eating and sleeping. Sometimes if they were very lucky, they would head to the grave and leave Braungarten behind. And the man who caused all this was the mayor. The mayor was a greedy, selfish, vile little man, who taxed the poor townsfolk to death, literally, simply to fill his insatiable lust for money. The mayor lived all alone in a mansion upon a tall hill on the edge of town. One day, a small girl was born to a poor couple. This girl had beautiful blue eyes, and dark black hair. On account of her striking features, they named her Engel.
    Engel grew up just as the rest of the lowly townsfolk, living in poverty amid the starving carcasses of men. But when Engel was fourteen, her father was fired from his job, and Engel's family's situation only got worse. Late one night, Engel's father came home drunk, and killed his wife and himself. Engel was taken in at the local orphanage, a place in shambles, owned by a wicked old lady who beat the children and forced them to work. However, one day, as the mayor came down to give alms as Christians are required, he came to the orphanage and saw Engel. The mayor immediately fell in love with her, and knew that he had to have her.
    The mayor came up to her and asked for her hand in marriage, but Engel refused, for she was pure of heart and hated the mayor's evil ways. The mayor tried all that he could think of to try and gain her favor, he offered her gold, flowers, food, gifts of all kinds, yet still Engel said no. As Engel turned down yet another of the mayor's proposals, he finally could stand it no longer. In the middle of the cold, frigid night, he sent out a servant to kidnap Engel and abscond with her to his castle. The servant did his bidding as was told, and brought Engel to the mayor. He took her up into a tower, and, well, I'm sure you can imagine what happened.
    Engel was absolutely horrified, and hatred at the mayor bubbled up from deep within her heart. She fled from his castle into the sweet bitter embrace of the night. The mayor searched all over for her, but could not find her. He refused to give up, and finally resorted to the most extreme measures. He called upon the devil, and asked but one favor of him in return for the mayor's soul. The mayor said that he wanted Engel, no mater what it took. While the devil was skeptical about the validity of the mayor's soul( as surely one so cruel and heartless must have no soul?), he accepted the exchange.
    With a smile on his face, and flames burning in his wake, the devil set out to retrieve Engel. Days passed, and the mayor worried that the devil had cheated him. However, late one night something heavy fell upon the mayor as he was sleeping. The mayor opened his eyes and screamed in terror and grief. On top of him lay Engel's body, cold and stiff with death. Engel had refused to come with the devil, so he had killed her and brought her back; through any means necessary. As the mayor stared in horror, the devil approached the foot of the bed with an evil twinkle in his eye and a joyful spring in his step. Now that the devil had done his side of the bargain, it was time to collect.
    Nobody ever learned of what happened to the wicked and evil old mayor, or of the sweet and pure girl with the beauty of the world in her eyes. The tale is long forgotten, remembered by few. Yet surely it still remains as a cautionary story to all. So with a bow and wave, I bid you all farewell.

    Have a good night.