's 2013 Horror Write-off:

"That's The Deal"

Submitted by Golem Gears

Crushes, huh? They're pretty well illustrated by the word itself. Crush. As in, crush your heart under stupid, unfounded emotions. You can let yourself be suffocated just by being in love, like somehow just seeing that person can make your throat swell up and cut off the air to your brain. Like somehow your emotions are bees and the islanders are pouring them down your wicker helmet, ignoring your screams.

The worst part isn't even that some crushes are reciprocated. That isn't unfortunate, that's the opposite of a problem, of my problem at least. Grow a pair and go ask that person out, there's smooching to do!

The worst part of crushes are the crushes that aren't reciprocated. Like, countless realities and innumerable universes in which you two are a couple and you get stuck in one where it's not even an option. Think about that, and tell me what's worse.

There are, however, people who would argue that there are options, even for people stuck in the cosmic joke of some asshole deity. Whether these are ethical or not is really irrelevant for some people, do you want love or a fresh conscience?

That's what I thought.

A bit about me; I'm a guy, seventeen years old and sappy as hell. And I've been in love with the same idiot for about two years.

What can I say? He's cute. Cute things are hard to get over.

Recently, though, I've been starting to lose faith. I've begun to stop believing in some sort of happily ever after ending, or even a happily for a month ending. It's dumb, I know, but it's about as easy to end as a mountain is to move. So I started looking for some way to, you know, get some.

Google anything about 'how to ask a guy out' and you'll get about fifteen-thousand results for pretween girls. Which would be fine, if I were a pretween girl. I can't really show off my 'assets' if I have none,and there's almost nothing seductive about a 6'1" tank sauntering up to his 5'11" crush in poorly applied mascara.

But one day, as I was browsing absentmindedly through the virtual forest of search results, I came across an odd website. In Spanish.

Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty much the top of my class in Spanish. I can hold pretty coherent conversations with my Hispanic friends, and reading is even easier, so the fact that it was in Spanish wasn't the problem.

The problem was that I put English words. As far as I know, 'how to get a guy to be your boyfriend' is a pretty English sentence.

I ignored it, thinking that it was probably some sort of spam site, and clicked the link, which read 'hechizos magicos de amor!' or 'magic love spells!'.

I wasn't really wrong about the spam, atmosphere-wise. The entire page was plastered in comic sans and shitty clip art, and I would have just exited Chrome and played The Sims again if I wasn't so... well, desperate.

'have you desperation?' it read. Yeah, there's plenty of that to spare, I thought. 'you think that never will you find a lover, or that yours is a love without use? you must use these spells magic! save your heart before he becomes a useless shell!'

It was almost like someone built this website specifically for me. That's really easy to believe, now.

'your needs will be

1, a thing which your love has owned

2, a thing which reminds you of him

3, a thing for to bargain with

4, or your heart!'

The first two things were pretty easy, I guess. I bought a Yu-Gi-Oh card which was confirmed to have been his. It was even in the sleeve he sold it in. And there's almost nothing which doesn't remind me of him, of course. But I didn't really understand what I would use to bargain with, or what I would be bargaining with in the first place.

The ritual went something like, 'place all of these things beneath your bed, and silently ask that the buyer will visit you!' or something. Hell if I know, I shut the Incognito window by accident, and it's not like I'm going to force myself to recall an adress in a foreign language.

I would have had a problem with this whole asking a strange entity to visit me in the middle of the night if I still believed in an even stranger entity who didn't even bother to return my calls. I didn't think it would do anything, but I did think that it would be fun. So I assembled my things and fell to sleep whispering 'visit me, buyer, visit me' like a pathetic mantra.

I woke up in the middle of the night, not really uncommon for me, and decided to check what time it was to see how long it would be until I could go to McDonalds for breakfast.

I couldn't move, though. It felt like I was welded to the spot. I would say it was a night terror if I wasn't still living with it.

The door to my bedroom opened, revealing a man in a buisiness suit and with a briefcase.

"Buena noche," he said, not an emotion crossing his face.

Good Evening. I've arrived. Very formal. Very sterile.

"Hello, sir," I responded, in Spanish, of course. "Is there something you needed?"

I knew, of course, that there shouldn't be anyone in my room at this hour, let alone some strange man with a case of who-knows-what at his side. But I didn't feel like I could change what I was saying. Like I was following some sort of script.

"You called for me," he replied, nodding toward my sleeping form. "I needed to come. Of course, I know who it is you want me to bring to you, yet I have no idea in what way you plan to pay me."

Oh. That's what the whole bargaining thing was.

"Yeah," I said. "I didn't get what that was supposed to mean. I'm not really sure I have anything you want."

"You don't," he said, not rudely, just how you might state a fact. The sky is blue. Gas prices are up. All of your things are worthless to me. "Nothing easy to take, anyway. If you would like to go ahead, I could just take what I need when I'm done."

I kinda just hummed a yes. At this point, I wasn't really sure whether or not I was dreaming, or whatever it is you call it when your eyes are open and your body is immobile from the neck down.

"Very well," he said. "Sleep. It will make my task easier."

Immediately after he said that, my eyes snapped shut and I became unconcious.

The next morning, everything seemed normal. I woke up, did my hair, grabbed a soda and drove to school. Nothing was very different, nothing worth noticing, anyway.

When I got to school, though, things were noticeable. I walked through the doors to the band hall to have my waist grabbed and pulled into a hug by the guy I've been enamoured with for the greater part of my high-school career.

"Hey, babe," he said, kissing my cheek.
Now, I was still reasonably in disbeleif. This was, after all, the same guy that poked my ass with a bari sax in public.

"Hey?" I asked more than said. "Uhh, since when am I your babe?"

He didn't answer, really the sound he made was more like 'pffffpt' before he once again kissed my cheek and lightly punched the left side of my chest.

There wasn't any chest to stop his hand.
I let myself get led around by my hand until band started, at which point I went into the bathroom and looked into the mirror.

In the area where my heart, and a reasonable amount of other things, should have been, there was more or less a big circle. It wasn't gory or anything, more like the holes you see in Daffy Duck after he gets shot by a dumb cartoon gun.

A whole part of my chest.

Just kind of gone.

Apparently I didn't need it, I was alive anyway.

It's been a month now, and we're still together. My boyfriend and I, I mean. Every once in a while the buyer comes by my room with my heart. Still beating. In his hand. He asks if I'm happy and I say yeah, why wouldn't I be?

The tone is lost on him and he answers, because one of your vital organs is missing, and brings my heart closer to my face.

Your heart is happy as well, he says. I can tell that there are more and more bite marks, just barely noticeable, every time he comes.

Good deal, he says, every time, and he slinks out of my room.

I can't say I miss my heart. I don't really need it.

I'm just not really sure what's gonna happen when it's gone for real.