SOULS FOR SELL
Science had discovered the existence of the soul. Unfortunately, it had also discovered most people didn’t have one.
Jack was only here for a consultation. “How much will this cost?”
“It depends on what you’re looking for,” said the salesman, a tall, good-looking man in a neatly pressed suit. Almost not-quite-human. Like a stock photo of a salesman stepped from the pages of a magazine.
“It won’t hurt, will it?” asked Jack.
“No, that’s a simple procedure. Don’t want to bore you with the details, but we put you under, you wake up twenty minutes later, soul installed. Couldn’t be easier.”
“Perhaps if you told me why you wanted one, I could explain the value of having it.”
“I don’t know. Shouldn’t I have one? Aren’t people supposed to have one?”
“That’s not for me to say, sir. I will say, in all honesty, that not everyone is happy when they get one. Souls don’t fix everything. They aren’t innately good things either. Research reveals that history’s greatest heroes and worst villains all had souls. It makes things brighter and darker, and opens entirely new vistas. But it doesn’t always reveal things a user is comfortable with. It doesn’t always improve quality of life.”
“You’re not a very good salesman,” said Jack.
“No, but I am an honest one.”
“I’ve always had trouble with people.” Jack sighed. “There is always this absence. Like I never can relate to them in a way that really mattered. Like it was all insubstantial. I’ve been married twice, and both times, it just fell apart. No fighting. No awkwardness. Just a slow drift in different directions.”
“We can help with that.”
“And if I don’t like it?”
“I’m afraid the process is irreversible,” said the salesman. “But the worst that usually happens is you learn to ignore it. People born with one do that all the time.”