2013

The Contract

Writer's Digest post

The used car salesman seems a little fishy, and it takes some serious convincing on his part to get you to sign the contract. And once you do sign, he seems to have a smug look on his face – more so than usual. He says you should have read the fine print. When you look at it now, what does it say?

 *  *  *

“Sign here, lad, and the car is yours.”

I signed on the buyer’s line, and he signed on the seller’s. Both copies. The dealership secretary witnessed. Finally he handed over the contract and the keys. It had taken a couple of hours of bargaining, but I’d managed to get him down to a price I could afford; in fact, it was even lower than I had hoped for.

I had a sudden thought, “What if I find out I don’t like the car?”

“All sales final, kid. Read the fine print. In fact, I suggest you read it VERY thoroughly.”

That caused me to worry, but I didn’t want to show it in front of him or his secretary, so I waited until I got to the car before cracking the contract. I had to turn on the overhead light because the sunlight was failing.

I glanced over the basics, then scanned the small print. Owner assumes all responsibility, no liability to Stophie’s Used Cars, no refunds or exchanges, slave to the Dark Mistress, no warranty express or implied, yada yada … what!?

I stared at the paper for a moment. My mouth opened and closed. I rubbed my eyes a couple of times and looked again. It was still there. A clause in the contract that I had just signed said I was now a slave of the Dark Mistress. Whoever the hell that was.

A pale slender hand with very sharp-looking fingernails reached over my shoulder from the back seat and teased my shirt buttons, slicing the top one off effortlessly. A forked tongue tasted my earlobe just before a female voice whispered, “Take me home, boy.”

[ part two ]