Cody patted my shoulder as I walked onstage. It was the anniversary of the night I made that infamous deal with the undertaker.
"A time of fortune and fame through musical talent in return for my life" signed in blood on the piece of loose-leaf paper tucked away in my back pocket.
Salty tears of gratitude accumulated in my ducts as the final eve of our agreement hung in the balance.
I kept that note with me for ten wholesome,
wondrous years and tonight I couldn't help but feel a sense of impending dread and sadness at the beauty I witnessed through my journey to this point and its inevitable end.
The waning sea of lighters in the packed arena danced in anticipation of my prized song, J' te 'L'Dis Quand Meme (I'm still telling you).
I rolled up the sleeves on my black dress shirt as sweat and pure melancholy flooded my veins. I sat down and inched the bench forward.
I smirked down at the black baby grand piano and peered up to the stage lights, silhouetting my shadow over the crowd.
That first keynote was met with the roar of twenty five thousand voices in unison. "On aurait pu..." I began.
The sheer magnitude of the crowd's lyrical chant immediately drowned out my attempt of a typical performance.
I glanced upwards with a smile, gently caressing the keys as my notes played outward to the infinite pleasure of my listeners.
It was as though Lucifer himself sat amid the crowd in admiration of the musical allure,
applauding the talent for which he himself was cast down from the heavens when going over the Lord's command of teaching the angels harmonic sound patterns.
The last keystroke left my instrument as the encore resonated. Cody grabbed me backstage, "Drinks after?" he asked timidly and feigning hope.
He was made aware of the deal only hours prior but still couldn't completely grasp the implications. I clenched my lips and shook my head while staring at the floor.
I slid past him with a gentle reassuring grasp on his shoulder as I walked towards the dressing room.
I grabbed the revolver with one bullet from my dressing room, performed the sign of the cross backwards, put the barrel to my temple. Goodbye my friends.
Appreciate your life in all of it's success, torment, beauty, and pain.