Prologue: Part 1:
It was a hot and humid night in Louisiana.
Jimmy dragged a heavy sack on the pavement as he slowly staggered down the desolate highway - his ankle was twisted and blood streamed steadily from a gash on his forehead.
He was wearing a pair of old blue jeans and a tattered Hawaiian shirt that loosely stuck to his heavily perspiring body.
To Jimmy, it seemed that the stars burned brighter that night. They looked down on him and their dull red glow appeared to mock him: his existence, his plight, and his insignificant life.
A loon let out its haunting call almost startling the last bit of life out of Jimmy. He was 73 years old and frail.
He had spent most of his life on the road - travelling from state to state - drinking, gambling, and smoking. He was a blues man. Born to play the guitar and live the life of a wanderer.
He had no family and no friends other than a late night bottle of whisky or a desperate call-girl. He had lived his life without care for meaning or for purpose.
Nothing had mattered to him except freedom. He chased freedom like the desperate junkie chases a fix.
His fingers didn't quite work right anymore. He couldn't play the guitar without popping pain killers first. He hadn't been able to quit because he had never saved a penny in his life.
He had spent everything he ever had on drugs, whiskey, and women.
And now, as he stared into the dark oblivion, all he could think about was: "Why?" The question consumed him - burning him and creeping into every crevice of his brain.
The world around him was crumbling. Civilization was burning - perhaps a product of its own decadence and apathy, or perhaps it was just fucked from the beginning.
Predestined to wither and rot like everything else on this God-forsaken planet. He did not care to try and stop it.
He was an ant; he had nothing of value to offer this world and it did not bother him. He had never fancied the world to be that great.
He had never really seen the good in humanity, which some people so often raved about. Everything he had seen in this world had led him to believe that it was cruel, unjust, and merciless.
No, he held no great stake in this Earth, but he wanted to know: "Why?" Why was he here? Why had God abandoned them?"
When Jimmy had been just a young boy, he had heard an old legend that a man could meet the Devil and sell his soul for a price by burying bones at a crossroad.
When he turned 15, he and his best friend dug up his neighbor's cat and buried it at a crossroad in the countryside. The Devil didn't show.
When he was in his twenties - just a young travelling blues man - he met another musician, named Robert, who claimed to have sold his soul to the Devil.
Robert played the guitar more beautifully and more ferociously than anyone Jimmy had ever heard. When he listened to that man play, he felt like he was being hypnotized.
He forgot about all his troubles, all his worries, and all the bad shit that had happened to him. The music washed over him like an endless sonic wave, drowning him in its sweet chaotic glory.
He told Robert his story about burying the neighbor's cat. Robert just laughed coolly. He leaned in close to Jimmy with eyes black as night.
He whispered in a voice that was somehow both calm and maniacal: "The bones have to be human, and you have to kill the person they belonged to."
At the time Jimmy laughed it off. He told himself that Robert had been kidding, that Robert was crazy, but he never quite believed it.
Jimmy didn't doubt the existence of God; these last few weeks had cured him of any doubts in that. However, he did doubt the nature of God.
To many it has always seemed obvious that the nature of God must be good or in the very least apathetic. Few people would assume that his nature was malevolent or cruel.
But Jimmy was a cynical man; he couldn't help it. The world had made him that way. It had chewed him up, spit him out, and left him hard as a piece of cold unfeeling steel.
Jimmy doubted that he could ever get to Heaven. He had spent almost his entire life as a non-believer, spitting in the eye of everything that religion was supposed to represent.
At any rate, after seeing God's work on earth, he wasn't entirely sure that he wanted to go to Heaven.
He even doubted that Hell could be much worse than what he had already experienced in this world. No he did not care where he went in the afterlife. He had nothing.
He was entirely free and he was not going to let the fear of some faceless god influence his decisions. He had been abandoned by God, so in his mind it only seemed rational to return the favor.
He would sell his soul to the Devil and get his answers in return.
And, by doing so, he would give this world one final "fuck you," to celebrate his freedom and his free will with his final dying breaths.
Jimmy came to the crossroads and he pulled his victim from the sack, the bones he had been carrying and began digging in the dirt with his bare hands. He hadn't cared enough to bring a shovel.
He wasn't in a hurry and he didn't see any reasons why the bones had to be buried that deep. After finishing his task, Jimmy collapsed on the side of the road.
He was drenched in sweat and covered in dirt, but, for now, he felt satisfied and content. He waited and he waited, but nothing happened.
After sitting there for an hour, he began to break down and cry. He had killed an innocent man for this. He was dying, and he knew it.
He had used his last ounce of energy to do this; it was the only thing left in this world he had cared about. He would do anything to find the answers he was looking for.
He thought to himself: first God abandoned me and now the Devil. I am truly alone; I have lost everything left that I have to give.
And in that moment a man stepped onto the highway as if from out of thin air.
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