(The Deal was optioned by TNT!)
The mysterious Lee Cutter and his Carnival of Wonders hold a secret darker than any of the citizens of 1930's Junction City, Kansas can imagine.
When Mr. Cutter shows up to town early one morning promising an end to the dust storms that have decimated the town's crops and stricken many of the children with the brown plague, young Matthew Porter is spellbound. His little brother Luke is deathly ill from breathing the dust-laden air. Plus, it would be amazing to hear the sound of the rain on his tin roof again.
But at what cost?
In this chilling short story about sacrifice and the cost of happiness, Matthew will come face to face with the terrifying secret Mr. Cutter's Carnival holds and learn the heart-wrenching truth about what it means to make a deal with the Devil.
The man leaned down and fetched a matchbook out of the black boot that rested on the bench. There was no dust there, either - not even on the bottom. He stood up and brought one of the matches to the tip of the cigar. I never saw him strike it, but it fired just the same. He held it to the cigar and puffed on it several times until the end looked like the inside of a coal stove.
"Lot of 'em 'round here?" he asked again, shaking the match and exhaling the thick smoke into the air above my head.
"Yes, sir. All over. They eat what's left of the crops, even the roots. My pa says that's the real plague."
"Does he now?" The man looked amused.
"He says we won't ne'er grow a crop again until God sees fit. No rain either."
He turned his head and scanned the street like he was looking for someone. "You ever see God here in Junction City?"
I looked up at him, squinting, but didn't know how to answer. I'd never seen God anywhere.
"My name's Lee," he said, holding out his hand. "Lee Cutter. What's yours?"