EULA Clause 6.66
By Jeffrey Bishop
Tell Time: 2 minutes
Scare Rating: 3 of 5 Ghosts
“Welcome to eternity,” said the disembodied voice.
Pat opened his eyes. At least he thought he did, but he remained surrounded by the inky blackness.
“Where am I?” he asked. “And what about the peaceful, white light I was supposed to walk into?”
“That’s another reality. A reality you won’t experience.” The words were sincere, but the deep chuckle that followed was mocking.
The air around Pat — if there was any air where he was — was increasingly stale, heavy and oppressive. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest as he started to comprehend — but not yet understand — his situation.
“How can this be? I was a good person. I helped other people.” Desperate tears streamed down his face. They picked up the sulfur in the air and singed Pat’s cheeks.
“Don’t be so hard on yourself,” came the reply, this time condescendingly. “You’re simply another victim of our latest innovation in soul stealing — the EULA.”
“The EULA?” Pat said aloud, struggling to connect the dots. “You mean the end … “
“Yes, the end user license agreement. Standard with every computer program or app. Can’t use the software until you sign it. Legally binding everywhere. Everywhere and always.
“No doubt you’ve signed dozens of them. Maybe hundreds. Our R&D folks landed on the notion of inserting a clause in the contracts. Clause 6.66, no less.” The Devil’s pride oozed from his lips with his words.
“We used the exact same language that I’ve used in my contracts throughout eternity: ‘I accept the Devil’s generous offer, brokered in this contract, in exchange for my eternal soul.’”
“But no one ever reads those things!” Pat protested, desperately hoping the alibi would absolve him of his sin. Hoping that it was a worthy enough defense to free him from his present bondage.
“So true. But don’t think that this truth will set you free. Of course no one reads them … that’s what makes it so genius!” the Devil mused gleefully. “But enough idle chatter. Come this way and meet the millions of other ‘no ones’ with whom you’ll be spending eternity.”