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As I sat by the window, gazing out into the night, I heard a loud growl from outside. 

"Who's there?" I asked, startled. 

I shook it off, telling myself that it was probably just two cats having a fight. I forgot about the strange sound and continued to stare into the night. It was quiet and calm, with no rain, fog, clouds, or wind. Still, the lack of people made me feel slightly lonely, especially since I hadn't left my dorm all weekend. 

I realized how alone I was in the world. I had left all my friends behind after I finished high school, and my family lived miles away. As this realization hit me, the night became less beautiful and more depressing. I decide to go to bed. An hour later, I got up and turned the lights back on, unable to sleep.

The first thing I did was open my laptop. I tried to turn it on, but the monitor remained black. I then tried my phone, but the battery had ran out.

"Oh well," I said. 

I decided to go back to staring out the window. The gloomy feeling I had before returned. I suddenly start missing my roommate who had moved out at the beginning of last semester. At least when he was around I could always have someone to talk to. 

Just then, I heard another growl. It was louder now, as if the thing was moving towards me. You're just being paranoid, I told myself firmly. It's just a cat fight.

Still, something about this explanation didn't seem right. I thought about it for a few seconds. Then it dawned on me. There were no animals except trained service animals and fish allowed on campus. I tried to think of another logical reason for the noise, but nothing came.

I began to feel scared for the first time. Still I tried to convince myself that everything was fine. I knew it was not. Even if whatever was out there was completely harmless, the fact remains that I'd been going to college for eight months and still hadn't made any friends. 

The image of my mother's face appeared in my mind. I wanted to curl up into a ball and cry. I missed being a kid and always having someone to look after me. Finally, I allowed the tears to fall.

I cried for several minutes, but then I stopped. My mother's voice spoke in my head. If you want to survive out there, you have to be tough, it said. My sadness disappeared, and I turned my attention back to the thing that made the growling noise, whatever it was.

I waited for several minutes, gazing coldly out the window. Then I noticed a black hand made of a smoke-like substance reaching through the crack where the window would open. I gasped in horror as the creature materialized in front of me. Whatever it was looked like a cross between a ghost and a black cloud, with a mouth full of long, dagger-like teeth.

It growled at me loudly enough to wake up the entire dorm. I stood there, unable to move. Surely someone would have heard the growl and was coming to see what was going on? The monster looked me square in the eyes and said in a deep, raspy voice,

"Come with me, Anthony. Forget your feelings and join the side of the cutthroat. All you have to do is give up your morals and those you care about."

I stared at it blankly.

"You have already left your family behind in Michigan. Abandon them, Anthony. Seek your own path. Go after your own desires," the creature said. 

"N-No," I stammered.

"Look into my eyes, Anthony. You will see what will happen to you if you join me."

I tried to resist, but the creature was using some sort of magic to make me look up. For a moment, there was nothing but a black void. Then an image of a young man sitting in an office appeared. I realized that this young man was me. The image zoomed out to reveal a door that said CEO. 

For the first time, I was tempted.

"Come with me," the creature repeated. "And you will be the most powerful investment banker in the world."

I nod.

"Good." The creatures extended a smokey hand. 

I reached out and grabbed it.


The next semester, I changed my major to business, just as the creature instructed me. A few years later, I graduated with a 4.0 GPA. All of this was thanks to the creature, who I learned was named The Cold One. He advised me on every decision I made.

As I grew up and entered the business world, I worked my way up. The Cold One continued to advise me. I stabbed a few other businessmen in the back, which made me feel slightly remorseful, but I reminded myself of how rich I would be once the whole ordeal was over. At the age of 29, I had risen to the second highest position at Goldman Sachs. 

When this happened, The Cold One came to my house and said, 

"Anthony, I need you to poison the CEO." 

My eyes widened. "What?" 

"Do you want to be CEO or not?"

"Yes, but-

"You have already ended several of your fellow investment bankers' careers. For these men, their career is their life. Why not take it a step further?"

I thought about that statement for a minute. I knew from experience that what the Cold One said about most high-ranking Goldman Sachs employees was true. Still, I wasn't sure if I could live with blood on my hands.

"If you do not do it, you will never be the most powerful investment banker in the world."

I nodded. "I'll do it." I said.

The next day, Jacob Lewis, the CEO, asked me to come eat dinner at his house. I accepted the invitation eagerly. Later that night, I brought a bottle of poisoned champagne to Jacob's house. As he took a sip, his eyes widened.

"What is it?" I asked.

Jacob pointed over my shoulder. I looked to see The Cold One standing behind me.

"You're working with him, too!" Jacob gasped.

The Cold One nodded. "Take a few more sips, Jacob. You could use them."

Jacob took a few more sips of the champagne I gave him. A few seconds later, he was on the floor, writhing in agony. He looked up at The Cold One, tears falling from his eyes. Then I realized something,

"Wait a minute," I said. "If you were so quick to turn on him, does that mean you'll have me killed, too?"

The Cold One smiled. "Well, we will see."

The Cold One abandoned me after that. I am the CEO of Goldman Sachs now. Yet, I can't be happy. I stopped seeing my family when my career started and any potential friends had been stabbed in the back during my rise to the top. Even worse is that I know that one of the people I'm in charge of could kill me at any moment.

Written by JusticeDemocrat666
Content is available under CC BY-SA