The short story I remember reading ~15 years ago was in a short story anthology.

Here's what I remember:

Man and wife are broke. The devil approaches them and offers them stuff for the guy's soul. They want to be rich so the devil gives them a copy of the next day's Wall Street Journal where the price of a super low volatility, phone company shot up in price.. say 100x.

So they try to raise funds from people to go buy that company (broker, bank, brother in law), but no one lends them money cause they thought he was insane. So they end up wasting the opportunity.

The next day, the Devil comes back and the man explains that they have no money so they were unable to use the opportunity. The only sizeable asset they have is the wife's life insurance and it takes 30 days to cash that in.

So the devil gives him the Wall Street Journal for 30 days later. And the story ends.

The only other thing I remember is that the wife was always egging the man on to risk all the stuff (and sell his soul) which was probably why he was willing to cash in the life insurance.

Anyways, thanks in advance.

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1 Answer 1


I believe this is "Tomorrow's Wall Street Journal" by Howard Fast (1970). It's in the anthology The General Zapped an Angel.

According to Amazon:

A man sells his soul to the devil for a copy of the next day's Wall Street Journal

I've also found on Google books a copy of the first few pages of the text. The opening is this:

At precisely eight forty-five in the morning, carrying a copy of tomorrow's Wall Street Journal under his arm, the devil knocked at the door of Martin Chesell's apartment. The devil was a handsome middle-aged businessman, dressed in a two-hundred dollar gray sharkskin suit, forty-five dollar shoes, a custom-made shirt, and a twenty-five-dollar iron-gray Italian silk tie. He wore a forty-dollar hat, which he took off politely as the door opened.
Martin Chesell, who lived on the eleventh floor of one of those high-rise apartments that grow like mushrooms on Second Avenue in the seventies and eighties, was wearing pants and a shirt, neither with lineage of place or price. His wife, Doris, had just said to him, "What kind of a nut is it at this hour? You better look through the peephole."
"Drop dead," he replied as he looked through the peephole.
Knowing a good tie and shirt when he saw them, Martin Chesell opened the door and asked the devil what he wanted.
"I'm the devil," the devil answered politely. "And I am here to make a deal for tomorrow's Wall Street Journal."

If you follow the Google link, you'll see that a few pages in, the stock that will boom tomorrow is indeed a telephone company!

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