A short short story that I read in an anthology many years ago. The Devil is sitting in his office? throne room? with one of his minions. They are discussing the state of the humans coming to see him, asking for wishes in exchange for their souls. The Devil is concerned that no one asks him the Ultimate Sacrifice (or something like that). It is implied, as I recall, that it would mean the End. His minion reassures him that the human is harmless. Big mistake:

The man asks that without any change to himself whatsoever, he become the most despicable or lowly human on the planet. The Devil screams.

1 Answer 1


"Millennium" by Fredric Brown. This brief description says:

67. Millenium - Satan wary that next man secretary Lilith sends in will ask the Ultimate unselfish question in exchange for his soul when he dies. 2* (Little man wishes "that without any change whatsoever in myself, I become the most evil, stupid and miserable person on earth. Satan screams.")

which is a perfect match.

  • Thank you!!!! Delighted you find this so quickly! Jan 27 at 0:46
  • I read "From These Ashes" a complete collection of Brown stories a couple of years ago, so I'm fully up on his work and ready to help.
    – Andrew
    Jan 27 at 0:54
  • Again - thank you! I think was from an anthology about the devil. Jan 27 at 1:12
  • Maybe "Magical Wishes" an anthology from 1986
    – Andrew
    Jan 27 at 1:15
  • Will check it out. There is another story I want to check out as well, about curing demons. Jan 27 at 1:40

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