I recall having listened to an audio version of a short story where we assist the duel of wits between an eternal being and a person who just passed away. Maybe it was on YouTube (very far in my history that I can't find it) or Audible.

It's like a duel, I can't recall if the eternal was some supreme deity or demon.

There's no hint about fantasy setting. The human was like a normal man. No reference to AD&D or something like that.

I remember having enjoyed the outsmarting and ending, but I can't remember the contents any further.

It's a bit like Andy Weir The Egg — it's too short. But I remember another, with more to it.

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    Do you remember what happens in the duel? There are plenty of stories about a character playing a game or making a dare with death or the devil, and one trying to outsmart the other. Chess is particularly popular.
    – Stef
    Aug 8, 2023 at 8:36
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    There's even a mathematician's version, where the human wins by finding a set which is not in the devil's book with a set defined on every page. I can't find a reference to it, though.
    – aschepler
    Aug 8, 2023 at 15:27
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    You could look in the list for tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ChessWithDeath . Standard warning: tvtropes can be an addicting endless drain on your time.
    – aschepler
    Aug 8, 2023 at 15:30
  • Can you remember no more details? Outwitting/dueling with the devil stories have been around since Ancient Greece. There are thousands of them and any of them could have been dramatized for audio. (Is this even answerable as asked?)
    – JBH
    Aug 8, 2023 at 16:07
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    Did this involve someone being trapped in some kind of hollow cube, unable to escape by moving through any of the three spacial dimensions - who then escaped by moving backwards through the fourth dimension (time)? I recall such a story where a man had sold his soul to a demon, but through this unexpected time travel was able to outwit the demon on multiple levels.
    – AJM
    Aug 8, 2023 at 16:56

2 Answers 2


You may be thinking of Isaac Asimov's The Last Answer:

Recently deceased main character

An atheist physicist, Murray Templeton, dies of a heart attack and is greeted by a being of supposedly infinite knowledge.

Battle of wits:

Conversing with the Voice, Templeton learns that the Voice desires original thoughts by which to please His curiosity, but surrenders that yes, in fact, if He so desired, the Voice could happen upon those thoughts himself, of his own effort.

Available on YouTube- here

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    I thought of this too, although note that Templeton doesn't outwit the voice; he ends up vowing to pursue exactly the objective that the voice intended him to. Aug 7, 2023 at 17:41
  • True - but Templeton does intend to destroy the Voice , and that might count as victory even if the Voice wants to be destroyed
    – Andrew
    Aug 7, 2023 at 18:04

The duel of wits and outwitting an eternal being sounds a bit like "Sandman" - the duel between Dream and the Devil (or one of the Devil's underlings, depending on version).

Dream, however, had not recently died, nor was he an ordinary man (he is one of the Endless, an anthropomorphic personification of an innate part of humanity). The duel was to retrieve something from the Devil's domain.

In the duel, each is declaring what they will be, and how it will beat what the other had suggested.

Dream wins be declaring he is "Hope", which cannot be destroyed.

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