What sounded like the deal of a lifetime has turned into a Faustian nightmare for one Luxembourg man after he made a deal with the Devil to be able to buy a house at the market price of several decades ago.
“I was browsing atHome, and I realized I would never be able to afford a house,” said warehouse employee Bruno Henriques. “Even if I managed to get a 100-year loan, even if I literally won the jackpot in the national lottery – twice.”
In a fit of desperation, Henriques raised his arms and cried out that he would give his immortal soul to be able to buy a home in the country where he’s lived his whole life.
It was then that the doorbell of Henriques’s small rental studio rang. The 35-year-old was greeted by a purple-eyed man wearing jeans, a white button-up shirt, and designer Italian sunglasses perched atop his gelled hair.
“He looked like an average estate agent,” Henriques said.
The man introduced himself as Lucifer and said he’d heard Henriques’s plea. The stranger claimed he could summon all of his demonic powers to transport Henriques back in time to buy a house in the year of his birth. The dwelling would be preserved and waiting for Henriques when he returned to the current day.
“I said, ‘sounds good, man, but what’s the catch?’” Henriques said. “This Lucifer guy said that in exchange, I’d have to adopt the afternoon leisure activities of a wealthy, aging Luxembourgish property owner – forever.”
“Which didn’t sound that bad, because I was thinking he meant going cycling or getting my car washed,” he added.
In a flash, Henriques was sent back to the year 1985 where he found a four-bedroom, 225-square-meter house in Walferdange with a great view and a swimming pool, all for the Luxembourgish franc equivalent of 179,000 euros.
Upon his return to the present, Henriques discovered the house waiting for him and that, as per the deal, it had been perfectly maintained and was even furnished, albeit in a rather tacky faux-futuristic mid-80s style.
However, after a few hours of celebration, he remembered there was a price to pay.
“Lucifer showed up and said it was time to pay the Devil his due,” Henriques said. “He instructed me to drive to City Concorde, take a seat in one of the cafes, and spend the whole afternoon sipping crémant and watching shoppers.”
The first afternoon was easy, says Henriques, but after several days, he began to get bored, and after a few weeks, he understood the terrifying severity of the internal pact. Months later, he often screams in anguish the moment the waiter brings his glass of crémant, he says.
“A few times, I tried to escape and go to the gym or meet a friend at a normal bar instead, but ol’ Lucifer showed up with the three-headed dog Cerberus and I was like, right, got it,” he said. “To his credit, sometimes Lucifer does let me switch to Belle Etoile, but the ennui is just as heavy.”
Henriques’s friends say they enjoy partying in the giant new house and going swimming in the pool, but they have noticed a disturbing change in his personality.
“He bought a small, obnoxious dog, which he always lets sit on his lap,” said one friend. “And he’s started wearing brightly colored designer-label German sweater vests that at the same time look too young and too old for him.”