Herbert Wells can't catch a break in publishing his fiction, until he makes an unusual deal with the Devil. But it's not his soul the Devil wants...
This story was my very first appearance in Amazing Stories!
Herbert G. (Bert) Wells stared at the dog-eared manila envelope numbly. This was the fifth time--the fifth time--OF BLOOD DARK SKIES had ricocheted off New York City like a badly aimed bullet and ended up buried deep in his mailbox.
Gut shot, he shambled down the hallway of his Boston brownstone apartment building, his face wearing the same blank look of despair and puzzlement he'd seen on the homeless wrecks he always stepped over on the way upstairs.
Down the battered corridor a door opened. Bert froze. Jack Baddely (the jack-ass) stepped out into the hall, then swung back to lock his door. Bert thrust the misshapen package under the lapel of his coat and tacked a garish grin to his face.
"Hi, Jack," he said, his voice as bright as the paisleys on his tie.
"Oh, hi, Bertie. How's the writing life? Any news on your block buster no-vel?" He always said "novel" as if it was some bastardized French word. (It was actually bastardized Italian).