The value of a soul

Il valore di un'anima

The value of a soul

–read in Italian–

–read the previous article–

It would have been a nice ending

It would have been really romantic. A perfect happy ending, if only that soul wasn’t so pure. Most of the time, people appreciate stones more than fluffy animals, climbing plants or even other human beings. It seems unbelievable, but I have seen for myself how people fall in love with small coloured stones.

Scarcity, rarity

Their value changes based on how they sparkle with purity when encountering light. Wars and  invasions started and still continue around the world, ignited by greedy hands in search of shiny stones. It’s really unbelievable. You can easily find grey and white rocks, but if you can find something everywhere it doesn’t make sense wasting time searching for it. It’s a love for rarity. You’ll find the same love for scarcity when (changing subject completely) speaking about pure souls. How do you determine the value of a soul? It cannot only be the right light that makes the value rise.

The value of a soul

What stones and souls have in common? You can try to make a stone immortal melting it, setting it or cutting it. A soul follows a similar destiny. A golden cup, jumping from one century to another could be transformed into a pair of earrings and then a ring, proudly shown to a friend or adoring audience.


Just as easily it could disappear at the bottom of the ocean, to lie among small fish unaware of its supposed importance. Some souls disappear and return again. Others vanish as though they never existed. In some rare cases, souls change shape, just like a golden cup becoming a ring. They yearn for an existence of pure light as the soul of the actor did, as others may become dark wells in which good intentions vanish. Each soul has a separate story, a book to be discovered with new pages crinkling under the curious fingers of a teenager.

The value is blinding

In this specific case, everyone in the room was curious. After all, it’s rare to find such a pure and verbose soul. It was assumed that after its discourse, the soul would disappear deep into the bowels of the earth, becoming a small diamond only to be eventually discovered by someone, who whould expose it to the light, demanding sparkle as they are rousing it from its beauty sleep.

Some rest

Souls need to rest sometimes, and the brightest ones need more sleep than others. However, this is not the destiny reserved for this particular soul. The curse of territories rich with diamonds, gold and oil is to become themselves a source of trade. Most of the time, the exchange is unfair, bringing war, hunger and potentially slavery for centuries. Other times, the trade consists of a pledge: forget your past and believe in progress.

The curse

This original soul trades its freedom, cursing itself with a declaration of love for a lifeless body. Caught by a overzealous dealer of souls, its fate was made human again. After all, what’s more human than the aim of packing everything into a box? To reduce everything, even dreams, into something similar to a tomato sauce can? Who knows?

Who cares?

Perhaps I’m just a pair of shoes speaking alone in front of a wall. I can feel the breath of this dealer of souls over me, occupying a king- size bed with his body. Reading or listening to these words must provoke curiosity into the profession of a dealer of souls. Well- everything starts with a simple idea- the purchase.

The sale

Il valore di un'anima

The value of a soul

The packaging

Everything, from the air that melts in the wind to water gurgling in the sink can be considered sale- closed: sold, distributed, re-sold, closed again and then resold. It’s nothing special: we’re all familiar with the process. We overlook the truth: we fall in love with the packaging. Our attention was caught by the packet, bright pops of colour that we follow with delight.

The problem with souls

The problem with souls is similar, though most of them are happy to spend their time confined in matchboxes or cookie jars. No- one will search there for a soul, unless they’re after a curious or introverted soul. Souls can stay so long inside cookie jars that they almost become cookies themsleves. You never know when you’re speaking about souls. For instance, I feel I am a shoe. I think like a shoe, I walk like a shoe, and if anyone ever asks me wht time is it, I will most likely answer with a number between one and six as I have only six laces. It all depends on how long you’ve been living with your body.

The trade

It’s all about the packaging that make us fall in love, sell our perfectly suited soul for a new one with the same basic colour but with a more appealing wrapper. This is marketing. Souls are predestined to be traded, but it wasn’t always like that. The question of why we exchange our souls arrived late in human history. Why we feel the need to change our souls? It’s easier to give an example, rather than attempting to give a rational explanation.

The stolen soul

It’s not a good story: the actor’s soul’s story was not an original one. In this specific case there is a stolen soul, but the thief is a father who stole his own son’s soul. The truth is, a soul like that is difficult to find. Suspicious about the ease with which his son was studying and his talent for drawing, the loving father decided to take him to the doctor for check- up.


Imagine the surprise when the Y rays showed the son’s soul pervaded by delicate tentacles of light. The doctor was straightforward: a soul of this quality is seriously valuable. The fact he considered it a waste being in possession of such a poor family he kept to himself. Meanwhile, the father compared it to discovering a gold mine right under his roof.

How to…

The question now was how to explain the decision of selling the soul of his son, who hadn’t yet reached his 12th birthday. How could he explain that having such a pure spirit was an error, a mistake? Not to mention getting around the law, which had always been really strict when it came to trading the souls of minors.

An insomniac night

After an entire night passed secretly speaking to an old photo of his wife yellowed from the passage of time, the poor man made his decision. It was unnecessary to explain to his son about his destiny: surely, the soul isn’t that important. Yes, they measure its weight and light, but there is not sufficient proofs of its usefulness. Furthermore, his son would never find out about its disappearance.

The decision

One fateful morning, the doctor called the conscientious father to tell him a dealer was ready to pay good money for that extrordinary soul and the decision was made. During the night three drops in a cup filled with milk brought a mortal sleep to that curious boy. The life itself took some hours to get out of the body, to be safely closed inside a mahogany case over the table.

The dealer

The dealer was a man of his word, knowing as well that the ignorance of that man was equal only to his hunger. He bought an incredible soul for nothing, giving back a grey one impossible to sell. When he awoke, he felt confused and feverish. Where was the law? The law knows when it’s time to be a falcon and when it’s better to be blind as a bat. That day, luck was blindfolded as the luck that abandoned that poor boy all of a sudden in exchange for a new coat and some shoes.

What is the real value of a soul, then?

It’s probably better to let a soul spread its wings and fly. We all have to survive, right? It tourned out that particular soul was really useful for the rich heir of the famous G. family. Everyone was so proud of him when he discovered his new talent for piano. He’d never shown any affinity for the instrument before. In the end, nothing changed in his life.

A quite life

His soul peacefully slides into an anonymous life with jogging indoors and fists on tables, and as a consequence somewhere a little boy stopped drawing, with no apparent reason. Day by day, the sense of his life was having small useless objects around, a job to calm him down and a cold fever that sometimes made him fall out of bed.

Different souls

There are many different kind of souls, but it’s easier to divide them into mortal and immortal. The latter are similar to pictures well done, sought out for their originality and often never appreciated again. Sealed in amazing frames, they submit to a state of sleepiness and they live only for the value put on them. A value bound to grow, thanks to the body that possessed the soul itself. This humble pair of shoes is a simple soul of objects.


I’ve been a lamp that switches on and off randomly, then a picture jumping from the wall. Now I’m a pair of shoes. I see it as a promotion, since being close to a living being I’m able to grow some memories. A picture in the wall or a lamp have nothing to tell, always staying still in a room, the only interactions being with a nose that breafly approaches them or or that flicks a switch. Not everything has a sense of purpose, as a painting falling from the wall, as Max Tooney would say.

Finally, we move!

The owner of my feet is turning in his bed and I know what that means. After all this time in closed spaces, now I can run like a true modern man, always in a hurry. He leaves some vital water vapour footprints on the floor and weighs himself, as he does every morning, finding only his body weight appearing on the scale. Without the weight of a soul, a missing component shared by all the dealers of souls. But let’s not jump to conclusions.

–Continue with The dealer of souls–

–What is this story about?–

This story will be published once per week only, with all rights reserved for the story and its translations by and in the person of Daniele Frau.

All the graphics are handmade and designed with different techniques by Gabriele Manca, DMQ productions, who reserves all rights. 

All English articles published in Souls (alive) proofread by Elisabeth Corcoran

Daniele Frau

Daniele Frau is a translator and content writer living in Dubai, coming from an amazing Italian island, Sardinia.

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