Here are the final entries for the Gluttony portion of the Deadly Sins series. Grab a beverage of your choice, put up your feet, and enjoy!
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From Julie over at gojulesgo
Becky stood in front of the open refrigerator door, the numbness settling in to so much more than just her limbs. It started harmlessly enough, like it always did – with the leftovers. This time grilled chicken and green beans. But the taste of the tender chicken got her mouth watering, and now she craved something crunchy to satisfy the churn in her stomach.
For a long time she believed that churn was hunger, afraid to believe it could be anything else. Now that she knew better, she simply let the numbness take over. She grabbed the jar of mayonnaise from the refrigerator door, and the potato chips and rolls from the counter, before she could change her mind. Leaving the refrigerator door open, she smeared a generous dollop of mayonnaise on both sides of a whole wheat roll. She barely noticed the crinkling sound of the potato chip bag as she reached in and pulled out a fistful. She placed the chips on the roll and closed it, pressing the soft brown bread down with her palm to make sure the chips wouldn’t fall out.
She finished it in four bites. She leaned her ear towards the nursery. Still quiet. The only sound now was the hum of the refrigerator and the wild racing of her heart. The numbness was starting to fade and the familiar anxiety inched its way into her throat.
Well, it’s too late to save myself now, she thought, and dug out her secret stash of chocolate-covered pretzels from behind the crockpot. She glanced at the clock. 11:51am. She knew the pretzels would be gone well before noon. She had just popped the sixth one in her mouth, savoring the rich sweetness of the chocolate and salty crunch of the pretzel, when she heard the garage door open. Her heart stopped.
“Hello? Bill? Is that you?” she called, a tremor in her voice. She quickly stuffed the pretzels back in their hiding place and slammed the refrigerator door shut.
“Yeah, it’s me. They let us out early ‘cause of the holiday weekend,” Bill’s low, familiar voice replied. Becky breathed a sigh of relief, but her heart continued to race. She started wiping down the counters, so that it looked like she was cleaning when Bill came up behind her and placed a breezy kiss on her cheek.
“You smell like chocolate,” he said innocently. Becky laughed. “Oh really? That’s weird. I feel like I haven’t had chocolate in ages.”
Bill opened the refrigerator door and she squeezed her eyes shut, hoping he wouldn’t notice the missing leftovers. When had it become so easy to lie?
Bill shut the door and sighed. “There’s nothing to eat. Want to order take-out?”
“Sure,” Becky replied. “I’m starving.” Bill grabbed the phone and suddenly paused.
“When’s the last time you checked on Abigail?” “Um,” Becky hesitated, trying to remember how long ago it had been since she started her latest binge. “About 20 minutes ago?”
Bill wandered towards the nursery. He opened the door fully and a moment later Becky heard what sounded like the phone hitting the floor.
“Becky!” Bill cried, his voice almost unrecognizable.
Becky’s stomach dropped to her knees. She knew before she entered the baby’s room that something was wrong. And it was her fault. She ran into the room and then it all came up. The chicken, the chips, the pretzels. The reason her baby wasn’t breathing.
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Now from Audrey:
We wandered under the leafy, green canopy of palms, our shoes scuffing across the worn pavement walkway. Wat Phnom, the “Mountain Pagoda” came into view and we made our way up a flight of stairs to the main stupa. A huge Buddah statue rested in a darkened room and wispy tendrils of incense smoke wafted to the ceiling. Cambodians were kneeling in prayer and meditation throughout the room. With heads bent in respect we moved on to a shrine for the widow who had founded this temple site as a holy place 600 years ago.
Descending back to the main courtyard I espied dozens of monkeys scampering along the ground and through the verdant treetops. Through the courtyard vendors were selling fruits and nuts that tourists were purchasing to feed the monkeys. Throwing a handful of nuts into the grass would gather a drove of the little creatures. They clearly understood how this system worked and eyed us over to see if we had any treats for them.
And then I saw him. The fattest monkey I could have imagined with sitting on a stone pillar as if it was his throne. He was at least 3 times the size of the others. He slothfully slipped to the ground and padded across our path, his eyes puffy and belly dragging across the ground. He had been watching some other monkeys nibbling on lichee fruit and swiped at them. They ran off in a flurry of squeals and angry screams. The gluttonous one plopped himself down on the ground with his precious fruit in hand. Rolls of fat enveloped his hindquarters and formed a base around him. And there he sat, king of his monkey tribe while we all stared at his largeness with mouths agape.
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An entry from Katie:
In the darkness, the world shuddered. Light bloomed overhead, reflecting off of wrinkled plastic wrap, off of smooth lids to jars and jugs. The light beamed down through the levels, cut into rectangles by wire racking, eclipsed by drawers. One wall, covered in balconies populated by bottles swung away. Cold and light seeped from the world to fill the obtuse angle as it did in endless cycles.
The food was paralyzed in frightened anticipation, except for those that trembled for a moment before stilling under his gaze. He came at all hours, to look, to take. Some of the food had been there for a while; some was taken and returned, diminishing gradually. Some of it was not there long enough to get to know. There was a world outside the chill box. The food had been out there before each of them had been brought here, imprisoned, only to leave again to complete this reverse birth.
And all the while in that cramped darkness, a question plagued the food: was it better to be taken quickly, or to wait in that darkness that hummed sometime, to watch that wall swing away, those greedy eyes zoom in, searching. The question was only to pass the time. Eventually, they would all be encircled by those chubby fingers, all would end up in the maw of their jailer.
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And I leave you with this one from Elyse:
John couldn’t believe a Sgt. Friday clone was sitting across from him on the green leather ottoman, asking him questions. Questions about his wife. His late wife. His lately late wife. Her body was still in the other room, sprawled across the kitchen table across her laptop.
“When did you first notice the problem,” the sergeant asked.
“When did she get hooked?”
“Uhhh, I’m not sure,” John responded. “I guess about a year ago.”
“OK. Did she come to bed last night? Was her side of the bed messed.”
“It was always messed. She hasn’t made the bed since she started her blog. Not once,” he said, stifling tears. “She’d get up as soon as her alarm went of and rush down to her laptop, shouting ‘how many likes do you think I got overnight?’ As if I cared. She completely stopped doing housework, gardening. We used to fight about it – I mean argue. Not fight. I wouldn’t hurt her, Sargeant. Just the other night she nearly burned down the house. Blogging. Writing a post for a goddamn blogging contest. She heated up the oil and didn’t put in the scallops. You wouldn’t believe what the house smelled like.”
“It’s the same old story,” said Sgt. Friday. “They say the addiction is worse than heroin, worse than alcohol. Worse even that reality TV. They become gluttons for their posts, gluttons for the comments on their posts. Gluttons for their other favorite blogs and the clever comment trails they leave for each other. If I had my way, I’d outlaw it. And the Word Press gang, well they’re the worst.” “
Word Press? Isn’t that the free blogging site?”
“I think Word Press just cost you dearly. We were afraid of this when we learned about their latest trick.” “
“Yes, John. You may have a legal case against Word Press for what they’ve done recently.”
“I don’t understand. How did a blogging site kill my wife?”
“Oh, you’d be surprised. First they suck them in – this free blog crap. Then they get them hooked. Lastly, they rig it so that the bloggers become absolute gluttons, and just eat up other posts. And then just today, they put the final nail in the coffin.”
“Nail? What did they do?”
“Well, whenever a blogger comments on another blog, they used to have a choice. There’s a box that says “Notify me of follow-up comments via email.” It used to be you had to remember to check that box to get all the comments for a post. Most bloggers don’t do that. But bloggers who checked that could get an email with all of the comments made on a blog. Now,” said Friday, “well now the box is always checked unless the blogger remembers to uncheck it. That represents so many blogs and comments, that, well something snaps. Something in their swallower. And then Word Press forces them to swallow comments even when they know they shouldn’t. The bloggers? Well they just know that no matter how many blogs and blog comments they swallow per day, they won’t be able to get them all down. But they keep on swallowing, the gluttons.”
John looked up quizzically. “You mean … my wife … she choked on too many blog comments?”
“Precisely, Mr. Watson,” said Sergeant Friday. “Precisely.”
“I’m going to start a blog about this. People need to know the truth about what’s killing bloggers” said John.
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This has been ever so much fun – and the level of talent in these stories is incredible. I am closing the entries for the Gluttony portion of the writing contest. A huge thank you to all who entered