Tag Archives: 7 deadly sins

Lust – Post 4

Well, kids, it’s time for the final installment of the “Lust” entries for the 7 Deadly Sins Series.  This round has had some shizzle with sizzle…don’t you think?  You’re going to love these entries, as well.

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First, I’ll include my non-contest submission:

Broken Hearts

“I won’t forgive you next time” I’d said, hot tears stinging my eyes.  “I can’t.”

“There won’t be a next time” he’d reassured me, wiping the tears from my cheeks. “I was stupid.”  He lifted my chin, searching my face, then pulled me close.  “I’m so sorry.  I promise you.  It will not happen again” he’d whispered into my neck.

-/-

That had been a year ago – a stressful year punctuated with health issues, job changes, and a now empty nest. For the sake of our daughter, her senior year of high school, her promising tennis career, and because I was terrified of starting over again at my age – I forgave him.  But I did not, and could not, forget.

I retrieved my car from the long-term lot and headed in the direction of home.  It had been a long week of meetings, presentations, conference calls, networking, glad-handing and schmoozing. I just wanted to take a long, hot shower and lie down in my own bed.  I’d finished a day early, and I needed rest.

I caught a glimpse of a familiar looking red sports car leaving very our very secluded driveway.  My stomach clenched. My hands gripped the steering wheel.  “It couldn’t be” I told myself.  “She wouldn’t dare come to our home.”  I let myself quietly in the front door, my hands shaking.

His cell phone was on the counter, vibrating madly.  I checked it as I headed for the bedroom.  Four voice mail messages, three from me – and a text message – not from me.  “Miss you already.”

“Did you forget something, Shelly?” my husband called out from the bedroom. I picked up speed down the hallway, footsteps pounding. My heart was thudding and my palms sweating.

“Shelly?” he called out the name of our daughter’s tennis coach.  “Is that you?  Did you forget something – or did you come back for more?” His voice was playful.  “That Viagra’s worn off, but I’ve got plenty more.”

I stopped outside the bedroom door.  He was lying on his side in a provocative pose, sheet draped over his pelvis.  On the nightstand stood a champagne bottle, two flutes – one stained with lipstick, and a prescription bottle.

“That’s good to know” I said coolly from the doorway.

“Oh, my God” he gasped when he saw my face. “I didn’t know you were home.”

“Apparently.”

He grabbed the sheet and shot up from the bed.  “I…I can explain.” The color drained from his face.  Sweat droplets appeared on his forehead.

“I seriously doubt that” I said, holding up his cell phone.  “Shelly misses you already – the poor thing”.

“I’m sorry.”

“You certainly are that.”

“It’s just….I…um. Oh, God. Honey, please,” his eyes pleaded.  His color had turned ashen.  He clutched his chest, the sweat began pouring down his face.  He swayed side to side.

“Please?  Please what?” I yelled.  “Please pretend you didn’t just have your mistress in my bed?  Pretend you haven’t broken not only your marriage vows but your promise to me?  Please, what?” I shoved his chest with the cell phone.

He stumbled backward and plopped unceremoniously onto the bed, rubbing his left arm.  His color had not improved – it matched the tousled gray at his temples.  “It’s my heart…call an ambulance.  Please.  Oh, God. I’m begging you.”  He reached toward the nightstand where he kept a bottle of aspirin.  I pushed the drawer shut with my knee.

He pitched forward to the floor, gasping and clutching his chest.  His face contorted in agony.

“It’s time to think about my heart.”

I pocketed his cell phone, locked the front door, and drove away.

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From MJ at mjmonaghan.com :

DIAMOND DAVE

If Prohibition was the law of the land, then the speakeasy was the law’s biggest ball-buster.

It was 1925 at Manhattan’s “Jack and Charlie’s 21.” Most everyone just called it “21” since it was located at 21 West 52nd Street.

The four dames sauntered into that gin joint like they owned the damn place. All dolled up in “shorts”: short hair, short skirts, and short on virtues – typical flappers.

Every head turned in the place as they made their way down the steps and into the main room in the bar:  From gangsters, and feds on the take – who were giving them the up-and-down – to back-biting women who wished they could throttle the broads (not that they weren’t still giving them the once-over, too, by examining their shoes, dresses, and hairstyles).

Men wanted them – in the biblical way – and women wanted to be them, in spite of hating what they did, and who they were.

No one could deny they were lookers; all from different places. How they became roommates, was anyone’s guess, other than the fact they were young ladies who liked to dance, drink, and carouse:

Meg, was from the Midwest, and because of her long gams was nicknamed Meg-O-Lamb.

Carla was from the tip of the Northeast, somewhere in Maine. It was hard to believe, but even New Yawkuz poked fun at her accent.

Sadie was the tough, no-nonsense leader of the pack. Her nickname on the street was “Sadie-did” – because anytime something bad happened and the question came up about who done it, the response was always “Sadie did.” But no one called her that to her face. They wouldn’t dare. She was tough as nails.

It was rumored that Sadie was from the Midwest, also, but she never talked about it. Something too painful had happened “back there.”

Lastly, there was Jewels. From the time she was a little girl she dreamed of living across the Hudson River from Jersey. Now she was doing it, and in style. Her typical winter outer wear consisted of her trademark, full-length chipmunk fur coat.

On the surface this passel of women was like any other, excepting for the looks and fashion. The quartet seemed kind and caring, but deep down if you tailed them, you’d find the four running interference for bootleggers.

The four were the kind of girls you were glad your sister wasn’t.

Primarily they worked for Dave Moffett. Everyone in Manhattan called him “Diamond Dave” because of the giant, diamond-encrusted pinkie ring he always wore.

Diamond Dave was tied into all manner of criminal activity, but made most of his money on hooch. He hid his rum-running by working for the local rag covering the city beat. Cops knew him, but steered clear since he had them all in his pocket.

He had a weakness, though: He was a big womanizer and couldn’t keep his hands off the dames.

***

That night was like any night. The four girls were there for fun, and to collect their money from Dave. They would always meet in a secluded back room. First Dave would discreetly walk back, and then a few minutes later Meg, Carla, Jewels, and Sadie would make their way to meet him.

As Diamond waited for them, his mind wandered, and he couldn’t get Meg out of his mind. She had flashed him her left leg through the slit in her short skirt that was more like a belt. He always liked her, but now he WANTED to have her; possess her; to make her his.

The door to the private room opened and the four flappers strode in. Diamond Dave was burning like an ember as his eyes fixed on Meg.

“You got the sawbucks?” Jewels asked.

“Yeah; sure thing, girls,” Dave said as he pulled a wad of $10 bills out of his pocket with his right hand.

“Hey, Meg, why don’t you come over this way for a minute?”

Meg moved toward him, and Dave’s fat hand latched on to her left breast. What happened next was a blur.

Instinctively, Meg reached for something to break Diamond Dave’s grip from her body. She fumbled and felt an object behind her, and picked it up and struck him in the head. Blood ran down Dave’s head at the same time his body dropped to the floor with a “thud.”

Meg quickly threw down the weapon – an 18” tall, Empire State Building promotional statuette for the soon-to-be-built skyscraper.

The other three shook Meg so they could get their story straight before the coppers got there.

Sadie-did, Meg-o-Lamb, Carla and Jewels

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And from Jules at gojulesgo.com:

7 Deadly Scenes: Lust

“No! You have to do it like this!”

His laughter is infectious. He grabs the cell phone from my hands and shakes it, showing me how to rearrange the apps on the screen. I grab the phone back and give it an exaggerated wave.

The final weeks in August are dead at the office.

“Is this why these things need protection?” I ask, holding up the phone to reveal its plastic case. “Safe sexting?”

His fit starts anew, and he collapses in his seat, wiping tears away with a single hand.

I can’t take my eyes off his hands.

~*~

“You better hold on tight, spider monkey!”

I throw my head back and laugh. My favorite line in the movie. It’s not supposed to be funny, but it gets me every time.

We’re really pushing the ‘hardly working’ part of the old saying, but Friday afternoon before Labor Day seemed like the perfect time to watch a video projected from my lap top onto the largest screen in the office.

I stop laughing abruptly when I realize his eyes are on me.

“What?” I ask, suddenly self-conscious. His gaze is soft, brown and loving.

“Nothing,” he smiles, like he’s seeing me for the first time.

~*~

“And that is why they invented therapy.”

I chuckle, delighted by his secret-sharing.

“…So?” he adds, eyebrows raised.

“So?” I echo, butterflies in my stomach.

“What’s wrong with you?”

I laugh again, relieved, frustrated. I take a sip of my beer, staring at the forest green walls of our favorite after work haunt.

“Isn’t it obvious?” I ask, and my smile fades as I force myself to meet his gaze.

~*~

“You love your husband?”

My hand halts on the car door handle.

“Yes,” I reply quietly, not because it’s the right thing to say, but because it’s the truth.

“Okay,” he says, and walks away, my sudden sobs filling the hot summer air.

~*~

“We should go,” he whispers.

“Or what?” I whisper back, still only a breath away.

I never should have agreed to stop at his place before the meeting.

I reach out a shaking hand and touch his wavy brown hair. It’s thick and soft. Far softer than it should be.

I bet his lips are, too. These thoughts come unbidden. I am used to them now.

“We’re late,” he says. His eyes darken and I drop my hand. We’re not late.

Though I have no right to be, I’m hurt.

“He’d kill us both,” he breathes, his eyes softening.

“No,” I smile ruefully. “Just me.”

~*~

“I don’t know why I’m here.”

He looks helpless, standing in my doorway. He knows my husband is gone for the weekend, on his annual fishing trip.

Something deep inside me explodes.

“Yes you do,” I say, surprised by the raspy wanting in my voice.

He doesn’t respond. At least not in words.

~*~

“I found this.”

I blanch, seeing my phone in my husband’s large hand.

In his other hand rests something equally shiny and silver.

“Didn’t I always tell you what I’d do to you?” He takes a step towards me.

I open my eyes and clutch my heart, breathless. It was only a dream.

This time.

~*~

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Filed under 7 Deadly Sins Writing Contest

Lust – Post 3

Whoa – that last batch of entries was smokin’.  Grab an iced drink, a fan (you’re gonna need it!) and savor today’s offerings:

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From Darla over at She’s A Maineiac:

Sweets for My Sweetie

As far as Violet was concerned, her life began and ended on a hot muggy day in Savannah, Georgia, July 25, 2012.

The Clearview Baptist Church was stifling; even the cicadas normally buzzing about the open doors sought shade. All eyes were on her as Barney Sutter slipped the 2 carat ring on her trembling finger. He clasped her hands in his, perspiration dripping off his meaty paws. God, all he does is sweat, Violet thought. He’s so disgusting! She looked up into his eyes and offered up a sweet as honey smile.  His eyes lingered again at her plunging neckline, hungrily devouring her like she was some midnight snack.

“…I know pronounce you, Man and Wife,” the pastor’s voice boomed, cutting through the soggy air.  Well whaddya know,  that rich bastard Barney Sutter married lil’ ol’ me…just a po’ girl from Atlanta! And if there’s one thing everyone knows about me–I always get what I want.

She sucked in her breath, bracing herself for the kiss, the beaded bodice of her dress squeezing tighter around her breasts. Barney mopped his bald head with his handkerchief and leaned in for the kill.

****

“Now, where you two lovebirds plannin’ on goin’ for yer honeymoon?” Barney’s mother asked, sneering at Violet over her champagne glass. Violet glared back at the old woman.

“Oh, now Momma, I told ya already, this sweet lil’ pumpkin’ of mine don’t want no fancy honeymoon!” Barney said, wrapping his arm around Violet and pulling her close. Underneath her dress, she felt his chubby hand tracing the inside of her thigh. “We just gonna lay low at Magnolia manor, let the movers do all the work. Once we settled, we can really start to feather up our love nest…ain’t that right, Pookie-Pie? Hell, maybe this time next year, they’ll be some pitter-patterin of little feet! The future president of Sutter Candies, Inc!” He laid his hand on her belly and gazed at her with the lovesick look of a bulldog. Violet felt nauseous. But she had to keep her eye on the prize.

****

Later that night, as Barney heaved himself on top of her, she closed her eyes to escape. She was seated at a banquet table that stretched for miles, an endless line of waiters delivering silver platters full of decadent confections: thick slices of Black Forest cake, hot fudge sundaes, pecan clusters enrobed in dark chocolate. She could almost taste the velvety sweetness on her tongue.

They had been married one full month when Violet knew she would have to make her big move during the factory tour. Standing next to her husband on the small platform perched above the main vat, she peered down into that day’s batch of Sutter’s White Chocolate. Her spine tingled as she watched the giant steel blades churning in an ivory ocean.

“Oh, sweetie,” she cooed into his ear. “Smell that! God, it’s like heaven to me!” Violet pushed her husband closer to the railing.  “Please, just breathe it in…”

Barney obeyed, the frail platform shaking as he stepped closer.

“Unnngh!” Violet grunted as she shoved him toward the edge, the railing breaking apart under his massive frame. In mid-fall he turned, grabbing at her shoulder with one hand while reaching out for the railing with the other. Teetering on the edge with his grip starting to slip, he clutched at her necklace, twisting it until she started to choke.

“Let—–go!” she gurgled. She looked into his wild eyes and almost felt sorry for the fat son-of-a-bitch.  Falling backward now, he clawed at her neck with both hands and pulled, plunging them both into the vat below.

Searing hot pain sliced through her body as the blades tossed it around like a rag doll; her screams muffled by the sticky chocolate filling her throat and lungs.

If there was one thing about Violet: she always gets what she wants.

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From Marta over at Lost and Forgotten:

“Like this,” she breathes.

Raising her hands above her head grasping at the tips of her dress, she lets the threads slowly rise across her body pushing past her ears and tumbling over her fingers.  The white cotton fabric falls to the ground behind her. Her heels push forward as she rises on the tips of her toes and leans towards him. She places her hands at his hips on the bed.

Her lips to his ear, “your turn.”

He looks upon her, his pupils dilated. The warmth of his hazel eyes melts her insides. He has never looked at her this way.

Slowly he begins to unbutton his shirt, fumbling at each one as his hands shake with nerves. Her impatience begins to overtake her, the awkwardness of her standing there watching him. The room suddenly feels empty and too quiet. As the thoughts pour into her head she pushes them out.

She reaches for his hands and presses the clammy palms against her bare back. Places her knees at his side and sits upon him. She sweeps her long blonde hair behind her and it falls against his fingertips. She pushes her body against him until his back is cradled by the mattress. She slides down unbuttoning each button as her mouth circles the bare skin above.

His breath increases against her.

It is so hard for them to not think. To separate the want from the truth. His body on fire, he leans his head back and stares upon the ceiling fan above him. She drags her fingernails down his sides and across his hip bones pulling at his pants. She comes up to his face, her hands grappling at his belt buckle.

His eyes lock on hers. The blue and green irises he fell in love with swallowing him whole, he cups her chin with his hand and pulls her lips towards his. As they brush lightly against hers, her body freezes and her breath stagnates in her throat. A tear begins to slide down her cheek and as he kisses her deeper it touches his fingertips the cool wetness squeezing in between his hand and her face.

He pulls away.

She blinks the escaped tear away and pushes his hand against the bed whispering in his ear, “please.” Her hair catches in her lips and he brushes it away and tucks it behind her ear. She is so beautiful, he thinks as she lights up the room above him. The fan pushing cool air across their bodies in intervals. She pushes the belt buckle through and he raises his hips as she slips his pants under him.

He cradles her neck and kisses her closer, tighter, harder against him. His tongue seeking hers as she lets her body meld against his. He carefully lifts her and places her underneath him and kisses the tip of her nose, the crease of her neck, the crook of her elbow, his fingertips graze her chest as she lets a small squeal escape past her lips. His lift in a smile.

She pulls him up towards her, staring into his eyes, and whispers, “Now” while pressing her lips against his.

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And from Susie at Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride: (Visit here to see Susie’s entry on her blog)

The Art of Seduction

He traced his finger along her curves, only stopping to admire her strength and beauty. They fit together like tailored leather. Her opalescent skin, like pewter in the moonlight, gave the false impression of being as malleable as mercury, but a steely inner strength resonated from her core.

It was dangerous, yet the risk excited him.

He slipped inside and adrenaline filled him with a thrilling rush. He threw her into high gear and never looked back even though he knew they’d been found. He didn’t want it to end.

~~~

“It makes me sad to see a work of art like that wrapped around a tree.” The officer took notes as steam rose from the crumpled Jaguar.

“What about the carjacker?” asked the coroner.

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Lust – Post 1

All right, put the kids to bed (I don’t care if they just got up – it’s my blog and I get to make the rules).  Here is the first installment of submissions for the Lust Round of the Seven Deadly Sins Contest.  Enjoy.

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First, from Dave at 1pointperspective: (Visit here to see Dave’s illustration) and leave comments:

Crystal Light and the Look of Lust

Crystal was around 14 when she first noticed men giving her what she called “the look”.  Before she reached 16, she fully understood that the look was one of sexual desire.  By 32, it was a simple fact of life.

While giving her order at the deli counter in the Shoprite, the guy in the apron and paper hat would glaze over, no longer hearing her.  He was stripping her naked and doing freaky things to her in his deli-guy mind.  Crystal would smile at him, lean over the counter a little, and end up with a pound of imported soprasetta for the price of baloney.

One man hadn’t given her the look in years.  They say marriage does that.  She didn’t know whether it was the years or the fact that Mr. Light had doubled in size since their wedding.  Everyone, including Crystal, called him Mr. Light, out of respect and fear.

She’d gone to see a private eye to help her discover if Mister was off his diet, but wasn’t in his office two minutes when the guy started giving her the look.  She re-crossed her legs and tried to ice him back to reality.  She hoped he’d returned from his porno mind-vacation as she handed him the cash.  Now the detective wouldn’t even return her calls.

Crystal changed her strategy and tried to get a young guy named Nicky from the pool to hang out with Mr. Light.  Maybe a guy who could see his own feet without mirrors would snap her husband out of the habit of stuffing his face.  She was talking with him to see if he’d pal around with Mr. Light when Nicky got the look.  She knew his brain was busy pulling off her bathing suit, touching her in  places which the sun hadn’t browned.  He wasn’t listening anymore. How many guys today?  She broke it down as simply as she could for him.

“Could you just take him out?” she finally asked.

Nicky looked stunned.  She thought she’d gotten through.  Satisfied she’d made her point, Crystal got up from the chaise lounge and walked to the snack bar to find Mister.  She could feel Nicky’s eyes on her.  She swayed her caboose a little to thank him for finally paying attention.

Mr. Light had just finished talking to that creepy pool manager with the missing thumb.  The amputee looked a little pale as he shuffled past Crystal like a zombie.  She gave silent thanks to the patron saint of pervs, as the troll didn’t try to sneak a glimpse down the front of her bathing suit like he usually did.  Mister was giving her a look, but not the look the other men did.  Not a good one.

That all was two weeks ago and nothing had changed, except her bruises fading slowly toward yellow.

She went down the driveway to pick up the newspaper, and saw a gun under the bushes.  She wondered if it was time to find a safer home as she picked it up and quickly wrapped it in the Inquirer.  She glanced around the still street before heading inside.

Mr. Light was asleep, making those choking sounds like he did.  A smile crept across Crystal’s full lips at the thought of him choking.  As she glanced down at the bruises on her arm, her eyes traveled further to the newspaper with the pistol inside.  She touched the cool metal, wondering if the police could miss her bruises.  She thought about a horny cop giving her the look and what he might do to help her get away with something.

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From K.L Richardson over at Closing Time: (Visit here to see her post) or to leave comments

Lust For Life…

“I’ve looked on many women with lust. I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times. God knows I will do this and forgives me.”~~ Jimmy Carter

It was supposed to be a once in a lifetime trip – Paris, the city of love!  Elaine would never have a chance like this again; a discounted trip courtesy of the senior class.  She and her husband Henry, were going as extra chaperones; Elaine was beyond giddy.  She always had an expressive, romantic soul- perfect foil (she thought) to Henrys more staid demeanor.  While he was not given to displays of affection Elaine thought Paris might change his mind and put a little spunk in him.  One could always hope!

Just a week before they were to leave he started acting funny.  Not thinking much of it Elaine blithely went about packing and arranging what needed to be done.  Then she got “that call” informing her that there was someone else in her husbands life and it wasn’t his golden retriever.  However, the trip was paid for-no refunds, so on they went.  Obviously a volatile situation, Elaine tried to make the best of it.

The flight over was uneventful if a bit tense.  On the surface Elaine looked calm but her mind was boiling with the years of deceit that had come to the surface at this inopportune time. Her romantic  side warred with her scorned, hurt side making her quiet and morose.  Being a school tour nearly everything was arranged in groups, check in at the hotel, trip to the Louvre, “typical” French restaurant.  All orderly and scheduled with no room for error.

“This isn’t the way to see Paris,” she thought, “I should be on the back of a motorcycle, zipping through traffic, arms around the waist of a hot hunk.”  She intended that to be her husband until plans changed.

One day they got a “free day” to explore as they wanted.  Being motorcycle enthusiasts they and another couple went to the Paris Harley Davidson. The strain must have showed on her face because as the others were browsing the clerk approached Elaine, making pleasant small talk.  She wasn’t used to the accent but she tried to keep up with the conversation.  Suddenly she thought she heard him say “Would you like me to arrange that for you?”.  ”I’m sorry, what did you say?”  ”Mademoiselle, does she like zee French boys?”  ”B-b-but you do see that I’m here with my husband?”, she finally managed to stammer out. “Zoot alors! What does that have to do with Paris and fun?!”, was his pragmatic reply.  Joining the others she returned to the hotel.  Elaine sadly reflected on the irony of the proposition presented earlier in the day.

In the middle of the night she realized that Henry was no longer in bed. Dressing quickly she hurried downstairs to find him whispering sweet nothings into a lobby phone, apologizing for not bringing “her”.  Quietly slipping back to their room Elaine started packing her bags; they were to board the plane tomorrow.

Early next morning as everyone stood groggily in line for the airport bus Henry’s eyes searched for Elaine.  ”She has to be here.”, he mused since she had already packed, leaving the room before he was awake.  Unable to find her they checked the American embassy to no avail.  Henry returned home.

That afternoon, zipping through the cobbled streets, a smiling blonde perched behind a lusty Frenchman.  Her arms encircled his waist as she surveyed her future.

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And from Lorna – from over at Lorna’s Voice (Visit here to see Lorna’s Lush Lust post) :

I Want You, I Need You, I Love You

The occasional static and crackles caused by obsessive listening was no match for Elvis’ satin voice. She played the record again, swaying her shapely hips to the music and mouthing the words as she watched herself in her full-length mirror. She knew the words as well as she knew her reflection. Both felt as hollow as a grave before the casket was lowered into it.

Hold me close, hold me tight.
Make me thrill with delight.
Let me know where I stand from the start.
I want you, I need you, I love you
With all my heart.

How many times had men fantasized about her while listening to this song?

She made a career out of making men want the seductive woman they saw when she put on her mask. And she was the best in the business. Desire is what she sold and men bought it up with reckless abandon—men who never knew her, only her act. Nameless men offered her just about anything she wanted from them in exchange for a chance at devouring her body. All she wanted was their undying love and an unbreakable promise never to leave her alone. But they weren’t able to offer her those things, even in for a chance to fondle her breasts and feel her shapely legs wrapped around their torsos.

Ev’ry time that you’re near
All my cares disappear.
Darling, you’re all that I’m living for.
I want you, I need you, I love you
More and more.

“I want you, I need you, I love you.” Elvis crooned. She felt that way about a man once. He was really just a boy and it was so long ago that it hardly counted as this lifetime. But she ached for him with something inside so strong that she knew she would love that man to death…or she would die trying.

I thought I could live without romance
Before you came to me.
But now I know that
I will go on loving you eternally.

But he didn’t give her the chance to give her life to him. He up and left while she was still young and innocent. So she made herself into a woman no other man would ever up and leave. Not and live to tell about it.

Won’t you please be my own?
Never leave me alone
‘Cause I die ev’ry time we’re apart.
I want you, I need you, I love you
With all my heart.

“Yes, Elvis. I know how that feels,” she said to her reflection, which was the most real thing about her anymore. “But no matter how much you beg and plead, they always leave you alone, don’t they? It’s best to leave before you get there, don’t you think?”

She zipped up her dress and adjusted her ample breasts to make sure the cleavage looked just risqué enough for the crowd she wanted, needed, loved to please.

The doorbell rang. She appraised her reflection from glamorous head to spike-heeled toe. Blowing herself a kiss over her shoulder, she grabbed her purse and headed toward the door.

On the dressing table were two empty champagne bottles and one glass smothered in lipstick kisses.

Elvis was silent now. The needle on the stereo was stuck, so she exited to the faint sound of kerrrr…chrrr…kerrrr…chrrr…kerrrr.

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And the Winner Is….Where is that darned envelope?

sloth

sloth (Photo credit: iamrandygirl)

Sorry  – I’ve been pretty busy trying to catch up from the luxurious vacation last week – where I took 2 days off from work and will spend 2 weeks trying to straighten out the messes created by those trying to be “helpful” in my absence.  In addition, I forgot to put an end date on the voting poll and couldn’t edit it – so had to remove it from the post so that people wouldn’t continue to vote long after I am dead and gone.  So much to learn!  So little remembered from one competition to the next!

Dave, from 1pointsperspective was the big winner in the Sloth round of the Deadly Sins competition.  Make sure you get over there and check out his great illustration that accompanies his entry – “The One Thumbed Sloth“.

Once again, a $40 donation to the charity of Dave’s choice will be made in his honor.  Lenore Diane also will make a donation to one of three organizations selected by her.  So Dave, if you’ve always wanted to donate to “Save the Sloths” – here is your big chance!

Congratulations, Dave!

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The Deadly Sin Series – Gluttony Finalists

Comburg, pulpit cover by Balthasar Esterbauer ...

Comburg, pulpit cover by Balthasar Esterbauer (1715) – Seven deadly sins: gluttony Deutsch: Comburg, Schalldeckel der Kanzel von Balthasar Esterbauer (1715) – Sieben Todsünden: Unmäßigkeit Latina: Gula (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once, a long time ago, I had a daycare in my home.  Every day I felt blessed and a tad nervous caring for the little darlings entrusted to me while their parents went about their business.   I felt a little bit like that with this first round of the Deadly Sin Series (except none of you showed up drunk to pick up your “offspring” nor did any of your checks bounce).  But I digress.

These entries were fantastic.  I had visions of having to beg my bloggy buddies (both of them) and my followers (again, both of them) to submit an entry.  I was floored by not only the number of entries, but the incredible quality of the writing.

The judges, after much consideration, deliberation, consternation and more than  a few libations, have narrowed the finalists field.  I was hoping for 5 finalists, but there was a tie for second place, as well as fourth place, so I have included all 7 of the judges’ favorites.  You can vote for your favorite over on the poll – until midnight Saturday, May 19.

Here are the finalists – in the order their entries were received:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

from She’s A Maineiac – a tale of a hot dog eating contest gone wrong

I always feel a roar in the pit of my stomach right before it starts. Could be nerves, I suppose. Or just hunger. Maybe it’s because I’ve prepared for weeks, sometimes months for this moment. I do the normal body cleanse, clean out all the pipes, so to speak. Then Ma clicks the stopwatch and it’s GO TIME. I’ve always been good at it. Ma says when I was a baby I would eat three jars of sweet potatoes, one right after the other,  then scream for more. I was always hungry, always crying.

My personal best is 53 hot dogs in ten minutes 56 seconds. The trick is lots of ketchup–helps them dogs slide on down smooth as melted butter. When I start, there’s nothing like it, almost a religious experience. My body takes over and I start inhaling them, sucking them down, filling myself up so fast I could swallow the entire universe if I wanted to.

Sometimes I can feel them staring at me, as much disgusted by me as they are thrilled by me. Let ‘em gawk. I don’t give two shits about them anyway. Once the first chunk goes down and my mouth is stuffed, it’s just me against the food. The goddamn food. And I always win. Always. Until the summer of 2005 in Coney Island.

I can pinpoint the exact moment it all when to hell for me. I lost my first contest. Lost to a girl from Japan who was no heavier than a sack of flour–looked like her entire body was nothin more than a pile of bones slapped together with some skin. I knew I was in trouble when she sized me up just before the buzzer went off. Her shifty eyes daring me, taunting me. I had half a mind to stand up right there in front of everybody and swallow her whole. I regret I didn’t get the chance. Not 10.32 minutes later, she had won. Beat me by five whole hot dogs. FIVE. And I was left to sit there like a stuffed pig, still choking. Ma wasn’t happy with me that day. There was big money at stake and she was already three months behind on the mortgage.

Soon Miyu was winning every contest, hamburgers, crabcakes you name the food and she was always at least five to ten ahead of me at the end. But this next contest was it. The prize was $10,000. Enough to keep Ma happy for a bit.

The buzzer went off and I did my thing. For hours at home I had practiced my new move. I could almost get two of them down my throat at once. But it was tricky. For a split second I’d almost stop breathing, like I was drowning in the grease and fat.  But I’d push on through cuz I had to. I had to beat that goddamn girl.

About a minute into the race I glanced down the line at Miyu, she was staring straight ahead, her eyes black and unfeeling, her hands popping the hot dogs in so fast it was a blur. She was in The Zone. I was falling out. In a stupid move I crammed three in my mouth at once and something happened. I knew it was bad. The screams of the crowd faded into this buzzing noise. Things began to get real hazy and I thought  I saw Ma standing over me, crying. I don’t remember standing up, or falling forward, smashing into the table, ketchup and mustard and hot dogs flying every which way. Soon the crowd was all around me and I was looking up at the sky, so clear and blue. So beautiful.

Like I could swallow the entire universe.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

1 Point Perspective  with Willie Prader, A Glutton For Punishment

Willie Prader, Private Eye – Deadly Sin Series –

“A Glutton For Punishment”

Willie Prader had a bad feeling about this one.  Like maybe he’d bit off more than he could chew.

The leggy blonde named Crystal had sauntered through the door and into his life just a week before.  For someone who made his living being observant, he should have learned by now – trouble was always blonde, and it always sauntered.

The job was simple.  She was convinced that her husband was cheating.  Willie’d been a private dick since Moses was a pup, but still had to wonder what kind of guy cheats on a bombshell like this dame.  She had the face of a starlet, and he couldn’t help but notice how her legs got together and made an ass of themselves.

Prader parked his battered Lincoln at the White Castle across the highway from the Palace Diner and waited.  The guy drove a ’68 Fleetwood, so he’d be hard to miss.  When Mr. Light finally pulled up at the Palace, Prader was amazed to find out just how hard to miss he actually was.  The guy got out of the Caddy and the chassis elevated like one the Impalas the kids drive out in L.A.  Only this car didn’t have complicated hydraulics, it heaved up because the guy who got out of it had to tip the scales at five bills or more.  He leaned down and checked his massive face in the little mirror on the door, then shifted his bulk toward the diner entrance.

Prader chuckled to himself.  He never would’ve guessed that a doll like Crystal would be married to a guy who looked like he was built when meat was cheap.  He leaned back on the Lincoln, lit a Lucky and watched across the lanes of blacktop as the round man somehow crammed himself into a booth.  The waitress was hovering at his table, spending too much time for someone who should be hustling up and down the aisle slinging hash for tips.   She laughed and smiled at him,  touching his arm as he shifted his attention between her and the glossy menu.

Willie decided to get a closer look at this little romance.  He jogged across the highway and stood in the shadows just outside the neon glow of the flickering sign.  He considered his surroundings, making sure he wouldn’t be too conspicuous.  He looked back up to the window and saw the booth was empty.  For a minute, he thought maybe he was looking at the wrong booth.  Just then, he felt the massive ham-hand grip his arm like a vise.  He was pretty sure the pain in his ribs was the business end of a Colt, maybe a Baretta.  The man-mountain pushed him toward the diner door and the barrel of the handgun kept him moving.

Light stared at him across the booth with tired eyes.  The waitress looked at Prader with just a hint of dull surprise after putting three platters down in front of the big man.  She smiled briefly at Light as she left.

“My wife sent you snooping” Light declared.  “She knows I’m cheating,” he continued, “but look at this plate of sausage and eggs with hash browns.  Do you have any idea how many points that meal is?  Sorry pal, but I can’t lose Crystal because of what you or some team of cardiologists tell her.”

Prader swore at himself as he lay bound and gagged in the trunk of the Caddy, probably on his way to a landfill.  If he got out of this alive, he’d need to listen closer to clients, especially the blonde ones.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

angrygorillaemissions with a story about Dexter:

It was getting near that time of day again. Dexter didn’t really recognize that it was nearly 4:30, like you or I would, but he knew it nonetheless. He felt it. Dexter watched a lizard scurrying under the couch. In his youth he would have chased after it, but now it bored him. He waved his tail impatiently and yawned, then climbed up onto the couch and let the peacefulness of the afternoon lull him. A truck rumbled by outside, and his ears involuntarily perked up. “No”, he thought, “This isn’t the sound Mrs. Hattock makes when she opens the door.” But still a pang of hunger struck him at the thought of Mrs. Hattock returning.

He mindlessly licked himself and found that his fur tasted quite delicious.

Then the familiar jingle of Mrs. Hattock’s keys searching for their place in the door reached Dexter. He sprung up immediately and ran to the door. He was surprisingly out of breath from this short flight, but paid no mind to his physical discomfort. He was fixated on meowing as loudly as possible until Mrs. Hattock fed him.

“Hello Dexter,” Mrs. Hattock began cordially, but Dexter was in no mood for small talk. He began to whine and rub himself against her aging calves, arching his back.

“I’ve got a treat for you.” She said, opening up a can of soft food. Dexter plunged his head into the can of soft food even while she tried to empty it into his food bowl.

“Now don’t be greedy Dexter.” She reproached. “My how fat you’ve gotten.”

She didn’t care that he was fat really. Neither did Dexter. The two of them needed this daily ritual. She loved to spoil him and he loved to eat. He swallowed his food quickly without really chewing it. It didn’t even taste good it mostly just felt good. It was more like an esophageal massage than a dinner.

In that moment they both thought they loved each other. Soon they would be both be gone, and neither one wished to contemplate what would happen if the other died first.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Lindsey from rewindrevise with a tale of rehab relapse:

It had been three months since Allison had left rehab. She had just earned her 90 day sobriety chip, which had become a comforting worry stone as of late. As she sat in the reception area of her husband’s office, she flipped the coin between her thumb and forefinger all the while eyeing the handsome young man her husband has chosen as his assistant.

“I have Mrs. Taylor here,” he emphasized over the phone.

Why had he not called her Allison? The young man cleared his throat.

“No, she’s here.”

Allison continued to flip, flip, flip.

“He’s just wrapping something up…a meeting. He’s wrapping up a meeting,” he clarified. How long had this been happening, Allison wondered? How long had it been happening right in front of her eyes but she was too stoned to see it? Their sex life never had the kinds of stories she wanted to boast to her friends about. At first he blamed it on stress. He blamed it on the office.  Then there was the baby. Then there was her and the vodka. How long had it even been since they had…been? The longer Allison waited, the more her stomach sank. She could feel the urge coming. The sound of a train rumbled in the distance and once again she was reminded how much she hated this place. The 90 day chip was no longer soothing, but heavy, hot.  She looked at the clock…tick. She looked at the water cooler…drip. She looked at the young assistant’s coffee…and there she spotted them. A crystal bowl full of champagne and rum truffles.  The assistant caught her gaze and began wildly shuffling papers to distract her. He had not cleared the bowl in time for Allison’s visit. Was that what was making him nervous? She had showed up unannounced, but surely the wrath from her husband for not hiding the bowl of liquor truffles was not the complete source of the young man’s anxiety. No, this was the kind of nail biting, knee-bouncing, pen-tapping anxiety that comes with knowing a secret, one that is about to explode.

From behind the office door, a man’s voice, yelled, “I don’t care, anymore!”

Allison raised an eyebrow at the assistant and he squeaked out a high-pitched laugh. “Excuse me,” he said, as he quickly got up and let himself inside the office door. Before he quickly closed the door behind him, she could see the back of a man’s head, jet black, his shirt wrinkled from where it had been tucked in, untucked, and tucked again. He was adjusting his carefully rolled sleeves…and then the door slammed with the assistant inside…but not before the waft of that familiar cologne had escaped. That cologne she had smelled on her husband after business meetings and gold tournaments and galas. That cologne had almost replaced her husband’s scent. Only when he visited her in rehab, when she did not smell the cologne, did she realize it was a cologne that did not belong to him.

It was just Allison and the bowl now, Allison and the velvet truffles calling for her, Allison with the 90 day chip and the train rumbling and the cologne wafting. She no longer needed to see her husband. The assistant had told her everything she needed to know. Allison lunged for the crystal bowl, ripped off wrappers with her acrylic nails, and two by two popped glorious bursts of rum and chocolate into her mouth.

When Jim finally emerged reeking of that other man’s cologne, all he found was the 90 day chip in an empty crystal bowl.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sean from  theequiaticbind  with The Unhappy Meal

At most fast food restaurants they enforce a rule called the two finger smile. This rule dictates that if you put your top two fingers next to your mouth, holding the fingers together like you’re making a gun out of them, and then smile, your smile needs to be the same height as the fingers. The strictness of the enforcement of this rule differs from restaurant to restaurant. I’ve been in some restaurants were the server has barely spoken let alone smiled and I’ve been to others where they smiled so much I became suspicious and in the end I left after asking for directions to somewhere I wasn’t going to.

One time though I was stupid enough to make a complaint. It happened like this:

It was a Tuesday afternoon and the restaurant I was in was fairly empty. Actually it was completely empty save for myself and the servers. One of the servers had on a red tie and a short sleeve shirt that denoted management.

I had ordered my meal, found fault with it and approached the counter.

‘Excuse me,’ I said. ‘I think there’s something wrong with my meal.’

My server said, ‘Yes, sir and what is the problem.’ He had a two and a half finger smile.

‘Yeah I bit into my burger and I suddenly had a very strong memory of being stood up for a date when I was sixteen by a girl who ended up with my best friend and broke my heart. I would have come and complained sooner but I’ve only just stopped crying.’

He nodded, ‘I see.’ He made a hand motion and the manager appeared at my side.

‘Yes sir, you were crying sir?’ said the manager with a three finger smile.

‘Yes. From eating your burger.’

‘Yes this is a common problem. You ordered an unhappy meal, sir?’

‘No, I ordered a happy meal.’

‘It’s a common mistake at the moment, sir, you see we’ve just started a new campaign promoting our unhappy meals. They’re a more depressing but healthier version of the happy meal. They also don’t come with a toy.’

‘Yeah I noticed that. Mine came with a small note saying that my glasses made me look a dork.’ I readjusted my glasses on my nose. ‘I like my glasses.’

‘They’re wonderful, sir.’

‘Okay then I’d like to change this for a happy meal then.’

‘No. That’s not possible.’

‘Why not?’ His smile had dropped to one finger status now. ‘You ordered an unhappy meal so you have to finish it. Company policy.’

‘I’ve left food unfinished here before.’ The smile dropped to half a finger.

‘What?’

‘I’ve left food unfinished here before.’

The manager turned to the server, ‘lock the door.’

‘Wait, wait, wait. What’s happening?’

‘You wıll eat the food you have wasted.’ The manager now had a two finger frown. ‘Eat it or there will be consequences.’

‘You’re a fast food restaurant manager. You have no power over anything in the real world.’

He smiled then, one finger, then two, three, four, his mouth stretching to five fingers then six then seven then eight.. He spoke in a voice that sounded like frying meat, ‘Eat.’

I looked down at the counter and saw the servers had gathered heapıng great piles of food there.

‘Eat,’ they hissed at me. ‘Eat.’

I reached over with a shaking hand and picked up the first of what looked like a hundred burgers. I slowly unwrapped it and began to chew, tears running down my face. The manager eight finger smiled at me, ‘enjoy your meal.’

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Julie over at gojulesgo with her  tale of a gluttonous mother:

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.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Katie with a story of food waiting in the dark:

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.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

 If your story didn’t make the cut – don’t be discouraged.  There were 3 stories tied for 6th place – so Honorable Mention goes to Lisa, Elyse and Peg.  All of the entries were unique, creative and very entertaining.

So here is the poll.  Good luck.  Remember the winner (U.S. only) gets a batch of my world famous chocolate chip cookies, a $20 donation to the hunger fighting organization of their choice, plus a $30 donation in their name to one of the organizations designated by Lenore (as specified by the winner).  If the winner is based outside the U.S. they will receive either a gift certificate to the eating emporium of their choice ($20) or an additional ($20) donation to a hunger fighting organization.

 

NEXT UP IN THE DEADLY SIN SERIES:  ENVY.  START WRITING AND AS SOON AS I REMEMBER HOW TO PUT THE SUBMISSION BOX BACK IN, I’LL DO THAT. OR YOU CAN ALWAYS E-MAIL YOUR ENTRIES TO ME.  THANKS FOR ALL YOUR WONDERFUL ENTRIES AND SPECIAL THANKS TO THE JUDGES.  THAT ROUND WAS TOUGH.

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