Tag Archives: contest

Seven Deadly Sins Series – Pride/Vanity

Sculpture: Deadly Sins (Snowglobes): Pride, Pu...

Sculpture: Deadly Sins (Snowglobes): Pride, Pure Products USA, by Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese, Eyebeam Open Studios Fall 2009 / 20091023.10D.55559.P1.L1.SQ / SML (Photo credit: See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Hey – It’s Baaaaaaaaack.  The Seven Deadly Sins Series.  A simple little writing competition, or the Dave and Lorna Show as it is affectionately called.

Simple contest – simple rules – see the guidelines over to the right.  Right there.

Some sources list “Pride”; some list “Vanity”.  You may use either or both.  Hey, it’s your entry…

I’m going to start writing my entry (which won’t be entered into the contest) tomorrow.  I hope to see your entry soon.  I’ll post the entries in batches as they are received.  Voting is done by an elite panel of judges, in conjunction with the submitting authors (judging by peers).  It really is a lot of fun.

Come on, take a stab at it!!!

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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.

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

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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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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Envy – What Hard Feelings?

Syringe 5 with drops.

Photo credit: Wikipedia.

I realized I hadn’t posted my non-contest entry for Envy (well, I had, but half of that post disappeared, along with my designation of the drink of the month  – The Hurricane).  Well, here it is.

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 What Hard Feelings?

 I didn’t want to take the patient in 311. I’d known Cherry Sullivan since nursing school – we’d been inseparable as nursing students – even working together after graduation at the same plastic surgeon’s office. But a lot had happened since then. Not all of it good.

“Cherry, I’m going to be your nurse tonight,” I said, closing her chart. Her paperwork told me she had been admitted after a routine cosmetic surgery. Liposuction – yet another in a long list of “enhancements” including breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, lip remodeling, chin implant, and cheek implants. Patients routinely went home – or to a nearby hotel after this type of surgery but, apparently, a cosmetic surgeon with some pull could get his wife admitted to a private room on demand.

“Oh, Laura, I’m so glad. Maybe we can get caught up”. She reached for my hand with her perfectly manicured one, her huge diamond engagement ring glinting. I pulled my hand away, suddenly ashamed of my chewed fingernails and stubby fingers, and punched some buttons on the bedside monitor. I turned back and looked into her turquoise eyes – colored contacts being yet another enhancement – I remembered her eyes being blue, but not this shade. Her sculpted face, perfectly symmetrical and flawless, looked hopeful.

I thought, “Fat chance.  I’ve got five other patients who are actually either sick or in need of care. I’ve got meds to give, dressings to change, and paperwork up the wazoo. Fat chance I’m going to have time to sit with you and catch up.”

“Um, I’ve got a pretty heavy patient load tonight,” I said. “I’ll be back in a bit”.  I turned to leave.

As I reached the door Cherry said “Laura, I hope there are no hard feelings about the job”.

I stopped but did not turn around. The job. When we both had been employed by the same cosmetic surgeon’s office after graduation, we were elated. Two years later Cherry had married the good doctor and I, four months pregnant, had been replaced by a medical assistant. Make that two medical assistants – after all, they were much more economical to employ than Registered Nurses. I had gone from a dream job working 9 to 5 to 12 hour shifts at the hospital, working nights, holidays and weekends. I went from peaceful nights to trying to sleep during the day with my three children romping in the next room of the crowded apartment under the less-than-watchful eye of my chronically underemployed, perpetually sullen, and habitually lazy husband. She had a successful husband, a McMansion, a nanny, and didn’t work outside the home. What hard feelings?

“I’ve got to go, Cherry. I’ll be back in a bit”, I said ignoring the subject. I felt the atmosphere change.

“Bring me a ginger ale and something for pain, right away, could you?” she asked, her voice petulant.

“Sure,” I muttered, “Right away”.

Not even a “please”. Not “when you have time”.

“What am I, some sort of waitress?” I mumbled on the way to the medication room. I prepared syringes and slipped them into my scrubs pocket.

“Right away, my ass” I said out loud.

I stopped and prepared the requested soft drink, and headed back to her room, getting interrupted multiple times in the process.

“Finally”, she moaned. “I’ve got a lot of pain.”

I attached a syringe to her IV and pushed in a small amount of pain medication.

“This should help”, I said.

“What took you so long?” she whined.

I slammed the plunger down, twisted the syringe off and attached another.

“This should help a lot”.

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

I also realized that I hadn’t designated a prize for this round.  I thought about making the cookies offered last round, which Dave graciously declined in favor of a donation.  But it’s roughly 100 degrees here and I’m too cranky to bake.

So I asked my dog Shelby what I should do.  Shelby told me that she is the envy of all the dogs at the shelter, having won the rescue and adoption lottery and going to a forever home where she is not only pampered, but loved unconditionally.  Shelby also loves children so much, she thought any organization that helps grant wishes to children would be appropriate.  I have to agree with her.

The winner will be able to designate a charitable organization, which helps alleviate the envy by granting wishes of children or animals,  to receive a $40 donation.  In addition, Lenore Diane has graciously agreed to donate funds to an organization chosen from a list supplied by her.  So get your buddies to vote here, and figure out which organization will receive the money WHEN YOU WIN!!!

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