Happy Wednesday, loyal readers. Today I offer the first five entries in the “Gluttony” competition of the Deadly Sins Series. I hope you enjoy them:
Lorna over at Lorna’s voice –
Proof of Life
Her problem was that she felt empty and everyone around her seemed full. She wanted to be filled with what everyone else had—the stuff that made them real, solid, visible. If she didn’t find a way to become solid, she was convinced she would evaporate into thin air.
And so she began collecting the evidence that would, when examined by anyone who cared to notice—and everyone would certainly notice her once she was done—provide proof of life. Her life. Her full life.
She began by collecting personalities. For every occasion, she had the perfect persona to fit in. None of them fit her, but that didn’t matter. What mattered is what those around her thought. Sex-pot, naïve little girl, perfectionist, klutz, intellectual star, joker, and compassionate helper: she was all of these people. Her closet was full of costumes for any situation. But she felt like a mannequin—the costumes were what people responded to, not her.
Still feeling empty, she began hoarding comfort. Solace, she found, came in a wide variety of packages. At first, she tried food and filled her mouth and belly with an odd assortment of indulgences. She chewed Double Bubble bubble gum only until the sugar was gone then inserted another piece. Her collection of tiny cartoon wrappers was a marvel to see. Wintergreen mints that were pink—she named them “Pink Things”—were another of her favorite splurges. She could effortlessly consume a bag a day. A large box of Fiddle Faddle was, to her, a single-serving size.
The comfort of sugar was, she found, short-lived, except around the belly. She abandoned sweets for alcohol, which could also be sweet both in taste and consequence. Alcohol was very comforting, indeed. She found herself wrapped in the warm and woozy world that one drink could never evoke, but many drinks always did. In that world where her blood was full of alcohol and her brain was empty of memory or inhibition, she could animate the mannequin in the costume and she felt full. Until the next day. But there was always another bottle of alcohol to unlock the key to that world, so she collected bottles of alcohol and emptied them along with herself.
The attention of men was another source of comfort for her. When she wanted, she could be sexy; but she rarely wanted to be sexy. Alcohol made her feel sexy, so alcohol had the added benefit of helping her to collect men. She wasn’t a slut or indiscriminate when drunk, but she was more willing to make love to her boyfriend or to the nice guy she met at the bar. She always made love; she never just had sex. Collecting trophies didn’t make her comfortable. Collecting men who adored her did.
Like lying on a hammock, things that are comfortable when young and supple start to hurt as age takes its toll. While she was busy collecting personalities and things to make her comfortable in a skin that she never felt she occupied, she began to ache. Her life of hoarding, of gluttony, had not fulfilled her. She felt more vacant, more vaporous, than when she began this quest. Something had to change. But what?
She felt no inner resources upon which to draw—there was nothing inside her empty shell. Yet she built a whole life around it. How did she do that?
Perhaps there was something inside of her all along. Perhaps her emptiness was perfect and she was blinded by the fallacy of fullness.
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Lisa at Woman Wields Words
HAPPY EVER AFTER (NOT) GUARANTEED: CHLOE
“This is incredible!” Chloe said, “I can’t believe we opened the door between dimensions. Look at all the delicious food. It smells like heaven.”
Nobody answered. Chloe turned to see the faces of the other girls, but found herself looking through a carved golden doorframe at the dusty attic and feeble circle of candles they had lit moments before reciting the spell. She was all alone.
“Where are you?!” Chloe called, but heard only the grumble in her stomach reacting to the scintillating smells beckoning from an elegant hall filled on every available surface with colorful, aromatic and delicious-looking food. The room became a complex maze with passages lined by mounds of food. Every breath titillated her nose with the spiciness of cinnamon, baked apples, and exotic spices she could not name. The succulent scent of roasted meat and freshly baked bread made her stomach complain even more. She began to wander through the maze sampling anything that looked good enough to eat. Everything did.
Between mouthfuls she started talking, forgetting that her friends had not followed her through the door.
“I’ve never tasted anything so wonderful.”
“I love food.”
Chloe lost herself in the flavors and textures, moving deeper and deeper into the maze. If she looked back, she would no longer have been able to see the mysterious golden door. But she never looked back, always moving toward the next new taste sensation.
“It’s so wonderful to eat without Mom harassing me. ‘Don’t eat that! You’ll get fat!’” she said, stuffing a giant chocolate éclair into her mouth, eyes darting forward toward a pile of chicken wings, dripping with a savory sauce.
“You can eat all you would like here.” A deep voice spoke from somewhere behind an immense multi-layered wedding cake that reached toward the cathedral ceiling.
“Who said that?” Chloe asked, wandering around the cake, gripping the chicken wing as if it was a weapon.
She found a group of people crowded around a huge round table, laden with more exotic dishes, each looking more delightful than the rest. For the most part, nobody spoke. The table rang with the sounds of mastication, the scrape of spoon against dish, the groans of pleasure. The man who spoke wiped his mouth with a fancy well-used fabric napkin before attempting to heave his large frame out of his throne-like chair. He gave up and grabbed a turkey leg instead.
“Welcome to my kingdom,” he said. “You may eat anything and everything here, and nobody will stop you. My joy is providing the best of the best in food.”
At this point the other people at the table mumbled in agreement, some of them even saying welcome around mouthfuls. They all wore rich colorful fabrics stretched to the breaking point over abundant flesh. They all had looks of joy and contentment.
“Please join us,” the King said. The table seemed to expand and a chair appeared out of nowhere in front of a bowl of bubbling soup.
“I’d love to,” she said, and sat down in the cushioned chair, grabbing a jeweled glass full of sweet wine. She joined the feast.
She didn’t notice when some of her fellow diner’s movements began to slow, or the bodies glistening with sweat even with the slight movements of their hands. She didn’t notice that occasionally one diner would simply stop, his dying breathe filled with his last taste sensation. That person would disappear, while the table adjusted itself. Chloe kept eating.
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Nancy at Not Quite Old
I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was eighteen.
I let my friends think that I didn’t drive because my parents wouldn’t let me, but the truth was that I was a little afraid of driving. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do it. I finally couldn’t avoid it any longer. I was about to graduate high school. Time to pretend I was an adult.
I was right of course. I wasn’t very good at it. But lots of lousy drivers get their license and so did I. But that’s another story.
But despite the fact that I was a mediocre driver, I liked it. Because I realized that I had never been anywhere outside my neighborhood by myself.
As a kid, I had always liked being alone. But whatever was beyond walking distance meant that I had company. Back in grade school, I often used to walk to Church after supper to say the rosary. I wasn’t especially religious. I liked having the church to myself.
I liked being alone in the car. The old car my father bought for us kids to use didn’t even have a radio. So I’d sing. I liked driving alone. I liked singing alone. I could pretend I was good at both of them.
I also found that I could shop alone. I could buy things for myself without anyone’s approval. My mother didn’t even have to know what I bought. Of course, I didn’t have much money. But it was strangely satisfying to buy a lipstick and put it in my drawer. My own personal possession.
When the weather got warm, driving was especially sweet. I loved the dry heat when you first got in the car at the end of the day. (I still like that). And I liked the open windows and the floor vent that would ruffle my skirt. (I love air conditioning, but I miss that little breeze.)
In June I got an after-school job. Every day I drove by a small strawberry field. “Pick You Own” for fifty cents a pint. A pint of strawberries is only a dozen or so. It only takes a few minutes to pick them.
And I started to take those few minutes every day on the way to work. I picked strawberries and ate them in the car. They were so fresh and yummy. I didn’t share them with anyone. That was the best part. With older sisters and a little brother, I had spent my whole childhood sharing. I savored the strawberries and I savored my selfishness.
I picked a pint and ate a pint every day. When the season was at its peak, I found I could pick three pints and still make it to work on time. But I couldn’t really eat three pints, even if I had a dollar and a half. But I usually had a dollar, so most days that’s what I picked. I ate half and saved the rest to eat on the way home.
The days got warmer and the car got hotter. The sun would still be shining at seven when I got out of work. And that second pint of strawberries would be very warm and juicy indeed.
The last weekend of strawberry season, my father ran an errand in my/(his) car.
He wasn’t happy when he got home. “Why is the car full of ants?” he asked.
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Harry at Dribbling Pensioner
Mr and Mrs glutton had three little gluttons, they were called, Fatty age 14, Tubby age 12 and Lardy age 10, and the whole family were obese.
They were so fat that the parents never went out very much, except to buy food at the nearest supermarket, they also took the fat brats with them to push the three trolleys.
The little glutton kids got a packed lunch to school each day, one lunch could have fed a whole class room, but they were still hungry when they got home.
They all got up at 7am to start breakfast which might have taken 45 minutes and when the kids went to school mum and dad went in to have a break with more fizzy drinks and a snack.
Mum and dad gluttons day consisted of food and tv, the only time they got exercise was going to make meals, and going to the toilet to make room for the next meal.
Of course all this gluttony was very bad for them all and they were all told this would be very serious for them by the doctors that tried to treat them, but it did no good at all.
Daddy and mummy glutton died within two months of each other, and with no-one to look after them the kids glutton were taken into a local care home for children.
Being a charity run home the children were well feed but did not get the amount of food that they were used to at home. So they all lost a lot of weight and fat and through time got down to the weight of normal children.
When they left the home and went to college there was no sign of gluttony and everyone treated them as normal.
They knew their life style of gluttony was wrong and stayed slim.
Fatty went on to work as a dietician, Tubby works as a fitness coach and Lardy is now a model.
So this story shows that gluttony kills, but it can be overcome with help.
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Peg at – Peg-O-Leg
Gluttony: You’ll Spoil Your Appetite
Mom knocked only once; a perfunctory rap on the door before she walked into his room a scant second later. Billy barely had time to hide the forbidden snack under his desk. He took a quick swipe at his chin to erase any evidence before turning around to face his mother.
“Billy, time to get washed up for dinner.” Her eagle eye swept the room.
Her gaze rested on his chubby tummy, which was straining the button on his chinos. A familiar frown settled on her face.
“You didn’t stop for a snack on the way home from school, did you?” Her sharp gaze bored straight into her 12-year-old son’s eyes.
Billy called on all of his resources to resist her motherly mind-reading power and keep his expression one of wide-eyed innocence. “No, of course not, Mom! You know I’m not eating between meals.” His virtuous tone of voice would have done a saint proud. “I’m trying to slim down – like we agreed!”
She continued looking at him for a long moment, as if she could compel him to give up his secrets through sheer force of will, then turned away.
“Remember we’re having the Silvermans for dinner tonight.” Mom said, and then shut the door behind her.
“Whew!” Billy exhaled loudly, slumping bonelessly in his chair. That was a close one. After a quick glance over his shoulder to make sure his mother hadn’t snuck back in the room, he drew his sweet treat up from its hiding place.
No need for Mom to know about his stop at Kerlands Sweet Shoppe that afternoon. She was constantly on him about his weight, telling him he shouldn’t eat so much, especially before dinner. “You’ll spoil your appetite,” she always said. But he was always hungry. What was he supposed to do? He was a growing boy!
Kerlands was loaded with candy and cakes, and young Mrs. Kerland was just as sweet as her wares. “I wouldn’t mind having a piece of that!” That’s what all the guys said about her. Usually Billy just pressed his face longingly to the glass, but today he had gotten up his courage and went inside.
He smiled as he sunk his teeth into the treat, the sweet, red juice dribbling down his chin. He just couldn’t resist gooey, sticky sweets!
He finished up his snack, licked his fingers – mmm, mmm good! – then stood up. Time to get washed or he was risking Mom’s mighty wrath for sure. He slowly shuffled to the door and tried to drum up some enthusiasm for the upcoming meal. They’d had the Silvermans for dinner just last night.
“Oh well, the Silvermans are ok.” he thought. It wasn’t as if he was full after the little morsel he’d just had. “Who knows? Maybe tonight Mom will let me eat some of their brains.”
Billy shuffled just a bit faster.
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All right – you still have 10 days to get your entry in. If you don’t want to write, please consider being a judge!!