The Eighth Deadly Sin or Who Makes The Rules Around Here Anyway?

inferno

 

Post A Day Prompt: Eighth Deadly Sin

It was something to think about: If you could create the Eighth Deadly Sin what would it be?

I felt like a kid in a candy store.

People do so many idiotic things that you could nail them for. I mean where to start?

Okay. Deadly Sin should do what it says. If you commit this sin the consequences are going to be deadly. Plus you’re for sure going to Hell.

So if I could pick a new one I’d stay with the theme. It’d have to be something people do at least one of every single day : wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.

Ok. Here it is.

Laughter.

If you laugh you go to Hell. Do not pass Go. Do not collect 200.00

 No more laughing when your trying to belittle someone and that laugh, that smile is just one more knife for you to stick in their eye and twist. No more laughing at jokes or movies or happy memories.

And if you do. Boom. You’re in a cuddle puddle with demons. And not the cute ones like they have on the TV show Supernatural.

And if you think so- I’d agree: Yes indeed that is twisted and mean.

But isn’t that what the Deadlies are? Don’t we all get angry?  Love to eat too much ( Hello Christmas and Thanksgiving ) Aren’t there days when you just don’t want to wear anything but yesterday’s t-shirt and your favorite ripped up jeans or sweatpants? And on those days when you’re not fitting into your favorite outfit  don’t tell me you wouldn’t  sell a kidney to look like someone on tv.

It’s okay. We’ve all been there.

Seriously. Who decided to make being human not just a sin, but a deadly one?

But this is my blog and my post and my response to the prompt and I have made Laughter The Eighth Deadly Sin.

You just laughed at that didn’t you?

Uh Oh. Uh Oh For You To The Max.

lucifer

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It Sneaks Up On You

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Halloween is my favorite time of the year.

Not the holiday itself exactly.

I love Autumn, I love the Winter. I love the crunchy leaves. The cold dark mornings and the biting cold evenings.

I love considering the possiblity of those things that can happen when Spring comes.

But in the mean time.

Winter.

I read the classics during the winter. Dickens mostly. This year I’m going to read start off with David Copperfield. Last year it was Great Expectations, but then I moved on to Through The Looking Glass, A Journal of The Plague Year and Turn Of The Screw.

On Monday I’m going to my favorite bookstore in Pioneer Square ( it’s a small independant store and the owner actually talks about books and writers with you) and pick up my Winter reading.

And then later this week I’m going Halloween Shopping.

I like to get that done before October.

Because once October hits, I want to celebrate and enjoy each and everday leading up to the night itself.

I want to read and write and listen to hours of Mozart and The Midnight Syndicate

I want to enjoy scary movies and take in some not so scary ones.

That’s the thing about the holidays and life in general. It will sneak up on you and be down the road before you know it.

So make it count. Every moment.

 

Floaters

 

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Down the street from where I work is the waterfront.

It’s interesting for a variety of  reasons.

Like there’s a couple of mummies in one place, a great fish and chips place in another and did I mention the mummies already?

Hands down one of my favorite things to do is to stand there, looking out at the water and when there’s a small group of people eating snacks and taking selfies I’ll turn to a friend ( this only works if someone I know is there ) and say

” So you know what they have to do here every morning?”

No my friend will say on cue.

” The City has to get out here early and look for floaters.”

” What’s that?”

” You mean who. They’re dead bodies. See the tide comes in and they get pushed up here and wouldn’t you know it?” There’s always a tourist looking down and there’ll it will be. A big juicy floater. Hitting the dock. I heard when they hit the piling it makes a weird knocking sound. Anyway. It’s bad for business. So the City gets out here early and fishes then out with a big giant hook

” Oh my God. That cannot be true. ” my friend will say.

I take a quick look around and at this point my little audience-and there always is one because people are nosey and eavesdroppers by nature. Anyway the little crowd is clearly on my friend’s side and I can tell the image of a bloated water-logged corpse being fished out of the water is something they can’t unsee- unless of course they can convince themselves that this is absolutely not true.

” Well they can’t walk out. They’re dead you know.”

” You made that up. It’s not true.” My friend will say for the little group.

” Fine it’s not true.”

” Really? It’s not true. You were just kidding. Admit it.”

” Sure. ” I’ll say clearly not meaning it. ” I’m just kidding. Really.” I’ll say as unconvincingly as possible. ” Just kidding.”

dockcherry

 

The Party You Are Trying To Reach

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A week after his wife, Leah Frost ran over a dog- wich was actually a euphemism between husband and wife for ‘the woman you hit with your car and dragged for almost a mile down a gravel road’  Sal Frost was nearly driven to running over and dragging his wife down a gravel road when Leah  started to hear the ringing phone.

Sometimes the phone- which she said had one of those oldfashioned ringtones- and not one of the new ones that you could download on your cellphone that sounded like chickens or maniacal clown laughter or something by Mozart- rang while she was in the bathroom washing her hair, or when she was reaching for a carton of cranberry juice out of the cooler at the grocery store and sometimes it seemed to come from right beneath her feet when she was in the kitchen pouring herself another glass of wine ( which she did a lot of since she ran over ‘the dog’)

On these occasions, if he was around she would grab his arm and whisper frantically ” can you hear it Sal? Can you hear that phone ringing?

After the millionth, it could have been the billionth time for all he knew at this point, Sal looked at her with a look that shouted, “if I hear about that phone one more time…just one more time Leah I’m going to put you in the same ditch with that “dog”…do we understand each other? Are we clear on that?

They did understand each other. Perfectly. So instead of saying anything about a ringing phone Leah’s eye would twitch like crazy and on some occasions the entire left side of her face would twitch and Sal would glare at her and she would not say a word.

He didn’t care if that drugged out dingbat he was married to went into a grand mal seizure as long as she shut the hell up about that ringing phone.

“Really Sal? “He would ask himself as he would watch his wife  standing by the mail box or smoking one of her several packs of cigarettes a day.

Did you really sign up for this?

And when he considered his wife’s talent for scoring a smosgasbord  of pharmaceuticals on a monthly basis from one of her several Doctors  that had in all probability led her to running over ‘the dog’ and he wondered…

What the hell was life going to be like when she hit 70 in a few years? Would hitting the big seven-oh slow her down? He thought not. In Leah’s universe there was still plenty of time left to run over ‘dogs’ or overdose on whatever the hell she was taking that week and would she do it in the privacy of their home?

Oh no.

She’d probably do it at the Opera like last time, or at the art museum like the time before or the three or four times it happened at poetry readings. For God Sakes.  Who the Hell OD’s at poetry readings?

His wife. That’s who.

Sal looked up and wished he had the nerve to walk into her bathroom and start opening bottles in her medicine cabinet and start throwing the contents back into his throat until what was left of his life was burned out of his bones once and for all.

After one such thought- and there were several like that around the Frost household now days Sal was outside when he heard…faintly from the back yard a phone ringing.

Not one of those new ringtone that sounded like robots or singing birds or cats meowing.

It was an old-fashioned ringtone it was deep and rich and trilled as it ended, briefly before starting back up again.

He walked slowly to the back of his house and he could hear it- it was louder but not by much. He walked all the way to the fence line and there…it was louder here.

It was coming from the house next door.

The old abandoned house next door with among the other messages and spray can artwork on the walls was something written on the ceiling. It said,

” We’re so cold here.”

But he could hear it ringing now, it was non-stop and it was so loud.

So he walked into the house through a side door that led into a kitchen with a sink and a wooden chair in the center of the room and one the window ledge there was of course…

a phone.

And it was ringing.

The wires were neatly coiled next tot the phone and  the receiver was off the cradle and yet…it was ringing Sal noted with wonder.

Sal walked over to the phone lifted the receiver to his ear and a calm, cool women’s voice asked hin if he would accept the charges.

” Wh-what?”

” Person to person call from Riversleigh Manor to Mrs Leah Frost, will you accept the charges?”

” Who is this? “

” Sir. I have a person to person call from Riversleigh Manor to Leah Frost. Will you accept the charges?”

Sal looked around the kitchen, could see the writing on the ceiling in the next room and the phone, the dead phone sitting on the window ledge in front of him. ” My, my wife isn’t here. This isn’t our house. I…I…”

” Sir. I have…”

” Fine I heard you. But how can a house be calling my wife person to person?” It occurred to Sal nobody should be able to call into a dead line and nobody should be able to answer it. But at this point Sal wasn’t tracking those little details.

” Sir I have a person to person call from Riversleigh Manor to Leah Frost. Will you accept the charges.”

Sal nodded. ” I mean yes sure. I’ll accept the charges.”

” Thank you sir. Riversleigh you may proceed with you call.”

Sal never saw the face of the person who rammed their fist through his back and into his ribcage. Never felt the hand yank his heart out and let it fall to the dusty floor.

And Sal was way beyond seeing anything anymore when  a small foot, a woman’s booted foot stepped on it.

” I’m sorry Riversleigh.” The Operator said over the dead receiver. The party you are trying to reach is no longer on the line. Shall I try again?”

And then a voice, neither male or female, cool and dry whispered over the line.” No. No that’s fine. I’ll try again later. Only next time I do believe I’ll call direct. “

Senza Fine

Photo By: Ostephy

Photo By: Ostephy

ONCE upon a time

a little old lady who smoked too much and drank too much and swore too much  met  the Devil on the path that led into the deep dark woods behind her house.

It was just before sunset when she saw the Devil, who did indeed have horns and eyes like a wolf’s and a head of long black hair that smelled faintly of tomatoes leaning against a Maple tree covered with flaming red and orange fall leaves.

Her name was Enid Oddworte and the Devil didn’t tell her its name but the Devil fancied Enid. She felt it in her dry aged bones. So it didn’t matter to Enid what its name was.

All she cared about was that in all of the world  the Devil wanted her kiss.

But everyday the Little Old Lady said no.

“Why would you want a kiss from me?” she asked in her wine  soaked voice as she took a long hard drag off of her cigarette. Then she  blew a thin line of smoke over her shoulder and tossed her thin dark hair out of her watery dark eyes and smiled.

It was not an honest smile.

The Devil shrugged and it’s tail twitched from side to side, just like a cat’s. ” I don’t know Enid. I just know what I want. And what I want is a kiss from you. I would give up Hell, I would give up trying to get back into Heaven I’d do anything for a kiss from you.

Enid, who was usually a little drunk on her nightly strolls would walk away leaving the Devil with nothing more the  the scent of unfiltered cigarette smoke and expensive perfume.

And it’s heart-because the Devil did have one. Sort of. Would ache just a little at the sight of her carefully picking her way back to her house in her platform shoes.

Then one day Enid said yes.

Yes she wanted a kiss from the Devil.

So she kissed the Devil’s slightly warm lips and the heavy scent of her cigarette smoke filled the woods behind her house and the smell of tomatoes and dark wet earth chased it.

Then the Devil put it’s hands on Enid’s shoulders and it pushed her back.

It’s Wolfish orange eyes blazed and she could see herself in them, burning.

Enid looked up at the Devil and whispered, ” I’d give it all up for you, if you asked.”

The Devil asked. ” What would you give up for me Enid?”

” My soul, my heart my life. I want this moment with you to last forever…”

” Mio ” the Devil said. ” My name is Mio Andira. And you Enid are my true love. I can deny you nothing. Nothing. If you want this moment to last forever. It shall. For you my love.”

And because The Devil- whose name is Mio Andira, was good to its word -Enid’s moment with her one true love on the trail that led into the deep dark wood has lasted forever.

You can see it for yourself- every day just after sunset- you can see Enid unable to leave the trail- unable to go back to her house or forward into the deep dark woods.

She is rooted to that spot, the very same spot where Mio Andira declared its love to Enid.

But she is not alone.

 She has two things with her…because indeed Mio loved her-  she has his kiss that still burns just a little on her lips and the endless scream- the one that started when her true love promised her forever

and gave it to her.

It Ended Here

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When I was little my  family told story about a girl who used to live in my Great Grandmother’s House.

She disappeared one day, the story goes, and the neighbors were sure her Mother had something to do with that and that her Father was the one who buried her in their basement.

That’s why my Great Grandmother got the house so cheap, that story apparently drove the price down.

In addition to the neighbors who insisted that there the story was true  didn’t mind sharing it with anyone who was thinking about buying the house did as much as put a toe on the property.

Here’s the thing about my Great Grandmother- should put her toes wherever the heck she wanted and so my Great Grandmother bought the house- for next to nothing despite the story –  and as the years went on my family would talk about how they should really dig around down there to find out once and for all if that story was true.

My six year old self used questions about the girl.

 What was her name? What grade was she in and did she like cats? Did she like McDonald’s french fries and of course…

” Is she a ghost?” I used to ask hopefully.

” No. ” I was told

” But she could be buried down there, right?”

” Could be.” I was informed.

Just before she unexpectedly died I was over at my Great Grandmother’s house. I was in her sitting room playing these little glass animals you used to get for free in boxes of Red Rose Tea when I had a great idea.

Why don’t I just put the little animals back on their shelf and go dig that girl up? I’d never seen a real human skeleton before and I figured this was my last chance to see one- it was an odd feeling but I remember just knowing I wouldnt’ be back again.

So I put one of the little animals ( it was a dog ) in my pocket for company and headed to the pantry where the door to the basement was.

I went into the kitchen and opened the basement door and was halfway down the dark  stairway to the basement when I remembered to turn the light on.

So I ran back up the stairs and straight into my Great Grandmother.

” What are you doing down there? ” she asked.

” Nothing. ” I said with disappointment.

” You were going down there after that body, weren’t you.”

” Well…”

” Your going to break your neck running up and down those stairs in the dark. I don’t want you going down there again. Am I making myself clear? Those stairs are dangerous.  You could get yourself killed running on them like that.”

I stared back at her and didn’t answer.

My Great Grandmother’s eyes, which were green and I swear to God they glowed like a cats, took in the look on my face.

She walked to her kitchen table, pulled out a chair and carried it to the kitchen window that overlooked her backyard.

” Come here. “

I walked over to the chair and she lifted me up and stood me on it. Then she pointed to a small group of her favorite rose bushes that she had planted years ago just after she moved into her house.

I looked up into her face.

” Now stay out of the basement. Mind me. Those  stairs are dangerous.”

I hopped off of the chair and before I could ask she said, ” Yes. It took a long time.”

My Great Grandmother died a little while later. I still have that little glass dog. And her house was actually moved years later. I guess it was some kind of architectural wonder. I can’t remember if it was because of who built it but it had something to do with it being built to look like a ship inside- which was true.

The basement I assume was filled in when they redeveloped the property and put two new single story homes where her beautiful Victorian styled home used to be.

But the Rose garden is still there.

lts