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Category Archives: Wages of Sin

Marching into April

It seems like just a week ago I was posting an update about Marching into the new month. Here we are at the end of March heading into April with so many things having happened and new things happening.

Camp Nano

As you know, April is the beginning of Camp Nano and I have been plotting out my Wages of Sin short story compilation. Basically, I have personified the Seven Deadly Sins and this compilation of short stories will be a sneak peak into the life of these beings. No protagonist. No good guy. Just a glimpse into the human psyche in light of the reality of sin.

Wednesday Book Review

As usual, I’m continuing the Wednesday book review thing but now I am taking book requests. There are so many books out there to read, why not help me find out what they are and share them with me? Also, if you have any books you have written, let me know and I can read them and add them to my Wednesday Book Review.

Jozi Flash

As you may know, our latest anthology was published on the 20th of March. You can find it here:

Jozi Flash Now Available


Wages of Sin: Gluttony


It always starts with a boy. Occasionally its a girl but for most cases, it’s a boy. He stands beside a young woman with chestnut hair, the boy’s overtly large backpack pulling him forward into a hunch. This isn’t helping his balance as the tram rocks – and the boys around jostle the kid about. They call him names, laughing at their own childish jokes as they mock the poor boy, defenseless even in the midst of the passengers around him. The boy, of course, looks up to me with pleading eyes and I, of course, feign disinterest but make it obvious I want to help; the woman notices the exchange. The tram comes to a steady slow and the boys anticipating the inertia to follow, shove the single boy forward causing the boy to stumble and fall as the tram comes to a halt… much to the boys’ delight; she winces in pity. I step in here to help the boy up and turn with a scowl to chase the other boys off who then escape out the open doors. The boy is grateful and smiles up at me, brushing dust off his pants and I tousle his hair. She smiles at us; the young blonde boy and the tall dark haired man. “Can you believe these kids – not even a hint of remorse.” I say to her. She tucks strands of her hair behind her ear with a single finger. Flirtatious. “Kids these days” she says but her smile shows her concern is elsewhere. I smile charmingly and extend a hand,



“It is a pleasure to meet you.” I say, shaking her hand slowly, relishing the feel of her skin. We are broken from our handshake by the tram pulling away again and the action jolts her against me. Immediately my senses kick in; she smells fresh. Vibrant. The smell of some fruit scented shampoo. We step away from each other laughing in feigned embarrassment but we both know its the start of something.

At the next stop the boy stands at the doorway ready to jump off. As the doors slide open he turns back and waves at me and I wink at him – I’m pretty sure at this moment that his friends are waiting for him, ready to spend the money I’d given each of them all as part of my elaborate ruse to meet “the girl on the tram”.

So far so good.

“Hey, would you like some coffee?” I ask the woman, turning to her. She eyes me seductively, obviously thinking about it and seemingly intent on saying yes, but holding back as she feels she should; I can see it in her hazel eyes. “I like your shirt…what does it say?” she says suddenly. Of course its a ploy, attempting to distract me. I smile at her,

“I can show you…over coffee? Undressing in public has never bothered me.” I reply. She laughs melodiously before replying.

“Well…I have plans for this evening…” her eyes divert from mine in an effort to throw me off but I know she’s going to say yes; I play the part of the interested man nonetheless,

“But those plans just opened up? Hey? And you get to see my shirt properly…we got a deal?” She bites her lower lip in thought

“Only if its your treat…and I get to personally reveal your shirt”

“Oh…” I smile with genuine excitement, “Of course.”

The café is quiet, the coffee is good, the conversation is flowing; we have hit it off like a couple of school kids who have just discovered how much they have in common. The sun washes over everything in an orange hue, highlighting the lighter strands of her hair. Her laughter is soft, eyes are bright – alive. My own thoughts are consuming; eyes obsessive, hands compulsive, heart palpitating – mind focused. She drops hints about herself, her lifestyle. Single, recently employed, staying with a friend who is away with her fiance etc etc. I give her comforting facts; single, living alone with an adorable puppy, a somewhat successful freelance architect making enough to do more than live. She falls for it all and its easy to take the next step,

“Why don’t you come over to my place…we can finish this conversation over dinner – and you can get this jacket off me too.” She is not caught off-guard, a smile lights up her face

“I would love to.”

The tram ride is eventful; she giggles uncontrollably as my fingers tease various parts of her body. We are buttons away from public indecency. She doesn’t even notice where we have stepped off until the silence around us is almost palpable. She pulls away from me with slight concern etched into her smile but I smile reassuringly, taking her hand and pulling her along with me down the quiet and now darkening streets. The setting sun has dipped behind some of the buildings, letting in enough light to show the somewhat dilapidated structures surrounding us,

“Where are we going?” She asks with a nervous laugh, her eyes roving over the boarded windows and dark entryways

“To my place of course!” I say enthusiastically. She becomes reluctant and her walking slows down even as I pull her along, gently, not to frighten her. She eventually comes to a stop and I do too. “I’ve…I’ve changed my mind.”

“It’s too late now. There’s no tram coming for a few hours.”

“I’ll wait”

“Its not safe. Come on, we are almost there?”

“… where?”

“To my place!” I fight the irritation and… and the hunger, clinging to the excitement, to the prospect. She allows me to pull her along again but she’s lost her willingness and that takes the fun away. I pull up to her, close, wrap my arms around her waist and hold her. Comfort. She holds on. Her warmth fills me up, my senses are overwhelmed; she smells delicious. I place my lips against her neck, kiss the soft skin and she sighs against me.

“Ok, but let’s hurry…this place creeps me out.” I kiss her neck again, fighting the urge rising within.

We briskly weave through the buildings while she clings to my arm. She sighs with relief as we approach a single streetlight, pulling me along faster to it. Getting there she turns around towards me, seductively, but the pursed lips and sultry eyes fade quickly into looks of revulsion.

“Oh… my…” The words rise into a scream as I snap my head forward to rip a piece of her ear off with my teeth. Her head snaps back reflexively, warm blood dripping down the side of her face as both pain and shock wash over her. Cartilage cracks against my teeth as I chew on the supple flesh, already moving forward towards more of her even as my bulky slobbering form weighs me down. In all honesty this form makes me sick, a bulbous hulking mass of fat. At the same time it liberates me, reminds me of who I am and the taste of her reminds me that I’m hungry – famished. She attempts to fight back, but she is weak from the shock and barely manages to hold my jacket. I knock her down to the floor. She crumples from the blow and stares up at me her lips quivering, eyes wide and afraid; they see the monster that I am, ready to devour her as I lick my lips. Her eyes drop to see the wording on my shirt, revealed fully now on my expanded belly:

Hi, my name is Gluttony.


I wrote this piece for two reasons. The first is for my Wages of Sin short stories in which I personify aspects of Sin, specifically the ever popular Seven Deadly Sins. You can see the other stories I wrote in the heading above under Wages of Sin.

The second reason I wrote this, was for the book Dark Tales which is an eBook anthology of horror short stories –

“Thirteen of horror’s newest and most talented authors have converged together to bring you one twisted anthology guaranteed to make your skin crawl and your eyeballs melt”.

Only one of my stories made it to the anthology (which you can buy on Amazon and was written for the charity Scares That Cares) and although this one didn’t, I’m still quite proud of it; I still get a chill reading it.

Wages of sin: Pride

Image courtesy of: Pournoirr (

Image courtesy of: Pournoirr (

She whirled down the wide corridor with both elegance and haste, her long dark coat flowing out behind her like a cape with her dress following suit below. Her heels clacked across the bright tiled floor like the keys of a typewriter, cluttering away at the story that she was yet to unfold. She’d passed by many in her attempt to make it to the apartment above, a lofty abode at the highest level of the 30 storey building, smiling at the young man in the fedora as he passed by her, a knowing smile crossing both their lips as knowledge writhed between them like a concealed snake.

She arrived at the apartment with a swift opening of the door, her coat sweeping off her arms and hooking against the wooden coat hanger behind the door with a deft flick of her wrist. She shut the door with her foot as she placed her hat atop her coat revealing her long ash-brown hair tied into a ponytail down her back. She placed her arms around her shoulders in a mock attempt to keep warm as a draft blew in from the open window.

“You looking to catch a cold?” She asked jokingly at the man standing at the window, looking forlorn in his slick grey suit as he watched the passing clouds. The man waved a hand dismissively at her,

“Why do you care?”

She smiled at the comment, flitting across the room towards the chest high bookcase standing against the wall.

“I don’t but…” She shrugged.

A mirror encased in a gold frame hung above the bookcase, revealing her reflection of  her rather pale skin with the peppering of brown freckles running across her cheeks and nose; the young bookworm look she’d been told. She took a furtive glance at her emerald eyes from behind her spectacles, seeing more than anyone else would within those enchanting eyes, before she turned her attention to the books lining the inside of the mahogany structure, her small fingers gripping the tiny golden handles and pulling the doors open.

The man spoke, his voice bearing the tone of one who was not willing to talk but forced to,

“You look different today, do something with your hair?” She looked at the man through the reflection of the mirror,

“Is that all that you noticed?” She asked. The man took a quick glance towards her, his bright grey eyes catching sight of her dark green eyes and he quickly looked back out towards the clouds. She noticed that his normally slick black hair was now an unkempt mess from the wind blowing against him and the front of his suit had been torn to reveal a dirty streaked white shirt, open to reveal an unsightly pot-belly; the wind ruffled the clothing.

“Why the dark garb?” He sighed,

She placed a finger on the spine of a book, a novella of sorts before she pulled it out to read the synopsis on the back,

“I’m attending a funeral.” She replied casually, as she waltzed towards the man. She pretended to be enthralled by the book though from her peripheral she was aware that he had shuffled further from the window to move away from her. She opted for the lustrous leather couch instead and sat on the rather cold seat, tucking her legs beneath her as she opened to a random page in the book and started reading as though she knew exactly where she was. The man was becoming agitated, shuffling at the window and breathing heavier until he finally spoke,

“Who’s funeral?”

She remained silent. Reading. The man shuffled again, closer to the woman now rather than away.

“If you are here…” The man continued, “… then you know what has happened…”

“Yes.” she replied without looking up, “You lost everything and now you are about to commit suicide. How clichéd.” She replied in a rather bored voice

“So are you here to watch?”

“Naturally.” She kept her gaze transfixed on the book, aware that the tension in the room had risen considerably and that the man was now attempting to shuffle back into the room from the window.

“Well I’m not jumping!” The man uttered, his voice rising to something of a whine, like a pig that has realized that it is on the wrong side of the fence and it cannot get to its mud.

“Hmmm we both know that’s not true.” She breathed out, exasperated, “Of course you are going to jump, that is why I am here.”

“Well…well you can’t force me…” the man cried, almost truly whining now and she found him to be rather pathetic; his mask was finally coming off. No longer was he the suave business man who made it big with all the right choices but rather the lost man who had let his ambitions drive his life forward while driving everyone and everything else away. Now here he was alone, standing on the ledge of a window with his beer belly pouting out; the epitome of lost pride.

“What have you got to live for…you’ve lost everything.” She said to him, flipping over a page, “Now your lying lips must be silenced, for with pride and contempt you have spoken arrogantly… ”

“No! No, no, no! You cannot!”

“But I must.”

“I still have my life…I can rebuild…I can…I can ask for forgiveness and be restored! I go to church don’t I? I believe God….” he was interrupted by her laughter and although it was rather melodious, there was no mistaking the malice within. With a sigh she turned to look towards him, her lips opening to speak; a monotonous voice rose from deep within her throat that was unlike anything he had ever heard, his hands automatically moved to shut his ears but he could not shut the voice out.

“There they cry out but He does not answer, because of the pride of evil men. Surely God will not listen to an empty cry, Nor will the Almighty regard it.” She rose from the couch in one swift movement, in almost a blink she was standing by the window now, her head level with the back of his legs as he attempted to shuffle back towards the window.

“You know…” she continued, placing her hands on the man’s calves and gripping him tightly in place,

“They say Pride comes before a fall…”


In response to the March Pictonaut Challenge:

For the woefully uninitiated, the Pictonaut Challenge is decidedly non-herculean. You have one month to summon up 1,000 words from the dark and mystic recesses of your brain-meat, the ones all filled with cobwebs and things with far too many eyes and a seemingly unnatural number of legs. these 1,000 words (eldritch or otherwise) will form a short story or “wordascope.” The completion of this story in the allotted time and the sharing of it with the world at large, will gain your admittance to the lofty and august ranks of the Pictonauts.

March’s Pictonaut Challenge

The Monsters Inside

An itch.          A twitch.

            A web woven seam… a stitch.

Lips silent,

            their tips violet

Unspoken words, hearts turned violent.

            Beware the darkness. The Monster Inside

Rearing their heads – unsuspected

        The world continues – disconnected

Each step they glean.           Eyes turned green

        Hands wrung,

nervous… high strung                                    

               Waiting yet still unsung

And with each nibble…                     A Dribble

              Mouths wide hanging agape, 

                                    nothing sates… the hunger does not abate

beckoning with cries…the light does not perforate

                           What darkness is this that would amalgamate

       both the wages and the sins which they masquerade!

                           Cautiously tread…

without dread

                         Beware the darkness. The Monster inside

Nuts and Bolts – Short

6M5vs - Imgur

A soft drone emanated from somewhere within the bright white space that surrounded me. The corners of my vision were blurred, making everything look ethereal. Had I believed in heaven, I would’ve wondered if this was it…but I knew that wasn’t the case- not for me anyway. A dark silhouette, hazy like an apparition, appeared above me and with it the incessant drone grew louder. It took but a moment to realize that the moving silhouette and the drone correlated but by then I felt more than heard my screams as the drone vibrated against my skull and darkness took over…

but I wasn’t dying…

or dead.

“…you annoy me…” I heard against my ear from within the darkness. The voice, feminine, sounded familiar however I could not place it.
“Who…wh…” She cut me off with a tired sigh, the drone fading
“Just relax a while. I’m still running the analysis.”
“What analys…” A surge of energy shot through my entire body, jolting me upright. Vision returned to me as well as my memory, flooding back in a stream of flashing images.

“I tried again didn’t I.” I said, more as a statement than a question; there was no need for her to answer.

…Another failed attempt…

I reached up towards my forehead, feeling the traces of metal below the frayed skin. She brushed the fringe of white hair off her forehead, tucking it behind her ear with practiced ease, turning away from me as she did.

“You will continue to fail…that is how it is…” She walked away from me towards the door, her bare feet seeming to glide across floor with each step she took; her black toenails stood stark against the white floor. I could barely remember the first time I met her. It was such a long time ago, a time when I was…not just nuts and bolts. She turned as she reached the door,

“This is who you are now…accept your fate.”

The Golden Thread


Once again the world is awakened to the rising sun, glorious in its stead; punctual. We glory in it’s warmth and beauty, gladdened by its presence as it overlays the land in gold. Its light washes over the darkness of night and sweeps our fears away with each ray of its golden light; rejoicing in its ability to give life to everything we see.

And yet

Often we are awakened to the rising sun, indifferent to its punctuality. Greet it in contempt and dissatisfaction. At times we take in it’s warmth and ignore its beauty, its presence merely a constant reminder of how fleeting time is in it’s relentlessness; the gold it overlays across the land only illuminates the repugnant inconsistencies and frailties of life. We’d rather wallow in the darkness, shrouding our objectionable desires and motives below the cover of darkness and obscurity, regardless of the fear that rattles our bones. Hiding from the light that reveals our life so no one sees everything about ourselves.

And even then

Is this not so even with God? Each morning we awaken, by His grace. Rising, we should glorify Him for his steadfastness and consistency. We ought to glory in His warmth and beauty, the God of love and creation who has continually blessed us with many things that should bring gladness to our hearts; His presence overlaying our lives in the gold of His majesty. His Light washes over the darkness of our hearts, sweeping away our fears, softening our hardened hearts and washing away our sins. We should be rejoicing in His ability to give life to all that we see but also to those who are dead in their iniquity, disobedience and sin.

Wages of Sin…

He leaned with his back against the wet bricks, watching the dark cloudy sky pour sheets of water down onto the city. The rather dim light above him, as he stood below the seedy canopy, illuminated his long pallid face and sunken cheekbones, the pale skin pulled taut giving him a ghastly skeletal look. He raised his slender hand up, the long, bony index and middle fingers raising half of a smoldering Pall Mall cigarette up to his thin cracked lips. A hissing sound echoed through the alleyway, above the sound of falling rain, as he took a long drag of the cigarette. With a loud sigh, he exhaled plumes of smoke up into the air. He ran his free hand through his dark, wiry hair as he dropped his cigarette. With a thump, he trampled it into the wet ground, the heel of his black boot swiveling from side to side. With one last glance up at the dark sky, he smiled a toothy grin, revealing perfectly straight yet yellowing teeth. He pushed open the door and stepped into the warm interior.

There were those who dwelt in darkness and in the shadow of death,
Prisoners in misery and chains,
 Because they had rebelled against the words of God
And spurned the counsel of the Most High.
 Therefore He humbled their heart with labor
They stumbled and there was none to help

Bright fluorescent lights lit up the narrow corridor that he had stepped into; the air smelt sterile, like a hospital. He walked through the corridor, walking past closed doors with various golden plaques on their glass panels, bearing names of various departments. He walked through an arch at the end of the corridor and into a large desk area that looked out through a thick glass-like panel. Behind the panel was a string of people waiting in line; old and young, rich and poor, of all races, nationalities, rank and status. They all looked haggard… drained… dying…and yet there was an uneasy eagerness that glistened in their eyes. A solemn silence hung heavy in the air, and underlying that solemness, was that air of anxiety from the people. They watched him pull a chair out from under the desk, sit down, then arrange the small note pad and pen that lay atop the otherwise bare desk. With his head down, a buzz began to emanate from behind the glass panel, low mumbling that began to rise until the whole building reverberated with echoes of cries and pleas from the multitude of people. He lifted his head up towards the people and with a toothy grin raised his arms wide, up above his head, the long fingers on his hands spread apart. Waving his hands back and forth, he gestured them to be silent. The mutterings died down until there was complete silence. With his arms still spread, he lowered them to shoulder height, turning his hands sideways into a gesture of welcome. With a clear smooth voice he spoke,

“Thank you for your patience. I know these are trying times for all of you, seeking your desires, regardless of the consequences that you know you will face…” His eyes shifted from face to face, each one dropping their heads as his eyes fell upon them.
“You hide from your spouses, parents, bosses, friends…separate yourselves willingly…and for what!” He chuckled softly, shaking his head slightly, with that grin still stuck on his face. His dark beady eyes swept through the room again, locking eyes with a selection of familiar faces. They looked away from those dark eyes, both from fear and from shame. Those dark eyes were emotionless, the eyes of one who had seen the depths of the human soul and the darkness that lies therein and found that “There is none good, none righteous, no not one”. The eyes that had sifted through the facade of righteousness and delved into the heart and found that “The heart is more deceitful than all else, and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?”. Indeed he knew what humans were capable of…and knew the price that they had to pay; he knew it well. He reached into his jacket pocket, pulled out a name tag and clipped it across his chest.

If you were to personify sin, what characteristics and persona would he/she have. Would we want to associate with them? From what we know about sin from the bible…we too would be in line at the Horror Affairs, either willingly or coaxed towards it by our own desires, wants or our pride… in short, ourselves. But sin wouldn’t just sit all day in the office, waiting for the willing to show up…oh no, sin would also invade houses and homes, stalking its occupants, waiting for moments of weakness, failure or even joy and excitement, for we don’t always sin on bad days do we? Oh but for those who have confronted sin, looked into the mirror and saw sin in themselves and turned towards the Saviour, for them there is hope. For them there is an alarm that goes off at the sign of the intruder and an armed response sends the intruder fleeing from the scene of the crime or a would be scene.

The truth is, as one of my favourite verses says: Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Are you paying the wages of sin or are you turning to the Saviour who pays and has paid the debt you owe?

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