7 Sins


Enoch Orozco

Follow Nathan Bluu as he encounters a strange group that only call themselves the "Seven Deadly Sins" (Photo Courtesy of Enoch Orozco).

The sky was full of clouds and rain, and Joyce could hardly see the road in front of her. Her son, Tommy, sat in the passenger seat, fast asleep. Joyce glanced at the notification on her phone and immediately called her husband. 

“Nathaniel David Bluu! Now is not the time; it’s your son’s 10th birthday and you choose to leave now!? You better be in that house when we get home. Your son needs his father in his life!”

Joyce’s eyes started to well up with tears. She didn’t even care that it was Tommy’s birthday; she just didn’t want her husband to disappear again. 

Nathan responded bitterly, “You know I hate being called that. I haven’t deserved my last name for a long time.” His voice was shaky and full of spite. Obviously she struck a nerve. Nathan paced around their room, grabbing clothes and stuffing them into an old suitcase. He continued, “Sorry Joyce. I wouldn’t leave if I didn’t have to. It’s just a short business trip, only two weeks, at the most.” 

She responded angrily, “We will talk about this when Tommy and I get home when ALL of us are TOGETHER!” 

She hung up and slammed her phone down. At that moment Tommy woke up, as he saw his mother crying.

 “Mo-” he started, before the approaching headlights made him freeze. In a second, the approaching cars collided. Joyce tried to shield her son, but her attempt was futile. The crash was big. It shut down the road, and Joyce and Tommy both died in the accident. 

Nathan heard from the police 30 minutes after the event; he threw his suitcase aside and lay on the floor where he stood. His mind spiraled. Nothing mattered anymore. He had nothing left to live for. For the next 15 hours, he would lay in the same spot, miss his flight, and eventually pass out from the extreme mental exhaustion.

*** 5  Years Later *** 

Nathan was awoken by the sound of his friend roaming through their apartment. He stumbled out of the room, head pounding from the hangover, to go yell at his roommate.

“WHY are you being so LOUD this early?!” he shouted. Nathan glanced at the clock and saw that it was 3:32 PM, “Nevermind,” he apologized. 

“Look, Nathan, can we talk for a minute?” His roommate’s question scared him.

 “Sure, I guess,” he responded as we walked and sat down on the couch.

 “Look,” his roommate said. “I think it’s time you leave. You never pay rent and I’m ready to move on with my life. My girlfriend and I are getting serious, and I want her to move in.” 

“Well, why can’t I stay?” Nathan pleaded. “It’s not fair. You know what happened to me; you know why I am the way that I am. I’m working on recovering, and you know that. You know I’m trying.” While his voice was shaky and broken, Nathan knew he wasn’t recovering. He knew he was using his friend, he knew he was a manipulative and bad person; he knew he was worthless. 

“Nevermind,” he restated. “I’ll leave, you won’t have to worry about me anymore…” He simply walked out of the apartment, he had nothing to take with him, and he had just manipulated his way out of another good thing. 

Nathan wandered for hours, and as night approached he got cold; he needed a place to sleep. It was the middle of November after all. He stumbled until he found an old abandoned house.

“I might as well crash here,” he muttered. “It’s just like me anyway, abandoned and worthless.” 

The house radiated an eerie vibe, and immediately upon entering a chill went up his spine. Nathan felt around the dark walls until he found a light switch. It didn’t work, obviously, so Nathan had to wait for his eyes to naturally adjust. After a few minutes, Nathan found the living room and a couch.

 “Perfect,” he thought as he wandered to his new haven. 

As he passed the stairs, however, he saw a light flicker at the very top. A shadowy figure floated past the light and seemed to disappear into the darkness. Nathan, a skeptic, didn’t really let that bother him. He simply continued to walk towards his respite. The next event, however, made Nathan stop dead in his tracks. 

“Hello, Nathan,” the voice chimed from atop the staircase. He refused to turn around; the sudden realization there were others there terrified him. 

He simply squeaked, “I’m sorry for intruding. I’ll leave now if that’s what you want.” 

The voice slyly responded, “No, no Mr. Bluu. Won’t you stay with us?” The voice was familiar to Nathan, but he couldn’t recall how he knew it. Nathan felt emotion, other than anger, for the first time in a long time. He was in shock, and he was afraid. 

Unphased that the figure used his last name, the only thing he cared about was escaping. “You don’t want me here” Nathan responded, “I don’t taste good either, if that’s what your plan is.” 

“I doubt that,” another voice chimed in. “Humans taste plenty good, but I’m the only one here that eats ‘em,” The voice was familiar, but Nathan didn’t know any cannibals, he thought. 

“The others? Just how many of you guys are there? And what do you mean you don’t eat? That’s impossible,” Nathan’s mind was flooded with questions and a little curiosity, but mostly he felt fear. He hadn’t even moved to face the staircase, and he soon heard the floors creak beneath the figures’ bodies. He heard them move down the stairs. By the footsteps, there were 6, 7, maybe even 8 of them. 

As if the sly voice could read his mind, he chimed, “There are 7 of us, by the way, and we have names. We’re the Seven Deadly Sins. At least that’s what we go by.” The voice became louder as it approached Nathan, and now it was right behind him. He swung around and confirmed the voice’s statement; there were seven of them. They didn’t appear human. Well, they had a human form, but they were semi-transparent, like a ghost or spirit. The only thing that bothered Nathan about their appearance were the masks: he hated not being able to see peoples’ faces. Faces give away emotions; they make people easier to control and manipulate.  All the figures donned a different mask, which he could only assume directly related to their identity. The figure he had been speaking to had a mask with curved eyes and a sly smile. Again, the spirit seemed to read his mind, 

“Envy. That’s my name. I guess we should all introduce ourselves.” 

One of the figures, obviously bloated, wearing a chubby-looking mask, started the introductions, “I’m Gluttony, but my friends call me Glut.” 

“This is the same dense voice from before,” Nathan thought to himself. His thoughts were soon cut off by the rest of the Sins. 

“I’m Greed,” said the figure in the gold mask.

Another figure in the back responded, “I’m Lust.” Nathan looked for the spirit, it was the only female spirit of the group. She wore a mask with heart-shaped eyes, and her stare intimidated Nathan.

 “I’m Wrath,” one of the figures followed. This figure intimidated him more than Lust, and his mask made him look extremely aggravated. 

The small, drowsy looking figure, obviously Sloth, couldn’t even finish his sentence without yawning. 

The final apparition chimed in; even his voice annoyed Nathan. Something about this one was different than the rest, but he couldn’t tell why, “And last but certainly not least, I am Pride. I kinda lead this ragtag team of Sins.” All of their words swarmed in Nathan’s mind; he had no clue what was going on. One day he’s sleeping peacefully in his friend’s house and the next he’s talking with some inhuman beings that appear to be incarnations of the Seven Deadly Sins. 

While their appearance initially shocked Nathan, he was still only concerned with leaving, surviving, 

“Look guys, or Sins rather, I guess, I don’t want any trouble. If you just let me leave, I won’t do anything or report whatever’s going on here.” Nathan looked past the figures to the crooked door. Suddenly, his instincts kicked in and he bolted to his escape. Wrath, without even turning around, grabbed Nathan by the back of the collar and brought him face to face. The density of the air changed. The spirits suddenly turned malicious. Nathan picked up on the bloodlust, like a sixth sense.

“You’re not going anywhere, punk. We have plans for you.” Nathan turned to face the rest of the spirits, but all they did was stare, saying nothing. Their malice pierced Nathan’s soul; it was like they were cutting into his skin without moving. Slowly, he accepted his fate: he would die here. The spirits started to laugh, a menacing laugh. A laugh you would expect from a serial killer about to claim another victim’s life.

“Wh-what plans?” Nathan stammered, “What does that mean? Why me?” 

“Oh don’t you worry,” Wrath said, raising his fists to Nathan, “Right now, all you need is some sleep.” With one hit Nathan was dazed, lying on the floor. All he heard was the sins laughing as he slowly fazed out of existence. He fought to stay awake, but one more hit from Wrath knocked him out. He lay motionless on the floor, as the spirits circled around him laughing, the same menacing laughter that scared Nathan to near-death earlier.

The following morning, Nathan shot awake. The sunlight barely trickled into the room he awoke in. He soon realized he was still in the abandoned house, but he somehow wound up in a bedroom, in a bed, with blankets draped over him. Maybe he got wasted and dreamt the events that occurred the previous night. He got out of bed and scanned his surroundings. Nothing seemed out of place; he still had all of his limbs at least. Nathan peaked out of the room to find the second floor empty, so he crept down the staircase. He turned to the dining room and saw all of the Sins sitting at the table, while the one called Gluttony stood in the kitchen. The crew appeared lively, less dangerous than before, but Nathan was still set on leaving. He turned to the door to see every piece of furniture in the living room was put in front of the door; there was no way he could leave. A hand suddenly wrapped around Nathan’s shoulder.

 Tightening their grip the voice said, “Come join us, Nathan. I made you breakfast.” The voice had to belong to Gluttony, Nathan thought. 

Terrified, Nathan followed the voice into the dining room. He didn’t know what to expect, maybe raw animal bits, human remains? Nathan closed his eyes as he sat at the table, terrified. He opened his eyes and was brought to complete shock. A full course breakfast, complete with eggs, bacon, and toast. He even had a glass of orange juice to go along with it. Normally, Nathan would turn down food from strangers, but he hadn’t eaten much in the past 24 hours. 

“Th-thanks,” said Nathan as he picked up his fork. The food was delicious, expertly crafted by an obvious professional. As he ate, he listened in to the rest of the Sins’ conversations. 

“We sure scared him last night!” Envy said to Wrath, “The whole grabbing him by the collar was genius, Wrath! You terrified the kid! It was hilarious!” 

“He really thought we wanted to kill him!” Wrath responded. 

Pride chimed in “Stupid human, he really thinks he’s worth the effort it would take to kill him! HA!” 

“Be nice,” Lust said to Pride “You would be just as scared if you were him.” With his nerves starting to calm, Nathan accepted he was in a house full of inhuman beings.

“Stranger things have happened before. With my luck this kind of life is normal; at least I’m being fed,” he thought to himself. 

Nathan finally built the nerve to speak up, “So this was all a joke? You don’t really want to kill me?” 

Gluttony chimed in from the kitchen, “The original plan was to just kick you out of our home, but Pride over there kinda pitied you.” Pride turned red, surprising to Nathan because he didn’t expect spirits to show emotions. 

Pride stammered, “I-I did not! Shut up, Glut! The kid deserves a break. You saw how he stumbled in here! He needs our help!”

Laughing, Gluttony responded, “Yeah, yeah, you gave us all the same speech last night. Right as you and Sloth tucked him into bed like a child!” 

Nathan sat and watched the Sins argue back and forth, until he finally spoke to make them quiet. 

“Thank you, guys. I don’t deserve any of this! I’ll be out of your hair soon.” Again, the spirits appeared aggravated by his talk of leaving; Pride especially seemed hurt by his comment. 

“We want you to stay as long as you need, because you don’t need to live like a sewer rat. You deserve to live like a king, one full of pride and appreciation for his accomplishments!” The other Sins spoke up to Nathan, each of their comments relating to their relative “sin.” Nathan soon realized the spirits weren’t out to kill him or even harm him. They were genuinely trying to help him. 

“Fine, fine,” Nathan said, “I’ll stay for a little bit, at least until I’m on my feet again.” The group continued on with their morning, talking to Nathan about how they’re going to get his life back on track. Nathan seemed happy for the first time in a while. Even if they were some kind of spirit, Nathan found people that he was comfortable around. He found a home.

***3 Months Later***

Nathan busted through the door and called out 

“I got the job! All thanks to Pride! The whole confidence thing secured me the position! Starting tomorrow, I’m a working man!” However, Nathan soon realized he was speaking to an empty room. His mind jumped to the worst; just like always, he lost the ones he loved. Nathan ran around the house, checking every corner of the house. No one, not a single Sin in sight. After hours of searching, Nathan walked into the dining room and slumped into one of the chairs. He put his head down and almost started to cry. Suddenly, the room lit up and his eyes shot open to reveal a birthday cake, and all of his “friends” around him. 

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY! AND CONGRATULATIONS ON THE JOB!” The Sins shouted in unison. Nathan was overcome with joy. He had completely forgotten it was his birthday; he didn’t even remember telling them about his personal life. Nathan was happy; the last 3 months of his life had been dedicated to making him a better person, and he owed it all to the friends in front of him. The rest of the day, the group partied in the now spiffy-looking abandoned house. As night approached, the sins turned away from Nathan and conversed. 

Finally, Pride turned to Nathan and said, “As a special birthday present, we’ve decided to take off our masks, and finally show you who we are.” So, one by one, the spirits revealed themselves to Nathan. As they took off their masks Nathan finally realized why they never killed him, and why he recognized their voices.

First, Pride: Nathan’s super successful older brother who caught a strange and sudden disease, leading to his death 4 years ago.

Next, Gluttony: Another one of Nathan’s brothers. He was a chubby kid who always managed to beat Nathan and his older brother in their eating competitions. He suffered a heart attack in his early 20s and passed away.

Following Gluttony was Wrath: Nathan’s father. He was strict on Nathan at a young age, but he still made time to play with him and his brothers. He died in the line of fire trying to take down a bank robber.

Envy was Nathan’s best friend growing up. His friend was always jealous of Nathan for being superior in any physical or mental competition. He was killed in the line of fire.

Greed revealed himself to be Nathan’s grandfather. He was a very successful businessman who passed away from old age when Nathan was a child.

All that remained were Lust and Sloth. As they revealed their masks Nathan collapsed to the floor in tears, but not out of sorrow, spite, or anything along those lines. He cried out of pure happiness. In front of him stood his wife, Lust, and his son, Sloth. 

Nathan realized why the spirits were put in that house in the first place. Each of the souls had unfinished business, and couldn’t stand to see Nathan in such a pitiful state. Each spent the last 3 months restoring Nathan to the person he was and providing him with the care that they would have given him while they were alive. So, for the rest of the night, Nathan reconvened with his lost family, and put each of their souls to rest.

When Nathan awoke, as he expected, none of the spirits were there; this time they were actually gone. However, Nathan wasn’t sad. He was happy. He was happy that he was able to set them free, and he was happy to see them achieve his goals. So Nathan got ready like he always would, put on his suit, grabbed his suitcase, and headed to work. 

“Goodbye, Sins,” Nathan said, as he closed the door and headed to work.