Friday, 28 February 2014

The Seven Deadly Sins: Gluttony


I can definitely say that when you don't make time for writing then it just doesn't get done. Fortunately, at the cost of taking forever to publish the latest instalment of my Seven Deadly Sins project, I did get through all my university coursework.

If you're interested in reading the previous two stories click on the links below:

Pride

Sloth

Also, I have to mention that Kieran MacRae's blog is awesome: if you are even remotely interested in science then check it out, it's been hugely popular this past week!

I hope you enjoy!


“Do you even know what you’re doing? Why are you here? Why are you here if you can’t do a simple task? This isn’t good enough. You know that, right? It’s not good enough. Now I expect you to go downstairs and get me some fruit that isn’t shit.”





The little boy cowering at her feet looked like if she had kept shouting at him he might have peed on the marble floor like a frightened chihuahua. He hunched over and scuttled down the stairs. Rosie sighed and walked back over to the balcony. A platter of fruit sat on the table beside her with many of the pieces with bites missing. The melon was a little soft and the pineapple wasn’t sweet enough. Rosie rested her head on her hands and stared out over her kingdom. The acres of fake grass seemed to glow under the sun. She could hear the fountains bubbling even from all the way up there. The trees rustled in the little licks of wind that brushed her hair around her shoulders and every now and then one of the guards entered her line of sight while patrolling the large wall that surrounded it all. Rosie looked over the tops of them and for miles could see only sand, apart from a small encampment of nomads a few miles away. 

“Missus… Missus Abadi?” a small, shaky voice chirped from behind her. She turned and saw that the boy had returned with a plate of fruit that was almost bigger than he was. He arms were trembling under the strain. 

“Well I hope you’ve done it right this time, I don’t want to have to send this back again.” 

He didn’t even reply this time, he just scuttled away again. Rosie chuckled to herself and picked some grapes off the new plate. She was starting to feel a little bloated but she had nothing else to do. The shawl that she had draped round her shoulders started to slip for the millionth time so she yanked it off and threw it onto her reclining couch. It was stupid. She was young and she was beautiful. Why should she hide it? The Sheikh had been trying to bring in rules like that for a while but she wasn’t buying it. She was an American. No one could change her. She dropped the melon ball before it reached her mouth and it bounced off her knee and landed on her shoe. Rosie sighed loudly and unstrapped her feet. She became six inches shorter. They were encrusted with Swarovski crystals but the melon had left a mark on the top of one of them that was a little sticky. Rosie promptly threw them over the balcony and when she looked down she saw the heels had just snapped off them. It didn’t matter, she’d had them for about a month now anyway. The Sheikh had brought them back from Dubai for her to apologise for not bringing her along. They had been worn enough, she’d just ask the Sheikh for some new ones. It shouldn’t be that big a deal. He liked spoiling her, that was why he had married her.

Rosie thought back to when they had met, all the way back in Texas. That was half a world away now but then it was the only home she knew. She lived with her mum and daddy on a ranch. Daddy had been the best lawyer in Austin and then retired early to do whatever he wanted. Things had been good. It was at one of Daddy’s parties that Rosie had met the Sheikh. Daddy had represented the Sheikh in a case and had since become good friends. He hadn’t been able to keep his eyes off her the whole night. She had worn a Prada dress that she had bought with her mum. It was red and hugged her in all the good places. Rosie had smiled and laughed a lot and had lifted her boobs higher in her bra so they stuck out a little over the top of her dress. The Sheikh was older than she normally went for but still had a full head of black hair. She had been able to tell from a mile away that his suit was expensive. Plus he drove a Rolls Royce. Rosie noticed that after that party she had seen a lot more of the Sheikh than before. He came round nearly every day and sat talking to her for hours. She told him about her modelling jobs and all the pageants she had won. She showed him the photos and trophies. One of the times he came over he brought her a puppy. A real one. She had a big talk with her mum that night. They cooed over the way the Sheikh spoke, the way he held himself and the way he spoke about his various businesses - the puppy hadn’t hurt either. They agreed that he was suitable. He could be the one to give her the life she had been taught she deserved. It was finally going to happen. After all, her chances of finding someone suitable just got more and more unlikely as she thought about reaching her twenties. The next night the Sheikh didn’t turn up for dinner. He didn’t the next night either. Rosie had locked herself in her room distraught at the abandonment. How dare he! That was when her mother had timidly knocked on her door.

“Rosie, darling… I think you should come downstairs…”

The whole hall was filled with red and white roses. Thousands of them covered every table and their petals were scattered over the floor. In the middle of it all knelt the Sheikh on one knee, with an open ring box in his hand. Daddy stood just behind him with a grin on his face. Rosie could barely breathe. She could clearly see the diamond from all the way up the stairs. It was the largest jewel she had ever seen. She didn’t even know you could get diamonds that big. She reached the Sheikh and couldn’t move fast enough to get the ring on her finger. 

“He asked for my permission, sweetheart and I can’t think of anyone better for my baby girl. You’ll get married here at the end of the week and then, if you agree, you’ll move out to Egypt with Mr. Abadi, to live with him. How does that sound, Pumpkin?”

Rosie hadn’t been able to answer. Her head was filled with caviar and sunny beaches and jewellery and clothes and servants and shoes and handbags and everything she had ever wanted. As her mum and daddy hugged each other, so proud of their daughter for her unbelievable achievement, the Sheikh leant down and whispered in her ear:

“You will be my queen. You will live as an Egyptian queen.”

And as Rosie stood at the balcony, peeling the skins off the grapes on the large platter, she knew the Sheikh had come through on his promise. She had everything she could have asked for. He was even in discussions with big names to get her a modelling contract. It was all perfect. Apart from the shoes. She’d talk to him about the shoes that were now being scooped up by one of the maids and taken back into the house. 

“PLEASE, MISSUS! PLEASE!”

Rosie heard a small voice from somewhere in the grounds. She saw the guards who circled the perimeter break into a run towards the front gate. She could make out a small bedraggled person on the other side, reaching through the bars of the gate and up to her. He was small and the small amount of clothes he was wearing were ragged and dirty. He had a shaved head and as he tried to slot himself through the gate, she noticed he had no shoes on. The guards were hitting his fingers with their batons and shouting abuse at him in whatever language they spoke her - Rosie didn’t know. The man screamed in pain but refused to move from the gate.

“PLEASE, MISSUS!”

Rosie tutted at tried not to look at him. This happened regularly - urchins from a neighbouring town who had heard of the Sheikh and wanted to be his latest sympathy case. It wasn’t Rosie’s problem if they were poor- they should deal with it themselves. She peeled the last of the grapes and yawned. A car approached the front gate - a white Rolls Royce. It beeped loudly at the man attaching himself to gate and got close enough to nudge him. He didn’t move. He continued to yell at the top of his voice at Rosie, which she fervently ignored. The passenger door of the car opened at the Sheikh’s personal protector stepped out. He looked like a boulder with legs, or like a large bear. His neck was thick and spilled out over the top of his shirt collar. He strode over to the man and with one strike of his hand, knocked him to the ground. The man dragged himself out of the way of the oncoming car, defeated and weeping. The gates opened soundlessly and the Rolls Royce glided in. Rosie quickly arranged herself on one of the chairs on the balcony. She angled her legs so they looked their longest and so the sun bounced off her bronzed skin. She tousled her hair around one shoulder, so it tumbled in a golden wave across her chest. She pointed her toes and leant back, facing the open doors so she could see him coming. She heard footsteps coming up the stairs and, quickly, heaved her boobs further up and out of her bikini. It was a ritual and always brought good results. 

“Good afternoon, wife.” the Sheikh purred.

Rosie grinned, baring all of her white teeth, “Hello, darling.”

The Sheikh smiled back until his eyes rested on her chest, “What is this?”

Rosie looked down, “You mean you don’t like it? You never complained before.”

The Sheikh’s cheeks reddened, “We have spoken about this, you know that. You are in my country, you must obey my rules. Where is your scarf?” 

He looked around the floor on saw it abandoned on the floor.

“You must cover yourself, especially outside. It is not proper and I do not like to see you break my rules. This will change.” 

He thrust the scarf at her and her jaw dropped.

“And where has all this come from? You know I don’t like it when you do this, I am an American, I will do what I want.”

Rosie left the scarf sitting on her stomach and glared at him.

“My wife, I have given you everything. Now will you give me something in return? Please cover up. At least your shoulders? Will you cover your shoulders?”

Rosie pushed up off the chair and met his eyes.

‘No, I will not! You will not make me! Besides, you haven’t given me everything, I need new shoes to replace the ones that stupid boy ruined this morning. I need them.”

Rosie grabbed the plate of fruit she had broken into pieces and left to bake and threw it onto the floor. The juices burst everywhere and started trickling down the balcony’s edge and down to the ground below. The Sheikh was completely silent and did not react. He left her alone on the balcony and returned inside. Satisfied that she had quelled this little idea, Rosie sat back down, enjoying the warmth of the sun once more. She closed her eyes and felt content again. This was what she wanted and no one was going to take it away.

Suddenly a hand grabbed the top of her arm and pulled her up. She struggled to stay on her feet as she was yanked inside. 

“What on earth are you doing, are you crazy?” she screamed, as the Sheikh closed and then locked the doors behind her. 

He didn’t answer, he just kept an iron grip on her arm and marched her through to their bedroom. When they got to the door, he stayed on the threshold and pushed her inside. 

“I have spoken with my business partners and they say I give you too much. You use and waste. I told them that that is what I like to do and I will not change. All I ask is that you cover up for me and respect my house. You will not do that, then you will not enjoy what I give you.”


He ignored her screams of protest and the beginnings of her tantrum and closed the door behind him. She heard a key turn in the lock and she screamed louder. She looked around their room, saw the box of chocolates that had been left on the dresser from last night and threw it at the door. She stomped over and squelched every one into the white carpet, enjoying thinking about the looks on the servants faces when they came in. And if they didn’t clean it right, they would replace them with more. Everything was replaceable. Everything was expendable.