Superbia’s Story – Pride Before a Fall

Superbia entered the town’s walls muttering to himself. For the last half a mile he had been stuck behind a train of merchants mostly watching the swishing of a tale of a donkey’s ass. Why had his father sent him to this god-forsaken town? This had all started as a bit of a joke.

He was one of seven children, each had their faults, and their father knew of these but to Superbia it always seemed like his father was hardest on him. Luxuria chased men all day including those that were married, yet she could turn that sweet smile on her father and he would concede and forgive her every time. Invidia followed her around like a lost puppy, jealous of everyman and everything Luxuria had. Gula was a pig! To Superbia he was a complete waste of space who seemed to do nothing but consume copious amounts of wine, yet as his glutton attitude affected no-one but himself, his father turned a blind eye to it. Acedia was yet to do a decent days work, all he seemed to do was sit around and ate grapes, Superbia could do that easily. Ira was permanently in a foul mood, no-one seemed to know why. Superbia thinks it’s because she can’t get a boyfriend or because when she does Luxuria seems to pinch them, but he daren’t say it out loud, he mentioned something along those lines once and couldn’t feel the left side of his jaw for week!

However, of all the children, Avaritia was the worst in Superbia’s view. Avaritia was full of deceit and trickery, he had robbed half the wealth from those in town, yet his father was so easily manipulated by him that in the end he would often praise Avaritia for maintaining the family wealth. That was all Superbia wanted from his father was a bit of praise, yet he couldn’t live up to the others.

It was Avaritia’s fault he was here, watching a donkey’s tale swish. Avaritia had told him he couldn’t possibly beat Gula in a race! Superbia had been shocked, of course he could, Gula was a drunk! So Avaritia had taunted him, telling him if he was so sure, he should bet all his money on it and told him Gula was so sure that he had placed all his money on the bet (not that he ever had much). Superbia couldn’t stand it, he knew he was the fastest of all the children he would win this easy. So, the bet was made. It would be Superbia Vs Gula. The following day at 12 o’clock Superbia strode into the courtyard, ready to take his glory. He was surprised he should see so many people there. He noticed Avaritia amongst them, taking their bets as to who would win. Superbia should have known there had to be something in it for Avaritia, he was always on the make.

The crowd grew louder and louder, impatient for the race to begin. Avaritia made his way to the centre and shouted both Superbia and Gula over, he called over his shoulder and two stools and a barrel appeared. Avaritia instructed his brothers to sit. “Sit?” asked Superbia, “I thought this was a race?”

“Why it is dear brother!” Avaritia paused and smiled at him, a toothy pointed grin, “A wine drinking race”.

“What? But I don’t drink!” cried Superbia, glancing around at the noisy crowds.

“I thought you said you could win any race against Gula?” Avaritia taunted, a gleam sparkling in his eyes. Superbia felt sweat trickle down his forehead.

“Well… yes.. I did…but..”

“Good, let’s get going then!” Avaritia raised his hands and the crowds went quiet, all focus on him. “The rules are quite simple, my brothers drink simply until one of them can drink no more. 3…..2……1……..”

Superbia sweated, his hands grabbed the each of the table, he glanced at the cup in front of him and at the great big jug filled with wine, his eyes then wandering over to Gula who already seemed to be swaying a little. Maybe I can win this thought Superbia.

“Go!” shouted Avaritia loudly and the crowds went wild. They shouted loudly as each brother consumed cup after cup of wine. 1…2…3….4….5….6…Even the belches in between that could not be held got a cheer. 7…Belch…8…Belch…9….Belch. The numbers climbed higher and higher. Superbia kept drinking and drinking yet oddly with each cup his mouth felt drier and drier. He watched his brother Gula, sway, rock, belch and hiccup in the stool, yet he still lifted cup after cup.

In the 20’s Superbia stopped hearing the counting around him, his ears swimming with noise, his mouth was dry as the bottom of his sandal and each time he burped he felt the red wine bile attempt to creep back up his throat. He watched Gula sway, then realised it was his own vision that played tricks on him. He made to stand from the stool, but the effort overtook him and he spun landing face down in the sandy court yard. The crowd cheered loudly.

Roman_drinking_cheers“The winner is Gula!” He heard Avaritia announce, and Gula hiccup happily in response while leaning to top up his cup with more wine. Superbia tried to stand again but couldn’t, falling to his knees time after time. He gave in and resorted to crawling. As he crawled from the courtyard he heard his brother once again loudly over the crowd, “It looks like my prideful brother has had a fall”. The sound of the laughter echoed around his ears, but he could not stand to face them, instead he continued to crawl away home.

It was in this state Superbia’s father had found him, he had been livid. “Do you want me to be known as the father that has raised two gluttonous drunks? You are to be banished to live with your Uncle until you learn a little respect.”

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Hope you enjoyed my 7 deadly sins based story. Did you figure them all out? I would love to know what people thought of this theme/idea. Thanks for reading. KL

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