Superbia’s Story – The Fruits of Labour

“Get up, you are going to be late!”  Superbia rolled away from his uncle’s irritating whine and back towards the wall. He would leave soon enough.

“Okay Marie do it.” His uncle’s voice says down the hallway, as he walks away. Superbia smiled, he knew his uncle would give up eventually, everyone always did. He heard some quieter steps move towards the room but ignored them. Whoosh, suddenly his whole body was covered in icy cold water. Throwing the covers off, he marched out into the hallway. At the end of the corridor he could see his uncle’s rotund figure.

“Glad you finally decided to join us Superbia, see you at breakfast.” His uncle then gave a happy little chortle and headed down the corridor.

Heading into the courtyard he set himself upon the bench and began quietly consuming his breakfast. His body still in quiet shock from the wake-up call.

“You best grab that fruit and be on your way, wouldn’t want you late on your first day? Ticks and tocks of essential time, sink the spirits lower than wine.” His uncle again chortled. Superbia scrunched his face up at the statement. What on earth did that mean?

“Are we really going through with this Uncle Pat? I don’t think this is what my father had in mind when he sent me here?”

“Quite the opposite my boy, your father said I am only to send you home when I am sure you have turned into a responsible young man. As long as you displease me you will remain.” His Uncle’s tone was short and clipped but it still made Superbia groan inwardly. “The cart awaits outside for you, be gone. My vendors will show you what I need done.”

As he made his way to the fruit stall, Superbia felt the heat blaze on his skin. What he wouldn’t give to be lying in luxury in his Uncle’s courtyard or cooling in the fountain, yet he was being made to work the stall like all his Uncle’s merchants. He had hoped Humilitas would be here, the one thing that would make his day worthwhile but as the midday sun approached there was no sign of her. Superbia couldn’t deny that watching the barter amongst the sellers was enjoyable but he couldn’t wait to go home.

“Hi”, a sweet voice called from behind him and Superbia turned to see Humilitas standing with a heavy basket in her arms.

“Oh, let me help you with that”, he rushed forward to help her with the heavy basket ignoring the sniggers from the other stall-holders but Humilitas stepped around him. “That’s ok, I’ve carried it from the bottom of the hill, and these last few steps won’t harm me.” She placed the basket down and immediately began to serve a lady. Roman MarketplaceSuperbia watched with wonder at the ease she smiled and interacted with people. After watching her serve her customers with grace and elegance, she turned to him and he realized she must think he wasn’t doing anything. He turned to the first customer, gave them a broad smile and said loudly, “Can I help you with anything?” After that the day went so fast, they hardly could say to words to one another but occasionally he would catch her smiling at him, and he couldn’t help the feeling that fluttered through his soul.

As they packed up the stall, she asked, “How was your first day?”

“Great, the people are really nice.”

“Aren’t they?” she beamed at his answer. “When I first saw you I thought you’d think working on a stall with street merchants was beneath you, but I can see you are better than that.”

Superbia blushed, he was unsure if it was from the compliment or his lie. “Thanks”.

“Well, see you tomorrow then.” She called behind her and dashed off down the lane.

After Superbia entered his Uncle’s home, he made his way straight to his room. His uncle caught up with him down the corridor. “Aren’t you coming to join us for dinner?”

“Better not Uncle Pat, wouldn’t want to be late for the stall tomorrow. After all ticks and tocks of essential time, sink the spirits lower than wine.” He smiled and walked through the doorway, leaving his uncle grinning behind him.

 ————————————————————————–

“Ticks and tocks of essential time, sink the spirits lower than wine” – was the Friday Fiction prompt brought to you by Ronovan Writes. I did go over my word count a little with 717 words in my story but felt it was worth it. 🙂

Managed to squeeze in the word “elegance” too for #JusJoJan.

Hope you enjoyed Superbia’s Story -, a 7 deadly sins based story. To find out why Superbia got banished and catch up with his story so far see these earlier posts –

  1. Superbia’s Story – Pride Before a Fall
  2. Superbia’s story – humility

I would love to know what people think of this themed series. Thanks for reading. KL ❤

Superbia’s story – humility

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? Pride had always been a slight problem for him, but being one of seven children he knew he had to be the best – how else was he to get any of his fathers attention and a fair share of his fathers wealth?

“Superbia”, he heard a voice call out in the crowd and turned to see a rotund figure heading towards him.

“Patruus”, Superbia waved back and as his uncle grew closer, he embraced him in a hug. As the train of merchants began to move again slowly through the town walls Patruus and Superbia walked side-by-side in comfortable silence.

“So, your father has told me you have lost your way Superbia. I make no bones, he told me he found you drunk crawling through town.”

“I wasn’t…” Superbia started to explain Avaritia’s evil set-up but Patruus held his hand up.

“It matters none to me, I helped raise your father into the good strong man he is today, and I can see the same in you. But you will have to put in a lot of hard work. Your father has said I am only to send you home once I am happy with your progress.” Superbia nodded in response. Although the remaining journey was spent in friendly discussion about Superbia’s brothers and sisters, Superbia could not wait to get to his uncle’s home and enjoy a nice hot meal and comfortable bed. His uncle’s wealth was beyond that of even his fathers and Superbia couldn’t wait to enjoy a little of that luxury, even if it was just to boast about it to his brothers and sisters back home. He was unaware his uncle had other plans.

After dropping of the cart and entering the cool home, Superbia was instantly happy to be out of the heat. He was in awe of the size of his uncle’s home, rooms to the left and right, cellars and stairways and a central courtyard with a garden and a fountain, it was all truly breath-taking. He turned to his Uncle, “Pat, may I see my room?”

“Of course”, Pat smiled happily, this way. Pat walked ahead of Superbia down one of the darker corridors, Superbia noticed the floor was rather plain compared to the beauty of the entrance hall, and in some places, the white walls even seemed to be crumbling a little. “Here we go”, his uncle said opening the room door wide for Superbia to see. Superbia stepped inside, there was only a hard wooden single bed and a wooden chair.

Superbia glanced up and down his body, would he even fit on that tiny bed? There was nowhere to put his things. He turned to his uncle thinking this to be a joke but his uncle was gone, putting his head out the room Superbia could see Pat was already making his way down the corridor.

“I shall leave you to get settled Superbia, see you in an hour for our evening meal together”, Pat called over his shoulder.

Superbia slumped down onto the hard bed. His father must truly want him to suffer. This was not what Superbia had had in mind at all.

After his hour Superbia was desperate to leave his tiny cell-like room and make his way to his uncle’s courtyard. As he approached he could hear many voices chattering and was excited to enter his uncle must have thrown him a party! But as Superbia entered the bright area, he could see the dressware of his uncle’s guests was poor, some even wore no shoes. Superbia tried not to stare agog but every now and then a detail caught his eye that he could not help question, lack of shoes, a rip in clothing, dirty hands or feet.

“Aaah Superbia”, his Uncle walked over and patted him cheerfully on the back, “You have finally arrived, let’s all eat.” Superbia turned away so his back was to the guests and tugged his uncle round with him. “Pat, who are all these people?”

“Oh dear boy, these are my friends and colleagues. You must recognise a few of them, some of them have been with the household since you were a child.” Pat turned back at the crowd and waved happily as everyone began to take their place at the table.

“You have invited your servants to eat with us”, Superbia could not help hide the anger in his voice.

“I do not have servants, I have employees and colleagues. They are all good and honest people, which is why they dine with me. You would do well to remember they are here because I chose for them to be, you are here because your father chose for you not to be with him. Does that make you better than them? I think not.” With that and his face once again filled full of smiles Pat returned to his table and raised a toast to his guests.

Superbia followed, his anger burning inside. How could his uncle and his father treat him this way? He picked at the fine selection of food and spent the majority of the evening stabbing at the leftovers on his plate. However the rest of the group merry with fine wine had a wonderful evening. After the meal was cleared away music started and several of the group Roman_drinking_cheersincluding his uncle left the table to dance.

After a while Superbia stood up, deciding his cell-like room was better than this but as he turned around a vision of beauty stood before him. She blushed shyly and twirled a strand of her hair nervously.

“Umm.. would you like to dance?” she finally asked boldly.

“Me,” Superbia looked around him but it was just the two of them. “Yes, I would love to”.

After several dances the pair returned to table and began to chatter.

“Why did you come talk to me, I can’t have been particularly friendly looking?” Superbia said. He knew he was the best looking guy in the room and was sure she was about to pay him a compliment.

“I felt pity for you.” The girl answered. “I do not know what made you so sad, as your uncle has invited you to live in his beautiful home and put on such a wonderful meal , I suspect it is missing your family and I know how that feels.”

Superbia was gobsmacked. This was not what he had thought and to this he did not know what to say, she was right. Yet he still felt frustrated at the situation. So he just nodded.

“It is late, I must leave, I am to work the market stall early tomorrow so I must be going.” She sighed slightly, clearly not entirely wanting to leave.

“Wait, what is your name?” he asked as she stood.

“Humilitas”, she smiled at him.

“May I see you again, Humilitas?”

“Of course”, she giggled, “You’re uncle has arranged for you to work the stalls with me.”

Superbia was once again cross with his uncle, to work in the market place. That was definitely something his father would not expect him to do. Yet at the thought of seeing humilitas again Superbia felt his heart lift. He made his way across the courtyard to his uncle’s side.

“Good night Uncle. Thank you for the great meal and fun evening.” He turned and made his way down the corridor, so did not see his uncle’s smile. It was the first time Superbia had shown any signs of humility.

Superbia, exhausted from the dancing and the wine fell into his bed, he did not even notice how hard or cramped it was. Sleep soon took him as his dreams played over what tomorrow could bring. A day with humilitas, what could be better?

 

————————————————————————————————- Hope you enjoyed Superbia’s Story – humility, another 7 deadly sins based story.. To find out why Superbia got banished to Patruus’s care see this earlier post –“Superbia’s Story – Pride Before a Fall”. I would love to know what people think of this themed series. Thanks for reading. KL

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.”

————————————————————————————————-
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