Synaesthesia Magazine Seven Deadly Sins - Page 41

Change, Rest

by Jason Jackson

There was no one to be seen on the small island. Although it was almost exactly the middle of summer, the sky was overcast and the heavy, grey clouds seemed not to move at all. There wasn’t a breath of wind, so the surface of the sea was flat, still and dull. It was a very hot day.

Gradually, small ripples began to develop in the grey of the ocean quite a long way out from the shore. If anyone had been watching it would have taken them a long time to realise that something was happening, that something was stirring beneath the surface, but eventually - if there had been anyone around to take any notice - they would have seen a grey, cloaked and hooded figure begin to rise slowly from the depths.

When this figure was entirely free of the water it began to walk across the flat ocean towards the distant beach. Its bare feet made tiny splashes, and even before it had reached the shore another identical figure began to emerge from the water. Time after time this happened, and as each figure in turn rose from the depths it followed in the footsteps of the one before. Eventually, seven figures in all – damp, dripping and bedraggled - stood in a vague, uncertain circle on the flat, wet sand near the water’s edge.

None of the figures spoke, and all kept their heads bowed and hooded. Their cloaks dried slowly in the sun, and there was still not a whisper of wind. The clouds stood as still as the figures on the beach.

The figures were the Sins, and this was the first time they had met for exactly one thousand years.

After a silence which stretched almost beyond endurance, one of the figures lifted its head and spoke. “Well?” it said.

Another figure, opposite the first, raised its head a little. “Oh, I don’t know,” it said.

“Hmm,” said the first. “Anyone else?”

A third figure - next but one in a clockwise direction to the first - pulled off its hood. If anyone had been around to see they would have been struck dumb by the terrible beauty of the face the hood had hidden. The figure took a breath. “Can’t say I noticed a lot of difference, myself,” it said.

The lead figure nodded thoughtfully. “Which of us are you again?”

“Lust,” it said, and anyone listening would have heard perhaps the slightest embarrassment in the voice. >