A fiction story by Melpomene based on the characters and backstory as created by Melpomene.

The Sin-Monger


The sin-monger waited on the sidewalk, his wheeled cart stood precariously close to the curb where a turbulence of leaf-infested rainwater gushed past the warped wheels. His wares swung on string from the drably striped umbrella and lay in piles and heaps atop the cartís well-worn wooden lid. Dozens and hundreds of items for sale should the right person come along and spy them.

Bustling crowds gushed past along the sidewalk, eyes focused on the crumbling pavement, others gazing blankly ahead. Eyes, seeing and not, grazed across the contents of the little cart.

Pride. Avarice. Lust.

Hands darted out from the passing mass of bodies, grappling for hold on the items he hawked. Surreptitious glances avoided direct notice as fingers closed over the objects, slipping them quietly into hidden pockets.

Anger. Envy.

As each item began to disappear from the cart, the crowd hurried further onward, racing toward the oblivion of city streets and subway terminals. Searching for the means of satisfying their need for self-fulfillment.

Gluttony. Sloth.

Money passed hands for some things, others simply were stolen; the sin-monger made no attempt to end such blatant theft, they would be back. They always came back for more, unable to gratify their want with a single item, a solitary sin. They always returned to his dilapidated cart. No matter where he was, they would always be able to find him.

Young and old, wealthy and poor, ill and well... No prejudice or discrimination separated those who acquired his goods, their desires were the same whether their skin tone or incomes were different or not.

As the cart became empty, the sin-monger nodded companionably to the gutter, his eyes never rising to see the skies that towered above even the skyscrapers or the glory of the brilliant arc of color that stretched above the crowds. He furled the umbrella, closed up the cart and pushed it down the sidewalk in a lumbering gait.

The next corner waited for him, the next group of citizens anxious to lose just a little more of their humanity and compassion, to take one step closer to their own personal hells.

He grinned to himself as he stopped at the next corner and reopened the cart. The rain began to fall again.

Unlatching the battered storage compartment, he gazed down onto a replenished supply of wares. Sin was an unlimited resource, replenishing itself with ease, never running out and never losing its appeal.

Placing more items on the swinging strings that swayed from the umbrella, and stacking more on the cartís lid, he waited. They would come, they would be drawn inexplicably, and they would not deny themselves.

the end

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