If you are new to the SDS Challenge, a little background.
Three writers will each write one story a month going down the list of deadly sins. The stories can be anywhere from 666 words to 6,666 words in length, although those numbers are not set in stone. If ambitious, the writers will provide accompanying graphics. These stories will not be anonymous because some writers may want to use the same characters for each story and write a series — or book — encompassing all seven sins. Finally, interpretation of the titular sin is up to the writer. Meaning, each ‘sin’ can take multiple forms.
The third set of stories cover the sin of Greed. This is my offering, and I thought I’d try something different and shoot for the lower word limit.
Note: 666 is the word count in MS Word; other editors may give different word counts.
Disclaimer: The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories will likely span a wide gamut of genres. The majority of the stories fall in the PG-rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Some readers might find a few of the stories disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, and if so, stop reading and move on.
Greed Will Cost You
Copyright 2021 — E. J. D’Alise
(666 words – approx. reading time: about 3 minutes based on 265 WPM)
It happened when he was six, walking home from school carrying the books of the girl he liked.
They were talking about the new teacher, learning about exchanging information like addresses and phone numbers with other students, the math skills they were learning, and thinking how lame it all was since they already knew so much of what they covered.
That’s when he saw them, in the grass next to the sidewalk. Three coins. Not small and copper, but large and silver. He gave the girl her books back, put his own down on the ground, and rushed to claim his bounty.
“It’s seventy-five cents!” he exclaimed, holding them up. “Wow. This is more money than I’ve ever had!”
“That’s great!” Tina said. “What are you going to do with it?” she asked.
“I’m going to save it,” he answered. “Some day I’ll have lots of money.”
“That’s nice,” she replied. “Let’s go; my mother said to get straight home.”
“Help me look,” he said, “There might be more around here.”
Reluctantly, Tina walked over to where he was crouching and looked around.
“I don’t see more; let’s go.”
“Just a little longer,” he replied.
“I want to go,” Tina said.
“Go ahead, I’ll catch up in a minute,” he answered.
But, it was more than a minute, and when he looked up, Tina was gone. He hadn’t found any more money, but was still elated by what he’d found.
His elation evaporated when he turned down the block where he and Tina lived. She was walking with another boy, him carrying her books, her laughing at something he must have said.
The second time was at University.
He liked Samantha lot, enough to be his first choice of whom to tell about an $800 windfall. Back pay, it was.
The gas station just off-campus, where he’d worked the previous semester, had been caught underpaying their worker. That money doubled his savings and got him closer to the computer and coding software he’d had his eyes for the side project he’d been planning for a year now.
“Sam! You know that project I wanted to work on?” he yelled as he burst into her dorm room.
Samantha stared back at him, her eyes red from crying.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
“My uncle … he passed away last night.”
“That’s terrible!” he said as he held her in a comforting embrace.
“Yes, and I don’t have the money for a ticket home to attend the funeral,” she said.
He almost said something, but he didn’t. Later, when Samantha found out about the windfall and that he’d used the money to buy what he needed for his project, she left him.
Val leaving hurt the most. He should have seen it coming; she’d asked him numerous times to hire an office manager and project coordinator. Those expenditures would increase his overhead, reducing his profit margin; a profit margin necessary to secure loans for expanding the business.
“I’m always home alone. You don’t come home until late, eat dinner alone after I’m asleep, you get up early, and are gone by the time I eat breakfast alone,” Val would complain.
“We take decent vacations with our friends, and I always make the social occasions,” he’d counter.
She’d always look at him as if expecting more, but never said until the day she explained and expected nothing else from him.
“All I wanted was for you to be there for me like you are for your company.”
“But I’m doing it for us. For you.”
“No,” she’d countered. “You’re doing it for the money, and only the money. That’s all you seem to care about, and I need more.”
They didn’t understand. No one understood. It never was about the money. It was about the freedom that money could buy. But, when he had enough for the level of freedom he wanted, he had no one to share it with, and all he knew was how to make more money.
Here are the links to the other two stories:
Greed Is Good <<link
Writer: Perry Broxson
Word count: 9,170 words – approx. reading time: about 35 minutes based on 265 WPM
The Why Files <<link
Writer: R. G. Broxson
Word count: 6,140 words – approx. reading time: about 23 minutes based on 265 WPM
If you’ve read all the stories and care to cast a vote, here’s the link to the Poll:
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