Seven Deadly Sins II: Avaritia

This poem was originally published as a Twitter thread. The previous poem, “Seven Deadly Sins I: Superbia”, can be found here.


Next dawn I reached a city
its walls were made of gold
Its people heaped with riches
and endless wealth of old

And towering above it
in contest with the skies
There was a ruinous castle
its windows full of eyes

My courage almost left me
when I my gaze let glide
Up to its very summit
and saw what hid inside

For from the rooftop terrace
a pair of eyes met mine
And those two eyes were yellow;
I knew this was a sign

And when it left the shadows
I could make no mistake
For from its wolf like body grew
a tail as from a snake

And as I stood there frozen
the fiend let out a roar
And avaricious thralls swarmed
out every gate and door

“Can you see that crystal?”
the demon frothed on.
“This thief has stolen it from you,
retrieve it or it’s gone”.

The people fell upon me,
drew blood and cursed my name
I fled towards the castle,
my lungs and veins aflame

I darted up the staircase,
and still the mob gave chase
Within my hand the crystal
was already ablaze

I fell onto the rooftop
and quickly shut the door
And suddenly stood face to face
with the fiend I’d seen before

“You’re Mammon” I said, trembling
and saw the monster nod
Its vicious smile grew wider
“You stand before a god”

“You people will obey me
because it’s in your blood
To strive for gold and glory,
so bow now in the mud”

“My favour lends you riches,
your pledge will give you wealth
And if you feed on others
I’ll also grant you health.”

“But if you still defy me
you know how this shall end.
Your death will be more painful
than you can comprehend.”

I hesitated briefly
then went down on my knee
“Please spare my life, and in return
accept this gift from me”

I offered forth the crystal
now glowing like a blaze.
The demon reached out hungrily,
a mad look on his face.

But in the very instant
he closed his claws around
the gem its light exploded
and magic had him bound.

Unsteadily I stood up,
and heard the people call
And realized my triumph
had not cured them at all

They screamed at me in anger
and gave the door a thud
And I knew Mammon had not lied;
The greed is in our blood

So I fled from the castle,
not once did I look back
Luxuria was out there,
and I was on its track.


This poem was written in response to a hashtag game series by Marc Tizura/@areyouingrenin. The theme was “The Seven Deadly Sins”, and this day’s particular prompt was Greed – Mammon. The Twitter hashtag is  – go find more flash fiction there!

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voeko

Chris is a freelance writer struggling with the novel that will make them an author.

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