Short Story: The Seventh Sin

ShortbreadNicola LayzellShort Stories › The Seventh Sin

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About this Short Story

Written by
Nicola Layzell

Narrated by
Caroline Woodruff


A stranger calls to accuse the narrator of committing one of the seven deadly sins and to collect her for punishment.


  • 1285 Words
  • 25 Comments
  • 79% Community Rating
  • 5573 Views

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Plop, plop, plop.

The sound of the dripping tap tormented me like some fiendish oriental torture. I lay stranded in my bed, unable to lie listening to the beastly sound and equally unable to summon the energy to get up. My dilemma was resolved by the sound of the doorbell. After struggling out of bed I opened the door and peered, bleary eyed, at the colourfully dressed stranger who stood in the porch.

"Good morning," he said.

"Yes?" I inquired suspiciously.

"I've come for you," he announced. "Number Ten Abingdon Way, eight-thirty a.m."

I pulled my dressing gown more closely around me.

"This is Ten Abingdon Way and it is now…" I squinted at the hall clock, "now eight-thirty-one, but I don't need a taxi, thank you."

I made a move to close the door and my heart gave a jerk as I realised his foot was blocking it.

"Take your foot out of my door!” I demanded.

"Don't be afraid," he said. "Just give me time to explain."

"I'm…

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Sandra Ireland Guest Editor said "This story is fast and witty, with a great twist at the end. Short stories are problematic because you have such a lot to prove within a limited word count; you can’t allow yourself to get bogged down in description or details which don’t add to the plot. Nicola’s use of dialogue adds energy and pace to her story, and illustrates how you can build character through dialogue. The main protagonist here, for example, does not take kindly to the stranger’s intrusion and we can hear her emotional reactions in the tone of her speech. I like the way in which the reader is ‘misdirected’ towards the end by the words of the stranger, a clever device. Read it and you’ll see what I mean!"
5 years ago

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Sandy Wardrope said "HI Nicola, This is a fine, humorous little tale pacey, well written and as I say funny. I love shorts where there is conflict especially a verbal duel between the main protagonists. The use of good concise dialogue allows this to take place and you showed the way. Show against tell wins every time. Well done. Keep 'em coming. Yours, Sandy W."
4 years ago
Gina Elena said "Great story, I really enjoyed it. I was looking for something with a religious theme, found this and I will undoubtedly play it to my students. Love the audio. Well done!!!"
4 years ago
Liz Strachan said "Liz Strachan Oh, that was fun! - an unusual plot and very well written. I should have foreseen that the ending would tie up with the opening sentence but I didn't. Well done, I loved it."
5 years ago
Gail Haslam Loose said "Oh, that was fun! I really enjoyed that - and love the (IMO) slightly ambiguous ending. Thanks for the enjoyable read."
5 years ago
Umid Nazarkulov said "nice story, without regret on life."
5 years ago
Umid Nazarkulov said "Nice story."
5 years ago
Ruth Waltho said "Very enjoyable"
5 years ago
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Brian Holloway said "That was a most enjoyable story, ticked all the boxes and fun to read well done"
5 years ago
Patsy R Liles said "A nice surprise for a sunny day in Oregon. Feed my fancy while waiting for the sun to go away and the rain to come. Very enjoyable. Patsy Liles"
5 years ago
Peter Parkin said "Nice!"
5 years ago
Dianne Ness said "That was a great way to start a Friday---with a good chuckle--Thanks!"
5 years ago
Jezebel Myschka said "Great story. I really loved it!"
5 years ago
Diane Dickson Guest Editor said "This was a super choice for the Friday story. Even though I'd read it before the last line still made me giggle and it was so very imaginative - a flight of fancy!! - well done"
5 years ago
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Julian Fields said "Very witty and original. I wonder what would have happened if the narrator had signed the parchment properly..."
6 years ago
Diane Dickson Guest Editor said "I enjoyed this it was quirky and I honestly did titter out loud at the end - Thanks - Diane"
6 years ago
Kaarina Vanderkamp said "I liked this story. It was funny and light hearted."
6 years ago
Susie Jacqueline said "A very funny story. - This is a very funny story that has a delightful edge to it when it's translated into audio format. Well done Nicola, it had me smiling from the beginning until the end!"
8 years ago
Dot Cook said "I needed a good story. - Lovely build up and a good ending. You can send Mike around to my place anytime. I always need a good plumber."
8 years ago
Reece Wilding said "enjoyable - great twist and very funny. thank you."
8 years ago
Gordon Darroch said "Good story - Crafty tale with a light touch and a laugh-out-loud ending"
8 years ago
Bill MacKenzie said "Good ending - I liked it very much. Thank you."
8 years ago

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