Repent by Rainie Taylor is a collection of seven stories with chapter titles that mirror the commonly accepted “seven deadly sins.” They are all horror stories but not extreme horror stories. Everything is safe for work, and there is no offensive language.
Pride ***** Alicia was very proud of her good looks. Perfectly proportioned with flawless skin and skilled in the use of makeup, the mirror was one of her best friends. She couldn’t believe Ian would not raise his eyes from the menu. When she suggested going back to her apartment for coffee, Ian declined, saying it was not appropriate at this stage in their relationship. She couldn’t believe it. Alicia returned to her apartment where she lived alone with the occasional companionship of Charlie, an occasional cleaning woman. Charlie always projected a happy, friendly personality, but she was incredibly unattractive. The two would discuss the wide differences in their looks.
Greed ***** Andy was an ex-con working as a janitor at Ricky’s bar. Ricky helped a lot of ex-cons. The longer they worked honestly and did their jobs, the more trust they earned from Ricky. Ryan had worked a long time for Ricky as a cook. Robert had worked a long time for Ricky as a bartender. Both were ex-cons. Andy couldn’t stand Robert because Robert was a rapist of women, some of them quite young. Andy probably should not have told the customer about Robert’s past, especially in front of Robert, but he wanted to shame the man. The customer left without finishing his drink. Robert had to call Ricky who came into the bar when he had other things to do. Ricky believed in giving his ex-cons every chance. Andy would have one more chance. Could he pass the test?
Envy ***** Tyler was always the favorite child in the family, and Ellie felt the slights deeply. She was the first child and felt passed over. She had left the family resentful, determined that she would make good and then return home to enjoy her parents’ pride in her achievements. Three years ago, her parents had died. Ellie would never live up to her vow, but she returned home for their funeral to find Tyler living a perfect life. She lived with her handsome husband Robert who displayed nothing but adoration for her. Her house was perfectly maintained inside and out. When Ellie left after the funeral, it was with feelings of envy for all that Tyler had. Now, three years later, she had heard Tyler was ill. She felt she had to see her sister. She might even expand the online flirtation she had engaged in with Robert over the three years. What would Tyler think if she knew? Ellie didn’t care.
Gluttony ***** Kelly didn’t drink that much. She just needed to get to the point that she wouldn’t remember the night before. She liked to start each day with a new slate. The past never mattered. Her best friend Sarah had refused to go out with her anymore after the last series of embarrassing incidents, none of which she could remember. Tonight would be another chance from Sarah. Madison, an office colleague, was also present. Kelly recognized Madison’s fiancé, a man she had previously slept with. He didn’t remember her, however, until the night had progressed through several pints and shots. Kelly noticed the moment of recognition and was irked it had taken so long. Kelly also resented being left out of conversations. She did not work where her friend Sarah and Madison worked. There was nothing to do but drink. Kelly drank copiously; her drinks, her friends’ drinks when they were slow to drink, and a few bonus drinks from the bartender. This evening was turning out to be a typical Kelly night out on the town.
Wrath ***** Mike could see his wife’s handphone screen while she was showering. The text message was clear and from his best friend, Terry. There was to be a meeting of Terry and Mike’s wife Linda at a time when the two had confirmed Mike would be at work. Mike’s rage escalated as he recalled their long-married life together. Both daughters were on their own, and it was time for Linda and Mike to start a new phase of their life together. But it looked like Linda was going to move on with a new partner. Mike was not going to let that happen.
Sloth ***** Tracy just wanted to get away from the house occasionally. She needed some alone time. Mark was skillful at filling all her time with tasks. If it wasn’t household chores, it was something to do with the kids. This time she had left her handphone at home. He wouldn’t be able to track her and bring her home to watch the kids or clean. But Tracy had underestimated the weather and the distance she would have to walk to the Mall. The weight she had put on during years of sedentary life as a housewife produced a lethargy to go on. She was already midway and would like to have taken a taxi. She had left her cellphone at home, so calling a taxi was out. She saw one in the distance and could not believe her luck. The driver did not have a fare and agreed to take Tracy to the Mall. What a lucky day!
Lust ***** Tina liked Martin because he was three years older than the people in her class. He had a job in his uncle’s garage. He was neither ugly nor handsome but acceptable. It was unusual for him to be out with a girl as attractive as Tina. She saw this as a situation in which she was in complete control. She decided this was the day she would lose her virginity. She had even purchased protection. Martin was surprised but accepting as the pair now had only to choose a place where it would happen. True, it would be in his car, but where would they park? The search for a perfect place, a place where they would be undisturbed by-passing traffic took time. They finally found the perfect place and things were progressing well. Until a visitor arrived.
This collection is like a cozy mystery. There are surprises at the ends of stories, but not bizarre twists. This novel is an entertaining four-star Amazon read which I received through Prolific Works (formerly Instafreebie). I will read more by this author.