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Complete seven threads where your character displays each of the Seven Deadly Sins — Pride, Lust, Sloth, Envy, Wrath, Gluttony, and Greed!

{SWP 9} The Unsubtle Knife
Eli lifted his shoulders and tilted his head to the side as if to say really?' He'd assumed it was obvious why one such as himself would want a knife. He could list about a dozen different reasons, but that wasn't something he was apt to do.

The fire had snapped him away from the lure of the knife, fear of the fire engulfing the shop completely outweighing his desire to keep it. Flames were a sweep's biggest fear, after all. It also helped that he no longer held it.

"Jay..." His voice was uneasy, a note of warning in it, worried about how preocupied the man had become with the blade.

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Cuteness thanks to Lady <3
A short minute ago, he would have read the warning in Eli’s voice. Would have listened to the warning, too. If he were quite himself, he never would have held something with unknown powers.

But now he had the knife and he was too busy feeling a wondrous new sense of its possibilities to have room for anything else. He glanced about Eli’s tiny, now-sooty cupboard of a room, looking for something to test the knife out on. There were symbols forming in his mind, symbols he could feel his wrist itching to draw out. He pressed the tip of the blade onto his other palm - just thinking! - but then happened to see the strange little spiral on the wall.

Eli’s handiwork, he presumed. Jay edged past Eli and his squashed bed to get a better look at it, his fingers tracing the grooves it had left, untouched amidst the effects of the fire.

If he didn’t have the knife in hand, he might have been suspicious. But he did, and so all Jay could think of was what he might draw instead, something more intricate than the sweep’s sad little spiral. It was not as though Eli could stop him, could he?

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Why wasn't anyone else skulking about the shop? Nearly all of the others were much more well equipped to talk some sense into Jay. What could he do? He'd been trying to communicate how dangerous he thought the knife appeared to be, but it seemed the man wasn't about to take the hint. The lure of it was too strong.

When Jay pushed past him, Eli side-stepped out of the way, trying to assess his options. He wasn't physically strong enough to wrestle the crude weapon from the man's grip. Nor did he particularly wish to anger him more than was necessary.

However, the moment he spotted Jay tracing the designs he'd made, any makeshift plans were dashed from his head. The last thing they needed was for his sleeping quarters or the shop to be reduced to ashes. The small boy reached for the closest thing to him, his longest chimney brush, and did something so unlike him that he even surprised himself. Eli grasped its handle with two hands and attempted to swing it at the hand that held the knife. The bristles were made of sharp metal, and he knew he's likely feel terrible about potentially harming poor Jay. However, it was better than them both perishing from a fire.
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   Elias Grimstone

[Image: sit32P.jpg]

Cuteness thanks to Lady <3
He had just put the knife to the wall, already strangely satisfied by the image that had sprung to his mind - or perhaps to his wrist instinctively - when around came swinging a large chimney brush, swatting at him like he was an overgrown fly. It scratched at his hand first, but it was an unwieldy thing, and he felt it swinging towards his face.

“Oi!” Jay yelled, feeling a rush of anger beneath the sudden pain grazing his skin from the brush - anger that was most unlike him. He ducked away out of the brush’s reach as best he could, dropping the knife again in his haste to -

And feeling bad, suddenly, about having bellowed in anger at Eli, a boy to whom every word left such a mark. What had just happened? Had he really been about to carve another mark on the wall without the slightest clue or care for what it would do to the place?

Unsteadily, he backed away in Eli’s tiny room until he reached the opposite wall, suddenly more disconcerted by the knife and the ashen smell lingering in the room than the grazes on his skin.
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   Billie Farrow

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Eli still held tight to the chimney brush, just in case Jay, or rather, the knife had any other ideas. The poor boy looked as if he half expected to be murdered, but he wasn't all that sorry that he'd attacked Jay. It seemed like the lesser of two evils, which wasn't a difficult choice in his mind. Though, the black and white thinking of childhood was rather quickly giving way to shades of gray.

Only when Jay backed away from the damned thing, did Eli lower his weapon. He shot him an apologetic look, but he seemed distracted. Reaching to a low shelf near him, he tugged off a dilapidated looking box and unceremoniously emptied its contents into a heap. Random 'treasures' he had collected rolled about even after the boy had moved away.

With careful steps, Eli tiptoed closer to the knife and half threw, half slammed the box over top of it. They'd have to think of a better place to hide it permanently, but he figured it might offer them some sort of protection. Even if he wasn't sure if that's how it worked.

After he was done, he darted to the other side of the room to join Jay.

[Image: sit32P.jpg]

Cuteness thanks to Lady <3
Jay stayed where he was, back to the wall and shock on his face, only able to do as much as watch things rattling out of a box, and Eli slamming down upon the discarded knife as if trying to catch a spider. Jay almost caught himself breathing a sigh of relief that the temptation of it was no longer in view, never mind within reach.

“Thanks, Eli,” he mumbled, really meaning sorry more than thank you, but hoping Eli might see the apology in his eyes. “Think it’s cursed?” He asked, nodding towards the box wherein the knife was now trapped, with a very feeble chuckle; he was more joking than really expecting an answer. The better question would be what Eli was doing with it specifically, and why hadn’t he turned it in to Mr. Fox, but - having experienced the lure of it quite so recently - Jay presumed he would be a hypocrite to dwell on it.

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Eli didn't view the question as a joke and bobbed his head slowly and meaningfully. Yes, he thought it was likely for the knife to be cursed. Why else would it have made him want to doodle designs on the walls all for the purpose of catching it on fire? Why else would it have immediately sought to do the same thing to poor Jay?

The next question was: What should they do with it? Touching it seemed ill-advised. It was beyond his ken how to dispose of cursed objects, so he looked to Jay with a lost sort of expression.

After a few moments of glancing back and forth between the now hidden knife and the man, Eli decided it was high time he used his voice. There was no way he could explain where he had found it without speaking. "It's from the train." Meaning it was from the haul that certain members of the Fox Family had hauled in from the train heist. It would likely strike Jay as odd that Eli had even considered stealing from those he considered family. The allure of the knife had just been too much.

[Image: sit32P.jpg]

Cuteness thanks to Lady <3
Eli spoke up and the rest of the story fell into place. “Ah,” Jay said quietly.

Mr. Fox would not be pleased to hear members of his own family, as it were, were slipping things into their pockets. Jay had pondered the thought many times before, when he did the books; not contemplating it because he was tempted to skim from them, but just in a curious detachment, a horrifying thought of what might happen when Mr. Fox found out one of his trusted lieutenants in this life had betrayed him. Even the thought hadn’t been pretty.

So. What to do with this knife from the train? They could keep it to themselves and keep it secreted away somewhere, stuffed in that box; they could dispose of it, throw the locked box in the river and wash their hands of it; they could replace it with the other artifacts and hope Mr. Fox did not investigate too closely.

Jay surveyed Eli for a moment, aware that his head was just as much on the line if he took initiative and judged the young chimney sweep wrong. Sticky fingers now might lead to worse betrayals later. Finally, he said carefully: “...Maybe it got lost in all the sorting, and I’ll find it in the vaults tomorrow when Mr. Fox is there?”

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It wasn't particularly like Eli to go ahead and steal from his own family. However, the lure of the knife had been too strong to ignore. Shame was clearly written on his face. He couldn't blame Jay if he reported him to Mr. Fox. After all, it would be the sensible thing to do.

It was with hope that he glanced up at the man and bobbed his head along with his plan. Yes, perhaps it got lost. It was a rather tiny artifact. It would be rather easy for it to slip behind something else. However, the thought of Mr. Fox handling and then promptly setting the vaults or somewhere else on fire had the boy nervous. "Be...careful," he whispered out, his gaze landing meaningfully on the knife that was securely out of sight. He hoped Jay would catch his meaning. The next expression that drifted his way was one of gratitude.

[Image: sit32P.jpg]

Cuteness thanks to Lady <3
Jay cast Eli a quiet smile. The gratitude went both ways here: after all, Jay had felt the knife’s effects as well, and could not claim to be remotely better at resisting them.

He considered the problem, thankful the knife was, for now, safe in that box. “I’ll make sure no one else touches it,” he promised seriously, demonstrating this by even handling the box with care.

Best sort that out now, before anyone returned to the shop. “I think your blanket’ll have to go, though,” he added lightly, glancing at the burnt-out leftovers of it as a sign that the boy should clean up the rest of the evidence as best he could. But Eli worked with fireplaces enough; he was sure the rest of the damage could be explained away.

Eli, at least, was never someone to fear talking when he shouldn’t.

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