Shaun Allan – The Nature of the Beast

What is Sin?

That depends.  Do you mean the person, or the act?  Is ‘sin’ an act?  Is it a state of mind or being?  Is it a malicious streak running red through your heart?

Doing bad things with good intentions.  Does that count as ‘sin;?  Or does that fact that you’re stealing that loaf to feed your family or killing that man to stop him murdering hundreds… does that make the act innately good, because your heart isn’t slashed by Sin’s vicious talons?

Then there’s me.

Sin-sin-siree, there’s no place for me.

I’m an ordinary guy.  An ‘Ordinary Joe’.  No frills, bargain basement, shops own brand – though I don’t think the local Tesco would even think twice about stocking any of me on their shelves.  Watch where you put that price sticker mister!

Am I bad because bad things happen around me?  Or rather, because of me?  Is Sin sinful?

I think so.  Well, people die.  That’s can’t be good, can it?  Believe me, please, please believe me – I don’t want it to be like that.  I don’t want others to suffer at my hand, whether they feel my touch or are just touched by me.  I would rather their cries didn’t haunt me.  I would prefer it if, instead of their deaths, I simply had my own life.

But I don’t.  It’s not my life, is it?  When my will is not my own, when the beast within me bursts forth to consume the innocent, that’s not my life.  I’m held hostage by a force not of my own creation.  If I could expel it, I would.  An exorcism.  A cleansing.

But I don’t feel dirty, just dirtied.  I’m not possessed – I am the possessor.  The demon isn’t in me, it IS me.

But it would be nice – it would be good – if that were not the case.


Forgive me, reader, for I am Sin.

But does that make me SINful?

They call me Reverend.

I suppose they would, considering my actual name.  But I’m also the one who helps them.  The one who listens.  Is that because I’m the only truly sane one in here?  I use the term ‘sane;’ very loosely, of course.  But I don’t fly off the handle like a witch after a bucketful of vodka.  I know that there’s no point in losing my temper as it’s a sure way to be the pea in the princess’s bed – the orderlies being the mattresses piled on top.

If I lose my temper – usually anyway – it’s because I need to.  It’s because the screams are too loud and I need them quieting.  it’s because, ever so slightly, the drugs help me forget.

Anywho.  I’m the Reverend.  I almost said ‘for my sins’… but I won’t.  The same people that called me that also called Benny the ‘Bender’ and Mickey ‘Mucous’.  I don’t wear a white collar and I don’t hold sermons.  But, nonetheless, they call me the Reverend.

But I’m not religious.  Not really.  I think I believe in a higher power (well, considering my own ‘talents’ I have to believe in more than this mere mortal plane), but I’m not sure.  I don’t know if there’s a single bearded guy sitting up there or a host of them, playing chess with our lives.  Or even jackal-headed creatures walking around swinging ankhs.  As such, am I even qualified to talk about what sin is or isn’t?

Oh, I think I am.  Don’t you?

So…  Sin.

What is it?  Other than me, that is.  What is the nature of ‘SIN’?  And who says what is actually sinful?

Well, I suppose it depends on which deity butters your toast in the morning.  If any.  One man’s sin is another’s pleasure.  And one man’s pleasure is another doorway into Purgatory.

Going down?  Third floor, electrical good.  Second floor, ladies wear and lingerie.  First floor is our newly refurbished restaurant.  Try the chicken salad, it’s delicious.

Ground floor…  Hell.

Mind the step.

Whether you’re Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Shinto or Jedi, you each have your own rules for what is right or wrong.  But is it as cut and dried as that?  Can ‘wrong’ be, under the correct circumstances, a shiver closer to ‘right’?  A paler shade of white?

Feed that family with the stolen loaf.  Kill that killer…

It’s not up to me to decide.  It’s up to you and your God, god or gods.  And I use the terms asexually.  Don’t crucify me for missing the ‘ess’ off.  Hey some people worship Justin Beiber.  And they call me disturbed.

But, I’m not here to judge.  How can I?  After what I’ve done – or at least what I’m responsible for?  No.  You and your conscience can fight it out amongst yourself.  No biting, no spitting and no kicking in the doodads.

Do you have to believe in God to believe in sin?  Is it simply understanding the distinction between right and wrong?  Good and evil?  Heads and tails?  There’s a growing trend in the youth of today, our offspring – those that shall inherit what’s left of the Earth – to not believe in a god of any kind.  Or at least to not think about it enough to believe.  That doesn’t necessarily make them ‘godless’.  They still try to save the planet, feed the starving, get to the next level on Call of Duty.  There’s still good in those that believe we’re here, then we die and we’re not.

So they no what it is not to sin (and TO sin), but they don’t necessarily think of it as ‘sin’.  It’s something you do.  Not something you are or you commit.

Deadly Sins.  Cardinal Sins.  Venial Sins.  So many types, a veritable pick’n’mix of depravity.



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