Eve's Apple

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Thank you @safewordsophie from twitter for the cover art

Down on his luck, as always he pondered. Many vehicles passed without a second thought, seeming to ignore the signs it was time for him and others to cross. At a pause, the group moved and almost systematically like a line of ants heading towards the hill. Only these ants didn’t care about each other but instead were pushing and yelling, each one have more important places to be. It was a sunny afternoon, just weeks after a blanket of snow covered the soil. Spring was here and honestly.. James could care less. The man had just lost his job and soon probably his minuscule apartment. One could call it an apartment it seemed to house everything in the living room. It was old, moldy and how he didn’t die from the smell alone still astonished him. It wasn’t that his old line of work was poor, just it was way too expensive to live in this city. The city that never sleeps! 

 Ah, the bags under his eyes confirmed that. It was as if he had forgot to toss the salt when it fell since for years it felt like he was plagued with unluckiness.

James crossed, making sure to take careful steps as..

 

Oh s-sorry.”

 

A very large woman with short hair bumped into him, but yet, he was the one to apologize. It was always his fault; ALWAYS! The stock market crashing, unable to pay a water bill, just anything that fell apart had blame put on him. His eyes began to tear as another man literally shoved him out of the way, causing James to stumble a little. Had the world always been this cruel to him? Even as a kid he had shit thrown at him, like quite literally at points.

 

As the crowd began to dissipate, Jame’s wondered towards the other side. His butt landed upon a bench, his usual spot after a failed job interview. He glanced down at his phone just to see how many more hours of light he had left.

 

The palms of his hands cradled his face as tears began to seep through.

 

How am I going to make rent next week?”

 

This was it, this was just it…

 

As he began to think of someway to make today better.. an acorn did that instead. One, two, no three hit his noggin. Was some kid making fun of him?

 

Come on I can-…”

 

When he looked up, there was no kid. No no, it wasn’t.. It couldn’t be possible. When he turned around he saw a squirrel, poised and ready to throw a forth acorn of the day. The tiny thing had a determined look on his face, for a basic rodent like that anyway. This was.. different however. The animal was holding the nut as it was some baseball player and not something constantly being run over by cars. When those two eyes connected towards each other, the animal seemed to jump the second James realized it wasn’t a stupid kid.

 

James stood up, maybe a little too fast as his body swayed from the dizzy spell; being 30 had it’s challenges sometimes. The tiny thing circled up the trunk of the tree, hiding behind a large flower. Wait, it had to be too soon for this tree to bloom? When James looked around, it looked like the world had been put on pause. It was hazy, it was as each persons face had been erased by the back of a pencil with their body frozen in time.

 

The fuck is going on?!”

 

Did he die? Oh my God he must have died! James pressed his back against the tree, sliding down his bottom to hit the dirt. He was clutching his chest, trying to relax and or meditate as his therapist had taught him. As he began to take in a few deep breaths….

 

James my son, it is good to be awake.”

 

James, the James eyes grew as big as a dinner plate, very much and totally terrified. Gingerly he pushed himself off the ground, taking a few steps forward to touch the bench. Yea, yea that felt real he thought… But that voice was nothing he had ever heard of before. It was as each word were threaded with silk, gentland comforting. Yet for James…When he turned upon his heel, he looked at the tree and yea, he kind of screamed. Not like a normal manly scream either but quite squeaky, filled with horror.

 

The trunk of the tree had been distorted, morphing to a face that seemed kind. All it did was smile, the seeming to giggle at his reaction.

 

Human’s are funny.”

 

The squirrel laughed, causing a branch to strike it. Yea, the tree did that. The tree just hit the animal.

 

Am I dead?”

 

It was the only thing that came out between breaths, slowly but surly trying to calm down.

 

No my son, I am here to give you a second chance.”

 

The tree responded, its beautiful head full of flowers seem to nod.

 

James just stared, totally confused by the whole thing.

 

What are you?”

 

He asked, quite puzzled.

 

Let’s just say I have been here since the beginning.”

 

The tree smiled ever so sweetly, causing James breathing to final hit an even tone.

 

Have you noticed all your life you have been burden with being unlucky?”

 

He blinked- how did she, how did this tree know that? ‘Why am I trying to make sense of all this, it’s a talking tree!’

 

He kept silent, just listening.

 

It’s not a coincidence the snake had picked you.”

 

Okay, he must be hallucinating or something.

 

Okay I am done. Goodbye!”

 

James began to walk away, but his body was pushed back by an invisible barrier. It moved like waves across the sea, vibrating a moment before settling.

 

The tree just had a feeling that might happen, so it waited until James realized he was stuck listening to its monologue.

 

I am not here to hurt you and you are not hallucinating my child. Listen as a babe the demon picked you. It picks human’s ever few years to drive them to madness. Usually, it is never near me. But you traveled far, coming here for an escape. I can help, please let me help you.”

 

The tree seemed pained by this, it was almost as if it were crying. It was true, James had been severely troubled since he was born. His mother, as he was told, was in too much pain to continue caring for him. His father abused him for years until he left the farm and yea, he thought it would get better but getting older just grew more challenging.

 

You are the oldest human to have made it this far by the devil’s hand. I want it to stop, don’t you?”

 

James stayed silent, combing his locks with his skeletal fingers and biting his corner lip. He, he really did want it to stop.

 

But how?”

 

He questioned, almost pleading for an answer.

 

The tree gave him just that. A large branch shifted a few moments before it moved near him, its flowers blooming a golden apple. It was ripe and quite appetizing to look at, James was actually salivating at this point. It has been over a day since he has eaten, he looked too well groomed to be helped with Government assistance and too poor to buy anything worthwhile. It was a cruel joke to say the least.

 

Just take one bite James and you will be alright from here on out.”

 

Should he do it? He glanced at the animal who mocked him earlier, pretty much pretending it was not paying attention. But he saw it’s twinkle, it too wanted to know if he would take it. Would he? Would he though? James carefully took the apple, watching as the branch moved back into position. It seemed to glow, oh so heavenly it did. He looked around him, holding it firm. If this was real, he should be fine. If not well, what was plan B anyway? Death?

 

A loud crunch seemed to echo across the area, bouncing between buildings and other trees. Two, no three bites and he swallowed. It was the best apple by far he has ever had.

 

Hey, I don’t know if…”

 

And there it was. The noise the world had been canceled out earlier came back in seconds time, rushing him so fast he tumbled backwards. He hit the trunk of the tree, holding his forehead from the pain. After a moment, he noted things looked back to normal. Grumpy faces seem to give him a quick glance before turning their attention elsewhere. He picked his head up, looking up towards the tree.

 

It’s…?”

 

. The bark seem to chip off in pieces as he moved, the flowers that were its crown had withered to nothing. James quickly looked towards the apple, which had turn red a moment before completely turning to ash. It was over? He would be okay? Or was it not even real? He wiped his hands using his shirt of course, before taking a few steps forward and he squealed. His foot became caught in a pot hole, almost as if something was being wrapped around his ankle to try and hold him down. He happened to look up as a city bus was making its way towards him and it wasn’t slowing down. James began to panic as the concretes grip didn’t seem to want to let go. He pulled and pulled, turned and yanked but the bus was coming too fast. He closed his eyes, waiting for the sweet metal to kiss his heel.

 

Hey.. hey you okay?”

 

The buzzing of people seem to circle him, that lone voice coming along with a clap upon his shoulder. James was on the ground, kind of curled up in a ball with a freed ankle and breathing lungs- he was not dead! He was in a state of shock as the bus driver was waving over a police officer as another placed their own coat upon James shivering form. He couldn’t see past the crowd of people, but the tree seem to give one last smile before turning into nothingness once again.

 

 

 


Submitted: December 13, 2020

© Copyright 2021 alchiap. All rights reserved.

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