The Apple of Discord

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fan Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is a parody of two famous names. Bill Gates, who was considered the world's richest man and Carlos Slim, the second richest man on the planet. Playing with their surnames interlock a story of greed, envy and honor

“Do you like it?” Mr. Slim asked.
“Yes, I do” I replied.
 
I was 11 years old and I recalled that desperately wanted a baseball set: a bat, a
 
ball, and a catcher’s mitt glove, which was for sale in the Slim’s bargain store. Mr. Slim
 
had seen me several times when I tried on the glove repeatedly, but I had to leave it in
 
the store because I had no money to buy it.
 
“Okay, this is the deal, you do my housekeeping, and it’s yours.”
 
“Okay Mr. Slim, if you promise don’t say any word to my parents
 
“It’s a deal.”
 
“Then, I’ll see you, next Saturday?” I said.
 
Once again, I was 11 years old. It was after school and was on my way home. I
 
was in the habit of picking apples from the yard of Mr. Gates, a kindly man who always
 
had an extra basket of apples that I could take with me. Then there was Mr. Slim, who
 
traded anything he could. He gained the nickname “the town’s money lender” he was the
 
most popular person in the neighborhood something like the bad boy in a movie.
 
However, my mother said, “no one is too bad that doesn’t have something good in them.” 
 
Mr. Slim was no exception. He was always there when someone needed a loan, even if
we had to pay high interest, sometimes we did not have another option for obtaining a
 
loan from him. I was one of them.
 
Mr. Gates and Mr. Slim became prosperous businessmen, each one in their
 
respective fields. Mr. Gates started his business selling apples in a small store. Afterward 
 
became a leading manufacturer and distributor. He supplied to the largest commercial
 
center, in the whole country. His brand was ‘CG: Preserved apple.
 
While Mr. Slim made his fortune in the business of credit. He began with a
 
bargain store, then built an empire through Cash Advances Stores around the
 
country.
 
I recalled that Saturday day when I took the baseball set back to Mr. Slim. My
 
parents had kept me busy and I could not do his housekeeping. I was embarrassed and I
 
did not know how to tell him that I would not be able to keep my word. To my surprise.
 
Mr. Slim told me “If you want something then fight for it.”
 
Mr. Slim refused to allow me to return the merchandise. Instead, he offered me a
 
very interesting proposal. If I made a low weekly payment, I could keep the baseball set.
 
He made me sign an agreement on paper. He knew I received an allowance every
 
Sunday. I assumed that it was a good deal for me. It meant that I could buy candies,
 
or anything that I would. I felt was important as the others who were visiting to apply
 
for a loan, or pawn something.
 
One day, I went to Mr. Slim’s house to let him know that for the next two weeks,
 
I would not be able to make any payments, because my parents punished me for spending
 
too much time playing baseball and not taking care of my tasks.
 
That was my lucky day. I knocked, but Mr. Slim did not hear me, I then
 
decided to find him in his studio. It took my breath away, but he was more surprised
 
than me. I had discovered his secret box, which he kept under the floor in the middle of
 
the room, where he deposited all those neighbors loan’s contracts, including mine.
 
“Demon! What are you doing here?” he yelled at me. He was very mad.
 
I was petrified. I did not know what to say. Then, I said the first thought that came
 
to my mind.
 
“Mr. Slim, I came to pay you in full.” I said scared.
 
“What? You can’t do that,” He yelled.
 
Again, my surprise was enormous when he made me another proposal.
 
“Look, kid if you promise to not say anything about what you have seen, I will
 
release you from your agreement, but if you open your mouth, your parents will know
 
about our deal.”
 
“Okay. Mr. Slim, it is a deal.” I was both scared and glad.
 
Since then, Mr. Slim had certain esteem for me. It was not because he liked me 
 
 he just wanted to be assured I would not betray “our secret.” Indeed, I had no thought
 
to open my mouth, because I did not want to see my dad upset. I did not want to face my
 
dad’s belt either. He was a severe father as well as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army.
 
When I was 16, my parents told me that both men had been close friends
 
since childhood, but one day Mr. Slim decided to claim as his own an apple tree
 
growth exactly on their property line. This claim caused a legal fight.
 
The common folk said that Mr. Slim was jealous of Mr. Gates because
 
Gate’s business had grown faster than Slim’s. In my small town, that conflict 30 years
 
ago was known as ‘The Apple Tree Battle Trial’ in the local press.
 
The Judge ruled that the apple tree must be cut vertically into two parts. The
 
crowd’s opinion was divided. Mr. Slim agreed with the verdict. Nevertheless, Mr. Gates
 
stood up and spoke loudly.
 
“Your Honor, I have the right to appeal this verdict, but I won’t if you
 
consider my concern.”
 
“Mr. Gates, what is your request?” the Judge asked.
 
“I prefer to grant my part to Bill if he promises not to cut it, ever.” He said.
 
Mr. Slim agreed, and all the attendees were amazed that Mr. Gates had given up
 
so easily. Since then, he left the town. He had moved to New York from where he
 
managed his business and that was the last time I saw him.
 
Every year the town festival committee celebrated Saint Patrick’s Day, by
 
illuminating all the trees along sidewalks, they also encouraged everyone the light up the
 
front of their houses, building, and offices. This year Mr. Slim who had moved to
 
Los Angeles, visited his hometown every Patrick’s Day on a family tradition. He decided
 
to decorated with many lights the ‘Apple Tree of Discord.’
 
The sound of a siren far away fire engine interrupted my thoughts and brought me
 
back to the present. My neighbors and I were gathered in front of Mr. Slim and Mr.
 
Gates’ houses, which had burned down. I was as astonished as every one else in the
 
neighborhood. The fire had quickly consumed both houses, which were known in our
 
neighborhood like the ‘the houses of Sun & Moon.’ Even though, Mr. Gates and Mr.
 
Slim were like brothers, they were as different as the sun and the moon.
 
The fair had quickly burned down “The house of the Sun and Moon.” Fortunately,
 
no one was hurt in the fire. Soon afterward disaster the Fire Department reported that the
 
cause of the fire had been by an short circuit.
 
30 years after that conflict caused by an apple tree had divided all
 
neighborhoods, now they were joined around two friend’s tragedy. Even though, the
 
crown’s opinion was divided. Some of them believed had been a terrible incident;
 
others thought had been a divine punishment. The truth was that once again that apple
 
tree had been the “Apple of Discord.” 
 
One day, Mr. Slim knocked at my door to give me an envelope and without
 
saying a word, he walked away. The envelope contained ashes. Mr. Slim had returned my
 
agreement to me.
 
 


Submitted: October 30, 2008

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Comments

Robert Storm

Delightful story, sir. The Apple of discord.

Sat, November 8th, 2008 8:24am

Author
Reply

Mr. Storm.

Thank you for your comments. It is always nice to receive this kin of comments. I also enjoyed your writing.

Regards

Thinker

Sat, November 8th, 2008 2:52pm

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