Short Story – The Cursed Tree

16 Jul

the cursed tree

Hello! Most of you know that I have been working hard on the edits for my second novel ‘The Fall of Lilith’. I haven’t had time for much else. However, I don’t like neglecting my readers, so I’ve written a short story series called The Cursed Tree. I will post it in three short installments. Let me know your opinion on it in the comment section below. Thank you and enjoy!

 

the cursed tree_vashti quiroz-vega_short story

 

 

I like your story. What a new and interesting take on the murder of Abel!”~Kristina Z.

The Cursed Tree

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

 

 

The earth rumbled, and the sky turned an ominous dark grey. Large black clouds swirled across the heavens, colliding with each other. A sweet, pungent smell drifted through the air. Once the rain arrived, other odors came. The pounding water shook the plants and trees and carried their odiferous particles in the air. Jagged lightning bolts split the skies, spearing trees and turning them to ash. Deafening thunderclaps made the garden tremble. God was angry. Man had betrayed him. The Garden of Eden would no longer be home to Adam and Eve.

 

Only one tree still stood among the devastated land: the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It, too, was cursed and would not last long in the tumultuous storm of God’s rage. A powerful gust of wind removed a seed from this tree and blew it out of the garden and into the world.

 

The tiny cursed seed drifted to a large, roaring river and landed near its bank. The winds continued to bluster, covering the seed in moist soil. Buried and forgotten, the small seed took root.

 

In time, the seed pushed through the soil a green, quivering stem adorned with tiny, prickly leaves.

 

“What is it, Cain?” Abel asked, scrunching his nose.

 

“What does it look like? It is a plant of some kind,” Cain said.

 

“I know that, but what kind of plant? It looks different from all the other vegetation. I do not like it,” Abel said. His thick blond hair fell on his face as he leaned forward to take a better look at the small tree.

 

“I think it is a baby tree, and I do like it,” Cain said. “I am going to build a barricade around it to protect it from the animals.”

 

“Why?” Abel asked. “It is ugly.”

 

“I want to see it grow,” Cain said. “Besides, sometimes things that begin as ugly can grow to be beautiful.”

 

Abel crumpled his brow in thought. Cain wiped his brother’s hair from his face. He could not stand that Abel never tied his hair back. Cain always kept his dark brown hair tied back and neat.

 

Cain did as he said he would and built a barrier around the small tree. The boy visited the tree daily and made sure it was doing well. He even spoke to it.

 

“I know you probably do not understand my words, or maybe you do. I know not.” Cain said. “Nevertheless, I will take good care of you and see what fruits you bear.”

 

“Thank you,” the tree responded in Cain’s mind. Cain jumped, startled by the strange voice in his head.

 

Cain looked around and saw no one. His deep cerulean eyes stared at the small tree before him. “Di-d d-did you speak to me?” he asked the tree, shamefaced.

 

“I did,” the tree said. Cain gasped. He took a few steps back.

 

“How is this so?” Cain asked. “Trees do not speak.”

 

“Just because one never spoke to you does not mean that trees do not speak,” the tree said.

 

Cain gawked at the tree, unable to form words.

 

“Protect me and help me grow, and I shall bear extraordinary fruit just for you,” the tree said. Wide-eyed, Cain nodded in agreement.

 

Cain kept to his word. He continued to visit the tree almost every day. He pulled any weeds growing near it. He made sure the tree’s soil was moist and that it was receiving enough water. Cain also took care of the surrounding land. He planted fragrant flower bushes and verdant plants to grow along with the tree. Soon, he had created a small paradise with the tree in the center of it.

 

Cain and the tree had many conversations. Cain and his brother Abel did not get along and the tree had to listen to Cain’s countless accounts of fights and arguments between them. The tree was a good listener. As Cain grew up alongside the tree, he did a lot more complaining about his brother Abel, and the tree listened.

 

Years went by, and both Cain and his tree grew big and strong. Cain had grown into a handsome young man—tall, with long, dark hair, eyes blue like the twilight skies, and creamy skin the color of golden powder sand. He loved the land and knew how to work it well, and working it made him strong and muscular. Every seed he planted yielded luscious fruits, vegetables, and beautiful flowers.

 

One day, Cain came to visit his tree. He carried a basket filled with delectable fruits and vegetables. He grumbled under his breath as he kicked stones in his path. He let the basket drop to the ground. The fruits and vegetables spilled out of the basket and rolled in different directions on the lush grass. He fell to his knees and wept into his hands.

 

“What is the matter, Cain,” the tree asked. “Why are you so troubled?”

 

“Nothing I do is good enough!” Cain said.

 

“What do you mean?” the tree asked. “Everything I have seen you do has been extraordinary. Because of you, I thrive.”

 

“My father does not think so,” Cain said. “Only my brother, Abel can do right in his eyes.”

 

“It seems that your golden-haired brother does nothing but cause you grief.”

 

“Even God shuns my crops and acclaims his sacrificed lamb,” Cain said. “I am the eldest, yet I have always walked in my brother’s shadow. But there is nothing I can do.”

 

“Kill him,” the tree said, “you can kill him.”

Copyright © 2014 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

the cursed tree_lightning storm_Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog

Part 2 of my short story The Cursed Tree will be posted Wednesday 7/23/14.  Did you enjoy the first installment? 

 

 

26 Responses to “Short Story – The Cursed Tree”

  1. coldhandboyack July 16, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

    Can’t wait for the next one. I see you around Twitter, but you’ve been quiet here lately. Hope the editing is going well, and glad to see you back.

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega July 16, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

      Hi! Yes, I’m finally finishing my edits. It’s a long book and the hardest part has been bringing the word count down so that I won’t give the publishers a heart-attack. Ha,ha! Thank you for reading part 1. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’ll see you around on the twittersphere! 😉

      Like

  2. Yolanda Isabel Regueira Marin July 16, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

    I really enjoyed this Vashti … It sets up the relationship between the brother’s early. I was surprised but the trees advice. Looking forward to reading the next instalment.

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega July 16, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

      Hello Yolanda! I’m happy you enjoyed the first part, and I’m glad the tree’s advice surprised you that was the idea. 😉 Thank you for reading. I love hearing from you. 😀

      Like

  3. Sunni Morris July 16, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

    I liked it Vashti. Interesting the tree is suggesing murder. Can’t wait to read the rest.

    Like

  4. Michelle Stanley July 16, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

    Yes, I enjoyed reading your story Vashti, and can’t wait for the continuation.

    Like

  5. Frank July 17, 2014 at 7:20 am #

    We see only Cain’s grumbling complaints, not whether his father’s criticism is justified… but perhaps that is the point?

    Is a cursed and ugly tree necessarily evil? Indeed, is murder itself necessarily evil? Or is the suggestion merely a divine test?

    Like

    • Jennifer Smith-Kirk July 17, 2014 at 7:40 am #

      Hi Vashti, a great read, looking forward to the next instalment, very interesting to see the story of Cain & Abel intwined in your story:-)

      Like

      • Vashti Quiroz-Vega July 17, 2014 at 10:22 am #

        I’m glad you think so, Jeniffer. 🙂 Many of my tales have hints of stories that I read or was told to me while growing up, combined with my own twisted imagination of course. Ha,ha! 😀

        Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega July 17, 2014 at 10:15 am #

      Hi Frank, read on and find out. He, he. Is a cursed and ugly tree necessarily evil? No. 😉

      Like

  6. rohit chaudhury July 17, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    interesting read, curious about the rest.

    Like

  7. jumpingfromcliffs July 18, 2014 at 5:45 am #

    This is great Vashti, I really enjoyed it. Just one minor comment – I felt you rather rushed over Cain grumbling about his brother and the tree listening. I was aware it was important, but it was just dropped in a little haphazardly. Admittedly you then go on to detail it more later on. So, I’d suggest either taking out the earlier reference or expanding it a little, as a taste of what’s to come. Oh, and would the tree be so forthright and blatant at the end? Killing his brother seems a very aggressive stance for a tree to take. Might the tree subtly suggest ‘sidelining’ the brother and Cain takes it to a more violent level? Anyhow, a really captivating story and a very clever idea. Next instalment please!

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega July 18, 2014 at 9:36 am #

      Hi Jo! I’m glad you’re enjoying the story. I did a few minor adjustments as per your suggestions. As far as your question about the tree––yes, I would have to say that the tree would definitely be forthright and blatant. Remember, we’re talking about a tree. Nature is brutal and direct, just watch the discovery channel. 😉 The tree is also a direct ancestor of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, plus it is cursed. Part 2 may explain why the killing of Abel wouldn’t be Cain’s idea, at least not yet. Thank you for the suggestions. I appreciate it. 😀

      Like

  8. Tiny July 19, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

    Liked it and look forward to the next instalment!

    Like

  9. Doreen Sargente July 20, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

    Interesting story and concept Vashti! We’ve missed you, but happy that you’re keeping busy on something that is so important to you!

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega July 20, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

      Hello Doreen! I’m glad you’re enjoying the story so far. Thank you so much for being so sweet! ❤

      Like

  10. mihrank July 20, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

    Interesting story and a has a shinning approach. Congrats!

    Like

  11. peternoahthomas July 23, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

    Since you’ve been busy with edits, you haven’t been able to give us a story for awhile, and we understand of course. But when you come back to give us a story…brooosh! You really deliver. This is wonderful! I felt the tension Cain has for Able and I could feel the evil intent from the tree. I can’t wait to read part 2 and I’m going to do that right now.

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega July 23, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

      Hello Peter! Thank you for being so understanding about my absence. The edits are going great. I’m so happy you’re enjoying the story so far. 😀

      Like

  12. April (@100LBC) July 31, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    I’ve been enjoying “Supernatural” on Netflix and this is very much in my wheelhouse. I love different explanations of events that get your mind thinking. Yes, I very much enjoyed it.

    ~~April~~
    Creative Style Link Up

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega July 31, 2014 at 10:52 am #

      Hi April! I like the show Supernatural too! I don’t get to see it as often as I like, but I’ve enjoyed the episodes I’ve seen. It was a reader, like you, that told me about the show after I wrote A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance. She said reading it reminded her of the show. So I checked it out. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. 🙂

      Like

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