Short Story – The Cursed Tree (Part 3) FINALE

30 Jul
Henri_Vidal,_Cain,_Jardin_des_Tuileries

Henri Vidal (1864 – 1918), Cain, Jardin des Tuileries

 

Hello! I hope everyone’s having a great week so far. I’ve posted the 3rd and final installment of my short story The Cursed Tree. How a story begins and ends is very important to me, so please let me know how you liked or disliked my conclusion to this story in the comments below. If you haven’t read Part 1 or Part 2 you should before reading the ending. Thank you for taking the time to read.

 

 

 

The Cursed Tree

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

 

Cain returned home and was at his best behavior. He was obedient to his parents and kind to his brother. I must be pleasant and amicable toward my brother so that when the time comes, he shall not fear to follow me, Cain thought.

 

There was a consequence to Cain’s feigned behavior. As he became nicer to Abel and his parents, it seemed to him that they too became more pleasant to be around. Cain began to enjoy his brother’s company and his parents’ new praises and attention. It seems that being obedient to my parents and kind to my brother has its rewards. I am enjoying my time with them, Cain thought.

 

Four weeks flew by and the time had come to take Abel to the tree. Cain observed his brother as he protected and guided his sheep. Once more he felt remorse. He dragged his feet back to the tree.

 

“I have changed my mind,” Cain told the tree. “I know longer wish to see my brother’s life extinguished.

 

“It is too late now, Cain!” the tree bellowed, causing Cain’s head to ache. “He must taste the fruit I bear!”

 

Cain shook his head. “No!” he yelled. “I no longer desire my brother’s death!”

 

“For years all you talked about was your hatred for your brother,” the tree said. “You spoke of your hatred for Abel while you watered me. You spoke of your hatred for your brother as you pulled weeds from around my roots. You said over and over again, as you pruned and cared for me, how your life would be so much better if your brother Abel were not around!”

 

“Things are different,” Cain said. “I am an obedient son and a loving brother now. Since I have been good, my parents show me more love and my brother is kind to me.”

 

“How long do you think this shall last?” the tree asked. “You are not being yourself right now. You are being who they want you to be, and the day you grow tired of being an imposter, they, too, shall go back to the old ways. Remember your parent’s preference for your brother. Remember how they all looked down on you, as if you were lesser than they.”

 

Cain’s heart felt heavy. His face and body slackened. He stared at the tree through eyes blurred with tears. “You are an evil tree, and the fruit you bear is an abomination!”

 

“If I am evil, it is only because you have fed me the hatred that consumes you,” the tree said. “The fruit I bear is a product of your hatred and your evil soul.”

 

Cain’s eyes opened wide, his breathing became shallow and erratic. He turned away from the tree, unable to stand its evil presence any longer. Cain ran as fast as his feet could carry him. When he arrived home he saw his mother watering the root vegetables he had planted for her.

 

“Mother!” Cain yelled. Eve jumped. “Where is Abel?”

 

“I do not know. He went looking for you,” Eve said, looking at him with a confused expression. “What is the matter? You look pale and distraught. Is something wrong?”

 

“I must find Abel,” he said in a low, hoarse voice. Then he hurried to the hill where Able spent most of his time with his sheep. Abel was not there. Instead, Adam tended the sheep.

 

“Father, where is Abel?” Cain asked. “I must speak to him.”

 

“Your brother went off to look for you,” his father said. “He went by the river where he thought you would be tending your favorite tree.” Cain gulped air and his legs faltered. He plopped onto his knees. His father hurried over.

 

“What is the matter, son?”

 

“Nothing, Father,” Cain said, clambering to his feet. “I have been running around looking for Abel, and I am a bit tired. I shall be alright soon.”

 

Adam responded, but Cain did not hear what he said, for his pulse beat loud and fast in his ears.

 

“I must go now, Father.” Cain hurried to the small paradise he had created by the river. Standing next to his tree was his brother, holding a half-eaten fruit in his hand.

 

“Brother, you did not tell me your tree has yielded fruit,” Abel said. “It is the sweetest and most succulent of all fruits.”

 

Cain approached Abel slowly, shaking his head––large tears falling from his eyes.

 

“Did you not catch the stench of evil and death that comes from this treacherous fruit?” Cain asked.

 

Abel gasped. He dropped what remained of the fruit to the ground. His face turned pale and he dropped to all fours. He sat on his haunches, and his tongue wagged out of his mouth. He rocked back and forth. His mouth foamed and he held his hands in front of him like paws. Then he ran around in circles on all fours, making growling noises and tearing plants apart with his teeth before eating them. Abel approached Cain and sniffed him. Cain retreated from him, his face twisted in disgust.

 

“He is wild, eats grass and runs around on all fours. He is mad and has the mind of an animal,” Cain said, his face red with rage. “Why have you done this?”

 

“It is what you wanted,” the tree said. “You could not kill him because he was human, but now he is but a mere animal. Kill him. Or do you prefer he live like this for the rest of his existence?”

 

“No!” Cain shook his head and sobbed.

 

Abel continued to growl and paw at him.

 

Cain stared at his brother Abel. Tears flooded Cain’s face. Abel was human only in appearance. He saw that now. I cannot allow my brother to go on like this, and I shall not put my parents through the shame of watching their beloved son walk on all fours and eat grass. I shall do what I have to in order to make this right, Cain thought.

 

Cain grabbed a large jagged rock and walked over to Abel. He lifted the rock over his head. “Goodbye, brother,” Cain said, and brought the rock down on Abel’s head again and again until his brother’s skull became one with the ground, and his warm blood covered Cain’s face and hands and colored the verdant grass red.

 

Cain saw what he had done and shouted to the heavens as he pulled the hair out of his head.

 

“My brother’s blood calls out for revenge, so punish me, oh God! I deserve your worst! But before you do, please, allow me to watch the destruction of this evil tree! I implore you!”

 

The earth rumbled and the sky turned an ominous dark grey. Large black clouds swirled across the heavens, colliding with each other. Deafening thunderclaps made the ground tremble. A jagged lightning bolt ripped through the sky and speared the tree, turning it to ash.

 

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

 

 

Tree-Lightning-the cursed tree

Did you enjoy the spin on this ancient story?

33 Responses to “Short Story – The Cursed Tree (Part 3) FINALE”

  1. mihrank July 30, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    incredible and such informative, detailed story to read over and over. way to go!

    Like

  2. J.D.Hughes July 30, 2014 at 11:20 am #

    Enjoyed that! It’s complete in itself, but I would have liked to know of the repercussions for Cain. Too many people blame trees, in this life.

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega July 30, 2014 at 11:28 am #

      Ha,ha! True. The tree is the main character in this story, but don’t worry J.D., Cain got his comeuppance. 😉

      Like

  3. coldhandboyack July 30, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    I’ve been watching for part three, and enjoyed this story. Nice work.

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega July 30, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

      Thank you. I’m glad I was able keep your interest throughout the series. 😀

      Like

  4. rohit July 30, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    Indeed a juicy twist. Hope to see more of your work.

    Like

  5. rcprice July 30, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    That was an interesting twist. Ok, ready for the next one 🙂

    Like

  6. Karen July 30, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

    Excellent spin, Vashti!

    Like

  7. davidprosser July 30, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

    A very good and clever ending Vashti.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    Like

  8. Yolanda Isabel Regueira Marin July 30, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

    Loved the ending humanising Cain with his repentance and the killing being done out of love rather than hate. Great read Vashti xx

    Like

  9. peternoahthomas July 31, 2014 at 12:55 am #

    Fantastic. I love your continuing short stories. Your spin on this tale is wonderful. Dare I say it is better than the original? I can’t wait for your next story, whatever it will be. 🙂

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega July 31, 2014 at 10:46 am #

      Thank you, Peter! I love avid readers like you. It’s what motivates me to keep coming up with these stories. 😀 xx

      Like

  10. teagankearney July 31, 2014 at 11:39 am #

    I liked your twist with Cain’s change of heart, and not wanting to kill Abel, then forced to at the end. You pulled it off again, Vashti – very satisfying conclusion!

    Like

    • Frank July 31, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

      (Now, that really would be a twist…)

      Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega July 31, 2014 at 4:04 pm #

      Thank you Teagan! I wrestled with back and forth with that part, so I’m glad it turned out to your satisfaction. 😀

      Like

  11. Frank July 31, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

    I like that the tree was made evil through Cain’s malice. There’s a ‘reap what you sow’ moral to it, and/or ‘the sins of the father’ perhaps.

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega July 31, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

      Very perceptive, Francis. I believe you do reap what you sow’. 😉 Thank you!

      Like

  12. Doreen Sargente July 31, 2014 at 11:15 pm #

    This series totally kept my interest Vashti, but then again, everything you write does!

    Like

  13. JESS44903 August 4, 2014 at 9:43 pm #

    You are so talented…wow. 🙂

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega August 5, 2014 at 10:24 am #

      Thank you Jess! And you know it’s always my pleasure linking up with you. 😉

      Like

  14. olganm August 8, 2014 at 6:16 am #

    Great story. Maybe it’s only me but I’ve always found that the “bad” characters in the old testament seem more understandable from a human point of view than the good-no-matter-what characters… Take Job, for instance… The assumption that other children and family will replaced those killed….Anyway, if we go by the story we’re all Cain’s children as Abel died…

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega August 8, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

      Excellent point, Olga! I completely understand where you’re coming from. I too sometimes find the “sinners” in the bible a little more relatable since I believe that humans are imperfect, and we all make mistakes. Thank you so much for reading! 🙂

      Like

  15. heidi August 12, 2014 at 1:36 am #

    This is an interesting twist on the story. Hope you have a great day!

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega August 12, 2014 at 7:48 am #

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, Heidi. Thank you very much. You have a great day too! 😀

      Like

  16. Sunni Morris August 14, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

    GREAT ending. I didn’t expect that and thought the fruit would maybe be poisonous, instead this was much better. It made Cain want to kill his brother again, but for a different reason than before.

    You’re a very gifted writer. Very good job with this. Now we wonder what happened to Cain after the tree was turned to ash. Love your short stories.

    Like

    • Vashti Quiroz-Vega August 14, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

      Thank you so much Sunni! I appreciate that you take the time to read my short stories. I’m so happy that you enjoy them. That’s why I write 😀

      Like

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