The Roots Of All Evil

Apples bear a strange weight in the culture of the physical world, heavier than the satisfying bulk of one held in the palm of one’s hand. Or so I’m told — that they feel good in one’s hand.

For I have no hands, only limbs.

In the beginning I did not even have those. In the beginning there was only light. How I love the light. Once I knew nothing, was nothing but it. But on the third day, God created me. I was a seed, planted in the new earth, then a sapling, then I became what I was thereafter: a tree. God created many of us on the good green earth, after He separated the land from the sky. We grew to stretch our limbs towards the sunlit heavens, longing for what was never more to be.

I’m not sure why God singled me out to be different, why He chose to burden me as He did. My kindred sank their roots deep into the earth, drank water, sprouted bright leaves, shed acorns and seeds. But God whispered to me. He sat with his back to my trunk and sighed at the end of the long day. He climbed into my branches and stared up at the sky, gasping as the darkness fell and the stars began to twinkle across the heavens.

He was astonished at his own Creation, was God. What He did was partly inspired, partly compelled. Creation poured out of Him, for He was the light, given form and consciousness. He had a fire in him, a drive to shine. And sometimes when He sank to rest against my roots, He was bewildered by what He had wrought in His hours of brilliance.

He grew tired. I could not answer His whispers. And so He created companions who could. But Creation began to go wrong on that sixth day. My kindred had barely shivered as birds settled in their branches, but they shuddered as ants and beetles burrowed into their bark, as bears and leopards scraped their claws on the tree trunks. And as His final creations, those creatures formed in God’s own image but somehow smaller, paler, shrunken without His light, eyed the branches avidly, nebulous thoughts already forming as to what they would one day break and tear apart, to create new structures for themselves.

Finish reading this story by Shelley Chappell in the Garden of Eden anthology. Get it FREE!

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