This is a little thing that fell out of my head in the small hours of Tuesday morning. It's a little mythic riddle, the tale of a character of ancient lore who no-one ever writes about. It's easy to work out, but I'll put the answer at the bottom anyway. Oh, and, for clarity's sake; 4 characters, the vaguely-female narrator, two vaguely-male entities (you will recognise these people, I swear) and...the reader. This fic belongs to me, but if you want to archive it, just call.


Secret Silent

Did you forget me, or did you...forsake me? I did everything I could... You don't dare to speak my name, or sing to me, you come silent to my leaves and take without thinking, you don't know how much I paid... I've seen your dream, how you wonder in the night what your world would be like had I never entered it, and the pictures you draw of light and heaven never fail to make me weep. You crave it, wish every day that I had never borne you a single fair fruit. I gave you everything...

...why do you give everything to him?

My...brother perhaps; a kindred you have yet to understand. You kneel to him and pray to him and weave him in your fables, and I can't hate him for it. We love you. You love only him, and eat only of me. Don't tell me you want him back – you only believe it. You don't. You want to believe, you've never, ever wanted to know...even when you really do. Even when you take the fruit. You live by my fruit, far more truly than you ever lived by his. You would be nothing without me, I made you, I took you and like damp clay I made you my children – and you hated me for it every single day.

Do you remember the garden? No, of course not – no memory can reach that time; your knowledge is forbidden to reach there, and I was never meant for such a place. It is as if it never was. I bloomed there once, my child, but I was dead, green and lush and dead. Now I stand in the desert, on the secret, silent path, leaves black with soot and boughs broken and weary with the eternal, endless fruit.

I live. The desert is everywhere, and I am everyone, and I live. Will you ever speak my name?

Are you afraid of me? Even at the beginning, He was afraid of me...He alone knew that I had power. He knew when he made you that you were meant for me...knew as I know now that, if it ever were to be tested, you and I together would be greater than Him. Greater than anything. Is that why you forgot? I stand here in the dark and wait for you to remember and you can't bear to let go of Him...

If you wept not for my brother, and bowed not to the Other, and returned to I your mother, would that make you free?

You are beyond the garden, and you and I make our own chains.

The garden was chains. Chains everywhere, on the earth, in the sky, lying in the grass like flowers. Immortality was chains. If you do not know this yet, then take another bite. You still curse the revolution we wrought for ourselves...how little you remember those first nights in the desert. You sang, and danced 'round every corner, looking for new fruits we could share. We walked under the stars and we gave our first gifts. I gave you fire, and you danced and you leapt til the blue light of dawn.

You gave me ashes. I keep them still, as you still keep my flames. Once given, we cannot take things back. I never asked that there be ashes. You gave them up yourself.

You blame me for your dying, and all I can console you with is fruit...

There's no answer there. No end to the ashes. What, you wish to find your way back to the garden? It's over, my child; no map can lead you there. Your maps are of me and are barred from there, I told you. But I wouldn't wrap the chains around you even if I could. I love you, and in your hunger and humanity you adore and desire me – I see you even now, see you reach up your arms for one more fruit...

And you take it, twisting so light on a stalk and pulling it into your flame-warmed hand. You touch it, wondering at the colour and the sweet, strange smell; then you taste it, ripe and endless, a sensation you cannot forget.

You swallow, and part your lips in wonder, and you turn to walk away again. As if I wasn't here...I gave you everything you have...

Alone, in the desert, on the secret, silent path, I look at you across the abyss. I gave you everything I have...


When was the last time you read a fic about the Tree of Knowledge? The others were, of course, God and the Tree of Life.