'APPLE'

'APPLE'

A Story by alanwgraham
"

A parable for our times - a modern take on the Adam and Eve story.

"

‘APPLE’<

Adam stood in the centre of the great stony desert. The scorching wind rasped his face; the searing breath of a dying earth. The sun had slipped to a hands width above the horizon, painting a lurid slash of red. Adam was beyond thought, beyond words. He was in the zone of the mystics - senses ablaze, beyond words, at one. He felt the earth’s pulse and its beat was feeble.

 

He looked intensely at the desert but one direction seemed the same as another - yellow-brown sand, strewn with stones. He listened but there was no discernable or identifiable sound. There should have been absolute silence but he became aware of a remorseless hiss in his ears. The deafening silence had brought into being the very sound of the air - the reverberation of a shell held to the ear.   

 

As Adam watched he could see the dark shadows cast by the stones lengthening as the sun slipped down. Such had been the intensity of his at-oneness that it almost came as a surprise when he turned his gaze to see his family a few paces away - his wife Eva and their three children; Ham, Shem and Japheth, along with their wives and children. They were also immersed in the vastness of their surroundings.

 

It was hard to believe - less than a human life span ago, the place they were standing had been a vast expanse of fertile Kansas wheat and corn fields. And so had it been with the remainder of the earth - out of the fertile earth had come sand and dust. Humanity had tasted of the knowledge of good and evil and had discovered the taste of evil sweet and seductive.

 

Adam turned to his wife Eva and took her hand. They all turned away from the setting sun, gasping as they gazed up in awe. Before them, seeming to take up the whole of the darkening sky, a vast, flattened sphere shimmered just above the stony desert. In spite of their familiarity with the craft, its enormity and the audacity of the men and women that had constructed it still gave them an almost religious feeling of awe. What they actually saw was the sunset reflected back and for a moment they were dizzied by the perfection of the image.

 

Lost in thought, they looked at the vast craft - the ‘Apple’.

‘The work is done now, it is time.’ Adam said quietly.

‘The ‘Apple’ is our last chance father, isn’t it?' Shem commented.

Adam just nodded sadly as he continued to look at the curving surface reflecting the shimmering oranges and reds of the desert and western sky.

 

The work had taken a generation and more. New technologies had been invented and a sizeable tithe of one in ten was taken to pay for the work. All non essential work and research was set aside and the work on the Ark proceeded steadily.  At last it was ready and even the most hardened climate sceptic admitted that time was running out. The Ark was not built to be a lifeboat for the dwindling human survivors of planet earth - its sole purpose was to carry a cross section of the earth’s living species. An earth-like uninhabited planet had been identified forty five light years away. The sole human passengers of this interstellar vivarium would be Adam and his extended family.

 

Vast as the ‘Apple’ appeared above them, it had been built with the space warping black-matter fields predicted a century before and the space within defied imagination. Within the great sweeping halls of the ‘Apple’ each of the remaining creatures of the earth flourished in its perfect habitat. Arctic tundra, temperate forests, grasslands, tropical jungle, coral reefs and many other habitats all had their rightful place in the great starship. Artificial suns in each of the habitat halls created night and day and caused the seasons to pass.

 

As Adam and Eva watched the 'Apple', an opening blemished the surface and a ramp slid down to the sand.

‘We should go.’ Ham said with excitement, but also a measure of trepidation in his voice. Just as Adam was about to answer his son he heard the sinuous rustling sound of shifting sand behind them. They all turned. To their amazement, a few paces away, there was a large serpent, it's head lifted high. The serpent observed them closely then opened its mouth and hissed. Then something quite mysterious happened, the sibilant hiss turned into words and the words turned into a voice.

 

‘ssssss   ssssss  greetingssss Adam. Oh I forget -  ssss - I grow old. That talk with Adam and Eve was a long time ago at the start of this sssorry tale. All I remember was ssssomething about a rib, and a tree with the fruit that Adam was forbidden to eat!  But of course you are not that Adam and your wife is called Eva. Tell me Adam, what is this great shining object filling the sky behind us.’

‘Serpent, it is the ‘Apple’- a great star-vessel that will carry a number of every kind of creature from the earth to start a new life on a distant planet.’

 

‘Ah, I sssomehow thought we would come back to the apple. That was the ssstart of man’s trouble. All you had to do was ssssteer clear of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and then you blamed it all on poor old me, the sssserpent.’

 

‘Yes Serpent,’ Adam replied, ‘you are correct - men and women thought that we were like gods and in our foolishness we lost our place in the garden of Eden where we could have lived in harmony with the earth.’

The serpent looked at Adam and his family, turned to look at the empty desert and then turned back again.

 

‘And thissss, thissss, isssss all that issss left.’

 

Adam hung his head in shame, not for himself but on behalf of all the foolish and deluded men that had brought them to this sorry pass.

Serpent, there is still time to put it right. The ‘Apple’ will be our new beginning. It contains the seed that will grow into a new tree of life.’

 

‘Have you learned nothing? - you have also tasssted of the fruit and come to know good and evil.’

 

Adam looked puzzled, for he believed he had tried to do right.

‘Serpent, we must leave now. We have a voyage to begin and a world to start anew. Come Eva, I think this serpent is sent to distract us.’

 

Eva hesitated, as she had been considering all that had happened.

‘Wait Adam, I have been thinking about what we are doing and I think we have got this all wrong. We’ve believed we have the solution to this disaster but I can see it clearly now - this is not the solution, it is us that is the problem.

The serpent is right - even if we don’t know it, we have also chosen to behave like gods,’ and Eva lifted her arm to signify the ‘Apple’. We cannot escape the fatal flaw of our humanity. There is only one conclusion - we are the only creatures that must not go on that Apple.

 

Later, after they had discussed and argued, they eventually came round to Eva’s view. They turned their back on the 'Apple' and walked slowly, with heavy hearts, into the wide, darkening desert.

 

As they walked away the ramp slid back into the Apple. Noiselessly the great vessel fell away from the desert and was gone.

 


© 2017 alanwgraham



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Featured Review

I found this easy to read and liked the economy of words. The 'factual' way it is written, draws you into the story. Then along comes the serpent and the tempo changes. I loved your serpent! He seems a lot wiser than the rest of the human race! I was rather hoping there would be a rain storm at the end, but , I suppose, realistically they all would just die! Well done writing this story.

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

3 Months Ago

Thanks Astri. I'm glad you enjoyed this. There is a moral behind it and it is relevant to our curren.. read more
Great Aunt Astri

3 Months Ago

Yes, I saw that it was a tale with a moral! But some people are totally oblivious of the fairly real.. read more



Reviews

Mother love France as...............................................................................................................................................................zoo

Posted 4 Days Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

4 Days Ago

Thanks. More, and different, words ???????????? please. Alan
Interesting. Wonderful. The Serpent not only derailed mankind in the beginning (according to the religious texts this is based upon) but convinced them the ruin the species! Very bold idea. Very easy to read. Well done!

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

2 Months Ago

Thanks wander for your perceptive comments. I actually started with the obvious story based on Noahs.. read more
alanwgraham

2 Months Ago

Thanks zanderr for your perceptive comments. I actually started with the obvious story based on Noah.. read more
alanwgraham

2 Months Ago

Apologies Zander, for the predictive texting mess!
This is a brilliant piece of imagination! With everyone writing about the destruction of our planet, it's rare to find a statement that's so original, it's startling all along as I'm reading. In the beginning, you paint the planet, turned to dry desert, as if it's one of the characters of the story (love that). I love the sarcastic undertones of using "Apple" thru-out, the way you do, & this comes full circle when you reveal at the end how ironic this high-tech so-called solution. I've often wondered if some are already seeking such a "solution" as we search further & further out into space for another inhabitable place we can pollute! The "ssss" play in the snake's dialogue is brilliantly well-crafted & fun. I am often disgusted by the way humans think we're "ALL THAT" . . . as if we can invent any solution without realizing it doesn't compare with the natural order (((HUGS)))

Posted 2 Months Ago


An interesting piece and a slightly depressing conclusion. Although I wouldn't consider myself an optimist, I'd like to think that humanity is capable of learning, albeit slowly and hardly ever without painful inducements. Still, we can only learn as long as we don't give up, so I was hoping the family would board the ark - with the intention to do better this time, and the knowledge that good and evil are abstracts that only exist in fairytales. Oh well, I guess the serpent finally won. By the way, did it leave with The Apple?

Cheers,

Kali

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

2 Months Ago

Thanks for reading this Kali. I'm sorry that this is so pessimistic because there are so many good p.. read more
I find this an interesting "continuation" of the Adam and Eve story. Perhaps she redeemed herself this time by rejecting the apple and setting humans on a road to their, what many would say, "just" demise. It seems we might deserve that, although I want to hold out hope for us.

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

2 Months Ago

Thanks Samuel. Thanks for your very thoughtful review. It is good to hope but I'm feeling anxious - .. read more
Samuel Dickens

2 Months Ago

I agree. The man is a nightmare.
Great story, Alan. A modern take on the old story. One of my favorite tropes is the rewriting of familiar Bible stories, so I enjoyed yours very much.

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

2 Months Ago

Thanks Jocelyn, for reading this one. I like to try something a bit different and there are lots of .. read more
I found this easy to read and liked the economy of words. The 'factual' way it is written, draws you into the story. Then along comes the serpent and the tempo changes. I loved your serpent! He seems a lot wiser than the rest of the human race! I was rather hoping there would be a rain storm at the end, but , I suppose, realistically they all would just die! Well done writing this story.

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

3 Months Ago

Thanks Astri. I'm glad you enjoyed this. There is a moral behind it and it is relevant to our curren.. read more
Great Aunt Astri

3 Months Ago

Yes, I saw that it was a tale with a moral! But some people are totally oblivious of the fairly real.. read more
Thanks for sharing, obviously the product of a lot of thoughtful imagination and artful writing. I am always glad to see imaginative fearless writing.

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

3 Months Ago

Thanks Delmar, for your kind comments. This story started as a rewrite of Noah and the ark but half .. read more
Well told Alan. It's the only solution it would seem since we as a species are incapable of 'wising up'.

Posted 3 Months Ago



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Added on July 11, 2017
Last Updated on July 24, 2017

Author

alanwgraham
alanwgraham

Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom



About
Married with three grown up kids, I retired early from teaching physics but have always enjoyed a second life enjoying the outdoors, particularly the mountains. In my mid forties I experienced a manic.. more..

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