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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Trees (12/05/05)

TITLE: The Loss of Innocence
By Christl Boyd



Another evening has come and gone. Even the darkness holds peace in this place. I never knew such perfection was possible. Yet, here I am, in the middle of it all standing as one who belongs.
Everyone is at ease here, no matter what time of day or night. Serenity is the reigning king and joy is the song we sing. No one is excluded from this place. Only welcomed and acknowledged as a unique creation.

There is one that quenches my peace, though. His nearness causes my insides to shake. The very presence of him is enough to make me loose my breath. There is something so wrong about him. I feel it.

No. Not again.

He's near me, just as before. Everything in me longs to cry out in warning to those near me, though I'm not sure why. The animals around me continue playing without care. Flowers dance to the rhythm of life. Trees of every shade and color continue drinking in the warmth of the sun above. Even the "innocents" seem oblivious to the foreboding that surrounds him.

I can only stand and wait. Hoping that he will leave soon and go back to wherever he came from. This time, his steps are purposeful. Definite. Unlike other days, I sense his evil intent as he sees the "innocents" coming his way.

Go away! Get away from here. You shouldn't be here!

The "innocents" are looking for food and he knows it. They aren't supposed to be here, but they keep walking toward me. The evil one catches the lovely one's eye and motions for her to come near him. He speaks in little more than a whisper, yet I hear every word.

"Did God really tell you not to eat from any tree in the garden'?"

The lovely one replied, "We can eat any fruit we desire, except from this tree, here. Our Father has said if we eat from this tree or touch it, that we will die!"

"You're not going to die! Your Father knows that when you eat it that you'll see life as he does. You will even know what is good and what is evil."

My secret! She knows my secret! Her Father must be informed at once! What should I do? She cannot be allowed to eat from my branches! She cannot! She must not!


Oh no!

I feel as if life is being taken from me as I watch her eat the fruit I've bore. She can't seem to stop herself. It's more than her mate can bear. So, she offers him the fruit of my branches and he too falls short. Suddenly without warning, the "innocents" faces are filled with fear. As they look upon themselves, they turn their backs to one another and separate. They rip leaves from the branches of the trees surrounding me and make covering for themselves. Just as they finish, their Father appears near me.

"Where are you," their Father questioned.

The man answered, "I heard you walking, but I was afraid because I'm naked. So, I hid."

"Did someone tell you that you were naked," he asked with great concern. "You haven't eaten from this tree, have you?"

"The woman you gave me handed me some fruit and I ate it."

The Father said to the woman, "What have you done?"

The woman said, "The snake lied to me and I ate the fruit!"

The smile that their Father displayed to greet the "innocents" was gone now. They had made their choice and all of us understood the repercussions. Their Father had no choice but to release them from this place until a way of re-entry could be provided for them.

As they walk away, the Father turns from his children. His tears wet the ground beneath me as he leans against my trunk for support. He can barely stand as grief wracks his body. The Father's eyes glance up as his Son comes to his side.

The silence that fills this place is no longer serene. It's mournful and desolate. The Father has lost his children and every creature feels his grief.

"Son," the Father whispers through his tears.

"Yes, Father?"

"We must find a way to get them back. They are….they are my very heart."

"I know, Father."

"You'll help me bring them back, won't you?"

"Of course, I will, Father. Of course, I will."

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This article has been read 825 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Steve Clark12/12/05
Well done! I was hoping someone would write about the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil. I think you captured it well. The events of the garden are rarely seen from the view of other creations. Wonderful! And to also see the path that was set before Christ at that moment is a powerful message.
Judy Anderson12/12/05
Speaking from the tree's point of view seems to be the theme this week! This is so well written with the message of hope that God gives us when we are so undeserving! Thank you.
Beth Muehlhausen12/13/05
From perfection to loss to the promise of recovery....you said it all! Good work - fluid and complete.
Ronald Mosby12/14/05
Very unique perspective! You commented that the woman called the serpent a "snake;" I am not sure that the serpent had as of yet been cursed. I was also confused by the use of the term "innocents" on a couple of occassions. I enjoyed the fact that you gave this tree compassion!
Sandra Petersen 12/15/05
I thought I knew the story of mankind's fall, and yet this chilled me. You painted the intent of the evil one very well. These are my favorite phrases and sentences: "until a way of re-entry could be provided for them."(What hope!) "The silence that fills this place is no longer serene. It's mournful and desolate. The Father has lost his children and every creature feels his grief." (This statement makes me feel sad, too.)
The ending sentences are wonderful! Thank you for sharing this!

terri tiffany12/16/05
I'm so glad I made it to read this in Advanced..this was so wonderfully written. I love the viewpoint you wrote it from. Very descriptive and full of real emotions.
Marilyn Schnepp 12/17/05
What can I say? I am still weeping! Such beauty, such talent, such heartache and so much love! "The Loss of Innocence"! Wow! The ending! Words cannot come to mind to express my feelings of grief, regret, and longing to make things right with my Father. Standing ovation here!
Val Clark12/18/05
All the elements of this story work together to make it engaging and interesting. I particularly like the change of tense at the end and the note of hope the Father and Son’s conversation brings. Yeggy