by Lewis

Thunder. It surrounded me, seeping through my skin. Then silence rolling out. In the pause before the next wave I breathe deep, the scent of heather fills my nose, heather and smoke.

I’d never seen a village burn so quickly and for what, this piece of fruit, a shrivelled wizened old thing, just an apple. Or maybe not.

The rain was absolute and the village gently smouldered, bodies grew as cold as the ashes.

I helped those that I could. Miserly and old I may be but they still need me when the sick and dying call out. No thanks. Even treating their wounded they look at me in disgust and mutter.

For the next few weeks the village is silent, muted and grey, hooded and wrapped in deaths dark shawl.

I awoke this morning ready. Everything was in order, house tidy, cake baking in the oven. The village was empty. Polite requests replaced by threats and curses. A ‘hex’ from the hag sent feet scurrying.

He was searching for the so called first bite. How apt that just a woman is left to finish what was started. But it was not His. Not then, not now. For thousands of years he had raged a war. A genocide of our freedom. An endless oppression and all for what? One bite of independence?

He come baring His cross and riding in God’s name, with His book that binds us in its freedom and His sword wet with bloody forgiveness. I waited patiently, finishing the fresh cake. They would fine me soon enough.

‘Hag,’ came the cry. ‘Come out here you old bitch.’

I ignored it and took another bite.The door burst open and He swaggered in.

‘You’re not getting away this time you dried up whore. Where is the Apple?’

I sat silent.

His dark set eyes narrowed and a crooked smile spread across his face. Thin lips pursed.

‘In Gods name tell me where it is. There’s no one to save you now.’

I sighed.

‘Why do you think we always need saving?’

He walked slowly up to me glaring and swung the back of his hand. My hand shot up and grabbed his wrist. A look of surprise gave way to pain as I squeezed slowly.

‘Did you ever stop to think that maybe God didn’t just speak to you? Did you ever question why I went to that tree, forbidden for man to eat of?’

He dropped to the floor as I twisted his arm. I felt bone crack as I squeezed tighter.

The original sin you said, an excuse for your war, your hate. Well, Mankind has had its chance.

‘The Apple’, he gasped. ‘What have you done?’

‘Me, this little old lady?’ I smiled.

‘For such an old piece of fruit, it tasted good, still sweet.’

I flicked my arm and he flew across the room smashing into the wall.

‘And now’, I said. ‘We will try things my way.’