The Cake Tree

All Rights Reserved ©

Chapter 3

The trunk was open, bleeding a mess of malodorous chocolate, icing, and blood-red jam. Half-formed cakes covered in mould spilled out amongst the ichorous flow.

Edissa exclaimed in despair and fell to her knees. Engulfed in the excretions of the dying tree, she wept.

“What is this wound?” she sobbed. “What is this violence?”

“Poison,” came a voice from behind the juniper tree.

“Whose voice is this?”

The boy came out from behind the tree.

“It has been poisoned,” he said.

“You saw who did this?” she asked.

“Memucan.”

There was silence. She took hold of the boy by the shoulders, his face betraying his feeling of joy at her touch.

“No,” she said, “It cannot be.”

“It was Memucan.”

“No. You must be mistaken. What did he look like?”

“He is the one who we dare not look upon, for his beauty is obscene.”

Edissa loosened her grip on the boy and slumped to her knees, head bowed. She stared at her hands as they lay limp in the tree’s secretions, these hands that knew Memucan so well.

“Come. I shall take you home,” said the boy, brushing aside her hair, stroking her face.

That same day Memucan came to the tree and saw it was dying.

He exclaimed in despair and fell to his knees. Engulfed in the excretions of the dying tree, he wept.

“What is this wound?” he sobbed. “What is this violence?”

“Poison,” came a voice from behind the juniper tree.

“Whose voice is this?”

The boy came out from behind the tree.

“It has been poisoned,” said the boy.

“You saw who did this?”

“Edissa.”

There was silence. He took hold of the boy by the shoulders, causing the boy to flinch and writhe in an attempt to break free.

“No,” he said, “It cannot be.”

“It was Edissa.”

“No. You must be mistaken. How can you be sure?”

“She is the one who trespasses, who bleeds from the barbed wire fence, and knows each and every branch.”

Memucan loosened his grip on the boy and slumped to his knees, head bowed.

A crowd gathered, lamenting the loss of their spectacle.

“No one will come here.”

“We shall grow poor without traveller’s gold.”

“The East City shall fall into ruin.”

“We must feed the tree, we must soothe the wound with sugar and spice and all things nice. Surely it will heal and bloom again.”

A murmur rippled through the crowd, yells of “Cure! Cure!” and sugars and spices were fetched. The sugar was poured into the gaping wound in the tree, spices rubbed into the trunk, but the tree continued to haemorrhage viscous, churning fluids, spitting out the sugar, shedding the spice.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.