1. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
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    Manchester, England

    Winner Myers Short Story Contest 28 Theme: - Alternate History

    Discussion in 'Monthly Short Story Contest Archives' started by Gannon, Sep 30, 2008.

    Myers - Avoiding The Apple

    Laura fired her gun in to the air. The loud bang echoed throughout the garden and caused the woman stood by the tree to stop all movement. Laura lowered her arm, pointed the gun at the naked woman and then said in a slow yet stern voice “Put the apple down.”

    The woman started to lower the apple to the ground, much to the displeasure of the serpent. “Don’t listen to her, eat it, eat the-”

    Another gunshot rocked the trees. The serpent quivered for a brief moment, then became still.

    “You killed it…” the woman stammered, wiping the serpent’s blood from her face, yet still holding the apple. “It only told me to eat the-”

    “If you eat that apple it will be the biggest mistake you ever make.” Laura warned her, gun once again aimed at the naked body of the woman.

    “It’s only an apple.”

    “No,” Laura said shaking her head, “that apple is what starts the inequality for all of us. You bite into that and you’re giving them an excuse to hold us back that they will use for years. You bite into that apple and you don’t simply ruin things for yourself but for every woman that follows you. You’re not simply accountable for yourself… your accountable for an entire gender.”

    The naked woman looked at the delicious looking piece of fruit in her hand, trying to understand the power of it that Laura had bestowed. And even now, with the gun pointed squarely at her, Laura could see that she was still tempted by the apple. Laura couldn’t let her eat it and if that meant killing Earth’s first woman then so be it. This was Laura’s last chance to set things right for women. Never again would she have a boyfriend scoff at her when she gave her view on politics. Never again would she let her boss call her “sweet cheeks”. Never again would she be made to feel inferior. Men and women are equals; this was what her mission was set up to prove.

    The first target had been Paris Hilton. Her lavish yet empty lifestyle was one that had set the feminist movement back decades, possibly centuries. Laura noticed the way young girls looked up to this woman who had gained fame by getting drunk, falling about in high heels and starring in a home video of “acquired taste”. If women wanted to be like Paris Hilton then no wonder men didn’t take them seriously. So Laura used the device to travel back to 1986, where Paris was four years old and just beginning to develop a taste for fashion. She ripped the Barbie doll from Paris’ hands and replaced it with a copy of Howard’s End. When Daddy Hilton later went in to her room and saw Paris halfway through the novel he didn’t question it, he just left her to it. From there her new interest in literature grew. By the age of fifteen her bedroom walls were no longer an array of fashion filled wardrobes but were instead completely hidden behind filled bookshelves. The “It Girl” never was and Paris went on to become one of literature’s most respected names.

    But it didn’t change anything. When Laura returned to the year 2008, despite Paris’s career change, women were still disrespected and young girls attitudes hadn’t changed. Young women didn’t bother with ‘Hilton: Short stories and Essays’. Britney and Lindsey were still there to lead them astray. Similar journeys through times to change Spear’s and Lohan’s images didn’t work; neither hid a secret literary genius like Paris Hilton. So Laura went back further.

    The year was 1966. Laura spotted him quickly but more importantly she spotted her. And she was heading for him! Quickly Laura jumped in front of the woman and held out a flower. Yoko seemed surprised but happy to be receiving this gift from a stranger. “Thank you,” she said as she took the flower. Laura suddently grabbed Yoko's arm and they both disappeared through time with a blue flash. That was all John would ever see of her.

    With Yoko Ono locked up in Laura’s spare room she searched the internet to see what had happened to The Beatles. They had still broken up, admittedly a few years later, but this time there was no Yoko to blame, no woman to blame, just their own artistic differences. But another day at work facing the same sexism proved to Laura that the removal of this female scapegoat wasn’t enough to free women of their second class status.

    Laura realised that to change the preconceptions of men would take more than altering the image of women in recent history. She had to go to the root of the problem and that problem was that man’s first sin just so happened to be woman’s.

    “What’s going on?” a naked man asked, emerging from the trees.

    “Adam, run!” the woman shouted.

    “Stay where you are.” Laura pointed the gun at him. The threat of the weapon didn’t seem to register with Adam; then he saw the serpent’s lifeless body and his eyes widened. “Hands in the air” Laura commanded. Adam obeyed.

    “What’s this about?” Adam asked, a quiver in his voice.

    “The future. Our future.” Laura said whilst looking at the woman.

    Adam noticed the apple in the woman’s hand. “What are you doing with that apple? The Lord told us not to eat from that tree. It’s forbidden. You can’t eat the fruit it bares.”

    “That’s true, Adam,” Laura said with a nod, “and she’s not going to… but you will.”

    Adam and the woman exchanged nervous glances.

    “What?” Adam asked.

    “Give him the apple.” Laura waved the gun between the two of them.

    “But… you said eating the apple would be a bad thing?” she stuttered.

    “I did. I don’t want femalekind to suffer. I don’t want them to go through the thousands of years oppression that we’ve had to endure and I sure as hell don’t want some pervy boss staring down my top. But as for them…” she frowned at Adam, “I want them to see what we’ve had to go through.”

    She didn’t seem sure. “But how can you be certain all of this will happen?”

    “Because I’ve seen it. What’s supposed to happen is that the serpent persuades you to eat the apple and then you offer it to Adam. Soon God appears, punishes the serpent by making him crawl on his belly, and then punishes you both by sending you out of this paradise. But even though you both were stupid enough to eat the apple, because you bit it first and offered it to him, us women are held accountable! Ridiculous! But that’s not going to happen this time. Give Adam the apple.”

    The woman simply stood there, pale and shaking.

    “Do it.” Laura’s voice seemed to deepen.

    She continued to hesitate.

    “Damn it, I said do it!” Laura fired her gun in to the air. She walked up to Adam and pressed the gun against his now sweating forehead.

    “Please, don’t hurt him.” The woman pleaded.

    “Well give him the apple!”

    “Do as she says!” Adam pleaded. And so the woman, with great fear in her eyes, passed the apple to Adam.

    “Take a bite.” Laura commanded the first man.

    Adam moved the apple to his mouth and then Laura heard the satisfying crunch that changed it all, a bite out of history. She lowered her gun, smiled, and vanished in a blue flash.

    Soon after, as Laura had predicted, God appeared. Adam and the woman hid in the trees.

    “Where are you?” God’s voice thundered through the garden.

    Timidly, they both came out to face The Lord.

    “I was naked,” Adam began nervously, “and when I heard you walking through the garden, I was frightened and hid!”

    “How did you know you were naked?” God asked. “Did you eat any fruit from that tree in the middle of the garden?”

    Adam spoke, his voice fluttering as he knew what God was about to say. “She made me do it!”

    The woman looked shocked.

    “She’s a psycho! Look what she did to the serpent!” Adam pointed towards its corpse.

    “What?” The woman’s surprise at Adam’s words hugely evident in her voice. “What? No, I didn’t do that. It was that other woman.”

    “You are the first woman.” The Lord said, looming over her. “The only woman.”

    “No, there was another. And it was her that killed the serpent because it was trying to tempt me.”

    “The serpent was more cunning than any of the other animals I have made, it is most likely he would try to tempt you. But I do not believe that some other woman killed it for you are the only one." The Lord shook his mighty head. "You have sinned and will be punished. For taking the serpents life you will also take its punishment.”

    And all of this Laura read from her Bible back in the year 2008.

    “No!” she spat. “She’sss innocent! It’sss not her fault! It wassss Adam who ate the apple. Sssshe even tried to ssssave him. Men… they’re all bastardssss!” Laura hissed and slithered off to work.
  2. Heather Louise

    Heather Louise Contributor Contributor

    Dec 10, 2006
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    Congrats Myers, this is a fantastic peice of writing. :)

    Well done.
  3. jasongw

    jasongw New Member

    Sep 23, 2008
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    Tustin, CA
    Excellent story, I enjoyed it very much. I love the ending, I never saw it coming ;)
  4. AllWrite

    AllWrite New Member

    Sep 23, 2008
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    Ha this was interesting
  5. Myers

    Myers Member

    Sep 13, 2008
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    Manchester, UK
    Thank you very much, everyone. And thanks to everyone who voted for me.

    This is a story I would never have thought to write if it hadn't have been for this competition. When I finished it I read back through it and thought where did that come from?! See, you don't need drugs to write something strange!

    Thanks again.
    1 person likes this.
  6. andersonkyle

    andersonkyle New Member

    Oct 6, 2008
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    Kolkata, India
    liked it although imagining the poor girl 'slithering' off to work kinda gives a bad feeling in the gut

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