Writing group tomorrow – my other writing group. This month, our challenge, and a very tricky one, is to write something including a quote from a book – I don’t remember what the book is, but the quote is: “On the paths of the yard the shadows of the cinnamon-apple trees are inky black. The whole garden is still as marble.”
Here is what I’ve written:
On the paths of the yard the shadows of the cinnamon-apple trees are inky black.
I look at the damned trees and silently ask them where in heaven’s name are their cinnamon apples. They have been given the best and kindest attention, they have been nurtured, they have been given the required 10 + gallons (yes gallons) of water throughout the fruiting season. They should love my littoral location, apparently favouring a coastal environs. They had blossomed as they should have, and although I could not detect any hint of the supposed delicate cinnamon scent of the pretty pink flowers, there were plenty of them. As there had been last year.
This year, in case the British insects weren’t doing their pollination well enough, I’d employed a small water-colour paint brush as directed on a gardening basics web-site, to hand fertilise them. As with last year, the pretty blossoms had eventually browned and fallen off, leaving no proto-cinnamon applets.
I cast my malevolent gaze upon wretched trees, baking in the searing heat of what is now a typical English summer. I sigh heavily. Well at least the small trees are pretty, and their dense leafage casts inky shadows, and I step down onto the path and wander over to sit in their pleasant shade.
Nothing stirs, there is no sound, it’s as if the world has turned itself off, stopped. The whole garden is still as marble. I shouldn’t really care about the trees, accepting they are attractive, and despite not doing much fertilising, the bees and insects do love them, and in spring the pretty flowers are a-buzz with the sound of tiny wings.
I could have grown any fruit trees here, it was a stupid promise, a boast, to the then beloved, now departed, who adored cinnamon. I would not only make him cinnamon apple pies galore, and pasties, and turnovers, and crumbles, and cakes – but I would grow apples which would taste of his favoured spice. Apparently, the fruit themselves are a very pretty wine-red, with a yellow tinge and a creamy flesh. Well, I will never know because I’m pretty damned sure these fine trees will never be kind enough to honour me with any harvest.
When he departed, I was ready to chop the blasted trees down. I don’t even like cinnamon, and I have more of a savoury taste than sweet. I actually went to the village hardware shop and looked though the garden tools section for a small axe, imagining a George Washington scenario “I did cut it with my hatchet,” although it was a cherry tree not a cinnamon apple tree he chopped down.
I sit in the deepest black shade out of the screaming sun. Why am I even bothered about the fruit? I don’t like cinnamon, in fact I actively dislike cinnamon.
I sit in the silent, garden, and nothing moves, the world for a moment is petrified, turned to stone, as marble, on the paths of the yard the shadows of the cinnamon-apple trees are inky black.