The Harming Tree: a Novel?

When I first started The Harming Tree, it was initially going to be a collection of short stories, each one based on Cadmus re-aqcuiring one of the many emotions abused out of him beginning at a very early age.
I had two stories written already, and was working on The Star Watcher and what was to be Cadmus' realisation of the ultimate emotion, love, in a story involving essentially Cadmus' mirror image, Gethsymonae. I had half of The Star Watcher left, and a rough outline of the Gethsymonae laid out, when the old computer went kaput. None of the files could be save.
So, while I tried to recapture my Star Watcher mojo, and play around with the idea of Cadmus falling in love, I wrote this little drabble that eventually became The Waltham Phantom. I was so enamoured with the idea of Tim Roth being a Vampire, I thought it would be good exercise to see what would come out of such a hellish partnership, what kind of Vampire would be born out of the idea of the Roth. Once I got to play around with the idea, I would of course let Cadmus have his Blood, and forget about the throwaway Darkling.

But I had a wee bit of a problem. Well more than one, actually. The Harming Tree was nowhere to be found in this story, which made it non-canon for my purposes. Also, I really liked Flint. I enjoyed his laissez faire outlook on life, his almost supernatural ability to give even less of a fraction of one single fuck. I liked that he had no concern for the clothes that he wore, only that they had to be large, so more close could fit underneath, and the many pockets could hold as many cigarette butts as possible on any given occassion. It was like he was the founding father of railroad hobo-ism. I could not bring himself to die in this story, but I had to figure out a way where Flint would be able to escape Cadmus' unequivocal grip. Enter the Wall. That vague psychic connect that blurred each Vampire to the other. Sure they could sense one another, Cadmus much more so than Flint, given his superior abilities, but neither could really pinpoint the exact location of the other. This was new to Cadmus, who could touch on every Vampire in the New Hive. The older they were in the ways of Vampires, the more easily he could see them. This should not have been a problem with Flint, who was a mere 19 years out from the Great Mortaliity when he was turned.

So yeah, he got away, with the help of actually feeling rage toward Cadmus for killing his best from from childhood. And he swore revenge on Gareth's behalf before swirling himself into his totem animal, the rat, and running into the Night.

So that was the end of the first short story, and I figured I could just let it go. But Cadmus could not. Cadmus wanted Blood, and Flint's in particular. Now anyone who has known me for any length of time, knows that Cadmus is more than just a character to me. He's like my demon child. He talks to me. He writes himself. I'm pretty much reduced to being his scribe for the things he wants to say. Flint is different, though. Flint throws wrench in pretty much everything Cadmus intends to do. So, with the second story, this time officially canon, with the presence of the Harming Tree, I was fully prepared to give Flint a wave goodbye as Cadmus made swift meat of him.

And meat was had. Oh, indeed, meat was had by both of them, just not in the way I had intended. I only posted the story here in order for a handful who knew they could find it, could read it if they so wished. Most were excited by the idea of Cadmus having a bit of a love/hate relationship with another. Orphaeus was never in that particular position to fill such a role. His and Cadmus' dynamic had more of a Rosencrantz and Guildenstern vibe, though neither were ever even a mite close to being an idiot savant. As I said, though, Flint is different. Flint is well-prepared for the eventuality of anything coming his way. He doesn't give one single fuck about anything...except avenging the death of his best friend.

All that said, Flint could very well be the shadow in the peripheries of Cadmus' world. He could be a witness to the atrocities laid before him. He could watch the Harming Tree grow. And he could turn Cadmus' existence upside-down on occasion, driving him mad with desire or pushing him into a realm of fury Cadmus did not know even existed. Flint could be the catalyst that the Harming Tree had yet to find. He could make the relic a reality to all Vampiredom. He may have the power to expose Cadmus for his dread deeds upon the subjects he is to be ruling. Flint may well hold the key to what The Harming Tree is all about.

That said, The Harming Tree is well on its way to becoming a proper novel, with each short story I had initially mapped out, being a chapter therein. This way, the non-canon stories, the ones that do not directly involve the Harming Tree, can also be included, and will actually enhance the overall story of the first relic of the New Hive. And it will allow Flint to live indefinitely, and quite possibly let him grow into an entity almost as powerful as his enemy and lover, Cadmus Pariah.

I am so doomed.
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