Coming of Age Under the Hanging Tree
The novella’s Hanging Tree is about five cursed people attached to a haunted tree. Arielle, a seventeen year old girl is bathed in moonlight beneath the "Hanging Tree" with eighteen year old Chad, a macho boy with a cool Camaro. It’s the summer of 2013, and Chad is pressuring Arielle to have sex with him.
Arielle’s father disapproves of Chad and doesn’t want her around him. Arielle’s mother ran off with her boss. After the divorce Arielle chose to stay with her father whom she respected, but the relationship was growing distant due to her desire to experience more freedom. Torn between rules and freedom she must decide whether or not to give in to Chad’s sexual demands. Little did both know the five spirit inhabitants of the tree would get involved.
Seduction of Innocence
The story line travels back to the same location in the summer of 1649. Claire is fifteen and picking blackberries with grandmother Goody Bennett. Claire spots a snake and her fear and dislike spikes, no doubt due to Reverend Hammon’s preaching about what happened in the Garden. Goodly admonished Claire snakes and all life came from God and deserved respect. Her black cat voiced agreement.
Goody Bennett healed people in the community with herbs. Rev. Hammon believed Goody Bennett’s cat and her healing were evil, and turned Claire against her grandmother. The Rev. was aroused by Claire. He seduced her. Grandmother Bennett confronted Rev. Hammon about now pregnant Claire which lead to her swinging from the lower branch of the "Hanging Tree." Before she died she cursed Hammon’s children and their children and on into eternity. So begins the curse and the karmic attachment of the five spirit inhabitants in the "Hanging Tree."
Destiny & Free Will
Fast forward to 2013. Will Arielle give into Chad’s sexual demands? Will past events, or her own free will control her destiny? Will Goody Bennett’s curse ever be broken and how?
Cash addresses an age old question as to whether or not we are the victims of past events, over which we had no control, or do we possess the ability to control our own destiny.
Best selling author Michael Phillip Cash is a master of fantasy, suspense and the paranormal. The novella is a stimulating read, drawing the reader completely into the story line. Cash writes in a superb, unique literary style, and The Hanging Tree provides deep insight into karmic events. He is the author of the popular novels Brood X: A Firsthand Account of the Great Cicada Invasion, Stillwell, and Schism: The Battle for Darracia. He has an English degree and MBA, and resides with wife and children in a tree home in Desa, New York.