Enter a world where spirits roam the earth in Michael Phillip Cash's haunting new novella, The Hanging Tree. Set amid the eerie backdrop of Long Island, an area famously steeped in old legend, two young would-be lovers contemplate their future while visits from those who have come before them reveal the lure of fate... and the power of free will.
At 17 years old, Arielle's relationship with her parents is slowly deteriorating. Angry and defiant, she is at a loss on how to cope with the tumultuous situation in which she finds herself. Arielle's only comfort is Chad, an 18-year-old young man who seems to truly understand her struggles. Arielle and Chad meet beneath the low-hanging branches of what the local community has nicknamed the "Hanging Tree."
An ancient and majestic landmark, it has long been rumored that the tree is haunted by ghosts. These ghosts span various centuries and vary wildly in age, but each one of them has one thing in common: their deaths are all somehow connected to the tree itself. As Arielle and Chad commiserate over their current situation and their precarious nature of their future, the spectral inhabitants of the Hanging Tree witness their conversation.
One by one, the ghosts begin reminiscing about their own lives - and deaths - as they examine the inner demons with which their human forms long struggled. An eerie meditation on the oft-overlooked power of choice, Cash's The Hanging Tree will stay with listeners long after they turn out the light.
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Unusual and entertaining
- Rabid Reader
A very unique and fun short story
Because it has different elements, suspense, comedy, and a curse.
Hard to say, the spirits were great each having their own unique personality which the reader captures perfectly from the first, the old crone to the newer ones. It showed the personalities as being very personable and will remind you of people you know. It is not spoken in old way of speaking, but more modern as they have been there for a long time and picked up on the current vernacular which makes it even better. The living characters are fun too with situations most people may recognize as their own from a time in their own lives. I would have to say the Old Crone who sat there through the years listening in.
I liked the spirits listening in on the young couple and placing bets as to what would happen, that was funny; I liked the flashbacks as to the origin of the "curse" and the simplicity of breaking it and I like the squabbling between two of the spirits, like an old married couple and I liked that a curse was broken by the simplest of deeds. It is hard to pick just one part because it was a combination of all of it that made it a good story.
Marty, because I have a cousin named Marty but in this case it was used as a not so friendly way and every time someone would call him Marty, he would say "don't call me Marty." They were all special in their own way, but I still chuckle at Marty because it reminds me of Barb Wire when she kept telling people "Don't call me babe!"
I like short stories because it is something you can read or listen to and it tells a pretty descent story most of the time many of which are significant in long term ways such as Nathaniel Hawthorn's Young Goodman Brown, but this was one that had a beginning and and ending and was simple because of the curse placed upon a family and it shows that the smallest of things is all that is needed to be forgiven for something wrong that was done generations ago. It did show some hypocrisy and the staunch belief and takeover of a reasonably peaceful path by those who are in it for their own good. It had a good ending and there were parts that were funny in a cute way. I think a lot of people would really like this story regardless of age, education background and spiritual preference. It is a good story and I hope others will agree with me.