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Tom and the Tree

Tom and the Tree

Don’t be like Tom.

Tom was this guy I used to know. He was always the “good kid,” the one who did exactly what his parents asked of him.

In fact, our whole childhood he was the picture of conformance, slavery to the status quo.

But all that changed when he moved away and met Brad. See, Brad may have well been the serpent from the Garden of Eden. Whatever someone’d been told to stay away from, that the tree Brad plucked fruit from.

If they were straight edge, he offered from the tree of drink and smoke.

If they were virgins, he offered from the tree of sex.

Whatever enticed a person was what Brad hooked them up with.

While it seemed like he was just being a bro, the truth was that Brad didn’t give a fuck about that. He wanted to get into good graces with everyone so that they’d do what he asked.

Every debt owned was another slave in chains for Brad.

So Tom willingly sold himself into slavery, all so that he could be the person “he was meant to be.”

Whatever that means.

Instead of breaking free of his old chains, Tom took on new ones instead. Traded one master for another.

When I look at my foes this week, I’m reminded of Tom.

Vigour comes from a real bleak place, but when he showed up in our realm, who was there to meet him?

Starboy.

He traded monochrome chains for rainbow chains. Instead of becoming his own man, Vigour let himself be lost into the hedonistic lifestyle that had been forbidden to him before.

He ate fruit from the Tree of Excess.

Sir Renault was some kind of tribute to a dead warrior society, until he met real Templar knights. The hand of Solomon Rhodes himself plucked a fruit to hand to him.

So he traded a life of serving the past to one of controlling the future. Yet those chains still burn the same, each one holding him to a dead god.

He ate from the Tree of Religion.

Not much is known about who Impaler was before he put on the mask, but I don’t need to know who he was. His slavery is the most overt. The mask he wears turned him into Legion.

Many.

The mask itself was the Brad here, luring in a hapless man and turning him into the killer Impaler has become.

He ate from the Tree of Belonging.

Each one of these trees empowered the men that ate from them, without them even realizing how they’d enslaved themselves to the serpent handing them the fruit.

So what about me? I once stood in the Garden, with my own Brad before him.

Her name was Alice, and she offered me a different world than the one I knew.

But I didn’t eat from a Tree.

I burned the whole forest down.

Because the only person guiding my fate is myself. I’m not bound to any man, woman, or child.

They all bow before me, eating the fruit I offer.

I was never a Tom.

I’m Brad.