In many areas of the southern United States, the South, any plant with thorns is referred to as a stickabriar. The blackberry vine is one such plant. Many aspects of life, such as the under belly of the streets, is also a barb-laden place. The blackberry plant can produce very sweet, succulent fruit, while also having some of the most bitter, almost vengeful, tasting berries. It seems the stickabriar will protect its sweetest offering with strong, thorn-laced tentacles. This needled defense is normally enough to deter most people. Life is just as bewildering as the stickabriar, gouging anyone who attempted to pluck the tastiest fruit.

Balye was undaunted by any scrapes or cuts he would possibly endure. He decided Kyla was the sweetest berry of the stickabriar. His love for her would be the salve for any injury he might sustain while harvesting her love. But what he did not consider was Kyla was forbidden fruit. In life, just as with the blackberry plant, its sweetest will not be given easily. The most succulent is sometimes sacrificed by the plant itself, never meaning to be had. When Kyla was taken from him, Balye sought vengeance on those he felt responsible for her death. Even if it meant dying, he was determined to kill the stickabriar.

by Titus J Ware

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