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Sunday, November 11, 2007

RASINING CAIN, PART I

A SUMMER’S EVE, JUST BEFORE THE FALL

I feel for Eve. Really, I do. She had it tough all around. First of all, she was there in Eden all by herself. Well, yes, there was Adam, but there’s times when a man just isn’t good enough. There’s times when you need to talk about the man, and who did Eve have but some birds and bees and a serpent or two? Who did she go to when Adam forgot their anniversary? Oh, sure, there was God, but he probably didn’t want to be bothered; he’d just finished putting together Creation, and he was busy admiring his handiwork.


“It’s good.”

“What, God? What’d you say?”

“I said it’s goo-ood.”

“What’s good?”

“Creation.”

“Cool. But I gotta tell you, I don’t mean to complain...I don’t want you to think that I’m not happy or anything, the weather’s good, the fruit’s tasty – I can’t figure out how to keep the fig leaf in place, but that’s a minor detail. I was hurt today, really hurt. You know today was our anniversary? He didn’t even mention it. Now, I know that’s a small thing in the grand scheme...”

“And what a grand scheme IT IS.”

“Yes...yes. You’ve got every reason to be proud. That rainbow thing is brilliant, and I like the little sparkles when the sunlight hits the water – but I just have to say, I think there’s a problem in Paradise. Oh, just a teeny tiny problem, nothing major....I’m sure it was just an oversight. But, see, it’s like this, God. Adam is a bit ... well ... he’s a bit forgetful. And sometimes he’s kind of insensitive. I mean, there’s times we need to talk about our problems, but it’s like pulling teeth to get him to discuss issues. Not that I can imagine any reason why we’d ever want to pull teeth – no, they’re perfect, I’m glad you decided on white and not red, or that vulgar plaid. But anyway, back to Man, don’t you think he’s kind of silly, the way he sits out there on the riverbank for hours and hours, holding this stick out over the water. What’s he think he’s doing? He’d rather spend time doing that than come with me while I try different flowers in my hair. Do you think it means he doesn’t love me? ”

Crash!

“What was that?”

“Thunder, do you like it? I was thinking, maybe when I speak, there should be a little pomp and circumstance. Being as I’m the Creator and all. I’ve been working on this bolt of lightening thing; it’s dramatic, but I’m not sure what it’s good for yet. Nevertheless, I think I should have something at hand that gets attention, don’t you? I could hurl it – like this – and it goes... whoops!”

“What is all that bright dancing stuff?”

“H’mm. I’ll call it ‘fire’. Pretty, isn’t it? I tell you what, I’ll give it to Man as a present – an anniversary present, how about that?”

“Wow, it’s so pretty – let me feel it – ouch! It bites! And look! It ate up all the trees.”

“Right. Well, looks like this stuff isn't good for anything useful. Here, let me get rain, with its gentle ways, to see if it can tame this fire a bit. Okay, now what were you saying?”

“I was saying – oh, never mind. You wouldn’t understand.”

“Hey! I made you, Missy.”

“I know, God. Forgive me, I’m a little testy today, on account of it is my anniversary and Adam’s totally blowing it off...”

“Well, I’m sure he’ll be back soon. I gotta go work on the firmament a bit – it needs a little tweaking in the southwest quadrant. You gonna be okay?”

“Fine, God.”

“Good. I’m glad we had this little talk.”

“Yeah, me too.”

“Keep in touch.”

“Sure thing.”

So, you see, I don’t blame Eve for getting chummy with a serpent. What choice did she have, really – it wasn’t like there were any ladies’ luncheons or even soap operas to take her mind off her troubles. I suspect she was starved for attention, and when she heard that friendly little “Hssst”, it must have seemed like a voice from ... well, we won’t get into that. Suffice it to say that Eve was in desperate need of a friend.

“Hey, there, good lookin’.”

“Oh, hey, serpent.”

“You look like you could use a friend. What’s the matter?”

“Oh, the usual. It’s my anniversary, and here I am all by myself, while Adam’s off at the local sand bar or something – if he comes back home again high on milk and honey….”

“Well, listen, I have something that will cheer you up. See that shiny round red thing hanging from that tree there...?”

“Where? Oh, that. God says we’re not to touch that tree.”

“Yeah? Well, did you ever think why? Because he wants to keep it all to himself, that’s why. He doesn’t want you to have any fun.”

“So what’s so special about that tree anyway?”

“It’s the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.”

“I know what good is...God says that’s creation. But what is evil?”

“That’s the whole point, sweet lips. You want to understand, you have to be willing to take a bite of the old apple.”

Hmm. Would it help me understand Adam better?”

“Take it from me, sweetheart, one nibble of the forbidden fruit and you’ll understand the universe.”

“Well….maybe we should see what Adam says. Here he comes now.”

“Hey, honey. I’m home! Look what I’ve got ... these fish jumped into my basket. What should we do with them? I’d hate to just throw them out …Say, who’s the skinny guy?”

“Oh, just a serpent from over in the arbor.”

“Yo, man. You must be Adam. Put it there...no, no, the nose is fine. Just watch out for the tail, okay? Don’t step on....aargh.”

“Oops, sorry.”

Oww..no problem, really. What? The rattle? Oh no, don’t worry, it always made that noise. So I was telling your pretty little woman here about the apple from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.”

“Oh, no way. That’s forbidden.”

“Yeah, well, who’s to know? One little taste and you’ll understand things you never knew you never knew.”

“Well, I don’t know…God’s been good to us. He’s going to be pretty angry if we break his law…”

That was bound to annoy Eve. She was a woman, after all. “Good to us? Good to us? More like good to you. What about me? Sitting around here all day on my anniversary…”

Adam, being a man, was a little slow on the uptake. “It’s your anniversary? Hey, congratulations.”

“It’s our anniversary, you nimwit.”

“Ours? Oh, wow.” Adam slaps his forehead. “Sorry, I totally forgot. But here! I brought you a present! Some fish.”

“They smell.”

“Well, they won’t smell if you clean them. A little water and soap….Ohhhh, stop crying, I’m sorry I forgot our anniversary. How can I make it better…you really want this, don’t you, you really want us to risk God’s wrath? Well, granted, those rosy red apples are pretty, and I guess it would be special…Will you stop crying if I agree to take a taste?”

Serpents are no fools, and this one knew his way around a fresh mark. “Here, have a bite. The first one’s totally free.”

“Oh, all right.”

“And if you like that taste, I can get us a lot more. Hee hee.”

And so they ate.















There, see how easy it was. But it wasn’t really Eve’s fault, the way I look at it. Did she have a Dr. Laura to give her advice about how to handle her man? Did she have a negligee, for that matter? Not that it would have done anything but perplex Adam – sex hadn’t been invented yet, as procreation by rib was still the standard.

Poor Eve. In my mind, she was a tragic figure from the get-go. As Jessica Rabbit (remember her? Voluptuous wife of Roger R.?) once stated, "I was drawn this way".

And as for the apple, well, as everyone today knows, the taste of evil is addicting. What choice did God have after that but to heave the two of them out of Paradise, which was a drug-free zone?

And so, for so long as Adam and Eve retained a taste for the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they were doomed to wander the streets, never having enough … always seeking more. As for their descendants – well, we’ll get to that later. Suffice it to say, I feel for Eve – really, I do. I have a little thirst for the Knowledge of Good and Evil myself. And without the Fall, hey … eternal sunshine and fish that jump into your basket are fine in the short-term, but if that’s all I had to write about in my daily blogs, we’d all soon be mighty bored. So I’m grateful that, for now, the leaves must fall…

STAY TUNED FOR FUTURE INSTALLMENTS OF THE ADVENTURES OF ADAM AND EVE AND THEIR PROGENY.

3 comments:

lizzie said...

Delightful little piece. I enjoyed it thouroughly.

Anonymous said...

On another matter...
Ralph Williams, published in Astounding 1952, "Pax Galactica." This story is based on an unusual idea (the premise is that aliens manage to interfere with the laws of physics. Guns won't fire, internal combustion engines won't run). I'm an old sci-fi fan, and I've never run into this idea used before or after. Except...there is now a series by S.M. Stirling (Dies the Fire, The Protecter's War, A Meeting at Corvallis, The Sunrise Lands) based on this idea. It parallels fairly closely, allowing for the differences between 1952 and 2001 in cultures and thinking, and of course the fact that the Ralph Williams story is a story, not a series of books. Stirling also has not specified the cause, although there are indications that it's either aliens or alternate-world. Plagiarism? It is a very unusual premise, and since nobody else has happened on it, I wonder.
If it can be shown to be plagiarism, seems old Ralph ought to at least get a mention. Copyright runs, I think, fifty years, but rights do revert to heirs. I think. Anyway, I thought you might want to check this out.
Joanne

The wolves, I assume, are fiction. However, you also fell out of the upstairs window at about 18 months, landing on your bottom. Totally unhurt, but quite outraged by receiving such a
massive spanking.

Stephanie Patel said...

Thanks for stopping by. I'm not sure ideas can be copyrighted, and I'm not up on the plagarism laws. Nor have I read S.M. Stirling's book(s). Please drop in again. I update as I'm able, but I'm working on a lot of writings (after work and between various other activities) so it's basically whatever strikes my fancy when I sit down at the computer.