Another Eden, by Cassandra Arnold
We were happy before Adam came. How I laughed when he was thrown out, him and that stuck up rib of his. Anyone would think the garden had been created just for them. But it wasn’t. It was made for us.
You’re a Christian now. I see you making a protective sign, but that doesn’t scare me. I am a daughter of Lilith, and we still live in the garden.
You want to know where it is? You really think you will find it on a map and drive there? Haven’t you seenthe Middle East?
Come closer. Let me whisper this to your limited mind: Eden is what you will it to be.
I know, I know. You are over believing promises of any kind. Not just those involving rainbows and no more floods (How wrong that was!) but those invoking paradises that turn out to be rows of strip hotels With tip-seeking, fawning foreigners and dangerous food.
But I can take you there. To Eden. Just let me slip into your mind as you lie under the covers on the borders of sex and sleep. Let me learn the truth of your deepest desires. We can make them grow.
See how easy that was? You look surprised. I wish I was. Are there no men with original minds? Over and over again I am here, wearing minimal animal skins underneath a date palm with doves cooing in the background. Still, it is at least a garden. And nothing has yet been named.
What about Adam? You think we kept those monikers that he worked out with God as we paraded before him and all of us rejected as less than equal to his needs? Not a chance. But you get to do it. If you like. If it makes you feel at home. Just remember, some of us hid that day. Some of us have never been known. But we have to walk a while first, to the river, to wash off your scent of Earth and conquest and domination. You have to be reborn to walk here with me in the cool of the night. Here. Rest on this mossy bank and I will bring you fruit and wipe your brow. Sorry, just kidding. See that tree? The tall one on the closest hill? That’s the one that started all the trouble. The knowledge of good and evil. Who cares, I say? I wouldn’t eat from that one. Waste of time. But look beyond it, near the gate guarded by that flabby Angel. That one there is the Tree of Life.
What? Get into trouble? Not a chance. God’s busy somewhere else these days, on some planet across the Milky Way. A better class of soil I hear. Fewer trees.
Yeah, okay, but a girl’s gotta have a laugh at times. D’ya know you were put here to work at first? Till the soil and care for things? Boring, eh? I like your imagination better. I mean, look at them. Twelve little virgins all in a row. Don’t blush. This is your Eden. And we’re nearly at the river. Don’t stop now.
Shall I turn my back?
No, I thought not. But you shouldn’t have turned yours. For now I can reach your neck. If you struggle and your blood is spilt, the water will wash it away. My trusting lamb. I forgot to tell you. I do have a name. And so will you.
Cassandra Arnold is a writer, humanitarian doctor and activist, who believes that the mythic and the fantastic are at the core of what it means to be human. More of her work can be found at cassandraarnold.com.
Posted on October 9, 2014, in Issue 15: Elves & Spacerockets and tagged alternate history, creepy, dark, demon, demons, fantasy, flash fiction, legends of the new, myths, new legends, new religion, new religions, origin myth, The Were-Traveler. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.