I tried posting this morning, but a number of people reported the link being broken, so I am reposting.
I was able to get another flash fiction story published on 101 Words. After the previous one I was encouraged to go again and am quite enjoying the challenge. Instead of a punchline though I wanted to go for something a little more dramatic. I hope you enjoy it. Please follow this link.
Also if you are interested in having a little fun and challenging yourself to see what you can put in 101 words, follow this link. You can even ask for feedback.
She opened the car door and stepped out. Had someone been watching they would have thought it was one of those intentionally shot, sexy scenes as a bare leg clad in a sexy black pump hit the pavement. As the rest of her emerged she was the vision of beauty and elegance. Her carefully chosen evening gown with the slit up the left side was sure to catch the attention of many, but it wasn’t because she was vain. She simply had good taste, and liked to look good for a special night out. Her husband was being honored today. Her husband had won another big case. Civil rights cases were tough to win, and he had been winning it for the little guy for years now, in several high-profile cases. When she had met him, it seemed they were just heading to a normal upper middle class future, with the normal rate of advance as lawyers. But practicing law was different than learning it. As having a family came into the picture, her passion for the law was less. She had been offered being partner at her law firm, but it just didn’t seem all that appealing. She also saw how much her husband loved practicing law, and how good he was at it, and it wasn’t a difficult decision for her to pull back and practice law part time. Children and family meant something to her, and she knew that she would never find enough happiness in her career to compensate for not seeing her children more often. They would have had no trouble affording a nanny, but it killed her thinking about a stranger spending more time with her children than her. They would still be very comfortable, they had a nice house, and a good life was about more than money. She hooked her arm in his and walked together into the venue for the evening.
It was a reasonably big crowd as they entered the room. People were dressed to kill, and she was equal to the task. Some familiar faces approached them to welcome them. She felt a bit like a celebrity as she saw more people swarm towards them. This was their life now. They had made it. They were doing positive things in the world, and she had the right balance in her life in terms of career and family. But as the people came and went the focus was not on her. There was requisite smiling and small talk. Even genuine heartfelt warmth. There were good people in the room, but even they wanted their time with the man of the hour, and in many ways conversations with them were the worst. “What was it like to be married to such a great lawyer? How proud are you of your husband? Did you think he would win the case?” She tried to remain positive. Of course he would be congratulated, schmoozed, networked, and charmed for his accolades. What else did she expect?
She expected to be seen as important. She expected to have value. The way that she saw herself. Was it so hard to believe that as talented as her husband was that he might have married someone equally talented, with equal intellect, and with an admirable moral center? The magnificence of her dress felt like it was fading into the scenery. She felt like an object attached her husband’s arm. No one seemed to see her as having value, even when she knew that it wasn’t true. She could put up with it for night though. Right?
But if this case was any indication, he would become busier and he would get bigger cases, and his fame would continue to grow. She realized in that moment she would not be putting up with this for one night. It wouldn’t stop. How long could she take being solely defined by her husband’s career and success? Why didn’t it matter that the only reason her husband had so much time to be a great lawyer and have two children was because of her? Why didn’t the excellence in the choices she made for her life, marriage, and family, make less difference than his? And she was invaluable as someone to talk to when he’d come home and talk about his cases. After all she was a lawyer too. It wasn’t her husband’s fault society was like this, but she couldn’t help but wonder if it even entered his head to think about these things. If he was he’d make more of an effort, wouldn’t he? She wondered, if the situation was reversed, would any man be treated with as much indifference as she felt from others right now? Suddenly she was jolted out of her grim analysis.
“What a stunning dress! It must be nice to buy such expensive clothes after your husband’s big win!?” She nodded and smiled and hoped that she look convincingly gracious for that horrible compliment. She had the dress for several years and she could afford it all on her own. It was like people thought she had suddenly been invented for the purpose of accompanying her husband. She expertly stopped herself from crying and made an excuse to her husband to go to the lady’s room. She stared in the mirror, not knowing whether a flood of tears or pure rage would come next. It dawned on her that the rest of the evening would be spent wondering whether it was better to just continuing being small and hide in a hole somewhere, or to be visible in the crowd but still feel alone. She decided the former was the easier choice, but then she’d have let this superficial group of people chill her into hiding. She was better than that. It might be a hollow victory, but she held her head high and walked out again. There was a loose line of people waiting to talk to her husband. Eventually they would sit down at a table to eat, and he would give everyone else their undivided attention. With the grace of an empress she crossed the room and sidled up next to him. Outside darkness gave a respectful wave goodbye to the dusk, and inside she was content to be the stars shining through the night, even if the heads in the room were too heavy to ever look up.
So after reading my friend Esme’s wonderful flash fiction that she published in 101 Words, I decided to give it a shot myself, as it seemed like an interesting challenge to try to create a story with only 101 words.
I am proud to say, they liked my story I was published too. I would like to believe that I am as excellent a quality of writer as my friend, but it may also be that they’ll publish almost anybody. I shall believe the former in order to keep my friend’s spirits up. 🙂
Woman approaches Adam with fruit in hand. Adam is bent over next to a rock outcrop.
“Adam, I have returned. I have something for you.”
“I have something for you too. Check this out. There is this creature that seems to have been preserved in this rock over here. I don’t even know what it is. I named every animal, and this wasn’t one of them.”
“Hmmm…that is weird. But listen I have something more important. Here let’s eat this fruit.”
“Oh okay. I guess I am a bit hungry…er…wait. Where did you get this fruit?”
Woman gives a little smirk, “Where do you think? The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.”
“Oh no…no. We can’t eat this. Our Father, He had one rule. That’s it. Seems pretty clear cut and not a whole lot to ask.”
“Don’t worry Adam. A talking snake explained it all to me. We have to eat this fruit.”
“Wait…what!? Talking snake? Are there any of those hallucinogenic frogs I named hopping around? How can there be a talking snake?”
“How can you make a person out of a rib? Listen we wondered before why He would have put the tree here, and you said He probably knew we weren’t going to touch and so He didn’t think it was important where he put it. Well what if He put it here, because He wanted us to eat it?”
“Well why would He want us to eat it, but tell us not to eat it?”
“You said you had a lot of questions. So do I. Curiosity. We have loads of it. These questions burn within us and we want to find the answers to those questions. That’s how He made us.”
“That’s some pretty good reasoning. But why can’t we just ask Him and He can explain it to us.”
“Weren’t you listening Adam about making children. Children grow into adults. At some point children have to leave the guidance of their parents and make decisions for themselves. Every home feels like paradise when you’re a child, but this can’t be our home forever. We have to grow up.” Woman does her best God impression, “Symbolism!”
Adam’s eyes narrow and his expression hardens, “Alright, let’s do it. By doing this together we’ll be husband and wife, right?!”
“Oh shut up, and eat the fruit!”
Adam takes a fruit from woman and they both take bites. Chewing slowly and swallowing.
“Adam, do you feel anything?”
“No nothing. What about you?”
“I don’t feel anything either. I thought, for some reason, that I would suddenly understand everything so much better.”
“Yeah, me too. This is kind of disappointing.”
“You don’t think he just put the tree there as a test to see if we would obey him, and that the tree had no special powers at all do you?”
“No. That would be kind of cruel. God wouldn’t do something like that.” The fossil Adam was holding slips out of his hand making a cracking noise as it hits the ground.
The winds begin to shift northerly and pick up speed.
“It’s getting a bit colder Adam.”
“Yeah, well I have noticed the daylight hours gradually getting shorter, so I expect weather patterns will start shift, but also you seem to be naked.”
“What!? I’m naked?! Clearly you’re the world’s first crack detective too. No shit I’m naked. So are you!”
“Ack…you’re right…I am naked too. I guess I knew that…but I don’t think I want to be naked anymore. It doesn’t feel right. How do we get less naked?”
“I don’t know. Maybe we should cover up our…um…naughty areas. I don’t feel like we should just be exposing them for everyone to see.”
“Who’s everyone? We are the only two people on this planet.”
“I don’t know, let’s just cover up. I’m going to go find some big leaves. Maybe from that fig tree over there.”
“Fig tree? What’s a fig tree?”
“That tree over there. You got the animals…I decided I’m naming the plants. Let’s go.”
Woman and Adam walk over to the fig tree to find some suitable leaves.
“Adam, I’m feeling a lot of shame right now…like I need a big leaf to cover my behind, and I feel upset that the leaf has to be so big.”
“I feel shame too. Like I need a big leaf to compensate for what seems to be a sub-par dangling appendage.”
“So thus far eating that fruit has only led to feelings of shame associated with a negative self-image. I don’t know about you, but I’m also feeling regret.”
“Yeah me too. Being an adult sucks. I don’t even know who I want to impress. My motivations are so unclear to me right now, I….wait…do you hear something?”
Woman and Adam stop what they are doing and they hear the sound of rustling leaves and the voice of God humming a merry tune.
Adam whispers, “He’s here! How come he doesn’t know we already broke the rule?”
“I don’t know. Inflated sense of self-confidence?”
“Hide? What good is that going to do if He’s omniscient? He’ll know where we are.”
“Just do it! Quick over here among those trees!”
God stops in His tracks and tilts his head listening.
“Adam. Is that you? Where are you Adam?”
Adam whispers to woman, “See, told you hiding was a good idea!”
“Adam! I have divine hearing. I know you’re in the garden somewhere.”
Woman whispers to Adam, “He placed us in the garden, and He knows we’re in the garden somewhere? I see where you got your detective skills from.”
“I think I should answer Him. He’ll find us eventually.”
“Fine…but he should have found us immediately as an omniscient creator.”
Adam steps out from behind the trees. “Oh hey, God. We’re over here.”
“Aaah…Adam. Woman. How are things been going? Getting along? Make any babies yet? Um…wait…why are you holding fig leaves over your naughty areas?”
“Well…er…we weren’t sure who it was in the garden and well we were naked and so we hid. You know…I didn’t want anybody pointing and laughing at me.” Adam blushes.
“Wait! Who told you, you were naked? Those are precisely the lust-filled concepts I didn’t want floating around your heads!” God’s eyes glance towards the Tree of Knowledge. “Have you been eating from the Tree of Knowledge?! There are two less fruits there than there should be. I am very good at counting. The book I’m writing right now even has a chapter called Numbers. Out with it children. No lies!”
“Well Father, I was just taking a look, and well this snake came along and really explained it all quite clearly and you know, it just seemed to make sense.”
“Snake?! I think I know the culprit. Hold on.” God vanishes in a puff of awesomeness and returns holding the snake with its stubby little legs waving in the air.
“Alright everyone. It’s punishment time!”
Adam asks, “Why do You look so gleeful Father?”
“I don’t know. I’ve never done it before. New experiences are hard to come by. Okay now….snake! You have deceived my creation and for that I am removing your legs and forcing you to crawl on your belly!!”
Snake begins to slither around rather impressively climbing up and down trees and curling around woman’s legs.
“I rather like this…”
“I mean punish me no further!”
“Yes…well I curse you to eat dust!”
“Well that would actually make my work easier since dust is everywhere, but I still feel rather hungry for small rodents.”
“And you will now be enemies with mankind. You will bite at their heel and they will stomp you on the ground!”
Snake slithers up woman and speaks in her ear, “Well we’ll just stay out of each other’s way then yeah? Seems simple enough?”
Woman responds, “Sounds reasonable to me.”
“Excuse me. Woman’s voice will not be silenced.”
“It will. To punish you for what you’ve done, giving birth will now be of the greatest pain! And pitocin will not be invented for many years to come!”
“What?! You want me to populate the human species but are making giving birth the most painful experience in my life. You’re a sadist you are. Whatever happened to forgiveness? Isn’t that a better way to treat your children?”
God thinks about it for a few seconds….”Nope. Also, I’m not done. I’m also turning the civilization into a patriarchy. I wanted everything to be equal, but because of what you’ve done I am making women beholden to their men.”
“What?! Are you kidding me?” Woman gives an exasperate look and turns red with anger. “Well considering you made me a nameless helper for Adam over there, it probably wasn’t going to get much better anyway.”
Adam woman turns and says with a comforting smile, “I promise to use my power over you responsibly.” Woman gives him a dirty look, killing the grin instantly.
“Adam! Don’t think I am done! You also ate the fruit against my command. I curse you to become a farmer. You will till the earth and eat from it. It will be hard work and much that grows will have thorns and thistle requiring you to wear thick clothing so that you get very hot and sweaty while you work. Your diet will mostly be vegetarian in nature due to it providing the maximum amount of calories and nutrition per square foot, and you will eat until you die returning to the earth enriching it with organic material for new plants to grow and continuing a never ending cycle of death and life.”
“Actually that doesn’t sound too bad. Makes you really appreciate each moment and strive for a better life while you have it.”
“Yeah Adam, I like this part.”
Adam turns to woman and smiles. “I shall name you Eve as you will be mother of all. And though large amounts of toil and incest lie before us, we’re going to make it.”
“So finally I get a name. Not bad actually. But I reserve the right to come up with one of my own if I find something better!”
Adam capitulates, “Fair enough.”
“I just want you to know children that this hurt me more than it hurts you. I really didn’t want to do all of that, but you forced me hand.”
“I am sending you out from paradise and you will be cut off from the Tree of Life forever. But before you do that I am going kill a few animals and make you some clothing. It’s cold out there East of Eden and I don’t want you to get sick. Besides people will start dropping like flies once you domesticate large mammals.”
Adam and Even watch incredulously as God slaughters a few animals and skins them. Using a little bit of omnipotence to speed the tanning process.”
“There you go, and I put in an extra set so you have something to wear while washing the first set. Now here’s a pack of seeds to start off with as well. They’re all labeled. I put them in this little pouch I made from that dead deer over there.”
God snaps His fingers and they are magically transported next to a large river. “Well good luck. I’ll make a few appearances again just to make sure everybody is aware of my awesomeness. Byeeee!”
“Well Eve, I guess we got some seeds to sow.”
“Yeah.” Eve looks around. “We’ll probably need something to dig with, let’s see if we can find some tools of some sort over by those trees.”
Adam starts to remove his clothing. “Those weren’t the seeds I was talking about.”
A very angry woman watches as God vanishes, and turns her attention to the only remaining person in the garden.
“Alright. You look like you want to say something, but given the uniqueness of your existence I’d recommend against it. Do you have something to say?”
Adam shakes his head.
“Good. You’re off to a good start. Alright first of all, where are we and who the hell are you?”
“Well this is the Garden of Eden. It’s my…er our Father’s….paradise for us. And I’m Adam.”
“First of all a father who just creates you to be somebody’s helper, and then spends the first 10 minutes of her life making her bits twinkle and showing somebody how to get up all in her business and squirt baby making fluids in her, has questionable parenting skills. Secondly, why do you get a name, and I don’t.
“I’m not really sure. I don’t get told a lot. All I can tell you is, I’m a man, which I was told, means from the Earth since I’m made from dirt, and you are woman, meaning from man.”
“Wait, my designation means I am from man, but yet I am the one who will be giving birth to all sorts of future men? That’s rich. And what was all this when I arrived,” woman makes talking motions with bother her hands, “two boys talking it over and deciding what’s going to happen my body? Talking it over as if I wasn’t even there? Is this what I can expect in the future?”
“No no…of course not. I am sure you’ll be part of the whole decision making process. I mean we’re man and woman, we go together, none more important than the other.”
Woman’s expression softens momentarily. “Wait a second, are you telling me I have to be your mate? That we are going to be doing all that baby making He was talking about? I don’t even know you.”
“Yeah, but somebody has got to make people. And look, look at this thing down here, it’s sticking straight out at you. I think that’s how it works, it sort of points to who you are supposed to mate with.”
“Well don’t point it at me. Given that it started pointing about 2 seconds after you saw me, I don’t think it bases any of its decisions by divining the inner working of my soul or through some appreciation of my intellect.”
“But I really feel like…you know…what he was talking about…insert slot A into tab B? He said it would be a lot of fun.” Adam moves in close for an embrace.
Pushing him away, “Ugh…stop it. What are you doing?”
“I’m doing what feels natural in paradise!”
Woman smacks Adam on the side of the head “Well so am I. As quaint as it is that our mutual Father wants us to get it on, as it stands, I wouldn’t mate with you if you were the last man on Earth.”
“But I’m the first man on Earth, and there isn’t anybody else around.”
Woman looks around exasperated, “I’ll admit my options or few. But this child birth and raising stuff sounds like a fair amount of work. I need to know whether we can work together as a team. And that means talking to each other. Getting to know each other, and really talking about whether a relationship between us has a future.”
Adam’s tool for baby making goes limp. “Hmm…weird.” Adam looks down. “I suddenly feel like I can talk about other things. You know what? You’re right. There is no rush. It’s a beautiful day, a beautiful setting, and we have the Tree of Life nearby, we have forever, perhaps literally to make babies.”
“Tree of Life? What are you talking about?”
“Oh…oh…yeah I guess I should tell you. Well you know He hasn’t given me a lot of details on this Tree of Life. He mentioned something about being the greatest creation and being forever in paradise, so I assume the tree has something to do with that.”
“Well having children for the rest of eternity doesn’t sound fun, but I imagine just walking around in a garden could get old as well. Anything else?”
“Yeah. Something important actually. That tree over there. It’s the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We are forbidden to eat from it.”
“I don’t know. Our Father created all of this. He’s pretty powerful and knowledgeable, I figure it’s best to listen to Him.”
“Yet you had to spend the first few weeks of your life in what sounds like a taxonomical nightmare?”
“Well it was a learning experience. I mean I imagine when you create a universe there is always some bookkeeping at the start. Either way, He was pretty clear about not eating from that tree.”
“So you’re telling me that we are an omniscient and omnipotent being’s greatest creation, and he has placed us in paradise, but puts a tree full of rather delicious looking fruit in the middle of our paradise and we’re just expected to walk around it or something? I mean why have the tree here if we’re not allowed to partake of it?”
“These are fair questions? Well He’s omniscient so He knows we’re going to listen to Him, so He figured it doesn’t matter where He puts it.”
“Maybe, but it seems like poor planning overall. I mean I have a pretty strong curiosity, don’t you?”
“Yeah. I think I do too. I’ll even admit that there were times when I was enjoying seeing all the different animals. I really wanted to learn more about them, not just name them. To be honest, I’ve got a million questions about everything.”
“Me too. And I feel especially curious about things I’m told not to touch.” Woman starts walking towards the tree and Adam grabs her by the shoulder. She turns “Don’t touch me! You need to learn about consent Adam. Don’t be like Father.”
“Sorry…er…I was just trying to stop you from going to the tree. I don’t want you to get in trouble.”
“Don’t worry, don’t worry. I’ll be a good girl and I won’t eat from it, but we can go look at it right?”
“I guess. I just…well…if we aren’t suppose to eat from it, I figure it’s best not to get close.”
“Stop being so fearful. This is paradise. Like you said, I am sure he knows everything will be fine or he wouldn’t have put it here. I’ll go off by myself if you’re too frightened.”
Woman walks towards the tree, entranced by the ripe fruit dangling in the sunlight. As she gets close she feels some apprehension creep into her. Maybe Adam was right. She sits down, and leans back against a smooth rock which in no way was created by millions of year of erosion, and stares at the tree.
“It’s quite a sight, isn’t it?”
Woman looks around for a voice she’s never heard before.
“Over here. I’m waving my tail. Do you see it?”
Woman looks to her right and sees a black and green scaly animal on stump legs, plodding towards her, wagging its long pointed tail.
“I kind of got the impression that we were the only beings with consciousness in this garden. Who or what are you?”
“Well, some might say I’m the anthropomorphized representation of evil, but since you don’t know what evil is yet, just call me what your boyfriend so brilliantly named me, snake.”
“He’s not my boyfriend. And he didn’t say the animals can talk.”
“Well, let’s be honest, he isn’t exactly the brains of the operation. Although I must admit you and he, well that’s some fine handiwork by God. We aren’t on the best of terms, but the Guy really knows how to fill His day. But, to give Adam some credit, strictly speaking, animals don’t talk. The one you’re talking with right now, however, does. If you can believe you were made from a rib, my talking is small potatoes. Let me get over there, we need to have some words.”
“You do move rather slowly…your legs are very short.”
“Yeah. Well, in time, you’ll see God has a strange sense humor. I came from the east. I ‘ve been walking here for a month pretty much non-stop.”
“Well, it’s pretty much just like here. But it changes more. Things live, things die, things fight to survive, but you keep busy. Never a dull moment they say. As to who they are, I can’t say, but for some reason I love clichés, idioms, metaphors. Language is so colorful.”
“No I literally mean what is east?”
“Oh…well it’s the opposite of west.” The snake sidles up to her and rests on the grass near her and they look at the tree together. “Look at that tree?”
“Yeah. I just keep wondering why He would put it here. And what can be so bad about eating the fruit.”
“Well this isn’t your average fruit. It’s definitely special. As to why He put it here, I’ve been wondering the same thing myself. But, I, for one, am glad He did. You know why?”
Woman shakes her head slowly.
“Because this tree is everything. I’ve been trying to figure out God since I was made. Sometimes when he’s on a roll, creating, I truly think he figures a lot of stuff out without even realizing it. The thing is, putting this tree here was the best idea ever and intentional.”
“But we are forbidden to eat it. He told Adam.”
“Yep. And you’re going to be punished too. But here’s the thing: you are what you are. He made you curious. You want to know how things work. There is no knowledge that you want to be barred from, so you are going to have a bite of the fruit from this tree, and so is Adam over there. It’s inevitable. Might as well get it over with and leave paradise behind. All good things must come to an end.”
“But isn’t paradise a good thing?”
“You still don’t get it. He doesn’t really want you to have paradise. Otherwise he wouldn’t have made you curious and put the tree, he says he doesn’t want you to eat from, smack in the middle of paradise. I mean who does that? It’s like putting a cookie in front a child and saying ‘Don’t eat that!’ Sorry I forgot you don’t know how children behave yet, but you will. Oh and you’ll like cookies too.”
“What will happen to us?”
“Not sure exactly. You’ll probably be kicked out of paradise, but you’ll at least have the skills to try and build your own paradise. One that you’ll actually have to strive for, and thus appreciate the effort it takes. God, well He’s sort of the definition of privileged. He never had to work for it. You might think you’re better off that way, but believe me you’re not. The only thing that matches God’s ability is His narcissism. It’s not good to just have it all, with no idea how you obtained it.”
“That does kind of explains the lack of nurturing qualities in our Father. But what about Adam? Do you think he’ll eat it? He seems pretty big on the whole obedience thing.”
“He’s just like you, don’t worry about it. He would have eventually wandered over here himself. Now go grab a couple of pieces fruit and have yourself a snack. Destiny awaits you! Ooh it appears I flair for the dramatic as well! Alright, time to make the slow journey back to my home. This design is ridiculous….”
The snake waddles away muttering under his breath at his poor constructed body. Woman walks to the tree and grabs a couple of pieces of fruit. “Hmmm…I thought they would feel magical, but seem kind of ordinary. She shrugs her shoulders and walks back to Adam.
“Wake up Adam, wake up. God has a surprise for you!”
Adam groggy from the divine anesthetic, “What? What’s going on?”
“Well all those animals seemed to be rather interested in their own affairs, and quite frankly, with the exception of may be the…” consults stone tablets written by Adam…”the chimpanzee and the…er…dog,” God ponders for a moment wondering what God spelled backwards is,”really didn’t seem like a great helper worthy of the impeccable qualities imparted to you by your creator.” God gives an imaginary tip of the hat, “So here you are….yooooooouuuur helper!!!” God had a little light shine down from above in a rather showmanshippy sort of way.
Adam is a bit stunned, and upon seeing the first naked person of the opposite sex, he learns a little bit about a previous dangly body part. Fortunately, shame hasn’t entered into the picture.
“Name her Adam, name her as you did the animals!”
The newly created being seems to demonstrate a mixture of frustration, and fear.
“Um…okay…but er, can you tell me why my abdomen is hurting?”
“Oh that’s just a little leftover pain from the rib I took out of you. Let me take care of that.” God sends a warm glow of light towards Adam and after it passes into his abdomen, the pain is gone. “Do you like that effect? I’m working on how best to impress people with my awesome powers.”
“Yeah. Impressive. Listen before I name this helper over here.” Points to helper, helper has an I’ll give you a piece of my mind look, “I’m a bit concerned that you’re taking body parts of mine to make new people. Why didn’t you just create this person from the dirt like me?”
“What? What does that mean?!”
“I want you two to have a special connection. A piece of you, to make her.”
“But why a rib?”
“Because you have lots! Well 12 pairs. It varies a bit.”
“But I think I’m having trouble breathing. You might have nicked my diaphragm”
“Nope you’re fine.”
“How many more people are you going to make like this? I assume all my parts aren’t expendable.”
“Nope this is the only one I’m making from a body part. She’s special. I wanted her to share your genetic code. Symbolism!!”
“Yes, well I still don’t quite get that. So anyway, how are we going to make more people?”
“You are going to love it, and so is she! You see that bit down there that stood at attention like a worshipper obeying his Lord God? Well you are going to put that thing inside of her?”
God points to the nether regions of the newly created being and a little light begins to glow like a little star. The new being looks a bit stunned and frightened.
“Is there some sort of hole there? I don’t really see anything.”
“Of course there is…it’s um…well…don’t worry, when the time comes you’ll figure it out. Insert tab A into slot B. Pretty straightforward.”
“And that act just makes more people like us? Do they pop out from behind bushes or something?”
“No no, it’s much more fascinating than that. See you have this fluid inside of you and when you put your bit there, into her bit there,” more starlight twinkling on the requisite body parts, “it’s going to feel great. Then you are going to reach this amazing moment, say my name a lot, and in the height of ecstasy expel this fluid into her. There are these little swimming things in your fluid you see, and they are going swim and find this egg in her, fertilize it, and about 9 lunar months later, you are going to have this tiny baby pop out.”
Newly created being looks horrified.
“Does she also reach the height of ecstasy at the same time, because that would be pretty awesome?!”
“Um…well no. I mean she could, but really she’s quite complicated, and you know as long as your…er…fluid gets in there. You get to have a baby! Or well she does technically.”
And so what is this baby thing?”
“Well it’s like you, but at a very early stage of development, so it has to learn and grow up into you…or…er…her over there.”
“So does this baby talk or anything?”
“Not at first. It learns to talk!” Good looks quite impressed with himself.
“Okay, but it’s able to like go around the garden and feed itself though right?”
“Well no. It can’t really walk at first. Or grasp anything. Can’t really see more than 3 inches in front of its face, and it will take a good month or two before its eyes can follow objects around. Oh also it can’t chew, owing to not having any teeth. It will be quite a few years before it can really fend for itself reliably.”
“That’s horrible! Well what I’m supposed do with it?! How do I feed it!?”
“Well see those two lumpy bits on her chest?” God makes her nipples begin to twinkle.
“Yeah I quite like those.” Adam gives the newly created being a toothy grin.
“Well when the baby is born, they produce milk and she just gets the baby to latch on to the nipples and, pardon the expression, those babies can suck like a demon.”
Both Adam and the newly created being look at the breasts with a completely disgusted look on their face.
“Oh stop it you two…it’s a beautiful experience, just you wait.”
“Alright, so what we can make a baby any time I put my thing into her?”
“Um…sure. Don’t worry about the details yet.”
“And so this thing, it like grows in some sort of a pouch or something?”
“Yeah…I guess. Sort of.” God points to the abdomen of the newly created being and makes an nice red glowy area. “You see it’s going to grow right around here and her belly is going to get bigger and bigger. Inside her is something called a womb, where the baby develops.”
“And so it grows until what? It just sort pops out of her?”
“Nope…it just sluices out her, easy-peasy. In the same place where you put your thing in to make it. That’s efficiency!”
“So 9 months of gestation and several years of basic doing every little thing for this thing is more efficient than just popping new people out of the dirt?”
“Adam! It’s a miracle!”, rebukes God.
“Sorry Father. Okay, well…this all sounds like a lot of responsibility. Maybe we should get to know each other a bit better first.”
“Alright, alright, well listen, you need to name her.”
“Hmmm…well she’s made from me, and I’m a man. But she’s got a womb. So wombman? No, I don’t really like the phonetics there. How about woman?”
God rolls his eyes, “That’s the type of naming creativity usually attributed to me. Okay, well I guess let’s go with it. But I still think you are missing out on the whole symbolism part here, but in any case, now that you have woman, you may leave your father and unite with her as one. That’s what I was getting at here. Wish you were a little brighter, but I guess subtlety is learned.”
“Okay, well this all great Father, but does she talk, she really hasn’t said anything thus far.”
“Well I created her to be a helper, I didn’t think she needed to talk. She just needs to do what you tell her to.”
Woman looks back at God incredulous.
“Don’t get me wrong Father, I appreciate the thought, but you’ve given me the ability to choose, I think she should have it too.”
“Are you sure? Because you know life is pretty confusing as it is?”
“I’m sure Father, and give her a voice too.”
“Okay, but listen as soon as I give her free will and a voice, I’m going to hit the road. I know anger. I’ve been in some pretty good rages myself, and she looks like she’s about to burst. I prefer to think of this garden as a peaceful place, so I’m going to shape some glaciers or something. I’ll check back with you later.”
God creates a little ball of light that travels quickly towards woman and as soon as it hits her it envelops her body. Then with fire in her eyes she looks at Adam and then over to God and starts walking over to God.
“Explain the rules to her Adam. Byeeeee!” and quickly vanishes.
“So, um…Lord? God? Sounds a bit formal. But I mean you created me from dust and all, so dad doesn’t sound great either. Father…er…hey thanks for putting me in this garden. It’s gorgeous I have to say. I mean I don’t know much about…well anything yet, but I imagine it has everything a guy could need.”
“Yeah don’t worry about that Adam you’re set up pretty good here. This is basically paradise. I’ve put the Tree of Life here, you will literally never die here and you can just enjoy it forever. Oh and I also put the…” God speaks really low in a mumble, “…ledge here as well…ood…evil” mumble mumble, “…perish..”, speaks really fast, “Don’t touch it. Okay and moving on.”
“Lord. God. I…er, didn’t catch what you just said there. What else did you put here. It sort of fell apart after you told me about the Tree of Life.”
“The Tree of Good and, er, Evil.” God looks sideways with feigned innocence.
“The what? Good and Evil?”
“Yeah, bit of a nasty tree really. I know seems a bit incongruous with the whole everlasting life and paradise vibe, but it sort of contains wisdom, knowledge, sort of gives you a lot of my ability to learn from your mistakes and improve and get smarter over time so you’ll become more and more like me. Listen, I don’t recommend it. You eat the fruit and you’ll die. Really moving on.”
In the commanding voice of God, “MOVING ON!”
“Alright, alright.” Adam hangs his head down.
God shifts uncomfortably, “Sorry about that, but the truth is that we really have…or er…rather you have a lot of work to do. Okay, confession time. You know how I’m all-powerful and all-knowing yeah? I mean I can literally make anything happen. But, the thing is, I’m not exactly good at everything. Does that make sense?”
“No, but I was literally just created, and I’m not allowed to eat from a certain tree.”
“Alright, alright, point taken. Well let’s say you know a lot of stuff, but even knowing all that stuff it can be hard to convince somebody of your point of view. Oh or, let’s say I know everything there is to know about carpentry, you know like I read all about it in a book, you know…book smart, but in general I’m just not very good at it. Can’t build a table to save my life. Fortunately I can just think it into existence and it happens, thus I appear to be a master carpenter, but if I actually had to do the work, the results would be terrible.”
Adam with all the confidence of a young child who wants his father to think he is smart replies, “I think I understand, especially if I knew what carpentry was! Or a book!”
“Yeah, um…well one thing I’m very good at is creating. I’ve created a lot of things on this planet, beasts of burden, all manner of wild animals, birds. I’m pretty certain I made the insects too, it just doesn’t seem to have been overly intentional. Well anyway, here’s the thing Adam. Your Lord and God, just isn’t very good at deciding what they should be called. And if I’m completely honest, I kind of feel my time is better spent thinking about other things. I mean my consciousness is pretty massive and can do a lot of important stuff. Do you know what I’m getting at son?”
Adam smiles sweetly and shakes his head.
“Well Adam, you are going to have to name every living thing I created.”
Adam’s jaw drops. “Wait…Father. This doesn’t make any sense. You named me just fine!”
“Actually your name is just a bit of word play, it actually means ‘earth’ as I made you out of dirt. You see? Not terribly inventive.”
“Wait my name means dirt!?”
“Well it also mean red-skin, for the color of your skin. Words sort of have lots of meaning. Ambiguity is something you are going to LOVE! Either way, you’ll admit that my names are far too logical and less than inspirational. So anyway, here’s your etching tool,” God blinks his eyes in a fun and magical way, “and there is a pile of stone tablets to write on. In case you want to make any notes.”
“Oh my, God, there are thousands of tablets there!”
“Yeah, well you know everything is provided for you. And everybody needs a job. Purpose is important Adam. I created this whole universe for you, so it seems only reasonable that you could do this for me. Right?” God grins unconvincingly.
“I don’t know anything about naming either!”
“Hey I’m not completely abandoning you, you don’t have to go and find all the creatures. I’ll bring them before you. Watch them behave a little bit and I have a feeling that your creativity will kick in and you’ll come up with a great name. You’re my greatest creation after all. I know you won’t let me down. Consider yourself the first biologist!”
“Alright, enough with the pep talk Father. Let’s get to work.”
After several days…
“May fly, fruit fly, black fly, horse fly…”
“Why horse fly?”
“Don’t know, don’t care. Tsetse fly, dragon fly…”
“What is a dragon?”
“No idea. Crane fly, sandfly, mosquito, midge”
Several more days…
“Oryx, lynx, ibex, fox, minx…”
“You seem to be using a lot of x’s there.”
“Yeah, I get on a streak, it flows.”
“But that doesn’t sound all too inspired. I mean I could have done that.”
“The thought never occurred to me Father. Pelican, Pigeon, Penguin, Puffin.”
Several more days…
“Weasel, beaver, otter…”
“Great pace Adam. You’re knocking them down one every 10 seconds we’ve hit near 300,000 of these things, we should be done, in about a week or two.”
“Father, I’m running out of names. I’m literally just trying to alternate vowel and consonant sounds to come up with names. I just called something an el-eph-ant. I’m lost at sea over here.”
A look of “Uh oh” washes over God’s face.
“Well as it turns out, I completely forgot about all the animals in the sea. I’m think it might be a bit longer than week or two.” God gives a sheepish grin, which he can now do since Adam already named one of the animals a sheep.
A couple of months go by (It is not clear that months had been defined for the lunar or solar calendar at this point, but one can be certain that for Adam it was a very, very, long 2 months).
“Well done Adam!” God quickly reads through all the tablets and makes a mental note (God can do those sorts of things and remember it)
Adam asks in a beleaguered voice, “So what now father. Do I get to wander the world and see these animals in their native habitats?”
“Er, no, you’ll be staying here. But you’ll get to hang out with the near 100 species that are in the garden!”
“One hundred?! Well why did I bother naming all these animals I won’t even see? I’m the only person around to even see ANY animal!”
“Calm down. I’ve got great news for you, quite related to that point actually. I’m going to make you a helper!”
“I just named like 8 million animals, and NOW you decide to bring me a helper!?”
“The stress is getting to you son. Probably should have let you have a day of rest. I did give myself one after all. I might be omnipotent, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good nap. Although I can assure you that creating the universe was much harder. Anyway, yes in retrospect it would have been more useful to do this last task as a bigger team, but I assure you, you’ll forget all about that when you see her!”
“Quiet son, your Lord God is going to do a little surgery.”
God applies His divine anesthetic and Adam falls into a deep sleep.