Not Worthy | Jewel Eliese

Not Worthy

Jewel Eliese

The First Rule of Nabokov Award

They didn’t die, not really. Just like I promised.

She was beautiful like new things always are. Her hair was as dark as the fertile soil she stepped over and flowed soft like the Pishon River. Her eyes, green as the leaves she stared upon. She looked so innocent.

So ignorant.

I couldn’t help myself. She had to know. Knowledge was life, death and more precious than rarest stone.

I could feel her desire. Astounding. She had every comfort: sweet fruits, power and gold, yet she wanted more. Like all weak creatures she was tempted by the forbidden.

Leaves shattered as I inched closer, the shrill sound announcing my presence. She wasn’t frightened. She didn’t know to be.

All it took was a question and the truth.

“You won’t die.” I told her, words like honey. “You will see more clearly than ever before.”

She pushed her hair behind one ear, unaware of her naked bosom. I held my breath as she plucked. The torn branch snapped; the sound thunderous in the silence of expectation. She bit and knew.

The man was easier. He was merciless against a woman’s love. His teeth bit through the ripe skin, supple as a kiss.

Wisdom glistened in their new eyes. They were now His equal.

Their knowledge was painful. She looked at the man, eyes wide and cheeks turning as red as the bitten forbidden had been. What could they use but figs leaves to cover their shameful exposed flesh?

Evening came. The sun grew long among the wild plants and gemstones. A cool breeze brought smells of sweet resins and the sound of footsteps.

He had come. My heart jumped.

The man and woman sprinted away like the animals they were, their green garments flashing in the golden light.

“Where are you?” He called, voice like the wind.

The man showed himself and admitted his sin. The woman blamed me saying I ‘tricked’ her.

That’s okay. I knew she’d be punished like the child she was. So would he. I didn’t envy his curse to toil the soil, or her future anguish in childbirth. Yet, being transformed into a scaled creature cursed to crawl its belly seemed a bit harsh.

And exile. That one felt right. They shouldn’t be with Him anyway. They were never worthy.

Creatures with wings bright as the moon and swords ablaze guarded the entrance to their home.

The woman, now called Eve, collapsed into the man’s arms, leather clad shoulders shuddering with sobs.

“See? You didn’t die.” I said and slithered away, heart content.