Tag Archives: Adam and Eve

What Gatey Did Next

So he drove out the man: and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way to the tree of life (Genesis 3:24)

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At first they stood impassive and immobile, like the guards outside Buckingham Palace.

But time passed, lots of time, and the expression “patience of a saint” does not apply to angels.

So the pair relaxed slightly. They took to playing games of I Spy. They had mock fights with their flaming swords, which they referred to as ‘light sabres’. They would dash from the perfect weather of the garden into the rain just outside, and return giggling. In winter they made snow angels, in both possible meanings of that phrase.

Then one afternoon, while Camael was trying to touch his tongue with the tip of one wing and Uriel was hovering, dozing in an imaginary hammock, a voice suddenly said “Hello?”

The Cherubim sprang to attention, swords outstretched. “Who goes there?” said Camael.

Gabriel appeared in front of them. “It’s me,” he said. He looked at them, a little anxiously, as if fearing that a screw-up had been made. “What are you doing here?”

“Guarding the gate,” said Camael.

“In case Adam and Eve come back,” said Uriel.

Gabriel closed his eyes briefly, his fears confirmed. “Adam and Eve are dead,” he said quietly.

“I’m not surprised,” said Camael. “It can get really cold out there, and they were wearing sod-all.”

“No,” said Gabriel, “they died of old age. You’ve been here for centuries. I’m really sorry, we, um, forgot about you.”

“Forgot?” said Uriel.

“Never mind that now,” said Camael. “You’re saying mankind is gone?”

“Oh, no, they’re still around,” said Gabriel. “Adam and Eve begat -”

“Begat?”

Gabriel blushed, to the surprise of the others. “It’s a human thing,” he said. “You don’t want to know. Anyway, so-and-so begat such-and-such, and such-and-such begat whats-his-name, blah, blah, blah, and, well, there are millions of them now.”

“Millions?” said Uriel. “We’ll need a stronger gate.”

“Oh, they won’t come here,” said Gabriel. “After the Fall we moved some things to a different dimension, that’s how you got forgotten about. It means they can’t see the Garden here, they can’t see Heaven if they look into the sky, they can’t see Santa’s Grotto.”

Camael and Uriel looked at him in bewilderment. “Then what are we going to do?” asked Camael.

“Oh, there are lots of things for angels to do,” said Gabriel. “There’s playing the harp -”

“The harp?” snorted Camael. “It’s like musical chloroform.”

“Ok, then, there’s the Heavenly Choir,” said Gabriel.

“Sounds better,” said Uriel. “What do they sing?”

“Well,” admitted Gabriel, “their repertoire is a bit limited, it’s basically just the Hallelujah Chorus on a continuous loop.”

“Boring,” said the Cherubim in unison.

“Say the beings who’ve spent aeons watching the grass grow.”

“Worse than that,” said Camael. “Since this is Eden the grass is the perfect height, so we’ve spent aeons watching it not grow.”

“So you owe us,” said Uriel. “Think of something interesting.”

“Well, there’s the Pinheads,” said Gabriel.

“Who are they?”

“Angels who dance on the head of a pin,” said Gabriel.

“That’s a thing?” said Uriel. Gabriel nodded. “Apparently so,” he said.

“How many of them are there?”

“No-one knows,” said Gabriel.

“Sounds daft,” said Camael.

“Well, then, there are the Earth jobs,” said Gabriel. “The ones where you interact with mankind.”

“Such as?”

“Well, messenger is one,” said Gabriel. “You arrive in a vision and tell somebody that they’re with child, or tell a load of shepherds about the birth of said child. There’s quite a big job coming up soon, actually.”

“Just the one?” asked Camael.

“Yes,” said Gabriel. “After that we’re planning to let something called ‘religion’ get our message across.”

“Well, that’s no good, then,” said Uriel. “Next.”

“There are Guardian Angels,” said Gabriel. “You basically tail a human and stop him or her walking in front of chariots.”

“Ah, the protection business,” said Camael, brightening. “Sounds more our line of work.”

“But each human just has one Guardian Angel?” asked Uriel.

Gabriel nodded, and Camael’s face fell again.  He looked at Uriel, who nodded. “We want to work together,” he said.

“Been doing it for years, after all,” said Uriel. “He’s my work wife.”

Gabriel saw the look on Camael’s face and stepped in hurriedly. “I think I might have it,” he said. “We need somebody to keep undesirables out of the temples.”

“How would we do that?” asked Camael.

“Just give them some made-up reason,” said Gabriel, shrugging. “Something about their job, or something.”

“Like ‘thou shalt not enter because thou doest impart anatomically improving suggestion’?” said Camael.

“Yes,” said Gabriel, “though maybe a bit snappier.”

“No trainers,” suggested Uriel. Gabriel beamed.

They became the world’s first bouncers.

 

 

 

It’s A Surprise

“It’s called what?”

“Secret Santa,” said Adam.

“Why is it called that?” asked Eve.

“Well,” said Adam. “because it’s a secret.”

“And Santa?”

“I’m not sure, really” admitted Adam, “though whenever I hear the word I get an image in my head of a man with a beard, giving you stuff.”

“God, you mean,” said Eve.

“Not quite,” said Adam doubtfully. “Anyway, do you want to do it?”

“Guess so,” said Eve. “How does it work?”

“Well, you draw a name out of a hat -”

“What’s a hat?” asked Eve.

“It’s something you wear on cold days,” said Adam.

“What are cold days?” asked Eve.

Adam sighed. The perfection of the Garden of Eden very occasionally had its drawbacks.

“Forget that part,” said Adam, holding out one closed fist. “You can draw the name out of my hand.”

He opened the fist and Eve looked into his palm. “There’s only one piece of paper,” she said.

“Well, of course,” said Adam. “You can’t get yourself.”

Eve picked up the paper and opened it. “It’s you,” she said.

“You’re not supposed to tell,” said Adam. Eve glared at him. “This is a stupid idea,” she said.

“It’s tradition,” said Adam.

“Tradition?” snorted Eve. “This is year nought.”

“Well, traditions have to start somewhere,” said Adam. He picked up another piece of paper, and studied the name written there.

“Why, honey, whoever did you get?” asked Eve sweetly. Adam ignored her. “Meet you back here in an hour,” he said.

They met an hour later. “You go first,” said Eve, excitedly.

Adam handed her a fig-leaf.

“Seriously?” she said. “in a garden that has absolutely everything, including roses, diamonds, adorable kittens, and everything that you would need to build an iPhone 8, and I don’t even know what that last thing is, I just know that I want one, you decided to get me a leaf?” She sat it on the top of her head. “Perhaps I could wear it as a hat,” she said scornfully.

“I’m sorry,” said Adam. “For some reason I thought you’d really want it.”

Eve raised her eyes to heaven. “Look what I got you,” she said, handing him an apple. “It’s the only one of its kind.”

“Oh, wow.” said Adam, impressed. “You shouldn’t have.”

“You’re not wrong there,” muttered God, looking down unnoticed from above.

Adam and Eve sat in silence for a few moments. Then Eve spoke. “It’s strange,” she said, “but I suddenly feel that this fig-leaf is the best present anyone’s ever been given, ever.”

“Me too,” said Adam, surprised. “In fact, will you get me one for Christmas?”

 

Just Another Day In Paradise

*

“I spy, with my little eye,” said Adam, “something beginning with ‘F’.”

“Firmament,” said Eve.

“How did you know?” asked Adam.

“Because that’s what you always pick,” said Eve. She looked around the Garden. “From here I can see lots of other options, such as fox, foxglove, fig-leaves and flame-sworded Cherubim, but you always pick firmament. I bet you don’t even know what it means.”

“Of course I …” began Adam, and then realised he didn’t. “Anyway, it’s your turn.”

Eve glared at him. “Is this seriously how we’re going to spend the rest of our lives?” she asked.

“Well, no,” said Adam. “Our job is to tend the Garden.”

“The problem with tending the Garden of Eden,” said Eve, “is that it doesn’t need tending. The lawn is always perfect, the flowers are always in full bloom, and there aren’t any weeds.”

“Well, what would you like to do?” asked Adam.

“I have dreams at night,” said Eve. “Visions, really. I know that there are things that couples will eventually do.”

“Such as what?” asked Adam, a little nervously. He had seen the birds of the air and the beasts of the fields up to some things that had frankly astonished him.

“Throw dinner parties,” said Eve, to his relief, “and invite the neighbours over.”

“We don’t have any neighbours,” said Adam.

“I’m all too well aware of that,” said Eve. “If ever there was a property that truly deserved the term ‘exclusive residence’ this is it.”

“What other things do couples do in these dreams?” asked Adam.

“Um … shop at Ikea,” she said.

“I understand only one word in that sentence,” said Adam.

“As far as I can make out, “ said Eve. “We would go to some giant shed, barter lots of paper for things we don’t really need, then have to assemble them ourselves, shouting and arguing with each other as we do so.”

“Sounds more like a nightmare than a dream,” said Adam. “Anything else that the couples do?”

Eve thought for a moment. “Water-ski,” she said eventually.

“What’s that?” asked Adam.

“One half of the couple drives a boat while the other one slides along the water behind it on a plank,” said Eve.

Adam looked at the little boat in the ornamental pond. “We could try it,” he said doubtfully, “but you’ll have to row awfully fast.”

Eve opened her mouth, then decided there was no point. The two sat in silence for a while.

“I was talking to the snake this morning,” she said.

“Really?” said Adam. They had adopted the snake as a sort of pet, since it was the only creature that didn’t seem to be part of a pair, and it was also the only one that could talk (well, apart from the parrots, but all they said was ’Polly wants a cracker’, and since neither Adam nor Eve knew what a cracker was, they tended to avoid them).

“Yes,” said Eve. “He wanted me to eat an apple off that tree. He called it the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.”

“What’s Good and Evil?” asked Adam.

Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve

“I wouldn’t know,” said Eve patiently, “since I haven’t eaten anything from the Tree of Knowledge of Them.”

“Good point,” said Adam. “What did you say to him?”

“Well, I said no, of course,” said Eve. “God told us not to.”

They sat in silence again.

“God, this is boring,” said Eve. “I wish I could think of a way out of here.”

*

(The image is from Wikimedia Commons and is by, well, God presumably.)

The Prototype

Sidey’s theme for last weekend was “should that be there?”…

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“Should that be there?” asked Gabriel.

“Should what be there?” asked God.

The two stood, Frankenstein-and-Igor-like, at the slab upon which the body of what would become Adam lay, for the moment inert.

“That little dent in the middle of his tummy,” said Gabriel.

“It’s called his belly-button,” said God.

“Ah, a button,” said Gabriel. “That explains it. What happens it you press it?”

“Er, well, nothing,” admitted God. “That’s just it’s name. I just thought his torso looked a bit featureless without it.”

“Not really,” said Gabriel, “because there are these two…”

“…nipples,” said God.

“Nipples,” said Gabriel. “And what do they do?”

“Well, on a man,” said God, “ also nothing.”

“I see,” said Gabriel, in the tone of somebody who doesn’t often get to poke fun at his boss, and is determined not to let the chance go by. “What are these?” he went on.

“Ear-lobes,”  said God.

“And they do what, exactly?”

“Um,” said God, then realised that he was tugging at one while he was trying to invent an answer. “They help you think,” he said, a bit desperately.

Gabriel raised one eyebrow, which at least stopped him asking what eyebrows were for, which had been going to be his next question.

“Ok, said God. “The ear-lobes don’t do anything either.”

“I see. Is there any part of him that actually does stuff?”

“Of course,” said God. “He can carry things in his arms, walk on his legs, stand on his tippy-toes.”

“Why would he want to do that?” asked Gabriel.

“So he can reach up to things that are too high for him,” said God.

“Why not just make him taller?”

God, who hadn’t thought of that, decided to ignore the question. “Then there‘s his arse,” he continued. “He can sit on it, scratch it, and talk through it.”

“How can he talk through it if he’s sitting on it? All you’ll hear is a muffled noise, he’ll sound like a railway station announcer.”

“Like a what?” asked God.

“Um, no idea,” said Gabriel. “The term just popped into my head.”

“I suppose you’re right, though,” said God. “I’ll have him talk from someplace else.”

“Where?”

God though for a few seconds. “His nose,” he said eventually.

“Then how will he smell?”

“Terrible,” said God, straight-faced.

“Oh, come on, not that old joke.”

“How can it be old? This is only the sixth day.”

“Some things are just always old,” said Gabriel. “Anyway, is there anything else this apparently multi-talented arse can do?”

“Yes,” said God. “It’s also for farting.”

“Why?”

“To keep him amused. Man will find farting funny, at any age. Don’t ask me why, even I don’t know, and I know everything.”

“And this bit here,” said Gabriel, and God groaned inwardly. “What’s it called?”

“Er, it’s his thing,” said God.

“His thing? That’s the best name you could come up with?”

“It’s just so odd looking, I haven’t been able to think of anything else yet.”

“And should it be there?”

“I think so,” said God. “I have this idea that it could be used in some sort of procreative way, though I’m not sure yet how, or with who.”

“But at the moment it’s just a load of balls,” said Gabriel.

“Actually, that’s not bad,” said God. “That’s what I’m going to call it.”

“Let’s face it, he’s a bit of a mess, isn’t he?” said Gabriel.

“Yes,” admitted God. “Look, I spent a whole week creating the sun and stars, and the earth, and beasts of the field, and even the firmament, after I’d looked up what a firmament is. I just threw Man together at the last minute, so that I could have tomorrow off.”

He looked down sadly at his creation, then frowned. “Hang on,” he said, “that shouldn’t be there.”

“What shouldn’t?”

“That rib,” said God. “There’s one more on this side than on the other.” He took the rib from the body (“Eeeuuwww”, said Gabriel) and looked thoughtfully at it.

“I’m going to have another go,” he said. He waved a hand, and another body, like the first one yet not quite exactly, appeared beside Adam. “This is Man 2.0,” said God. “though I‘m going to call it woman. I’m going to find uses for the nipples, and the ear-lobes-”

“Really?”

“Yes, she’s going to dangle things out of them.”

“Why? So she can pick up long-range radio?”

“Shut up,” said God. “She will be a better model in every way. In fact some women might become models.”

“And will she fart?” asked Gabriel.

“Women won’t fart,” said God. “They will be quite definite about this, even sometimes in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.”

“Then what will her arse -”

“It’ll be called a bottom on a woman,” said God. “What it will do is sway when she walks.”

“What good is that?” asked Gabriel.

“It will change the world,” said God. “Just watch.” He waved a hand, and Eve got up and walked across the room. God and Gabriel watched in silence.

“Wow,” said Gabriel eventually. “I see what you mean.”

Forbidden Fruit

“Have a peach,” said Adam. “Or a pear. Or a kumquat -”

“What’s a kumquat?” asked Eve.

“Not sure,” said Adam, “I haven’t got the hang of all the names yet. It think it might be the curved yellow one.”

“I think they’re called banananas,” said Eve. “Anyway, I don’t want any of them, I want the apple.”

“Why?” asked Adam.

“As part of my five-a-day,” said Eve. “An orange, a grape, a tomato-”

“Not a fruit,” said Adam.

“I think actually it is,” said Eve. “Anyway, those three, a mango and then the apple.”

“Have a fig,” said Adam desperately.

“You kidding?” said Eve. “When He creates toilet paper I’ll start eating figs again.”

“Look, please don’t eat the apple,” said Adam. “He lets us do everything else, He even let us have those Seraphim with flaming swords as really tacky garden ornaments. This is the only thing He’s ever asked us not to do, and I don’t want to piss Him off.”

“You’re afraid of him, aren’t you?”

“Bloody right I am,” said Adam. “Remember when He was building that mountain and a rock-slide started, and He blew the top off the mountain? He said afterwards that he was just creating the volcano, but I reckon he was waxing wrath.”

“Yes, well He won’t blow bits off us,” said Eve.

“I don’t know about that,” said Adam. “All the unicorn did was pee in the River Styx and now it’s just a horse.”

“Well I want it,” said Eve. She walked over, took it and took a bite.

“This tastes amazing,” she said with her mouth full. “Here, hava a go.”

Adam sighed, then he too took a bite form the Apple of Knowledge.

They stared at each other.

“Wow,” said Adam, “you’ve got nothing on.”

“Neither have you,” said Eve, with a look of admiration that Adam had never seen before.

Halfway through what happened next Adam thought “He really isn’t going to like this either,” but by then he didn’t care.

First Love

Perhaps it was the return of birdsong in the mornings. Perhaps it was the buds beginning to appear on the trees. Perhaps it was the great earth-force of creation slowly wakening from its winter slumber. Perhaps it was a combination of all of these things that caused Adam, on this spring morning, to feel very romantic.

Or perhaps it was the way that parts of Eve swayed or bounced as she did her early-morning power-walk.

Anyway, Adam picked a large fig-leaf from a tree (until then he had been able to think of no possible for them), fashioned a pencil from a stick dipped in unicorn-poo and drew upon it. He folded it in half, then hid it behind his back as he walked to the clearing where Eve was.

She was now doing her early-morning sit-ups. Adam went and threw himself into the cold stream that ran through Eden.

When he came out she was finished. He presented her with the leaf.

“I made this for you,” he said, shyly.

Eve opened it and looked at what Adam had written inside.

“You’re the only girl in the world for me,” she read aloud. There was silence while the two of them looked around at the absolute beauty of Eden and its absolute lack of other girls. “It’s not exactly a ringing endorsement, is it?” said Eve. She closed over the card to look at the drawing on the front. “Is this supposed to be us?”

“Er, yes,” said Adam.

“Why are we teddy bears?”

“Dunno,” admitted Adam. “It just seemed traditional.”

“How can there be Tradition?” said Eve. “The world’s only existed for six months.”

“I know,” said Adam. “Look, I can’t explain it. I don‘t know what made me make the card, or draw us as teddy bears – it was nearly going to be puppies, by the way. I just know that I suddenly felt that we should have this one day each year when we are especially romantic to each other.”

“Romantic how, exactly?”

“We could watch the sun set,” said Adam, “or walk along a beach. Or,“ he ventured, “well, we are naked…”

Eve sighed. “Don’t you ever think of anything else?”

“Frankly, no,” said Adam, “because until God invents some sort of box where we can watch stories and the occasional documentary then there isn’t a whole lot else to think about.”

“Well, there must be more to romance than that,” said Eve.

“Actually,” said Adam, “I did make you these as well.” He handed her a box (a shell that he had temporarily borrowed from a startled tortoise) which contained a selection – no, an assortment – of small brown shapes that he had made from cocoa beans, sugar and the milk of a goat, the last of these having been obtained by a process that would give him nightmares for months to come.

He had filled some of them with hazelnut, some with caramel, and one, since this too seemed traditional, with a sickly-sweet lurid-pink goo.

Eve cautiously tasted one and the whole inside of her mouth seemed to explode as womankind and chocolate met for the very first time.

She looked at Adam with such fiery love that Adam took a step backwards.

“You wonderful, wonderful man!” she gasped. “And to think I got you nothing.”

She picked an apple from a nearby tree. “Here, have this,” she said.