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Mortal Taste

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I.

What she remembers, all the years afterwards, is how simple it was. She took the fruit--luscious smelling, too big for her hand--and she ate. It didn't feel like death, nor, after the first bite, like daring. Often, tending the garden, she and Adam used to taste something new.

The fruit was perfect, delicious. But then, they all were.

She tells Abel and Cain about sin, about pleasure's moment and death's slow unwinding bitterness. They fear sweetness; they fear God, as they must. Eve fears for them, dreading some sin that doesn't tempt, that's as simple as reaching out.

 

II.

What he remembers, all the years afterwards, is how simple it was. There was anger, and a rock, and his brother's blood soaking the fruits and grains that God refused.

There was no luring serpent, no hope of godhead. No warning voice, no commandment not to pluck down this death and taste it. Nothing but the empty, ordinary sky.

It was over in an instant. And now there's the mark, and the wandering, and the memory.

Sometimes Cain envies his mother, whose mouth filled with sweetness even as death began. In his own mouth, there's only the taste of blood.