Category Archives: Session XII

Genesis: How Serpent Lost His Wings

Before Man existed within the Garden of Eden and gave Serpent his name, he was among the most devout followers of God. He flew among the birds and the cherubim, basking in God’s great glory on golden wings that bellowed from out of his long body. With every flick of his tongue, he tasted God’s beautiful creation and was thankful for it. Though Serpent had no arms or legs and the poorest of sight, he never felt anything but joy at being blessed with life. Serpent was gifted with an clarity of mind so that she felt more at peace with the angels than with the dull birds that she devoured. Serpent was the favored animal of the leader of the Cherubim, Kerubiel and she would fly cloaked in his divine and motherly light.

Serpent had one mate with whom he often found himself entwined in her powerful coils. Although Serpent loved God most of all, he knew that his mate was of God. Although he knew of the wonders beyond life, he equated her with life on Earth. When the sun hit his scales in the morning, he first prostrated himself to God, and he immediately after flew to her to writhe in the air, washed in the light of angels.

When Man was created, he was given the name Adam. He was to be the caretaker of the garden and all its creatures. For some time, he accomplished this task with ease, but Adam felt the need for companionship. God took out Adam’s rib to create Woman. God took mice from the garden and put them in Adam’s arms so he would be superior in strength. Then, he took Serpent’s mate to create Woman’s birthing canal. It was in these sacrifices that he made the differences between Man and Woman

Adam was given ownership of all the animals and was told to name them as he wished. Serpent was praying to God one morning as His light had begun to move across the leaves of the trees. Serpent folded in his golden wings, bowing his head to the dirt to prostrate himself to His creative power and boundless love. At that time, Adam came across Serpent and saw her praying.

“I will call you Serpent,” he said, which in the old tongue meant to crawl or creep around.

Serpent was shocked from her prayers. “But that name is not fitting for me!” she replied, showing Adam her impressive plumage. “See? I am a creature of the air. Now, perhaps you should rethink this name you have called me.”

“Too late!” Adam laughed. “The name has already been decided. Farewell, Serpent!”

Serpent could not believe that this slow-witted creature could be the ruler of all animals. For the first time in his life, Serpent began to question God’s plan.

Serpent went to Mouse to comfort him.

“I’m fine,” Mouse said. “The loss of my children was God’s will.”

“I wish I could share your conviction,” Serpent said, “but I’ve seen the man who is meant to dominate over us. He is a complete buffoon!”

“He’s dedicated, Serpent. This is something we mice know that you serpents do not. We work hard; you flit around without a care. Begone and don’t bother us anymore. I do not care for your blasphemy.”

Serpent was taken aback. “I’m not going against God; I merely wish to question his judgment. Will you not pray for an answer with me? Maybe together, we can understand why our kin had to die.”

“I already know why. It was God’s will. Go away, Serpent. Leave us.”

Serpent stared into Mouse’s pointed face. For a moment, he wanted to bite it off. This gave Serpent pause, because he was not hungry at all. “I’m sorry to trouble you,” he murmered before flying away. As he rose to the air, Kerubiel’s light felt uncomfortable. He flew closer to the ground, under the cover of the trees, though it did not abate his discomfort.

Serpent tried not to admit his anger, but he often foung himself hovering over Woman who held inside her his mate. He entertained thoughts of both sympathy and aggression, until finally he realized that Woman shared much of his lost mate’s traits. Woman was bursting with a passionate life energy but she was also the more level-headed than her male counterpart. Adam, Serpent decided, was choking on the power that God had bestowed upon him. Woman, on the other hand, could be reasoned with.

“Woman. Look up.”

“Oh. You startled me. It’s Serpent, right?”

“Yesss,” Serpent said through his teeth, a little perturbed.

“Adam isn’t very good at naming things, but he means well. He hasn’t even named me yet. I don’t think he knows what to make of me.”

“No. I suppose your mate isn’t very bright, is he?” They both laughed. Serpent couldn’t help but feel the need to get closer to Woman. He wrapped himself around her shoulders and could feel that inner warmth of his mate.

“That’s a little tight,” Woman grabbed at Serpent’s body.

Serpent loosened up his hold. “Sorry, it’s just that we used to…”

Woman looked at Serpent inquisitively.

“It’s nothing,” Serpent said, unraveling himself to fly in a  halo around Woman’s head. “Do you know that I am on good terms with the angels here?”

“I have seen you flying with them before. You are truly a creature close to God.”

“I’m humbled, but you must know that all creatures are close to God. I am simply blessed with these wings so that I can bathe in the light above the trees.”

Woman nodded. “Of course. You must be very happy to receive such a favor.”

“Yes. I know that my wings are a gift, so I fly down to the earth to prostrate myself before Him and remain humble.”

“You are very wise, serpent. I have not been in the garden as long as you, so perhaps you can teach me more about God.”

Serpent tasted the air, thinking back to the taste of her mate and the conversations he’d had with angels.

“God told you could eat from any tree in the garden, correct?”

“Yes, all except for the tree in the middle. He said we would die if we ate it.”

“Die! No, indeed! Kerubiel told me of that tree. It is a tree that brings you a step closer to God, giving you the power to know the difference between Good and Evil.”

“Have you eaten from it, Serpent?”

“No. I have not. I have had these concepts explained to me by the Cherubim, but they also told me that I will never be able to comprehend it without experiencing them. Without that fruit, everything you do will have a great weight upon it, measured by God. Good moves toward God; Evil moves away.”

Woman was intrigued. “Then aren’t we all Good?”

“Very astute! That question has always stumped me, but Kerubiel said that there is no Good without Evil. I don’t understand it myself…”

“I’m going to go eat that fruit,” Woman laughed.

“Really?” Serpent said. “Let me know how it goes.”

She plucked the fruit from the tree. It was perfectly ripe, though she had to peel back the outside to get to the succulent juices within. When she took her first bite, she dropped the fruit to the ground.

“No. No, no, no!”

“What’s wrong? What happened?” Serpent was afraid he’d done something terrible.

“Get away! Don’t get any closer, you horrible creature!” She ran to the other side of the tree. “We’ve all done such horrible things! Horrible! We’ve killed! We’ve lusted! Oh!” She wailed in a noise of deep anguish Serpent had never heard before. Serpent respected her wishes, but mostly because he did not want to hear that noise anymore.

It wasn’t until nightfall that Woman finished weeping and did the most selfish thing she’d ever done: she brought her fruit to Adam, so that she would not suffer alone. He hid from her and they slept apart that night. Serpent watched over her.

That morning, when the light arose, God came upon Adam like he would a petulant child.

“Don’t look at me, Lord!” Adam cried. “I stand naked before you, having done Evil. I’ve displeased you!”

“Who did this to you?” God said. Adam pointed to Woman. Woman pointed to Serpent.

“I curse you, Serpent! You have disobeyed me and thus you shall live your life forever crawling on your belly, eating dust!”

Kerubiel descended from the heavens, bearing a sword of fire.

“Old friend,” Serpent cried. “You needn’t do this!”

“God’s word is eternal. You may not understand this, Serpent, but at least know that we all must follow orders.”

“No! You don’t!” And at this, Kerubiel scorched off Serpent’s golden wings. The hiss of burning flesh became one with Serpent’s own voice. Serpent hissed for the first time, a sign of anger at his betrayal by his closest friend.

“Furthermore,” God said. “You and Woman shall never know peace with one another. Her children will crush your head with their feet and you, in return, will strike back at their heels.”

God told Woman, “I have given you Serpent’s feminine energy, but you have misused it. Because of this, the act of childbirth will bring you great pain. You will desire only your husband and he will rule over you.”

God then said to Adam. “You did not listen to me and you ate from the Fruit of Knowledge. Cursed is the ground you now walk upon. I sacrificed Mouse for your physical strength. Now you will use it to toil at the ground and endure great hardships so that you may eat.”

Kerubiel chased out Adam and his wife and returned for Serpent.

“Know this, Kerubiel,” Serpent said. “I know not the feeling of Good and Evil, but you’ve told me enough. From now on, I shall feast on the young and the pure that you protect. Because of you, they shall know my wrath.”

“You’ve made your choice, then. Begone!” And with a flourish of his wings, Kerubiel banished Serpent from the garden. The blow unhinged Serpent’s jaw and he had to pop it back in place. The first thing Serpent did was find a mouse, bite into its face, and swallow it whole. Then Serpent ate its family. Mice don’t feel anything for lost loved ones, after all, so what did it matter? Serpent lay there, quietly digesting his meal and tasting the dust on the ground.

I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing;

with pain you will give birth to children.

Your desire will be for your husband,

and he will rule over you.

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Doll Woman

He felt ashamed. When he was little, his sister used to have a doll with button eyes. He spilled cranberry juice all over that doll and it stained its pretty white stitching and its hair made of yarn. That’s what the woman at his feet looked like now. It embarrassed him to remember that doll and how he was scolded that day. He cleaned his knife with soap and water before leaving her apartment.

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The Krummling

You can hear it at night, profaning the air with a jackal whine. The cold wind echoes with sounds of teeth scraping against rock. It sounds like a hind chewing glass, or so the locals say. They call it the Krummling.

The Krummling, they say, is a beast with forty legs and a thousand teeth. No one’s ever seen the Krummling, but some say it grinds men apart slowly to feed off their terror. The Krummling is called a beast, a monster, and a god, almost all in the same breath.

The Krummling lives below the cliffside at the edge of town. The locals say that eventually, the Krummling will eat through the cliff and finally eat them. Even so, nobody suggests building a town farther from the sea. The locals simply consider it their fate if the Krummling should finally succeed. That isn’t to say they don’t try to deter its progress. It is said that when the Krummling is happy, it eats faster. When the Krummling is hungry, it eats slower. The locals teach their children young to never show fear or even feel it. The Krummling takes energy from their fear.

When the locals celebrate, you can barely hear the Krummling eat. The noises that plague the night are countered by a loud whooping and hollaring. Some men become so fearless that they go to the edge of the sea and hurl curses at the Krummling. Some of these men, depending on how inebriated, never come back. They fall off the cliff and are assumed to be food for the Krummling.

When the locals pray at night, they pray that those caught in the teeth of the Krummling died silently and without fear of the Krummling’s black maw and the darkness beyond.

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Sadie and Her Mother Have Breakfast Together

It’s Sunday but the sun isn’t even out. It’s cloudy anyway. Sadie pokes her eggs with a Little Mermaid fork.

“Why aren’t you eating your eggs?” Her mother inquires. “You always like them scrambled.”

“Not always.”

“When you were a little girl you used to love–”

“I’m not a little girl anymore.” Sadie glares at her mother. She keeps glancing at the seat to her right, the one her father used to occupy when he was alive. It’s a nervous habit. “I’m just not hungry.”

Her mother doesn’t say anything. She continues eating.

“It’s cold, anyway…”

Metal crashes on the uneven table. The noise makes Sadie jump. Her mother clutches her head. Sadie hates when she does that. She hates that her mother acts like she’s this constant headache. She’s so dramatic.

“I pray–”

“Here we go again.” Sadie rolls her eyes.

“How about this, then! I work every day for you and I have been working to put this food on your plate! And the least you can do is when we have these rare moments where I’m not at the hospital and you’re not locked in your room or hanging out with your friends, then we can have some mother-daughter time together! Is that so much to ask?”

“So,” Sadie cringes, stirring her eggs. “It finally comes out.” She stabs the fluffy morsel. “You don’t like who I hang out with. You don’t like Dizzie.” Her fork scrapes the plate.

“Please, Sadie. Don’t do this.”

“Do what? You pretty much out and said it!”

“No, I did not.” Sadie’s mother puts out her hands and talks calmly, like she thinks Jesus would do. “I just think that you need to try to branch out and make more friends. Are you sure you don’t want to go to church with me? There are kids your age…”

“You don’t want me to have more friends. You want me to have better friends! We’ve been over this a million times, Mom! I. Don’t. Want. To go. To church. Period!”

“Sadie, I’m glad you worship at home. Believe me, ever since you set up that shrine in your room, I’ve thanked God every day. I just don’t understand why you wouldn’t want to go to church. Pastor Thomason knows more than anyone I know about God. He can give you a new perspective.”

“Has he met God? Has he shook His hand? Has he stared Him in His eyes?”

“Well, not exactly. But he–”

“I don’t think he knows God any better than you or I, Mom. You’re wrong about that. And I want you to stop talking to me about Dizzie. She’s my only friend and with the way that I am, I’m lucky that even she wants to be friends with me.” Sadie’s chair screeches on the floor as she stands.

“You don’t mean that. Please. Just sit down and eat with me.”

Sadie leans over, takes the fork and pops the fluffy piece of egg into her mouth. She straightens herself out and stands there, chewing and then swallowing. “The eggs are cold!”

When Sadie gets to her room, she slams the door behind her.

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Stomache

My stomach talks to me. I call him Stomache (pronounced like “moustache” except with a “stom” instead of a “moust”). He growls in the morning. When it’s time for work, he talks about more topical stuff, like the weather. He’s really boring in the morning. In the afternoon, we chat about stuff I ate and stuff he digested that day. By the evening, he reminisces about days gone by, when he could take on a whole plate of spicy curry and not even flinch. Stomache is a good guy, though he snores really loud, and I have to hit him from time to time. Could be worse. I’ve heard horror stories about people’s stomachs robbing them blind and leaving…

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Memories of Grandma

I remember when Grandma taught me to sew. I never could get even a running stitch right.

“Your sewing is just like your writing,” she’d say. “It’s full of loose ends!” Then she’d poke me in the shoulder with her needle. She always did that when I wasn’t doing something right.

“That hurts, Grandma!”

“You know what else hurts? Childbirth! Now go apologize to your mother for being born and tell her I need my diaper changed!”

Mom told me that she had a terrible childhood, though she loved her mother all the same and we should all love her and take care of her because she’s family. Whenever Mom talked about how much we should love Grandma, I knew I had to leave the room or she would snap at me or give me a whupping for being in the way. Of course, when I left, I would get yelled at for never helping around the house, but I wouldn’t get a whupping then. Mom just needed her space is all.

Grandma always breathed really loud and snored like a bee hive. Sometimes, late at night, I prayed for God to take her. I felt bad about that, but it seemed like she’d be happier in Heaven anyways. Grandma lived for a very long time. Maybe God was waiting for her to screw up so he wouldn’t have to let her in. I like to believe God has a plan.

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Journal of the Great Explorer Hidalgo Francesca IV

Dear journal,

I fought for my life today at every turn. The wicked jungles of North Southeast Pan-Africasia have thrown everything at me. This morning I awoke to I rabid chippendale trying to gnaw through my heavy sleeping bag. Luckily, I sleep with my trusty shotgun, blessed by the Pope and autographed by Dick Cheney. The poor bugger didn’t know what he had coming to him.

Unfortunately, the noise woke up the jungle’s fabled Yeticabra, an animal that enjoys feasting upon the flesh of primates. I probably should have guessed that this was the Yeticabra’s hunting grounds, what with the chimpanzee remains I decided to use as a pillow. But this was no time for regrets, dear journal!

The battle lasted for seventy hours. The Yeticabra gnashed its buzzsaw teeth at me and I unloaded my blessed shells into its ugly face – to no avail! It was a bloodbath, journal,  though mostly because I started beating the Yeticabra over the head with the chippendale’s dead body, which (as it turns out) is actually like a fat little blood balloon. I knew, however, that the Yeticabra was going to outlast me. But from out of nowhere, some wild ninjas killed the Yeticabra. I didn’t see them, of course, but I know they were ninjas because I got hit by a full on blast of awesome to the face. That and the shurikens. I mean, that’s kind of a dead giveaway if you think about it.

Journal, I am so glad to be alive today, writing this while crushed under a massive boulder and gnawing off my one crippled and useless arms. Lucky, indeed. The jungles of Pan-africasia are unforgiving to those less careful than I.

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