Human beings must have an epic, a sublime account of how the world was created and how humanity became part of it…

–E. O. Wilson

Genesis, Chapter 4

Sex and Human Ignorance

Just talking and eating and sleeping quickly got boring. When they discovered pleasure with their own and each others bodies, they didn’t do anything else for a long time.

After a few months, they noticed Eve’s belly was starting to grow larger: muscles, fat, and skin being stretched. Something was growing inside her. She began to hunger food more, and get tired more quickly. Eve was frightened and looked to Adam for help. Adam saw his chance.

He took charge in getting food, but made sure to eat it first. He wandered and explored, leaving her for days. He started to tell her what to do. If she refused, he threatened to leave. Adam used Eve’s pregnancy to gain the upper hand.

In a fit of pain and blood, Eve released a boy from her body. Adam stared in horror and awe. Eve had the power of God. She creates life. Adam saw she could rule him if he let his power slip.

Eve collapsed in pain next to the baby and held him. “Look what I have created!” she said proudly. “I shall name him…”

“Hey!” Adam shouted. “Why do you get to name him? You simply carried my seed and complained. You are nothing more than soil for my seed. I fed you both. His form is like mine. This is my son. His name shall be Cain.”

Adam would teach his sons that the progenitive power was theirs alone, and to never let women believe the power was theirs. Their price was pain and submission. Men would build societies and laws that gave them the power of family, to control the awesome power of creation that women had…

Eve punched him in the mouth. “I’ll let you name him, but never do that again.”

Bonds of Marriage

Eve was easily to gain power back with the boy. Adam now felt forced to get food while she protected the baby and their territory. His power was waning.

Eve thought she had defeated Adam’s take-over, but soon another child grew in her. How was this happening? When would it end? Was Adam’s semen truly the seed and she only soil for it?

Eve had no choices. The other people did not understand the terrible experience she and Adam shared. They seemed too much like animals. She was all alone with him.

She made Adam swear an oath to her. He would continue to provide food and swear to never leave her or the children wanting, and in return, he could have the power and obedience he craved.

Their love was forged in spiteful desperation and terrible fear. The first marriage was an awful affair.

Eve gave birth to a girl, with less pain and fear than the first time, but still incapacitating. She showed the baby to Adam and asked him bitterly, “Do you wish to name your daughter?”

Adam felt shameful seeing Eve’s expression, and said: “This is our child. What shall you name her?”

Eve smiled at the young child: “Abel”

Raising Cain

The children grew up watching their parents. They fought and judged and remembered pain when it was gone, and forgot pleasure except when it was present.

The parents watched their children grew. They were frustrated at their idiocy. At first they didn’t know how to walk, speak, or even crawl. Anger grew and they struck them, trying to knock some sense into them. The children learned quickly to avoid pain by doing what their parents said, and wailed helplessly when they didn’t understand, which was more often.

Once the children could move about an obey, Adam saw opportunity. These children could do the work he had been doing. Adam taught the older boy how to plant the seeds left from their food. He taught Abel how to make the traps he used to catch animals when she was too young to go with him. After years of this, Adam built himself a comfortable seat, cushioned with grass, flowers, leaves, and animal hair. He enjoyed his rest and the children brought in food.

Sibling Rivalry

Cain grew to love the land. He was proud that his skills had surpassed his father. It was easy to grow, for the land in southern Asia has long been fertile. He found new plants and nurtured them generation after generation.

Abel grew to love the hunt, but it was tiring. Cain had only to count the moon with the seasons. Abel had to track the moon and the sun and the patterns of many different animals; some signs pointed her to prey, others told her where prey would not be. She found that come could be captured and kept alive until they needed a meal.

It became clear that Adam didn’t love meat because it was hard to come by, he just loved it more than the food that grew easily from Cain’s garden. Adam lavished Abel with favor and praise, and ignored Cain more and more.

Weapons of the Mind

At first, Cain’s plan was just to augment his offerings with Abel’s meat. He snuck to the place where she kept her meat, to dry, to smoke, to salt. He took some and left, but Abel saw him walking away. He put it back after she shamed him.

Then he had the idea of killing his own meat. The animals were property of all. He took a spear and went to her pastures. As he lifted the spear to strike a killing blow, Abel saw him and shouted in anger. Once again, shame moved him away.

He started to hate her for her skill and alertness. He tried to hunt on his own, but he lacked the very things that kept her watch keen. Then he realized that their flesh was much like that of the animals, just less fur. He brought his spear to hunt some of the lesser humans, but they fled from the man with the spear.

Cain needed a smaller weapon for them. He took the head of the spear off, but it hurt to hold and was too broad. Chipping it down, he made it narrow enough to fit into a wooden handhold, and it was much easier to use. Larger than a cutting knife, but nothing like a spear, Cain invented the dagger.

We went back amongst the humans-who-were-not, and was able to get close to one with talk and friendliness. When they were close enough to greet each other as comrades, it was close enough for Cain. With a quick thrust he gutted the person, and dragged them back to prepare the meat as they whimpered and died.

A Feast for the Lord

The next feast Adam demanded was, as always, not long to wait. Cain had prepared the human meat, along with his usual fare, a combination much grander than ever before.

But it was not enough. Adam did give him some favor, but the meat was not remarkable compared to Abel’s fare. Brooding and angry, Cain noticed his sister’s plump form. He realized the solution had been right in front of him all along.

Again at night Cain crept to Abel’s meathouse. And as he was taking away meat, he heard Abel shout, but he ignored her and kept walking. She gave chase and soon caught up to him.

“I know I told you to leave my meat alone! If you want meat, go get it yourself, from animals you find yourself!” She waited for him to turn back.

But this time, Cain’s anger made no room for shame, and his parents never showed him what love looked like. He did not turn back. Abel grew angry and afraid. What was he doing?! He couldn’t get away with this if she told their parents. She marched to catch up to him and just before grabbing his should to force him to stop, shouted: “Where are you going? I’m talking to you!”

When she grabbed him, he dropped the small pieces of meat and stabbed her, under the breast and through her ribs, blood gushed over Cain’s dagger and hand. Wordlessly, Abel looked up at him in shock and said nothing before abandoning her body forever.

Cain felt an ache, similar to one he felt coming up with the plan, but this he could not ignore. It would not stop him. He gathered his sister’s corpse, meat, and brought it all back home.

The food Cain provided was outstanding. It towered; food from the soil and from the flesh. It had everything Adam every loved and more. But for some reason, Adam seemed worried. He said: “Where is Abel with her offering to me?”

Cain grinned proudly: “She is the feast! That flesh there, that you are enjoying right now, is her! It is an offering truly worthy of your greatness father.” He knelt low before his father, ready to kiss his feet.

Instead he was kicked and flew backwards. Adam was filled with rage: “MY CHILD!” and “DEAD!” were the only words that made sense to Cain.

Cain began to realize that whatever favor Adam showed wasn’t just about offerings. He saw Abel herself as something valuable. “Fret not, father! I can bring you more meat like she did!”

“You heartless, deceitful, imbecile! You killed one of us! You can never replace her or bring her back. If she had done this to you, I would be just as angry. But now, I never want to see your face again. Leave us.”

The First Murderer

Eve caught up with Cain before leaving: “Know this. You have murdered, killed a person. This will stain you, but we will not seek vengeance. Sending you away is painful enough. You will live with this curse that no one can take away until you are dead. I might even go with you, but then your father would hunt us both. He wants more children from me.”

Eve kissed his forehead, leaving a mark that never went away. All who saw it knew that he was meant to be alone, and avoided him. Cain wandered away and out of this story.

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