Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?”
A pause. A cock of the head. Eyes narrowed for a moment to slits.
And the woman said to the Lord, her God, “What is this that you have done?”
Always turning things around on him.
“How do you mean?” God kicked at a pinecone. The tiny egg of a thing stuck in the tall blades of grass. He would make bigger pinecones. Pinecones you could really get some lift on.
“I thought I could trust you.”
“Of course you can trust me—”
“Adam thought he could trust you.”
“Yes, you both—”
“So what was this poison apple business?” Eve picked an apple seed from between her teeth.
Shit. God forced a laugh. “I think you’re thinking of Snow—”
The look. One of her eyebrows leapt up in that amazing way. God marveled at her ability to move them independently.
He coughed. “—of Snow White. She had a poison apple.”
A pause. “My God, do you just make this shit up?”
Well, yes, he thought about saying. But dammit, right, Snow White wasn’t coming for another few thousand years.
“I am thinking of yesterday, my God, when you told us we would die if we ate of a certain tree.” She twirled an apple stem in her fingers.
He should have figured this would happen. From the beginning, she had been a feisty one. A difficult rib to extract.
“Shoot,” he toed at the tiny pinecone. “Have you checked your vitals? How’s your breathing?”
Eve placated him with a tight smile. “The thing is,” she said. “Not only am I not dead,” her fingers dug into a suntanned hip, “—not only is Adam just peachy—” Adam waved from behind a holly bush. “But we seem to be— how did you say it, Ads?— Extra alive?”
“Hmmm,” God ventured, “How do you mean?” Though he knew what she meant.
“Well our getup, for one,” she said, looking down at her beautiful breasts, at the full hips and the calves He’d so meticulously fashioned for her. “Thanks for providing us nada. I mean, we figured it out,” she said, indicating the impressive fig leaf concoction between her legs, “No thanks to you. Made a whole freakin’ universe, couldn’t make us a wardrobe.”
“If you hadn’t eaten the thing,” God muttered, “You wouldn’t need a wardrobe…”
“We’d be blissed out in our ignorance, huh? Silly little human people, jumping in puddles and rolling around in their own feces.”
“C’mon, you never did that.”
“I don’t know what I did anymore. You made us dumber than a snake, I might add.”
God balked at this accusation, though it was true. “The snake is a crafty guy,” he defended.
Eve rolled her eyes.
God was beginning to regret this trip to the garden, was beginning to regret planting that damn tree to begin with. He should have stuck to cypress trees, sequoias.
Eve was scratching her back on the bark of a bristlecone pine. She reached up and plucked a green pinecone easily from a low-hanging branch. This seemed an intentional affront and God struggled to compose himself as she chucked it in the Euphrates.
“I think we’ve lost sight of the point here,” He said, “The point I was making was, I gave a commandment—”
Eve stood up to her full height, nearly as tall as God himself. “What is it you want me to say to you, huh?” She plucked another budding pinecone and chucked it. A shiver ran up God’s spine. “What would seem like a reasonable excuse for wanting to know what’s going on in this damn world? For wanting just a little bit of savvy in this crazy-ass place?” Another pinecone fell victim to her, flew on the wings of her anger and bobbled down the river. Even in her rage, maybe especially in her rage, God couldn’t help finding her beautiful. He grimaced as she ripped another pinecone from the tree, but smiled to himself as her toes dug into the ground, as muscle twisted itself down her arm for the throw. He had made those arms and he had done a fine job.
“The serpent tricked me,” she said, “Is that what you want to hear?” She turned her glinting gray eyes on him. The glint was new and it suited her.
“The serpent tricked me, and I ate.”