East of Eden

They had laid Abel on a bed of leaves and twigs and branches. Flowers covered his body. The woman sat to his right, crying. Tears flooded her eyes, trembled down her cheeks, fell down her nose. Tears dropped from her chin. Next to her, the man sat upright, peering at the furnace of the sun drawn against the purple haze of the night to come. It was going to be a dark and cold and empty night, he thought.

Soon, the night poured over them. All they could see were the stars nailed against the blankness. East of Eden, at the edge of the world, there was nothing but infinite emptiness. They had been given the greatest gift that had ever been offered to any living thing. They often gazed at the dark sky and could see the liquid mist of morning covering the land. They could see it clearly in their minds and spoke often of it with great pleasure.

“What is going to happen?” the woman asked.

He kept scanning the horizon, hands on his hips. “He has gone to a better world,” he said matter of factly.

“What world is that?”

He turned around, smiled tenderly at her. “A place where he can be free.” He kneeled down beside her, curled his fingers against hers. “Where he can hunt as much as he likes. Where he can give names to the creatures that have none yet, where he can eat as much as he pleases. Never feel thirst or hunger. Never feel cold or hot. Never feel tired or weak.” He did not dare look at the body that laid beside them. “Never feel pain. Never feel sadness. Never cry a single tear.”

“Does such a place exist?” she asked.

He nodded.

There weren’t many words at the beginning of time. Plenty was yet to be imagined into existence. Regardless, he knew. He felt it in his heart, even though he could not use words to give it life.

He knew that if such a place did not exist, they could always make it up.


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