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Rebellious Eve eats fruit, learns lessons of disobedience, shame

She inhales. Smoke billows elegantly from her crimson lips and flows delicately into her flared nostrils. Her body relaxes and shudders slightly as her sweet poison of release flows into her insubstantial form. Her auburn hair flows lightly down past her shoulders. Her pale skin seems to reflect all light that dares to come near.

She sits in her father's exquisite garden, underneath her favorite tree. It was an unpretentious fruit tree, its fruit was known simply as the Pomme de Tentation. The fruit is an odd shape, not quite as round as an orange, yet not quite as oval as a lemon. It has its own unique silhouette. Its flesh is firm, yet not difficult to bite into. The outer coating is a deep blood red, underneath this tantalizing red shell is a flesh colored layer of mouth-watering tissue, and deep within this tissue lie the void colored seeds of life.

"My dear child. My dear Eve, you are forbidden to eat anything from the tree." Her father's voice annoyingly rings in her ear. "Remember, my dear child, I created you; therefore I love you."

If she ever dared to disobey her father's wishes, she would be thrust instantaneously out of her father's magical and pristine garden, and suffer a most shameful punishment.

Under her tree, in her perfect world, she sits in the shade of her guardian, reading her favorite book and smoking her favorite brand of cigarettes. Her father despises when she smokes in his garden. However, Eve is a rebellious child and feels empowered when she disobeys her father's orders. She can confidently do so, because she knows her father is always so infinitely patient and loving.

She glances up by chance, and sees the tree's most precious gift begin to form. Her eyes begin to permeate with tears as the fruit begins to ripen.

"What a miracle," Eve thinks. "I must inform father."

As soon as she places her book down and flicks the remains of her addictive sin away, a shadow looms down from the tree, an emerald-twisting beast begins to descend from within the tree itself.

"What a beautiful creature you are," whispers Eve, as she smiles at this bizarre new creature. "Have you come to see this fruit as well?"

Eve giggles to herself, knowing that animals can't talk or understand her. Yet something about this creature is different. In its placid eyes she sees a dreadful pain, it gave her a sinking feeling, and she pitied this graceful creature. It stares at her with cold reptilian eyes, its tongue flickering in and out of its mouth, analyzing the girl.

"Eat," hisses a voice in Eves ear. "Eat and be knowledgeable, your father patronizes you with his knowledge; eat and be clever like him. Eat this and you shall be greater than he," echoes the hissing voice that seems to come from within her.

Eve stares tremulously at the Pomme de Tentation, in her eyes, a burning hunger for power and knowledge. She longs to be more intelligent. She longs to be more beautiful. Her vanity, sloth, gluttony, wrath, envy, lust, greed and pride began to simultaneously grow stronger and more merciless.

Hate rises from within her, hate for her father's rules, hate for his arrogance, hate for his blindness to her obvious greatness. How dare he insult her in such a way? She deserves to be like him, how selfish he is. She laughs mercilessly at his foolishness.

"Poor misunderstood, misguided child. Poor thing, your father doesn't love you the way he claims to. I love you, and I can give you anything you wish. Your every desire is attainable by eating that fruit." The hissing in her ear was tempting her more and more, and she loves every second of it.

"Yes!" Eve shouts aloud.

Eve grabs maliciously for the fruit and greedily takes a bite into its submissive flesh. The taste is superb and beyond compare. It is indescribable to her. The rush is like any other thing she has experienced, her every sense begins to tingle and become more aware.

Her body was on fire and full of life, her eyes burn with power, and the perverse beast seems to smile through its frigid eyes.

Her body wretches. Contorts. Becomes deformed and twisted. Blood spouts from her nose and mouth, she looks upon the beast, its mouth stretches open. Sorrow, pestilence, war, death, famine and all the horrors of the modern age spring from its venomous maw.

Eve looks away in utter terror, her body trembling and breaking. With what little strength she has left, she looks into the creature's mouth and sees one thing that remains -- hope. The creature snaps its mouth shut and bursts into a blazing hellfire, leaving nothing but ash for Eve to weep over.

Eve cries tears of tar and blood for her horrible ignorance. No creature so selfish or pathetic has ever been seen before.

"What horror have I wrought upon my father's Eden," Eve cries in agony. Eve's body finally breaks; she dies in shame and self-pity, leaving nothing behind but a book and a half-empty pack of cigarettes.

Her father walks out from behind the tree and looks to Eves crumpled body and frowns at her.

"Shame," said her father's voice half-hearted. "It's a shame she was so weak."

"Yes, what a pity," sneered the creature.

The creature coils itself around the man's arm. Eve's father and the beast seem to erode away with the wind.

Christopher Damlo graduated from Detroit Lakes High School this spring.