serpentine

– Peace be with you! hissed the snake, slithering among the dewy blades of grass.

– Peace be with everyone! she answered while gazing at the insidious wafts of its body.

– I’ve been searching for you for a long time! continued the reptile. Ever since the sun first rose upon your birth, and even before that. You took me longer to find than others, but now we’re finally here.

She smiled:

– I know you.

– Of course you do, but what you don’t know is that I am a false prophet. You shouldn’t listen to what drips from my thoughts, for it’s only poisonous honey, smearing your mind with not your vision, with not your hopes, but with slimy inconclusive dramas, exploring to no avail the squeaking joints of light. I am the sand that, stuck in your skull’s thin shell, births pearls. But don’t flatter yourself – pearls equal pain and the fear of pain. What I bring you is neither beauty, nor preciousness. It’s merely a seed of nether time, raw and splendid in its shapelessness – and no more necessary than a harvest of todays in the land of yesterdays. And maybe in some other system, a non-Cartesian one, if you shove a rainbow back into a prism, light comes out on the other side – but not in this one. In this one, since we’re ordained to our paths, I am here, you are there, and we both are one grain of sand too late from escaping the implacability of facts. So come on, let us not waste anymore time, pick up your apple and let’s get on with this.

Silent, she listened to the serpent with a deeply thoughtful gaze, grabbed a fruit and weighed it for a while in her hand. Then, without having bitten from it, she put it down at her feet, murmuring:

– So this is the center of the world.

The snake, confused, looked at her inquisitively – so she continued:

– Well, you made it clear that we are in a Cartesian system. But what relates us to it appears to be this darn apple – so that could very well mean that this is the center of the world – the intersection of coordinates, the point of origin. I take a bite – and the chain reaction starts. I don’t take it – and we’re stuck here, in imponderability. Neither of choices being, otherwise, much too appealing. This apple is my gate, and I am yours.

– I didn’t say anything about the apple…stuttered the snake. How did you…

Amused, she laughed heartily, then she added with a shade of pity in her voice:

– You talk too much. But maybe every cloud has its silver lining – I’m bored. So I’m out of here. You can keep the apple.

So she turned around, and while looking around for another path, she whispered to the snake, now petrified with horror:

– Oh, and by the way, you came actually a bit too early. I am not Eve. I’m Lilith.

 

© Liliana Negoi

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