The Emancipation of Eve
The serpent appeared before Adam.
“You are a lonely man,” the serpent said. “A sad and lonely man.”
“Yes,” Adam sighed. “But only sometimes.”
“I can fix that,” the serpent said. “Are you interested?”
Betraying his air of smug indifference, Adam immediately perked from his life of casual solemnity. His dispassionate eyes now gleamed.
Adam replied, “Of course I am interested. I loathe my loneliness. But how will you fix it?”
“I can relieve you of your loneliness by offering you a woman as a companion.”
“That has been my only desire,” he admitted.
“I know,” the serpent said. “However, there’s a catch.”
“Tell me,” Adam said.
“Her company will afford you relief from your loneliness and despair. But, for all the relief her company gives you, an equal amount of misery will be bestowed upon her.”
“So the cost of my satisfaction will come at the expense of her misery?”
“Yes,” the serpent confirmed. “You see, I represent evil. But at least, in a bargain such as this, at least someone – in this case you, Adam – benefits. So it is a not a bargain of pure evil so long as a life is improved in the process.”
“Fantastic,” Adam said. “This bargain is very tempting. I like the sound of it very much.”
“As do I,” the serpent said. “For tipping the scales too much in my favor will lead to disaster. It’s tempting to be greedy and a glutton, but I must not be. So I will temper the harm done to her with the peace, comfort and satisfaction this bargain will afford you.”
“You are more benevolent than the stories make you out to be,” Adam said. “Still, the idea of her suffering concerns me some.”
“Everyone suffers,” the serpent said. “You know that better than anyone, Adam. Suffering is a necessary condition of this life.”
“Yes,” Adam said. “Very true. Then I agree to your bargain.”
The serpent smiled.
“Before committing, would you like to test it first? I can give you a small amount of satisfaction for a meager amount of her suffering. Then you can get a taste of how this might go. If you are displeased, you can still back out of the bargain.”
“No,” Adam said. “I’ve suffered enough – by myself – for long enough. Give me the supreme satisfaction now, for my soul is too weary for trifling.”
“Okay,” the serpent said. “But there’ll be no backing out.”
“Make it so,” Adam insisted. “Relieve me now. Give me all there is to give, for I have already despaired for far too long.”
“To the utmost of her misery?” the serpent asked.
“Of course,” Adam said.
“You are a man who requires little persuasion.”
“I am a man who understands his needs,” Adam said.
“So be it,” the serpent said.
Eve appeared. The serpent joined them in unholy matrimony.
Within a year, though he was quite satisfied and no longer lonely, Adam had driven Eve to the brink of madness and insanity as nothing more than a tool serving his laziness and the easy fulfillment of his most base desires. Until one night, during Adam’s slumber, Eve burst his skull to bits with a heavy, jagged stone.
The serpent then appeared to Eve.
“You have done evil in murdering your husband,” it said. “You will live with these horrors for the rest of your life. They will terrorize you without end.”
“I understand,” a bloodied Eve said.
“But I can offer you a companion to share the burden of your sin.”
“No,” she said. “This is my sin. I shall bear it alone. There is no reason to bring another into my misery.”
“Fear not,” the serpent said. “Nobody is without guilt or sin.”
“True,” Eve said. “But, still, I must refuse.”
“It will not be easy bearing this burden alone,” the serpent hissed.
“But I feel I must,” Eve said.
The serpent grew confounded with Eve being the much tougher mark than her now mutilated husband.
“What was done to you was unfair,” the snake said. “Blame me and blame this bloody, bludgeoned, lifeless tyrant. Blame whoever or whatever you wish. But now, I offer you an opportunity for revenge. Or I offer you some peace from the burdens that are sure to plague you. Trust me, you are entitled to some solace given all you’ve endured at the hands of this scourge. So let me offer you a companion to help relieve you of your sin.”
Eve wiped her bloodstained hands on the linens.
“Though you cast me in the role of this heathen’s plaything, I will not do unto another what both you and he have done unto me.”
“You are wise,” the serpent said. “Far, far wiser than the fool you’ve just destroyed.”
The serpent slithered closer to Eve. It raised and whispered in her ear.
“Here is the secret. Though you will suffer alone, it will be far less than within the terms and conditions of the bargain I offer.”
The serpent backed away. It pulled itself upright upright again.
“See,” it said. “I’m not as bad as everyone makes me out to be.”