No 2: Adam (Genesis chapters 2-4]
How’s the holiday? We’re missing you here like mad. Your mother’s pregnant again and to be honest not looking forward to the birth, all those labour pains, she says it’s like pushing a three piece suite through a keyhole. Work’s picking up but all that digging is hard, hard, hard. The ground at this time of year is like concrete. We haven’t invented concrete yet of course but when we do I’m sure it’ll be like this ground. I miss the garden, the soil there used to be so easy to work.
Have you got yourself a girlfriend yet? I’m sure it would lift you out of the doldrums, ever since you and your brother had that little misunderstanding you’ve not been the same. He’s not been the same either of course.
Bumped into that talking snake again the other day. Remember him? He doesn’t say much nowadays, does more laughing. In fact we call him the laughing snake now. I shut him up a few times by jumping on his head with my hobnail boot but he always bounces back. Laugh laugh laugh. Drives me mad. Fancy an apple, he says. Yea, and I’ll shove it right up the place where his back legs used to be. At least he can only slither along these days, makes it easier to stomp on his head when he gets annoying.
Your mother’s business is going well – Figleaves-R-us. She’s designed a few new outfits. I still wander around naked from time to time but she goes bananas if she catches me, says it’s not decent, says the neighbours might have their curtains open and catch me. Not that we have any neighbours. Or curtains. She makes me wear all her new outfits, says I’m her guinea pig. Great! Who came up with that name anyway? Oh yea… me! The other day I had to walk around in some fig-leaf jeans crossed with leggings – figgins she calls them. I called them figgin all right and all, felt like a right dodo wandering around in them. I was very glad we didn’t have any neighbours with their curtains open that day. She says her business will take off soon, we just need some customers. At the moment I have to buy everything she makes. She’s started giving me loyalty points, says I can have a free pair of figgins when I get a million. Great! So far I’ve got 3000 palm shirts, 5000 grass skirts and a couple of hundred holly-leaf boxer shorts. Don’t mention it to your mother but I never wear the boxer shorts – it’s a bit of a prickly situation. I’ve got so many clothes I’m building new wardrobes like there’s no tomorrow. Which of course is a distinct possibility since we met that snake. There never was going to be a ‘no-tomorrow’ situation until that regrettable incident with the fruit crumble. I still can’t face apples. Your mum made some snakeskin boots the other day but I couldn’t go near them, that’s a bridge and a heel and sole too far for me.
We miss you son. Specially now Abel’s not around. We miss you both – but we can’t have Abel back. Not since you sent him… well… we don’t quite know where you sent him. No one’s been there before. There’s just a dark patch on the ground where he fell and a mound of earth where we put his body. Your mother still thinks he might get up again one day but I said don’t hold your breath. Cause I don’t think he is. We haven’t got a word yet to describe what state he’s in – but I feel I need to think of one dead quick. No… no… just can’t come up with anything yet.
Why did you do it? We know you two had been arguing for a long time, but there was no need for that. Were you jealous in some way? I remember when you were a kid you never quite got over it when he was first born, you were no longer the only child. Not quite as spoilt anymore. That was a shock to the system. Still, you didn’t really need to give Abel the kind of shock to his system with that rock the way you did. I still remember that sound now. I was out digging to plant some potatoes and it was as if the whole earth shook for a second, I heard you two shouting and there was that horrible cry and a crack and a thud… and then silence. And I wanted to hear the two of you shouting again, knocking the life out of each other. But it was too late, you’d already knocked the life out of your brother forever.
(extract taken from The Lost e-Pistles from the Dead Sea i-Parchment by D Hopwood)