Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Lifeguard (11/09/06)
TITLE: Jehobahin, Stand Guard
By Val Clark
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Earlier, when the earth had merely trembled, hope remained. The Chosen had only picked the forbidden fruit. But when Jehobahin heard the song of the stars judder to a halt he knew the Chosen had partaken of it.
He raced under the Poinciana tree and was showered with tiny blood red flowers that slid down his face like tears of prophesy, mourning with him.
The Chosen were already at the centre of the Garden. If they should…. With a final burst of energy Jehobahin slid to a halt in front of the Tree of Life, unsheathed his flaming sword and stood at the ready, waiting, prepared to guard its fruit.
He hadn’t expected the serpent and wondered, yet again, why the Master of the Universe allowed a Fallen into the Garden.
Jehobahin’s sword glittered in the late afternoon sun. ‘You may not pass.’
The creature slithered through the spiky grass. ‘My old friend, have pity. Look at me? He Who I Can Not Name has cursssed me; made me to crawl on my belly. What harm can I do?’
‘Do not call me friend. You know very well the devastation that would occur should the Chosen partake of this Tree. Not only would they know good and evil they would live forever in their evil. The Master’s plans.…’
‘Plansss? Tell me His plansss.’
‘I don’t exactly know….’
The serpent raised its head. ‘He hasss no plansss. We have won! The Chosssen approach. Let me passs, ssso that I might prepare for their immortality.’
‘No.’ Jehobahin’s sword sliced through the air slashing at the serpent’s head.
It laughed a hideous laugh that reverberated through the Garden, setting the branches clattering. ‘And ssso you should fear me. All created beingsss fear me!’ He turned in a tight coil. ‘You know I can not be dessstroyed by a paltry sssword! Put it down. Join usss.’
‘I can not destroy you, but I can hurt you.’ Jehobahin bought the sword slashing down onto the back of the snake. Just before it connected the serpent vanished.
Jehobahin carefully inspected the Tree and when he was sure the serpent was not hidden in it, he returned to his post.
The sun was setting when the Chosen approached. He felt sick at the very sight of them, standing falsely proud in their new knowledge, yet ridiculously debased in their vine leaves cobbled together in a semblance of modesty. Oh, how beautiful they had been and how far they had fallen.
The woman smiled. ‘Jehobahin, how are you this fine afternoon?’
How could they act as if nothing had happened?
‘Shouldn’t you be in the grove awaiting your walk with the Master?’
The man stood a healthy distance from Jehobahin. ‘Oh, we don’t need to talk to Him anymore. We have eaten from the Tree. We now know everything.’
The woman pushed him aside. ‘Let me handle this, man. We are like gods and like you. We only require one thing and it grows on the Tree you are guarding. Let us pass.’
Their arrogance stunned Jehobahin. While all around him creation groaned under the consequences of their terrible deed, they exalted in it.
‘You have learnt what it is to be naked. Is that good knowledge? You have learnt to treat your companion with disdain. Is that good knowledge?’
‘Jehobahin, put down your sword, friend. We have spoken with the Master.’ The man’s voice washed over Jehobahin and he felt defiled. ‘He said, since we have already eaten of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, we may partake of the Tree of Life.’
‘You have learnt to lie, is that good knowledge?’
They both moved closer and spoke in unison, ‘We have learnt much. Put down your sword. Join us.’
The sword blazed in defiance.
Where are you, my Chosen ones?
Jehobahin watched in awe as relief relaxed the man’s face. ‘He doesn’t know!’
‘Of course he does you silly man. Come we must hide.’
Will you walk with me in the grove?
Jehobahin lowered his sword. ‘You have learnt to be afraid of the One who loves you. That is not good knowledge.’
The Chosen took one last look at the Tree and ran.
‘One bite of its fruit and we would not be afraid.’
Jehobahin sighed softly. ‘In time there will be another Tree.’
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