Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: SKULDUGGERY (09/01/16)
TITLE: What A Snake!
By Daniel Rae
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Eden was lush with an abundance of rooted plants and heavily fruited trees. Flowers were everywhere, unwilting and sweet to the smell. Thornless roses, and bushes thick with berries, populated the idyllic space.
Animals roamed freely and fearlessly. Deer and bears and mountain lions lived in a seamless harmony with the gardens keepers, even nudging them on occasion, as affectionate as any playful canine. Everything existed in a blessed unison within the paradise called Eden.
A perfect measure of sun and rain optimized life in the garden. There was an excellence shared between the man and the woman that exemplified passion and compatibility. Instinctively they adored each other, conjoined by the almighty hand of God. Unmitigated perfection allowed Adam and Eve to cohabit within the historical epitome of matrimonial bliss. They lived in absolute splendour wanting for nothing. To frolic in the sun or to split the waters of the river's crystal clear pools, were the moment to moment pleasures that occupied their time.
They were unencumbered by even a singular negative thought and had no regrets or moments of sorrow.
They dwelled in a sinless pasture, bountiful and rich in every blessing that the Creator had so ideally provided.
There can be no doubt that the keepers of the garden were physically and intellectually flawless. But they did share a common vulnerability. And it is within this God-given vulnerability that mankind would ultimately succumb to the very trait that The Creator had deemed essential. For when God manufactured mankind in His very own image, there was a dynamic central to His purpose; a dynamic that would differentiate man from the entirety of the Creators handiwork. Of all the attributes that God bestowed upon His most valuable creation, one would eternally stand out:
He gave them a will.
Instilling will was crucial to God's desire to create the human race. God wanted the companions that He formed from the dust of the earth, to love Him and to worship Him by choice and not by some divinely instituted mandate. He wanted people to love Him of their own volition.
Being created in His image allowed man, albeit infinitesimally, to identify with God's eternal character.
In perfect contentment they strolled through towering forests and exotic foliage, before drifting towards the middle of their flawless sanctuary.
Under the magnificent tree in the centre of the property stood one of the gardens most engaging cohabitants. Thus far he had provided comfortable camaraderie and tireless entertainment. He was crafty and uncannily alluring.
When the handsome serpent greeted them there was no reason for fear or concern. He stood on two feet and when he flashed that hypnotic smile and cranked up his deceitful charm, he methodically became irresistible.
After relentless coercing, Eve partook of the garden's only forbidden fruit. Despite citing God's very own words in her effort to fend off temptation, eternity's most insidious shyster didn't back down. In his egrigious quest to separate man and God he continued to lie and convincingly so. (1)
It was there, in the afternoon shade of the garden's most magnificent tree, that sin would blitz the world.
Adam and Eve would ultimately be banished from the exquisiteness of Eden. Outside the garden's gates was an entirely daunting reality. Weather raged and food was scarce. Animals attacked at will and their very survival was a constant concern.
As they made their way from the garden they were startled by a hideous creature that crawled on its belly towards them. In the instance before the reptile lashed out, Eve looked into its eyes and with chilling recognition.
And even as they turned to flee, the serpent struck with incredible speed, sinking its fangs deep into the heel of Adams foot. (2)
Even now he circles the world in a frenzy, keenly aware of the shortness of time.
(1) Genesis 3:2
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die".
(2) Genesis 3:15
So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers;
He will crush your head and you will strike his heel.”
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