I.The Boy Child
Her mother begged her father not to throw him into the abyss.
They stood above a vast chasm, with rain plummeting down in silver stripes; and the boy cried for hopeless love, and the woman sobbed against her husband’s knee, begging him to let the boy live.
She, the sister, looked onwards as the parcel fell, and wondered what god would demand such a sacrifice, such grief.
II. The Woman and the Serpent
She looked into his amber eyes and wondered what drove her here, to this place. She breathes, in and out, to the beat of the future. He hisses sweet things to her, and she listens to those gentle lies, those kind lies, that her brother is in a better place and that the world can be better through her life. What they don’t say in the stories is that she knew what she was doing when she plucked the fruit from the tree; that she knew people deserved to know the difference between good and evil. She knew good and evil better than anyone.
She bites into the apple, and remembers the boy who will never see the sun, who was cast aside. The future is altered with one sweet taste and for the first time she feels powerful.
From that point onwards, she only drinks blood. It tastes as sweet, and it’s not as rich.
IV. The Lover
She finds Adam in a lonely club. He’s got a leather jacket, and he whispers words to her, too. And she believes them because she wants to, not because they mean anything. But her wanting is meaning and warmth and life; and they both accept it for a breath, a heartbeat, a glimpse in time that’s them and only them.
She hears the voice of the crying boy, the voice of the god who demanded sacrifice, and she bares her teeth against a willing throat.
He knows from an early age that he only has eyes for boys. Billy, in the First grade, he didn’t know how or why but he knew he wanted to marry him. Something about his long body, his smile, the way he shied away from the weird girl who said she named her socks after him. Something about all of that clicked with him, made him think that that’s how families were made, and he latched onto that memory before he understood what that meant.
VI. In times long past…
A girl met her arch nemesis on a lonely stretch of country road, below the hills and before the bridge. She was taking bread to her grandmother, and he sidled along behind her, his tail going swish swish swish in the dark. The stories her mother told were only stories, so she didn’t listen. Her heels went click clack click clack on the cobblestone as she thought of flowers and soap for washing dishes.
A thousand years later, she dons a unitard and a red hood, and (the only admonishment she can offer is “bad dog” every time they fight) he sheds on the carpet. It’s been centuries since that fateful day. She can no longer remember what they were battling over and orders a Margarita from the handsome, dark-haired ‘tender at the club.
VII. She’s done fighting for Justice
Justice has only disappointed her. Soft lips and blindfolds only mean so much when a killer goes free and is allowed to live life in pillows and silk.
VIII. Queer Villainy
The love of her life leaves her for a man with the green eyes of jealousy. For longing, wanting, and hunger long denied; only grasped with pale sheets and promises of greater things to come. A blood sport between equals that will only end when one of them is dead or they can get married.
IX. The Man
She settles eventually. After the cure she’s no longer a pretty hunter. No longer pretty enough for the men she wants, and the women are all looking for friends, not sex. He’s a suitable in between with decent skin and a softening belly (when she was a monster, she would have devoured him whole). In a few years, his waistline will grow; and in a few months, so will hers.
In the end, she marries him out of the hope that her daughter will grow and have a better life than she did.
Her first child is a boy who can live, and she weeps with joy. Her second child is a daughter, born free, and she knows it was all worthwhile.