The tree stood apart from the others in the garden, growing in isolation at the center of an invisible moat. Its bark was uneven, revealing spaces within itself that should have remained hidden. Leaves shimmered against the monotony of sunshine in colors that eclipsed all others.
Eve, driven by instinct, existed among the other animals. When her stomach signaled hunger, she consume the bland bounty the garden provided. The one like her, the one the sky-god called Adam, existed as she did. Occasionally they hungered at the same time and ate fruit together. Sometimes they traveled the garden’s paths side by side out of habit. As was commanded, the tree apart from the others was avoided without question.
And yet, something beyond Eve’s unwavering instinct drew her daily orbits closer to the forbidden tree. From a distance, she witnessed its’ leaves morph from green like the others, to hues of gold and bronze. She recognized the tree as unique and separate and witnessed this truth from gradually diminishing distances. She saw the fruit it produced grow fuller and redder than the rest, as morning dew clung greedily to the novel lusciousness.
On a day like all the others, as Eve circled from the forest of sameness, she witnessed a serpent caressing the trunk of the forbidden tree. The serpent sensed her presence and halted its journey of seduction to cast a black eye in her direction. Eve gasped, lost in the eye’s unfathomable depths, and stepped forward. Her throat pulsed as something stirred beneath its surface. Her fingers lingered there, against the uncharacteristic warmth of her own skin, tracing through unexpected pearls of sweat. She began to see images in the darkness behind her eyes of that which did not yet exist. Eve imagined Adam, grown lithe and sinewy as the serpent and imagined him entwined on her limbs like the serpent on the tree they were commanded to shun. Locking eyes with the serpent, she continued forward more boldly. Eve desired to be like the tree. Set apart and desired while growing ripe with fruit unlike any other.