The Deed

ImageIt had been six months since Cain first felt the thrill of control over another creature, but it hadn’t been his last.

He found excuses now to wander to the field, hoping to find an intruder, or to take a walk to the river to get water, hoping to see a critter moving so he might end its movement. Cain still knew that killing was wrong, but he also felt that he didn’t have control over anything else in his life.

To top everything off that’s gone wrong lately, that stupid brother of mine is getting married tomorrow! There isn’t anything good that will come of it, he isn’t even leaving home. He and Dad have been planning for weeks on what their new shelter is going to look like, but didn’t anyone ask me if I wanted to help? No! They wouldn’t want me interfering with their precious “father son time”.

And now I have to harvest my precious vegetables for a sacrifice to praise ‘Being’ on their wedding. I don’t give two craps about ‘Being’ or Abel’s wedding, why should I have to sacrifice my hard work for them?

It was that evening, as the sun was setting, that the ceremony was to take place. Cain had placed his least favorite, but not noticeably horrible, vegetables on his alter as Abel placed his largest lamb, tied and helpless, upon his own. It was then that Cain realized something horrible.

He’s… He’s going to kill that lamb! No! The thrill of taking life was all I had! The only thing that I didn’t have to share with anyone! Who is making him do this?

His agitation increased as Adam declared that it had been his idea to sacrifice a gift offering to ‘Being’. “How best to show our love for ‘Being’ than to give up that which we hold most dear?”

They were to act simultaneously, Cain burning his offering, Abel slitting the throat of his. However, the frenzy building inside Cain blinded him to any reality. As he lit his altar, he glanced over at his brother, who had a look on his face that to Cain could only be interpreted as rapture.

Nooooo!!! I want something for myself for once! Why ‘Being’!? Why do you hate me!? Why do you give Abel everything!? I won’t stand for it! I will be the only one who knows what it is to kill! And the only way for that to be true… is to… is to…

A fire rose from Cain’s feet, rapidly building through his legs, into his chest where his heart was bounding, flooding out to his hands that itched to do something, and finally into his head which felt as though it were melting, he couldn’t hear anything but the roaring of his own blood. He couldn’t see anything but a red haze around his brother, and he knew it was ‘Being’ accepting Abel’s offering, and spurning his own. In the blink of an eye, Cain acted. He lifted one of the heavy stones, left over from building the alters, and threw it at his brother’s head.

It took a few seconds for the fire to burn itself out, to begin to hear again, to see again, and to comprehend. His parents and his future sister in law had never seen anything to heinous, never even considered that something like this were possible.

As for Cain, he couldn’t take his eyes off of his brother’s bloody body. Half of him was expecting the rush of satisfaction, of control, of power to surge through him as it had done so many times before when he had killed, and it did come… but there was also something else. Cain had never killed a human, a person who was so like him, a being with feelings, with emotions, with whom Cain shared a past. Cain felt for the first time in his life… remorse.

It was as the remorse that quickly overwhelmed the power. Realization, guilt, and fear buzzed into his brain. Tears began to well into his eyes.

It was then, in the seconds as he felt remorse, as it buzzed in his mind, that the most miraculous and beautiful even occurred in Cain’s life. He met ‘Being’…

One thought on “The Deed

  1. I have always had difficulty with why Cain’s offering was not acceptable and Abel’s was. After reading this I re-read the passage and did notice that Abel gave the best that he had and Cain just brought an offering – not the best. Also, it reminded me that God knows our hearts and he knows why we do things.

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