The First Thorn

Eden Before the Fall - Part 3

By Jon Hillenbrand In Eden Before the Fall Series, Stories

Adam felt the thorn enter the bottom of his foot piercing his skin.  He felt not pain but wonder at an injury from his friend the rose bush.  There lingered in his mind a landscape of thought intermingled with emotion that he could not access, as if trying to remember a dream after it has passed through the curtain of wakefulness.  The thoughts drew near and as quickly evaporated.  It reminded him of the morning he first saw fog on a slow moving stream.

He plunged into the water and the fog parted away.  He stood still and the fog drew near.  He crouched in the slow-moving water, eyes closed, his rear sinking beneath the surface, arms stretched out before him parted like an opening flower and the steam approached him as he breathlessly closed his arms gathering the morning mist to his chest.  He cupped both hands yet did not feel the weight of it.  He peeked one eye open and there before him in his arms was gathered light swaying with the slightest breeze stretching up to the warm sun.  He exhaled and it was gone.  Both eyes bolted open and he shook his face at the magic of it.  His hands opened, arms closed and he clenched at his chest feeling only his own wet skin, the opposite of what he expected.  He dropped back into the water with a smirk and sat on the smooth stones polished by the action of the river.  His elbows on his knees and hands on his face, his chin dragged a corner into the stream.  He nosed down into the cold flowing water sliding his eyelashes in and creating angling wavelets.  As he looked up, the mist returned and began to flow over him covering his head and shoulders like the snow of the mountains.  A single raised index finger created eddies in the mist as it flowed downstream.  A slight exhale and the mist retreated.  So he waited until it drew near and as it did he inhaled with all he could muster.  The mist flowed into his nose and mouth and light entered his body.  He shone from inside and the plants and birds and fishes turned toward his gilded form.  Holding it, trembling, feeling the cold of the river, his face turned red and shades of blue and he clenched fists against his shins until he could no longer keep it inside.  The mist around him began to pull away in expectation as he exhaled heavily with a grunt which sent all of the animals away into their hiding spots.  He expected the mist to exit his lungs and mouth but it did not.  It remained.  He blew droplets of water off of his hands.  Nothing.  He poked his hand into his mouth and felt only his teeth and tongue.  He grunted as the sun rose higher into the sky.  What mystery was this?

He pulled the thorn from his foot.  It left behind a small red spot which quickly disappeared.  What had he been thinking about?  He dropped the thorn but it landed on a lamb’s ear plant.  He replaced the thorn onto the ground near the rose bush.  The lamb’s ear was one of his favorite friends in the plant kingdom because of its softness and gentle nature.  He brushed the side of a leaf and wondered what he had been thinking about before.  It was a truth that escaped him like the mist had escaped him.  But wait, the mist had not escaped him though it had tried.  He inhaled it through his mouth.  He had been clever with the mist.  He was clever with the mist.  He hid.  He was silent.  He did not move.  The mist had approached him and he was clever and now it was a part of him forever.  He smiled at his cleverness.

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