Genesis 4: Bro-Down At High Noon (Season 1, Episode 2)

What happens when God chooses Abel’s sacrifice over Cain’s? Odds are, you’re familiar with the story. Or are you? Cain does worse than just kill his brother, and God makes a deal with the devil.

This is the latest episode in a serialised narrative. If jumping into things mid-way doesn’t bother you, ignore this and keep reading. If you like to start from the beginning, check out the archive here.


WARNING

If you are a creationist, evangelist, fundamentalist, or biblical literalist, this will probably offend you.

If you have any sense of propriety, this will probably offend you.

If you have the capacity to be offended, this will probably do the trick.

If you're okay with that, then read on.

If you want to read on just so you can tell me how terrible I am and that I should never write another word ever again, feel free.

Who knows? It might actually work.


Adam and Eve head east and set up shop somewhere in the wilderness. He works the field, she works the loom. It’s no Garden of Eden, but it’s not bad. They own their own land, eat their own food, drink their own wine. They’re doing alright.

Pretty soon, they trade out their fig leaves for animal skins, and they’re looking pretty sweet in their new threads.

These two are the original trend-setters. Thousands of years after these guys are dead and gone, the leather jacket will still be a thing. You’ll have to be a certain kind of guy or gal to pull it off, but still. There it is.

They’re making choices here that will affect the rest of human history. Lemme give you an example:

So they’re cold, right? They make a fire. Then Adam, out of nowhere, puts a marshmellow on a stick and starts cooking it. Eve gives him a look like, “What the effing fuck?”

Adam ignores her, tries it. Not bad. Texture’s a little weird – crunchy on the outside, gooey inside – but otherwise, pretty damn delicious. He cooks one for Eve, but she won’t touch the thing with a ten-foot pole. Takes him a few more nights of constant nagging before she’ll give it a shot.

And guess what?

She doesn’t hate it.

Right there, a tradition is born.

See what I mean?

Literally anything they do now is something being done for the first time, and anyone coming after them just follows on from that. Might be the way they drink their wine or eat their food.

Might be the way they fuck.

And when they aren’t working or eating or drinking, that’s what they’re doing. They’re fucking. What are they supposed to do? They can’t double-date, there’s no TV. There’s not even any gladiators or executions to go see.

This is a boring-ass time to live.

There’s only so much you can talk about before you run out of shit to say. So what do you do instead?

You fuck.

You have kids.

Now you’ve got something to talk about, and a little later, you’ve got someone else to talk to. One ends up a shepherd, the other one’s a farmer, since those are basically the only two professions in existence at this point in time.

In this world, there’s no hunter-gatherers. No dinosaurs. Everything’s just suddenly – BAM! – it’s there. Straight away, we’re plowing fields and growing crops.

I suppose you could make the case that back in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were kind of hunter-gatherers. Maybe. Sort of. If hunter-gatherers weren’t allowed to eat meat and lived in a perfectly-cultivated environment protected from any danger by an omnipotent god.

They’re similar in the way that a slave to a low-ranking person in ancient society would have been to the king’s personal slave. Which is to say, not very – but they’re still called the same thing.

You can imagine then, if this shit was happening in the real world, a few guys from a local hunter-gatherer tribe would be watching these folks plow the fields, going, “Fuck that.” They see people breaking their backs trying to grow shit when shit’s already growing. The hunter-gatherers just need to pluck it off the tree, or out of the ground. They need meat, they don’t go on a twenty-mile hike to find grass for their flock – they just find the thing that’s found the grass and kill it there.

The hunters would be like, “These fucking guys are going backwards, man.”

Anyway, the first-born – his name’s Cain.

Straight away, Adam and Eve notice the belly button and they’re like, “What the fuck is that?” Takes them a while to realise the reason they don’t have one is ‘cause they didn’t spend any time getting fed through an umbilical cord.

Other than that, the kid’s big, tough, rugged, everything you want in a man. Only problem is there aren’t any women around to want him yet, so what he does instead is he works the fields with his dad.

Second out of the gate is Abel.

A little gentler than his brother. A little more fragile. He can’t handle working with his hands, so what he does instead is he tends sheep. Just takes them from place to place and while they munch grass, he’s off to the side, masturbating furiously.

Now, Cain doesn’t like this. Not one bit.

Not masturbating. He loves masturbating. Especially furiously.

What he doesn’t like is the slacker he has for a brother.

He’s busting his hump out in the fields all day and here’s this fucking guy watching sheep eat grass for a living. There aren’t even any wolves around for him to fend off. Basically, he’s a goddamn babysitter.

So every time they cross paths, Cain mutters some homophobic shit under his breath and Abel, rather than getting physical, rats him out to their mom and Eve gets physical for him. She slaps Cain upside the head and tells him to cut it out.

But the shit Cain says really gets under his brother’s skin, so he keeps doing it. Keeps getting his head slapped. So he acts all innocent, like he doesn’t know what the fuck he’s doing.

“Gay just means happy, doesn’t it?”

“A faggot’s just a bundle of sticks, right? He’s taking the bundle of sticks out with him to start a fire when he camps with the sheep. I was talking about the sticks, not him.”

Eve asks her husband if he wouldn’t mind chiming in here and doing some actual parenting for a change, but Adam’s half in the bag already and not much good to anyone. When he does chime in, he says Abel could use some toughening up, but Eve won’t hear a word of it.

She tells her son to go out and kill the fattest sheep he has, just cut its fucking throat and offer it up to God as a sacrifice. Maybe that’ll help things.

So Abel leaves.

Cain goes after him, like, “Where the fuck are you going?”

Abel says he’s going to make a sacrifice and off he goes.

But Cain’s not about to let his little bro get all the glory, so he heads out to the field and harvests all his best crops, lays them out in a heap. He calls out to God, being like, “Hey, man, come check this shit out.”

God comes down and he’s like, “Not bad, not bad. But what can I say? I’m a carnivore.”

At this point, Cain looks over and sees Abel standing there with his blood-dripping knife and the dead sheep burning on a pyre. Smoke rising up like incense to the big guy.

God goes over and eats his meal. No knives and forks, just fucking demolishes it with his bare hands. When he’s done licking his fingers, he tousles Abel’s hair like a creepy grandfather.

I should probably mention that in the time since he saw Adam kill and eat that lion, God had done something of a 180 on the whole “vegetarian” thing. Discovered ribs, steak, bacon. Hadn’t eaten a vegetable in months and he wasn’t going back.

He turns to Cain.

“Sorry, pal. Just not really into the whole fruit and veg thing. Seems kinda gay.”

In reality, it might’ve had something to do with God preferring the idea of free, nomadic living in tents with sheep and goats and shit, rather than living in one place and working the fields year round.

Whatever it was, he basically bitch-slaps Cain by choosing Abel’s sheep over his crops. Then he heads back up to heaven.

Cain looks down at the wasted pile of produce in front of him, then back at Abel, and when God’s not looking, Abel flips him the bird. Big fucking smirk on his face.

Cain almost can’t believe it. That smug bastard…

He breaks his back plowing hard all day, and suddenly he’s the gay one? No fucking way.

Later on, Cain calls God down a second time, says he tried again. He’s got something cooking on the pyre and God likes the smell of it. When he’s done eating, he sits there patting his stomach.

He says, “Fuck me, Cain, that was the shit.”

“Yeah, it was alright?”

“It was better than alright.”

“Wasn’t overcooked?”

“Not a bit.”

“Bones weren’t too crunchy?”

“No, they were perfect.”

“How about the clothes?”

God frowns. “The clothes?”

“Yeah, the clothes didn’t bother you too much? They probably burned off in the fire, right?”

“What are you talking about? What fucking clothes? You put clothes on a…”

Then it hits him.

God goes pale. Looking a little sick now, like he might throw up.

Then, he throws up.

Coughing and spluttering, he says, “Jesus Christ. That was Abel?”

“Yeah. Shame I didn’t keep some for myself. Looked pretty tasty the way you went to town on him.”

“You jealous fucking prick. Why? Because he had a better sacrifice than you did?”

“What was I supposed to do, just bend over and take it?”

God lets out a sigh. “You know I gotta banish you, right?”

“Oh, come on...”

“No, that’s it, man. You’re fucking outta here. I can’t just sweep this under the rug like it’s nothing.”

“Hey, you never said we couldn’t kill each other.”

“I didn’t think I had to. It was implied. Jesus – first your dad, now you. Unless I spell it out to the letter, you guys are really just going to do the most evil shit you can think of, aren’t you?”

“Well, if that’s how you really feel, then do what you gotta do. I’ll do what I gotta do.”

God raises an eyebrow, suspicious. He says, “What do you gotta do?”

Wiping the blood off his knife, Cain goes, “Well, if you really feel like you gotta banish me, then I might feel like telling mom and dad what you did to their son.”

“What are you talking about? You fucking killed him.”

“Yeah, but I didn’t eat him.”

God’s at a loss for words. He’s thinking, “Touché,” but what he says is: “You fucking weasel.”

“I’m sorry you feel that way, but if I go out wandering the earth and people know what I did…”

“People are gonna know what you did. What do you think, you’re just gonna show up for dinner and no one’s gonna ask where your brother is?”

“No, I know I gotta get outta here. What I want is protection.”

“Protection?”

“Yeah. From all the people who are gonna try and kill me.”

Okay, sidebar…

We can assume at this point that Adam and Eve have had more kids, and the two oldest brothers have taken wives from among their sisters.

I can hear you saying, “Hold up…doesn’t the Bible forbid incest?”

And the answer is yeah, it does…just not yet.

The law forbidding marriage between close relatives doesn’t come down until a while later when Moses is doing his thing, so for the moment, everyone’s fair game. Think of the whole world (or at least the part where all this is happening) as one big, fat, incestuous orgy.

God was like, “I’ll turn a blind eye for the moment, but the second there’s enough of you that you don’t have to do it any more, anyone caught doing it will be fucking stoned to death.”

This might be one of the reasons they were so hardcore against homosexuality in the early days. Two guys couldn’t have any kids together, and unless these people were pumping out like ten, fifteen kids each, they were going to go extinct pretty fucking quick.

But imagine being the guy in the middle of banging his sister when Moses reads out the commandments and suddenly he gets dragged out and pelted to death with rocks.

I mean, talk about birth control.

Now, there actually may be some science to back up why the human race didn’t just inbreed itself to extinction right about now. The theory goes that since we hadn’t accumulated all the genetic fuck-ups that result in deformities today (since God, the master craftsman, made us all perfect to begin with), it was totally fine to fool around with your family members, switch it up with your siblings, get kinky with your kinfolk, and of course, have relations with your relations.

Quick biology lesson here: basically, if the genes that produce deformities are carried by both parents, they’re way more likely to manifest themselves in the kid. The more distantly-related the parents are, the better chance the kid’ll be healthy.

So this was all good starting out. But by the time of Moses, you can imagine the birth defects starting to pile up and God like, “Nope, that’s it.” Then the poor guy banging his sister gets dragged out and fucking stoned to death.

Also, you can imagine people were probably pretty psyched to get to bang someone they hadn’t known since birth. A bit of the old afternoon delight without their post-coital pillow talk involving a sentence like, “So, what are you getting mom for Mother’s Day?”

Basically what this means is…at the time Cain kills his brother, every single person on earth is closely related to him. While Cain was the oldest, Abel wasn’t the youngest. Eve’s pumping out kids almost faster than Adam can pump them into her.

And remember, people lived a lot longer back then. Adam’s going to be about 930 years old when he dies, just to give you an idea.

So, if everyone’s either a parent or brother or sister or niece or nephew of Cain…when they hear that he killed Abel, they’re going to want him dead.

Cain, not Abel.

Abel’s already dead.

And this is before laws or courts or any of that shit, so if someone gets murdered, the only way to get yourself a nice, steaming bowl of justice is to do it Liam Neeson style. And that’s exactly what Cain’s afraid of.

And we’re back in…

So God’s like, “Fine, fair enough. You don’t say anything to your parents, I’ll make sure no one kills you.”

“How?”

“With this.” And he takes out a red-hot branding iron, like something you’d use on livestock. But before Cain can say, “What the fuck?”, he jams the iron right into Cain’s forehead. The guy screams, smells his own flesh cooking and passes out.

When he comes to, God’s gone and his head is fucking killing him. Cain goes home to get his wife-slash-sister and says, “Pack your shit, honey, we’re leaving.”

But she’s just staring at his forehead – wide-eyed, slack-jawed – and pretty quickly, her shock turns to anger.

“Wow. Really?

He turns, sees the look on her face. Her eyebrows are raised so high they’re practically merging with her hairline.

“What?” he says.

But before Cain can react, she storms out past him, going, “If you want a divorce, just ask for one, you passive-aggressive asshole!”

He watches her go, baffled. Da fuck?

Since there’s no mirrors around, he goes over to a bucket of water and looks down at his reflection. There, in the centre of his forehead, seared into his flesh in huge, block letters is a single word.

CUNT.

It’s not the most subtle way of going about it, but Cain has to hand it to the big guy – no one wants to mess with a cunt.

So he and his wife-slash-sister pack their shit and off they go. We’re assuming that he was married to his sister already. Either that or he just wandered around for a bit before bumping into one of his sisters or nieces or great-nieces or great-great nieces and immediately decided to mount her.

Whatever happened, Cain eventually married and knew his wife.

For anyone who isn’t clear, ‘knew’ is Bible-speak for ‘fucked’. He fucked his wife. Fucked his wife and had a son. Called him Enoch.

What he did then was he built a city, and he called that city Enoch.

Real Einstein, this guy.

Now, a city back then wasn’t anything like what it is today. Think of it more like a little fortified camp, maybe with a stone or mudbrick wall around it.

That was like Times Square back in the day.

Meanwhile, back home, Eve’s cooking dinner when God shows up unannounced, delivers the bad news.

“Cain killed Abel and buried the body.”

Eve breaks down crying and Adam’s pretty drunk, so he just kind of sits there, staring straight ahead.

God says, “It’s not all bad. At least they’ll be remembered, y’know? First born, first to die. First murderer, first murder victim…”

You know, everything a bereaved mother wants to hear.

God’s attempt to see the silver lining doesn’t go down real well, but eventually, things settle. Eve wipes her eyes and pours herself a glass of wine. She asks God if he wants to stay for dinner.

God swallows. He laughs nervously, scratches the back of his head. “No thanks. I’m stuffed.”

“Oh, okay.” Eve returns to her cooking, unoffended.

But God can’t help himself. “I’m not able to take another bite.”

Jesus, dude. A pun?

Eve looks sideways at him, like, “Uhhh...

She doesn’t get the ‘joke’. He doesn’t leave.

He could leave. He should leave.

He doesn’t leave.

He keeps going. “I mean, unless you’ve got some shepherd’s pie?”

God is really sweating now. What the fuck is he doing?

Eve is really weirded out. What the fuck is up with this guy?

“No, sorry,” she says, trying to end the conversation and get him out of there. “Just lasagne. Nothing spesh...”

“I ate your son.”


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