Before there was Crowley, there was Crawly
Yeah, bloody great. Easy for him to say. He just has to give the sodding orders.
"THIS IS YOUR FIRST BIG ASSIGNMENT, CRAWLY."
"GET IT DONE."
"DO NOT DISAPPOINTMENT ME."
"Oh, no. Definitely won't."
"I AM GIVING YOU SIX DAYS TO OBSERVE, SIX TO PLAN, AND SIX TO EXECUTE. REMEMBER THAT. SIX, SIX, SIX."
"Yes, six. Got it."
18 days. A hundred wouldn't help He had already used up his six days allotted for observation as well as three of the days he was to use for plotting whatever plot. And all he had was a handful of incredibly dull mental notes.
Shifting his way through tall, lush grass, the demon spotted his targets, extremely grateful they were not having sex again. It seemed the only thing they enjoyed doing was having sex. Lots of sex. It had been interesting to Crawly at first. Seeing them all sweaty and making those odd noises. And being a demon, watching lust at play was always good for a grin. But it had gotten old fast. Very fast. Especially since he was strapped for time.
Paradise was a pretty place to visit and all, but it was utterly rubbish for when it came to trying to cause trouble. What in all hell was he supposed to do? There was only one way he could think of that could cause trouble in Eden: disobeying God. And the only way to really disobey God enough to get His attention and consequently start the rolling ball of trouble, was to act upon what YOU wanted and YOUR desires, rather than what He wanted. It was the only surefire way of ticking Him off. Crawly's current boss found that out the tough way.
But that bit of information hardly worked in this case. Paradise was Paradise. Which meant contentment. Complete contentment. There was nothing Adam and Eve wanted since all they wanted they had. There was nothing they desired. Except groping each other quite a lot and they were certainly allowed to do.
"That is a dove."
Trailing after them with an exhausted, irritated, but dogged air, Crawly listened in on their conversation, which at times was more dull than watching them have sex. Adam seemed to take great joy in telling Eve what everything was called. A typical day, as Crawly had observed, was sex in the morning, followed by breakfast, then usually another round. Then they would spend usually an hour or two staring at each other with rather ridiculous looks on their faces. Then, depending on the mood and energy level, more sex would follow, or a stroll like the one Crawly was currently eavesdropping on.
"This is pollen. And that is a bee."
"You know so much, Adam."
Adam always looked pleased when Eve said this. No matter how many times she said it.
"This is a feather, Eve. Feel how soft it is."
"It comes for birds. Those creatures in the air I showed you yesterday."
"You know so much, Adam."
Spotting a rock not far away, Crawly contemplated knocking his head against it. No, that probably wouldn't be very helpful. It would only add to the headache he already had.
"Those are ants. Different from beetles."
Seeing where this was going, Crawly slithered a little away from the two humans and idly wrapped his long body around a low hanging tree branch and closed his eyes. His headache wasn't going to go away anytime soon.
"Adam, what is that?"
"That is the Tree of Knowledge, Eve."
"Those things on it....apples? They're so beautiful."
"You must never touch them, Eve. Never eat them."
"Because it is forbidden."
"What is 'forbidden?' I do not know what the word means."
Adam didn't reply to that one immediately and Crawly opened one eye.
"It means....it means we must not do it."
"Even if we want to?"
"Yes, even if we want to."
"Because....we were told not to."
"So we cannot even if we want to?"
Eve paused. "I am still not certain what 'forbidden' means."
"Just never eat the fruit from that tree, Eve. That is all you need to know."
Yes, Adam That was different. The words were obedient, but Crawly could hear the difference in her voice. Something that had never been there before.
Opening the other eye, he uncoiled and let himself drop soundlessly onto the ground. Things were looking up.
After that day, the routine between the humans changed. Now at night, Eve took to taking walks by herself while Adam slept. She'd linger mostly by the rivers, but always she'd pass by the clearing to stare at the Tree of Knowledge and watching the moonlight reflect on the skins of the apples, causing them sparkle like tiny stars.
Crawly watched her do this and also watched her interactions with Adam. Already her desire for something she could not have was working on her. It made her less enthusiastic, less attentive as her attention always strayed to what was denied her. Now as Adam continued to tell her the names of things, a slightly vacant look would often cloud Eve's eyes, though she always knew when to chime in with her usual, "You know so much, Adam."
Adam, for his part, was oblivious.
Watching the two head out on their usual daily stroll on the 17th day, Crawly remained coiled by his now favorite low hanging tree branch, closed his eyes and began to formulate a plan.
Opening one yellow slitted eye, the demon saw an upside down blond head and a pair of blue eyes. With an abrupt hiss, he uncoiled and dropped down to the ground, nearly forgetting to turn in mid-air to avoid landing on his back.
"I don't believe you should be here."
While the new arrival had a rather impressive looking sword hanging by his side that should have struck fear into Crawly, the apologetic tone with which he spoke only meant one thing: an angel. To that, the demon only smirked.
"S'nice day," remarked Crawly, pleasantly.
"Umm..yes, I suppose it is," supposed the angel, looking distinctly uncomfortable. "Look, I think it'd be best if you just move along."
"Or what?" asked Crawly. "You going to smite me with that sword of yours?" The earlier smirk faded a little as he realized that if God did order this angel to do so, he'd be cleaved in half, no problem. Angels were so easy to mess around with since by their nature they wouldn't do a thing unless told to do so by God. Then again, once the order was given, nothing would stop them from carrying it out. It really was a 50/50 chance.
But this angel only straightened himself a little more and took on a haughty air. Or at least attempted to. "I would not defile the sanctity of this blade by letting it touch you, demon."
"Ooooh, very nice," said Crawly, looking mockingly impressed.
"Just move along," ordered the angel, looking somewhat put off. "I haven't been given any orders concerning you yet, so obviously you're being spared for a reason, so just go on your way," he gestured.
"Spared? Oh, don't make me laugh," retorted Crawly.
"It's true. I'm not lying," said the angel, now looking a little smug.
Typical. Just typical that this winged imbecile would make it all about them.
"Whatever you do, it's only because He's allowing for it," added the angel, smiling quite serenely now.
"On your way then."
Flicking his tongue angrily, Crawly slithered off.
"Beautiful, aren't they?"
A small gasp escaped Eve at the sound. Staring up at source of the voice, hovering just by her left shoulder she frowned.
"What are you?"
"A friend," he whispered. Carefully, he wound his way down a little more, just touching Eve's shoulder. The moonlight bounced off the speckles of his long body, causing Eve to smile at the sight.
"Pretty," she remarked.
"Thankssss." Smiling benignly, Eve looked back to the tree. "Lovely, aren't they?"
"Tasty too, I bet."
"Mmm...." mused Eve. "But we must not eat them," she said, remembering herself.
"What idiot told you that?"
"Adam," replied Eve, not knowing what 'idiot' really meant. "He knows so much."
"Right, yeah, I noticed. But you want to eat them, don't you?"
"Well, yes," Eve answered after a momentarily pause. "But it is for- bidden," she said, testing out the word.
"Do you want to know a secret?" asked Crawly, flicking his tongue closer to Eve's ear.
Eve did not know what 'secret' meant, but the word filled her with a certain, tingling sensation and she was suddenly very eager to listen to whatever this creature had to say to her. "Yes, please."
"That tree over there. Eating just one bite of its fruits will open your eyes."
"But my eyes are open," said Eve, puzzled.
"No, I mean metaphori-never mind," amended Crawly. "Listen, eating the fruit from there will show you lots of very interesting things. You'll be able to know more than Adam."
"Oh." That last part seemed incomprehensible for Eve. "But...I don't think I want to know more than Adam. He knows so much."
"That's just because you don't know any better," said Crawly. "Once you take a bite, you'll know quite a bit. And then you'll know why it'll be a good thing to know more than Adam because you'll know more. See what I mean?"
Crawly sighed, though it came out more like a hiss. Slithering behind Eve's shoulders, he rested his head on her other shoulder. "Okay, look, you like apples, don't you?"
"Oh, yes," said Eve, brightly. "I love them."
"Well, imagine the most delicious, ripe, sweetest apple. And just know that whatever you can think of does not even compare to how wonderful the apples of that tree taste. You'll never forget a taste like that. There's nothing like it. Nothing compares."
Envy and desire flickered all the more in Eve's large eyes and Crawly felt a certain thrill at seeing his words having effect on her. "Take one."
"But it is forbidden," said Eve, weakly.
"I won't tell anyone," whispered Crawly. "One bite. Just one bite and it will be enough to carry with you forever."
It was the 19th day. A full day after both Eve and Adam had tasted the sweet apple from the Tree of Knowledge. The sun seemed to have hidden behind a veil of clouds and it looked like rain was threatening the skies.
Crawly slithered through the still dry blades of grass, sensing the foreboding in the clouds. While it would be difficult to tell, his features had a mildly surprised expression. The sort of look a person took on when he uttered a callous, but truthful remark.
"What? What's the big deal?" said the expression.
It all seemed a bit overly dramatic to Crawly what was happening. Then again, God was one for the dramatics as far as he could remember. Still, this all did seem a little too much. Although Crawly had to admit, it was rather fun to see how much chaos a little temptation caused. How all that effort really did garner some noticeable results. He could get used to that.
Seeing a familiar looking angel standing by the Eastern gate, Crawly slithered up to him. He wasn't going to gloat, really. Just chat. Maybe see if the angel could shed some light on what the big deal all of this was. Not that angels really KNEW that much. Still, it was worth a shot.
"Well, that one went down like a lead balloon," said Crawly, conversationally as he approached.