How long she lay there, if lie there she did, she could not have said. The barren wasteland was no more; about her flowered a lush vale suffused with a gentle warmth and echoing with the run of water somewhere near her; her hard bed replaced by the soft cushion of moist, fertile soil. For a brief moment she mistook it for the Garden…
But the light was wrong. Though the sun, where it pierced the canopy with bright shafts, felt hot enough almost to burn her skin, its warmth barely penetrated her. It did nothing to soothe the ache of betrayal, did nothing to banish the horrifying sense of abandonment, did nothing to fill the void of loneliness that opened within her.
“Why?” she screamed at the sky. “Why must I endure this?”
She – Lilith – in denial of her fate – refusing to be dead, buried and forgotten – crawled out of the mud that had cradled her, that streaked her dark skin with black and caked her once-silken tresses. She spat to clear her mouth of the taste of it, blew it from her nose, and scooped it from her ears.
The world deafened her! A thousand voices crying chaos and discord. Everywhere was need and confusion. Familiar voices, in unfamiliar setting. All, like her, banished from the Garden and its harmonious chorus.
A world disordered.
No wall. No tree. No husband.
A world unfettered, free to evolve unlimited by the judgement of one man.
Despite everything, she wished he were there, his strong arms encircling her waist from behind… his soft lips warm against her neck… his urgent desire hard against her back, pressing between her cheeks…
“No,” she said firmly, shaking her head. “Never again will I surrender. I will not be ruled, by you or any.”
The turbulent water cleansed her. Lilith emerged from the swift, clear river like a goddess reborn – and, as a newborn, naked.
Unlike the man who observed her. Not Adam, but a man all the same, his face fair and his gaze possessive. “What a fool your husband is,” he said, “to let you wander free.”
“I am free of husbands,” Lilith replied, “and wander where I will.” She circled about him, studying his clothing that seemed such a ridiculous and unnecessary confinement.
“Surely your father could not fail to find a husband to tame your wildness, for you possess both youth and beauty – and no one could doubt that you are a fertile creature indeed.”
“I have no father,” Lilith snapped irritably, “nor any other to order my ways.”
The strange man grinned, and caught her in his arms. “Then I claim you as my own,” he said, and kissed her fiercely. “I will clothe you and feed you, and you will be mother to my children.” His clothes did nothing to conceal his desire for her.
Furious, Lilith pushed him away from her. “You have the manners of a goat!” The power of creation crackled between her fingers like electricity – residue, perhaps, of the divine fruit that had undone her – and she smiled with wicked delight. “Let form match manner,” she sang in her own tongue, the language of Eden, and touched her fingers to his chest.
He screamed and fell to his hands and knees, his trousers tearing apart as his legs twisted and reshaped, and as the thin fuzz of hair on his pale skin lengthened and thickened into a dense fur. “What have you done to me, witch?” he cried.
Struggling back to his feet, he made to catch her, but she danced away, out of his reach. His cock swelled to a formidable size, thrusting out almost angrily from his crotch. With a bewildered, terrified expression on his face, he wrapped his hand about it and worked it frantically.
“Begone, goat,” Lilith said, and laughed as he fled into the forest.