Cain, Abel, Seth, Abigail, Peter, David, Luke… for what felt like the hundredth time that day, Eve’s mind ran over the names of her children. Adam was out with the older children, hunting and gathering food for the night’s meals, while Eve was left to relax for a few quiet moments, her hands sliding over the swell of her belly. This pregnancy was different, despite the fact that everyone was acting the same.
It wasn’t the same because the night she’d conceived had been different from all the other times. Her beloved hadn’t said a word to her… he’d simply come to their bed, pressed her in to the furs beneath her, and had her. There hadn’t been anything tender or loving in his touches, and his kisses felt more hungry than passionate… he’d acted like a man starved and deprived. His skin had felt hot to the touch, but he failed to sweat, and he met her eyes only once, when he was filling her with the child now growing within her womb.
After, he’d never spoken of it. Eve worried he was angry with her for something, but nothing in his eyes or on his face suggested such. As Eve continued to fret, the little life within her stirred, kicking rapidly. She was so tired these days… carrying this child was more draining than the others, and as her grip on consciousness began to fade, her mind seemed to come alive with color and sound.
Waking on a bed of plush green grass, Eve sat up to find herself back in the place she’d been sure she’d never see again. Lush green foliage and bright, colorful flowers were all around her. Confusion muddled her thoughts as she stared around Eden, sure she had to be imagining the entire thing. Even as she stood, her feet sinking in to the soft grass, she watched as creatures went about their lives as if they hardly noticed her. Among them, she saw, was a great serpent, longer than she remembered it ever being before.
A sense of dread swelled up within her even as the child within her womb stirred, kicking and turning, twisting and battering her insides with it’s fists excitedly. Protective hands moved to her belly, covering it as if to hide her child from the evil descending from one of the massive trees. Scales shining in the dappled sunlight, the creature slithered toward her and Eve took a small step back. “Stay back! I’ll not succumb to your temptations again!” she insisted, voice trembling just a bit.
“Sss… Oh, but darling Eve, you already have…” She could swear she heard the animal laugh as it slithered around her slowly, wrapping around her legs and sliding up them as if they were slender tree trunks.
“What are you doing?” she whispered, feeling the creature’s heavy form sliding up between her thighs and up, around her hips and torso. It moved over her bare belly and Eve found herself shuddering, her hands desperately trying to push the thing away from the skin that separated her unborn child from the outside world. “St-stop…”
“I just wanted to say hello to the little princcccccce,” she snake hissed, it’s head sliding around her neck, down between her bare breasts, to nuzzle itself against her belly.
“Prince?” Eve’s voice quivered slightly.
“Oh, yesssss… you ssssshhhhaaallll ssssseeeee,” again she could swear the animal was laughing at her.
A cry of pain erupted from Eve’s lips as she woke suddenly, her hands moving to her belly. It was hard to the touch and even though she was convinced it was too soon, the labor pains hit her with sudden, rapid succession. Her hands gripped at the furs beneath her as she panted hard. The pain was blinding… worse than it had ever been with her other children, and even as she trembled and felt sweat beading on her brow, she whimpered. When the contraction ended at long last, she collapsed, her eyes rolling back in her head once more.
Eve’s eyes opened once more, snapping open to stare around her. The trees were orange and red, burning, and the cries of animals fleeing their homes hit her ears with piercing clarity. “What’s going on?” she breathed, and once more the snake seemed to laugh.
“The prince is coming,” it hissed, tongue dancing over her bare, hot flesh.
She could feel the grass at her feet heating, turning black and hard, cutting in to her flesh, and the pain was swelling once more, she could feel it as she collapsed to her knees in the blackened, dead grass. “Make it stop…”
Another scream escaped Eve’s lips as she woke to find Adam’s worried face hovering over him. Their adult daughter, Abigail was there, moving between her mother’s legs. “The baby is coming already?” her daughter asked in worry, and Eve could only nod while somewhere, in the back of her mind, she heard the serpent’s voice once more. The princcccccce issssssss coming.