Friday, October 8


I am in the process of a creating a 4-story, weblog/book for one of my online classes.  This is the first of my four stories which I have chosen to create!  I have taken a text (The Legends of the Jews/ Ginzberg) and am required to re-tell the stories in a creative way, so I chose four "villians" which will be written about over the remainder of the semester.  I'll include the frametale (setup) before this particular post...hope you enjoy! (And these are all pre-editing)


(Group of four men sitting in half circle with a young woman: THERAPIST)  

THERAPIST: Welcome! This is Group Therapy.  I want to go around the circle and have you tell the group your name, and the reason you feel you are here.  Let’s start with...(pause, looks around trying to quickly decide who should go first)...Serpent.  Will you please answer these questions? (Smiles)

SERPENT: (Tall, lanky, 17 years old, handsome and charming, dark hair and eyes, coy smile. Voice is melodic, “s” sounds very pronounced; slight British accent, seems fake)  So...I am Serpent.

ALL: (monotone) Hi, Serpent.

SERPENT: I “feel” I am here because of a slight misunderstanding involving a husband and his wife.  Go on?

THERAPIST: Perfect, thank you, Serpent.  Cain, would you be comfortable with going next?

CAIN: (Muscular guy, average height, 25 years old, long wavy golden hair, slight southern drawl)  Um...well, I’m Cain, I guess.

ALL: (monotone) Hi, Cain.

CAIN: Yeah,, I guess I feel like I’m here ‘cause I had a mishap with my brother, Abel.  Wrong place, wrong time...ya know.

THERAPIST: Thank you, Cain.  You don’t have to feel the need to justify anything. We are here to talk freely without judging each other.  (Nods head in agreement, Cain relaxes)  Okay, how about Pharaoh?

PHARAOH: (Middle Eastern, dark skin, dark hair, deep and airy voice.  Superb English, hint of a French accent)  Hello, I am Pharaoh.

ALL: (monotone, slightly frustrated) Hi, Pharaoh.

PHARAOH: I feel as if I am here because of a poor judgment call concerning the Israelites in my employ. (Pauses and looks at THERAPIST to make sure this is adequate).

THERAPIST: That was perfectly adequate Pharaoh. Thank you.  Now, Reuben?

REUBEN: (Fidgety, burly guy with wandering eyes, soft spoken) My name is Reuben.

ALL: (monotone, nonchalant) Hi Reuben.

REUBEN: I didn’t want to, but I basically sold my brother...

THERAPIST: Thank you, Reuben.  Alright, now what I want you all to do is look at this ball. (reaches underneath her chair and grabs a red plush ball)  This is the “talking ball.”  Right now, I am holding it so I can talk and you can listen. (Smiles) Now, we are going to pass the ball around the room and whoever holds it can talk.  The only guidelines you have are to tell us your side of the story.  The court has placed you together in order to encourage an open, non-judgemental, and safe place to share.  (No one moves or says anything)  Can we all play by these rules?  (Everyone nods/shrugs/whispers in agreement).  Alright, let’s begin.  Serpent... (THERAPIST hands the ball to SERPENT)



SERPENT:  I was once the most notable creature other than man.  Have you ever had friends that were less intelligent than you are?

THERAPIST: (interrupting) I want you to tell me your side of the story, not to try and get justification from others in the group.  They will have their time for holding the ball later, this is your time. (smiles at SERPENT)

SERPENT: Okay...well, as I was saying, I used to be the best of all creation, other than man.  There was no one that could compare to my wit and my intellect and no one was smart enough to even understand my jokes...other than man.  I hated that man was God’s favorite, it really wasn’t fair.  I was almost on par with man, and I just don’t understand...didn’t understand why I was treated so unfairly.  Never having friends...never having conversations...never being able to joke...(long pause)...they were God’s favorite.  I just wanted to be the same as them, and I knew that the woman was naive.  I didn’t mean to do any harm to her or the man, but I just wanted friends.  You can’t understand how lonely it was all by myself...

THERAPIST:  (interrupting) I want you to use “me” statements, if you can.  We all want to hear what you think, not what we think.  YOU are the important person in this story.

SERPENT: (frustrated) Fine.  (Putting the emphasis on “I”) I was lonely and I just wanted some friends.  I didn’t have any...there was no one that could understand me, so when the woman was alone that day it was my opportunity to talk with her without the man standing there and talking for her.  She was beautiful and a lot of fun to talk to, but I was more intelligent than she was, she was very gullible.  But she was telling me something about not being able to touch the fruit of some tree.  I don’t really think she knew what she was talking about, I hadn’t heard anything about that, I had heard something about eating it, and I knew that it was one of the trees in the general vicinity, but touching it?  When I asked her which tree, she showed me, and I went up to the tree, but she screamed at me to come back. (starts talking quickly, and less coherently) I turned back towards her and she exclaimed that if I touched the fruit I would die, and she seemed really concerned for my life.  This could have been a true friendship, she really cared about me, but she was mistaken. I tried to show her that touching the fruit was okay, so I shook the base of the tree and made a bunch of fruit fall to the ground, and I picked one up and she saw that nothing bad happened to me, and so she picked up one too.  I didn’t make her eat it, but she had been told by the man that if she touched the fruit that she would die, but she wasn’t dying, so I think she started doubting the things that the man had told her, and I didn’t know she was going to do it, but I knew that if she did it, that we would be the same, so I didn’t try to stop her because she cared about me, she had cared about me dying.  (long pause, breathing heavily...concerned look on his face).
(everyone in the room is still, staring at the SERPENT with eyes wide.  SERPENT slowly stands up, eyes fixed on something in the distance, walks to the middle of the circle and his grip on the ball slowly slackens.)

SERPENT: (softer voice, almost child-like)...and she took a bite.  As soon as she did I knew something bad had happened because her face went white like she had seen a ghost.  She told me to eat as well, so I did, I was so concerned with what had happened, I didn’t want her to be alone in what she had done.  As soon as I had taken a bite, I saw it.  The angel of death.  It stood before me.  Judging me.  The woman was beautiful.  But she went around, crazy, driven to get every living creature, including man, to eat the fruit.  She didn’t tell them it was the forbidden fruit, she just got them to eat it.  She was so beautiful.  I could have loved her, but the things I had longed for were further away now than they were before.  I could see it now.  I knew what I had done.  I had just wanted friends, I just wanted to be accepted and loved...but the situation was not in my favor and I was not favored by God, ever, before or after...and I was punished, severely.  I didn’t mean for the terrible things that had happened...I just wanted someone to care for me, and she did...but then she took a bite, all because I shook the tree.  I could have just let her think that touching the fruit was a bad idea, but no...I needed her...and now I can never be accepted, by any creatures.  I’m the outcast.  (almost a whisper, the ball finally falls from his hands and bounces away) I was too smart for my own good...I caused it all to happen.  But I didn’t mean to...(voice trails off)
(everyone in the room has remained still.  SERPENT moves back to his seat, head in his hands. THERAPIST looks at him and at the ball, still on the floor.  She slowly gets up, picks up the ball, and sits back down in her seat.  She looks at SERPENT)

THERAPIST: (comforting). Thank you, Serpent, that was wonderful. Now, Cain...(hands CAIN the ball, he takes it hesitantly)


  1. Wow. I love the writing style! It puts an old story in a new light. Very, very good. When do you think you will be posting the other three storys?

    This is facebook friend Dan Chambers btw...

  2. while reading this, I couldn't help reading therapist as "the rapist"

    I think I watched too much celebrity jeopardy

  3. The way you write draws in your reader, ready or not. I really wish I was in the room with this group. My favorite scene is when the Serpent describes shaking the forbidden fruit tree. I could picture the plump fruit falling, heavy with eternal, foreboding change.