RACING ALONG THE TIGRIS, CAIN sprinted north, urgent to travel as far from home as possible. Out of the corner of his eye, he glimpsed the cherubim adjusting their positions, keeping him always before them. Suddenly, the unseen cord yanked him toward the river. He dug in his heels, but slipped down the embankment, getting his feet wet.
Then Yahweh dragged him into the water.
Cain knew how to swim, so he propelled himself across the river. But his mind screamed with objection—I can’t go there! This was forbidden. Death waited on the other side. Why was God doing this to him? Perhaps this was the moment of his death. Having restored Lilith, maybe his purpose for living was complete.
When he reached the other side, he crawled onto the riverbank with trepidation. Countless times he had sat on the bank opposite the cherubim, astonished by their appearance, frightened by their quick and watchful eyes. How would it feel when they killed him? Would it occur quickly and painlessly, or the other more dreadful way, like he had killed Abel?
Afraid to look up, he stayed on his hands and knees until he caught his breath, postponing the inevitable. Then, slowly, he raised his head.
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