Thank Girls for Little Gods
In the beginning, She popped She with a rubber band and bang, bang, the earth was created. In the beginning, She called herself As Above and She called herself So Below. They emptied their toy chest, cracked open the universe, and scattered us all across their living room floor.
In the beginning, there were pink heavens and glitters of ocean and three-legged ponies. There was a trinity and a tiny god and a less-than-holy spirit bubbling beneath an old chemistry set. These are the gifts the little girls gave us. Give thanks.
In the beginning, God was a pink scrunchie. The Holy Ghost was a chocolate chip cookie. Jesus was a crayon, maybe a color like Purple Mountain Majesty or Tickle-Me-Pink. Maybe Jesus was Burnt Senna.
In the beginning, there were pink heavens and glitters of ocean and three-legged ponies.
Maybe God pushed Satan down the stairs. Maybe God wanted to be the only one playing with the dollhouse. Maybe Moses was a meanie, breaking rules just because he didn’t like them.
In the beginning, the little girls set out commandments. Best read at bedtime after a warm glass of milk:
“It’s bad luck if the ladder falls.”
“It’s bad luck if your hair is in ribbons.”
“It’s bad luck if your hair is in blue ribbons.”
“It’s bad luck if your hair is in red ribbons.”
“It’s bad luck talking to ghosts.”
“No, it’s bad luck not talking to ghosts.”
“Says my gram.”
“My gram says not.”
“Your gram is dead.”
“It’s bad luck to stand on your head in a courtroom.”
“It’s bad luck to be an Abigail in Salem.”
“It’s bad luck to be an Elizabeth in Salem.”
“It’s bad luck to be a woman in Salem.”
“In 1692. It isn’t 1692.”
“Not today, no.”
“Not today. Maybe tomorrow?”
“Maybe tomorrow. If we want.”
“It’s bad luck to fuck a duck.”
“What’s that mean?”
“Don’t know. But it rhymes and it’s bad luck.”
“It’s bad luck to rhyme.”
“It’s bad luck to chime.”
“It’s bad luck to suck a dime.”
“Copper gives you cancer.”
“Cancer gives you Leo.”
“Leo is a lion.”
“Lions make you brave.”
“It’s bad luck to taunt a lion.”
“It’s bad luck to love a lion.”
“I loved a lion once.”
“When I lived somewhere else.”
“Inside the heart of woman many, many years ago.”
“How’d you get out?”
“Ate my way out.”
“How’d she fair?”
“I was hungry and bored.”
“That is why there’s television now.”
“It’s bad luck to watch television.”
“It’s bad luck to play a fiddle.”
“It’s bad luck to break a string.”
“It’s bad luck to kiss a boy.”
“That’s not fair.”
“I don’t make the rules.”
“Yes, you do. We do. We always make the rules. We have always made the rules.”
“Fine. Want to create the world again?”
“Yes, as soon as it’s done burning.”
Sometimes a match strikes and falls on the living room floor and As Above blames So Below or vice versa and the whole world burns down and is built up all over again, smelling like birthday cake.
In the beginning, before Eve, there was Lilith. Before Eve, there was woman against Man, against Adam. Before Lilith was banished to hell, she cut a pinkie off each hand and planted them under the tree from which you could eat but weren’t supposed to. From there sprouted two little girls who built their own little house and learned to talk to snakes who tempted women with fruit, and attracted men with excuses.
Before Lilith was banished to hell, she cut a pinkie off each hand and planted them under the tree from which you could eat but weren’t supposed to.
In the beginning, Adam slaughtered and kept the meat for himself. He named animals and ate of their bodies and worshipped the blood under his nails and called himself Of God. Eve, hungry for what Adam would not give her, searched for food and found the girls in the tree.
“Are you hungry?”
“Would you like something to eat?”
“We have something for you to eat.”
“Eat fruit from our tree.”
“Do it. You won’t.”
“It’s good. You’ll see.”
“Have you eaten today?”
“Yes, have you?”
“You look thin.”
“You look too thin.”
“Why doesn’t your husband let you eat?”
“Eat if you want.”
Imagine the way little girls care for baby birds. This is the way As Above and So Below loved the world. As soon as they realized its delicateness, they realized their power. They realized how easy bones break. Anyone would.
In the beginning, grace was just something on clearance at a grocery store. Faith was a blind man spitting on you at the corner. In the beginning, Cain killed Abel with a rock.
“Do it, Cain.”
“Do it for a kiss.”
“Yes, for a kiss.”
Sarah Dean is a graduate of the MFA writing program at Sarah Lawrence College. She has published interviews in LUMINA and LUMINA Online. This is her first published work of fiction.
Illustration by Leigh Luna