Chapter 2 – The Garden Man
Living alone in a walled garden that was too slick and tall to climb was a man, but he was not only separated from the rest of humanity by a wall, he was also separated by barren, rocky terrain and vast desert. The only source of fresh water was a river that was two furlongs wide and six cubits deep during the dry season. It wound through the garden and under the walls, watering the plants and animals within.
Asmodeus could understand why this interested Vetis. The man was completely secluded by both the walls and the surrounding terrain. No other humans lived within 16 furlongs of this area due to its extreme uninhabitability, and it was obvious to Asmodeus that no other demons lived within this area. There was no food. This man emitted neither discontent nor fear.
Asmodeus started to land on the wall then thought better of it. It was probably infused with pure light, and if that were the case, Asmodeus understood why they needed his human’s help. If this were truly a place of god, neither Asmodeus nor Vetis would be able to enter.
Instead of landing, Asmodeus circled the garden to observe the man within.
Adam walked alone in the garden surrounded by beasts of all types – sheep, goats, cows, bulls, chickens, rabbits, cats, horses, zebras… While they were entertaining and he enjoyed caring for them, none offered him satisfaction or companionship beyond a nuzzle and a warm place to sleep. He could spill his seed into them as many times as he wished, yet nothing happened. They were not of his breed, and Adam only grew more frustrated to spite the beauty of the garden and ample food.
One night, as the moon hung low in the sky, Adam thanked god for the beauty and abundance in the garden, and he prayed for a woman he could spend his days with and continue his lineage just as the rabbits and horses. As he prayed, his eyes drifted shut and a deep sleep befell him.
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It was the beginning when a single star offered its dim light to the vastness of space, but there was already a war brewing, tormented by its own existence.
Rock exploded, fragmented and catapulted super heated chunks of molten hardness. Suddenly, there was matter where there had been none, planets where they did not exist before and tiny almost imperceptible lights in the sky. The lights were not close enough or warm enough to penetrate the rocky, barren crust of the Earth, and nothing existed beyond deep valleys and jagged cliffs.
The years passed slowly on this dark, uninhabitable planet. The darkness bred discontent. The desolation bred hostility, and out of this irritation came the first life form. Demons. They covered the planet, feeding off its hatred and hostility. It was an overabundant food source but not unlimited.
As the demons devoured the darkness, beams of purifying light emerged. At first, they were no more than a man’s finger piercing through the black sky. The demons paid them no mind. They had no concern for the lights. They were slow moving creatures.
Eons passed. The fingers became hands. The hands dropped water onto the barren soil, moistening the long hibernating seeds. Rain flooded the deepest valleys and craters, creating running streams and oceans of life giving water.
Imperceptible green spouts emerged from the soil and new seeds lingered on fragile stems. Tumultuous winds tore those seeds from their stems and spread them wide and far, and they grew.
First, those tiny fragile seeds surrounded the oceans and rivers, thriving off the handfuls of light. As they grew and multiplied, they spread to the edges of the darkness where they produced a warming mixture of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and oxygen.
The expansion of light hastened, but what was this light? The answer would prove fatal. Any demon caught in the light singed and burned to nothingness.
The demons scrambled into caves where only a handful would survive to witness the beginning of mankind – homo-habilis, homo-erectus, and finally homo-sapien. As the humans grew and spread and the existence of darkness both in the caves and at night brought carnivorous creatures, and strange illnesses began to plague the human race. Infants died. Mothers screamed in agony. Fathers became weak and withered, and the demons became objects of rituals. They were dark angry gods to be appeased lest the rains did not fall, firstborn males died and disease and pestilence ravaged the dwellings.
With the rituals came learning, and one demon stood alone when he realized he could feed off the ceremonies and human fear, discontent and anger. Vetis inhaled their fear and anger, becoming powerful from within the darkness of his cave.
Unfortunately, the light still burned, which prevented him and every other demon who survived the onslaught from entering into the world of the humans. However, with every period of light came darkness. It was only a matter of time before the demons would learn to use the darkness to their advantage. Vetis was the first.
When the moon rose high in the sky, Vetis took one cautious step through the mouth of his cave. When there was no pain, he took another and another until he was strolling amongst the world’s new population. They had solid bodies and could walk and communicate with each other in ways that Vetis could only dream. There had to be a way to walk among them in the light, and Vetis would find it.
In the meantime, he infiltrated their temples and fed from their rituals, growing stronger until he was joined by another. His name was Asmodeus.
Angered at the intrusion into his night, Vetis sought to destroy Asmodeus, pushing him out of the temples with demonic fire and brimstone and fighting him on open land.
Their battles raged far and wide, destroying villages and decimating the landscape, and as the human population dwindled, Vetis found himself pinned against a sharp rock hundreds of cubits in the air.
“Soon there will be no humans, and then what will you do, Vetis?” Asmodeus snarled, breathing his brimstone breath in Vetis’ face. “Grow weak and wither until you are called to Hell under Lucifer’s rule.”
Vetis launched himself off the rocks with his powerful wings, hurling them toward the ground as he wrapped his dark gray hands around Asmodeus’ black neck. “You will be the one cast back into Hell.”
Asmodeus slammed one demonic foot into Vetis’ chest, shattering his bones and freeing himself before they impacted the jagged, barren rocks below. He soared into the black sky just as the first rays of deadly light crested upon the horizon.
With Vetis injured but in pursuit, Asmodeus fled into the nearest cave. They fought through the day. Neither gaining nor giving ground until their black blood coated the rocks and the mountain above them trembled. From opposite sides of the cave, they snarled and gnashed their teeth.
“If we continue, the mountain will fall upon us,” Asmodeus said as he watched a large gash on his arm heal.
“Then we shall declare an uneasy truce,” Vetis said. “You will not enter my temples, and I will not enter yours.”
Asmodeus frowned in contemplation. “If you cross into my territory, I will slaughter you.”
“Then, you agree to my truce,” Vetis said.
“I agree,” Asmodeus said.
For more than a mega-millennium, Vetis and Asmodeus honored the invisible line they had drawn across the earth. It was not until 4,000B.C. that Vetis dared to cross the line, landing in front of Asmodeus as he walked across a field to a new temple.
“Vetis.” Asmodeus snarled and narrowed his gaze.
“I am not here to fight you,” Vetis said. “I am here to inform you.”
“Of what?” Asmodeus asked.
“Have you seen the garden between our two lands?” Vetis asked.
“I have,” Asmodeus said.
“There is a man inside,” Vetis said.
“An insignificant man,” Asmodeus said. “He is of no concern to me.” He stretched his wings as if to take flight.
“He talks to god,” Vetis said.
Asmodeus raised an eyebrow and lowered his wings. “Does he?”
“And I have heard his lineage is the key to our unhuman immortality,” Vetis said.
“Explain yourself,” Asmodeus said.
“I have seen a lesser demon posses a human,” Vetis said. “We are far more powerful. By corrupting this man, we could possess his lineage and free ourselves of the caves and the darkness.”
“You do not need my help,” Asmodeus said. “Simply corrupt the man and possess him.”
“I cannot do it alone,” Vetis said as he circled Asmodeus. “I have heard you have a human who practices sorcery.”
“What of her?” Asmodeus asked as he followed Vetis with his red eyes.
“With her help, we could gain human bodies and live infinitely in the human world,” Vetis said.
“And what of her?” Asmodeus asked as he narrowed his gaze.
“Once we have our human bodies, we can change her, allowing her to live infinitely alongside us,” Vetis said.
“How are you so certain?” Asmodeus asked.
“I have heard it whispered in the darkest caverns,” Vetis said. “You could have your human for all time.”
Asmodeus weighed Vetis’ proposition. “This one thing. Then, we go our separate ways.”
“Agreed,” Vetis said.
Asmodeus watched him take to the sky before continuing his trek to the temple. He would need to observe this garden man. Asmodeus had thus far ignored him, deeming him useless. However, the odds of corrupting a man who speaks with god were so low that it piqued Asmodeus’ interest.
How long did it take you to write Whence They Came: The Beginning?
A long time. I initially started writing the book in 2012. I wrote down about 30,000 words before I realized that it was too convoluted and the settings moved around too much to be a viable book. At that point, I put it away to think about it some more. I also realized in 2014 that I did not have the skill as a writer to write such a novel. I mean, I’m trying to interpret the bible from the devil’s side while sticking to the same language you might find inside the bible. It’s extremely difficult.
When did you start writing Whence They Came again?
I opened the book again in late 2017 and reread it. My initial thoughts on the text were the same. It was too convoluted and scattered, and it moved too far forward. I ended up cutting all but about 10,000 words and basically starting over. From that point, it took me perhaps three or four months to finish it.
What were some of the words you could not use in order to stay true to the source?
There were a lot of words I couldn’t use. We’re talking about 4,000BC. There’s a lot of things that simply don’t exist in that time-frame. They didn’t call houses, houses, and tools and things like that were extremely limited. To complicate matters, the bible uses a lot of euphemisms to describe things, specifically sex, and the bible actually contains a ton of sex. Every time you see the word – Begat – it means sex. They also use terms like flower and ocean and river. It’s never cock or penis, pussy or vagina, it’s always something else.
What was the concept for the book?
The concept of the book was to tell the story from the side of evil, which it does. Everything in the book is told from either Lilith or Asmodeus’ point of view. It’s not really told from Adam and Eve’s point of view. And obviously, it'll be a series. You can't cover all the bible in one book. It'd be hundreds of thousands of pages long.
What kind of research did you have to do for the book?
Quite a bit. Obviously, I had to read the bible again. I also had to look up early Mesopotamia and early cultures to try and figure out the setting, clothing, tools. Everything we take for granted every day, I had to look up. I also had to remind myself of Lilith’s history and find a good demon that could travel with her.
How far in time does the book travel?
The book travels from the beginning of the world to the point where Caine establishes Enoch and has his son.
Was there any set time during the day when you wrote Whence They Came?
Usually, really late at night from about 1:AM until 3 or 4:AM, and I usually had to be in a really bad mood to write it. It's evil and dark and you have to be in that mindset.
What will the next book cover?
The next book will move forward from the City of Enoch to probably the flood. I’m not sure if it will include the flood, or it that will be in the third book. It depends on what the overall length looks like.