"Abel!" I held firmly the arm of my brother as I got him a hundred steps or so away from our tent. "For heaven's sake, how did your sheep got to MY crops?!"
"Why are you blaming me for that?" He pulled his hand back "Father..."
"Don't Father me. I saw how he went into the tent, limping. And that was at noon. It's sunset now. And I'll tell you what, by that time, my crops were totally fine."
"Well, my sheep also need to eat, you know."
"Oh, dear me, how could I think they are able to live with just eating grass? Wait, I know how, they did it until now!"
"Come on, eating that grass all day, isn't that boring?" He waved his hand to the sides.
"Oh, eating your cheese every day, isn't that boring?" I repeated him movement.
"Don't compare! Mine is tasty."
"I bet you tasted grass then. Was it that bad?"
"I eat your tasteless vegetables every day, so yes."
"So why did you give it to them?"
"They eat grass all and every day, they sure can handle this."
"Will you ever grow up?" I sighed.
As you probably guessed, that was my little annoying brother, Abel. Yes, THAT Abel. You know how this story is about to end. But I think it's time to tell the full story.
It was dinner time. Beside the looking delicious cheese was my pale fruit of the earth. What was left of it, anyway...
"My, you did a good job with this one, son," my father said, not even trying to hide his hunger.
"Thank you, father, I appreciate that," said my little brother with a big smile on his face.
Neither of them even tasted the labors of my hard work. My mother was kind enough to put some vegetables on her plate.
I am the elder; I work as hard as my brother does… but nothing. My father never tried to hide his preferences, though he himself was a farmer once. My mother never said a bad word to me, always smiled, but I could understand why the food I brought wasn't for her liking today. I hardly could eat it. But my pride made me finish it all.
As my stomach ached, I ate my brother's cheese. For a change, unlike everything I brought to the table, it had a taste at all.
It was difficult to miss my brother's cocky smile. I tried to avert my eyes, but I could even see it drawn on the cheese he had made. Not once have I heard a compliment from him. For anything I've done… but well, what was the difference between him and the man who brought me to this world?
"Cain, you disappoint me. You are a disgrace for farming."
"I disappoint you?! The moment you could, you left your oh so precious farming! And now what are you doing with your life?! Why, you help your beloved son, because ruling the animals is so much more tempting than growing seeds. And we know what happened after you wanted to rule over your first women, don't we?!"
No one liked to talk about the first woman. The name Lilith was forbidden to be said. All she had wanted was to be his equal. I admired her for that. Unlike my mother… Then I looked at her, tears in her eyes.
"Mother," I got closer to her "You have no reason to feel bad. I love you, and nothing will change that. Not one thing in the world."
"You would prefer someone like her to be your mother, wouldn't you?"
"Maybe for a wife, yes. But you are my mother, and I don't wish to switch you with anyone else."
My mother just left us, not saying another word.
"Great arguments, brother." My brother said as she left the room.
"This is enough!" My heart almost skipped a beat as my father shouted at… well, his not so beloved son. "You are disgracing me, and now you try to disgrace your brother?!"
I left both of them without saying another word. Sometimes Abel didn't need to say much to get on my nerves, but my father… Too direct, too insulting, never took other people's feelings in consideration…
I went to sleep. 'Tomorrow is a new day,' I thought.
The next morning, I looked out for my mother. She wasn't anywhere around. I decided I'd talk to her at evening.
I wanted to make her happy; I wanted to make her proud of me again. Who knows, maybe even my father. I took from the best of my crops, as dull as they were, thanks to Abel. I put them on a rock, not far from my field, and went down on my knees.
"God, this is my humble offering. I know, it's not as good as anything Abel can offer you, but I beg you, accept my offering. Help me to bring a smile on my mother's face again. Help my father remember the taste of hard labor."
"What are you doing, brother?" I heard my brother's voice just as I finished "lazing around?"
"It has nothing to do with you." I rose on my feet and started to go away.
"Well, brother, what will you bring today for dinner?"
"Aren't you the one who's lazing around, little brother?"
"But why should I work so hard? Father is doing half of my job. He enjoys it so much… much more than, well, your boring farming."
"My boring farming fed our family for some time, remember?"
"Well, yes, until I found how we can have much tastier food."
"Until you found how you can use animals the way it was supposed to be, ha? The same you use your injured father?"
"I don't use him!" he laughed "he does it… with pleasure."
"Well, if you don't mind, I have a work to do."
I heard Abel's chuckling as I stepped away. I didn't have time for him, I had so much to do in order to restore everything his animals destroyed. But I knew God would help me. So you can guess how much I was surprised at the evening of that day when I realized my offering was ignored. But what also surprised me was the blood all over the rock.
"I don't understand. What happened here…?"
To my surprise, I saw two flocks of hair. Well, it wasn't hard to guess who's that hair belonged to. But where is he? What has happened to him?
"You look lost, Cain, what do you look for?" I heard the voice of the creator of this world.
"Abel… his hair… where is he?"
"Do not worry, Abel is alive and well. It is not his blood, but his sheep."
"His sheep's blood?"
"Just like yourself, he brought me an offering."
"So you took his and not mine?" I clenched my fist.
"Why are you annoyed, and why has your countenance fallen? Is it not so that if you improve, it will be forgiven you? If you do not improve, however, at the entrance, sin is lying, and to you is its longing, but you can rule over it."
That little brat… He knew how much I needed it, he knew it was all his fault, and yet, he… Forgiven? Forgiven for what?! What have I done?! I'd catch him and punch him, I swore I'd make him learn the lesson this time.
I had difficulty to bring out of anger. I couldn't think clearly. I just thought of finding him and cause him pain. I didn't care from my crops, I searched all over… but he was nowhere. I came to the rock once again, hoping my offering would be accepted this time, it wasn't.
"Seems like my offering was accepted, unlike yours." The familiar voice, cocky as ever, was heard from behind me.
"What have you done?!" I caught him and threw him down on the rock "How could you?! What am I to you?!"
He didn't say a word, didn't move his eyes, nothing.
"I am talking to you! Answer me!" I huffed.
And then I saw on the rock a red liquid, so different from the congealed blood of Abel's offering. I realized… it was Abel's blood.
"Abel… Abel… I'm sorry, wake up… wake up, please… Just…"
What have I done…? That was the meaning of God's words… I am the greatest sinner of this world. What have I done…?
Maybe, just maybe, if I hide him… no would find him, no one would know what happened to him.
I carried him in my arms, the blood still dripped from his head. I took him away and hid him in the ground. After I finished, I sat there, trying to relax before coming home as if nothing happened.
"Where is Abel, your brother?" I heard the voice again.
"I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?"
My grave sin was nothing but a mistake. For a moment, I never thought I'd end Abel's life. But forever I will be known as the first murderer.