Creation: A Short Story

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I firmly believe publishing is the most important step to becoming a writer. Instead, what if you got feedback from a writing friend or even by our Becoming Writer community? One of the things I know about writing is this: Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. Do you like to write short stories? What is your favorite part?

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Let me know in the comments! You have six other steps to do that. He hung them in the sky and stepped back to look at his work. The next day, God turned his attention to the water he had collected in the oceans. In no time, there were millions of small fish darting through the shallow water and huge fish swimming in the ocean. God made birds, too. He sent them soaring through the air. The dusk fell over the water and the sky grew dark and that was the end of the fifth day.

On the sixth day, God added creatures to the land. He made lions and tigers and bears. He made rabbits and sheep and cows. Since the sabbath is probably already sanctified as a day of rest, they need to fit the task into a working week of six days. The resulting programme is eminently practical, from the first moment when everything is void and dark yet also somehow awash with water. Day 1, separate light from darkness, day from night. Day 2, make space among the encircling waters by pushing up the vault of the sky.

Day 3, divide the material beneath this vault into earth and sea; and on the earth let there be vegetation. Day 4, attention returns to the vault of heaven; create sun and moon and stars. Day 5, it is time for creatures in water and air; create fishes and birds. Day 6, earth too must be populated; create land animals of all kinds, and man in God's image to supervise the creatures.

The task is done. God rests on the seventh day, and sanctifies it. In this account there is only one flaw. God's world sounds perfect, and surely must be so. But we know it is not.

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There are such things as disease, guilt, violence, sexual shame, even death. How can this be? The Hebrew story provides an immediate answer in the second chapter of Genesis. Everything is indeed perfect in the Garden of Eden, and would have remained so if Eve had not tempted Adam into eating the fruit of a tree which God had forbidden them to touch.

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Its fruit brings an awareness of good and evil, which leads to sexual shame. After this act of disobedience Adam and Eve are in the real world.

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What happens there is their fault, not God's. Of various creation stories which evolve in China , the most striking is that of P'an Ku. He is hatched from a cosmic egg. Half the shell is above him as the sky, the other half below him as the earth. He grows taller each day for 18, years, gradually pushing them apart until they reach their appointed places. After all this effort P'an Ku falls to pieces.

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His limbs become the mountains, his blood the rivers, his breath the wind and his voice the thunder. His two eyes are the sun and the moon. The parasites on his body are mankind. The Greeks acquire a vague attachment to a great many different gods during their gradual movement, as a group of Indo-European tribes , into the region of modern Greece.

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The result is an extremely complex account of how everything began, with deities jostling for a role. Zeus, ruler of the sky, eventually emerges as the chieftain of the gods. It is likely that he is the original god whom the Greeks brought with them. But in the first Greek account of the beginning of the universe, written down by Hesiod in about BC, Zeus arrives late on the scene.

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The story begins, like so many others, with a gaping emptiness, Chaos. Within this there emerges Gaea, the earth. Gaea gives birth to a son, Uranus, who is the sky. The world now exists, earth and heaven, and together Gaea and Uranus provide it with a population, their children. First Gaea produces the Titans, heroic figures of both sexes, but her next offspring are less satisfactory; the Cyclops, with only one eye in the middle of their foreheads, are followed by unmistakable monsters with a profusion of heads and arms. Uranus, appalled by his offspring, shuts them all up in the depths of the earth.

In the Beginning (children's version of the story)

Gaea's maternal instincts are offended. She persuades the youngest Titan, Cronus, to attack his father. He surprises him in his sleep and with a sharp sickle cuts off his genitals, which he throws into the sea. Cronus frees his brothers and sisters from their dungeon, and together they continue to populate the world. But an inability to get on with their offspring characterizes the males of this clan. Cronus, who has six children with his sister Rhea, eats each of them as soon as it is born. Once again maternal instincts intervene.

To save her youngest child, Rhea wraps a stone in swaddling clothes.