AN: Written for the Writer's Carnival Flashfiction contest. 1000 words.

Redeem

She's always been there, not exactly sleeping, but biding time in dark spaces and watching the world march forward, with a hurried leap into the future as it shrugs away its undesirable past.

She closes her eyes and feels the beating hearts of men. She burrows herself into the hearts of women, and with each stroke skyward she sees a crack of starry sky, becoming larger as the Mother beneath her feet trembles in continued pain.

She feels Her; she is Her, but right now she feels like becoming something else. She feels like showing her part, and every day, an inch of her wades closer. As humans change, so does she - so does her definition.

They all see her differently. Some still scorn her, but she finds solace in the ones who nurture her, weep for her, and draw her from the soil and debris and breathe her into their lungs. It's usually a Dark Moon, these ceremonies, and she's grateful for that. She prefers that the sun does not shine on her; doesn't discover her. Not yet, not until everything is perfect.

Her father doesn't notice her anymore anyway. He's too busy with the rest of the world. Apparently His other children aren't so well-behaved after all.

(Somewhere in all the middle of this - when their Mother is crumbling and the damage is far too scarring - He spares her. One day she wakes up in the Red Sea and her children don't come. They don't scream. They don't bring the shadow of death. She wonders why; maybe he's forgiven her - but this is more than forgiveness. It's evolved into apathy, even forgetfulness.)

She wakes up and spends her first day with a strange sense of freedom. She flies from her Temple nothing more than a forgotten spirit, becoming more fleshed as she travels over the oceans and continents of the world. The hearts of her daughters call to her, their faith and knowledge a siren's song.

(When she sees how they behave, she cries. Women loving women, women straddling their men; confident, smiling - the ones in control. She likes to think she's done this, and she has, but maybe they don't remember her. She wishes they will eventually, and through action, she knows that they will.)

Without knowing what she's doing, who she's searching for, she finds Eve, born again through spiraling time, very aware of her history. Her returning soul is Father's biggest joke. They'd never believe even if they were told.

But until she sees her, she doesn't know how much she's missed the woman that came after her.

She finds a ring on her finger, and she expects nothing less. When she runs into her at a library, Eve has two sons in tow. When their eyes meet, everything comes back. Eve's eyes widen with shock, but then she relaxes.

"Oh, it's you," Eve says. "You're back." She gives her an easy smile. Lilith gives her a hug. Eve still smells like paradise lost, and Lilith realizes she no longer envies her.

She wonders why she ever did.

"You remember," she says, and Eve nods casually.

"Of course. We all do," Eve says. "My name is Allison in this life." She turns to her sons. "This is Alex and Liam."

"Cute," Lilith says, ruffling their hair. One smiles at her, and she feels happy. It's the first child she's seen that she doesn't want to steal and destroy. Those eons are behind her, of course.

"So your husband..." Lilith starts.

"Ex-husband," Eve clarifies with a toothy smirk. Lilith feels invigorated. Eve seems so different - evolved, still the same in some ways, motherly and serene. It's the part of a woman Lilith misses and realizes she can't live without.

"Oh?" Lilith laughs. "I hope it's not my influence." But secretly she does.

Eve shakes her head. "You would think that, but not entirely. Modern women are... influenced by many women, and many stories of other women around the world. I suppose we started it - these two black and white forces, good and evil, one warm and one cold." She pauses and tilts her head. "But women now, they are so much more. Humanity ... well, it's gone beyond us. Beyond Him."

Joyful tears form in Lilith's eyes. "I almost can't believe it. It's what I've always wanted."

Eve begins walking; Lilith joins her, their steps uneven, but their bodies perfectly adjacent.

"Would you like some coffee?" Eve asks. "I can drop the boys off at their dad's and we can meet," Eve asks, and Lilith sees Eve's hopeful expression. Her lips curl into a mischievous smile. "You are staying, right?"

"Of course," Lilith looks around. She likes this place, America. It's full of different female energies, but colorful and strong all the same. "I like it here, and I've just found you." Lilith turns to Eve, and the woman hovers by her car. After she puts the safety belts on her two boys, she motions for Lilith to take the front seat.

"Coffee it is, then," Eve tittered happily. "I suppose it'll be something you'll enjoy, pleasantly bitter and energetic."

"Oh, I love the stuff." She answers Eve with a wink. "I haven't been away that long to not know about coffee."

"How long have you been away?" It's Eve's way of saying she's missed her too.

Lilith looks out the window of Allison's (Eve's) SUV and blows out a breath. "I suppose... I've always been here. Somewhere...watching and waiting for the right time to appear."

"Is this the right time?" Eve's eyes are so blue, and Lilith wants to reach inside and dive into pools of fresh water.

Lilith smiles at her, comfortable and yearning for more of her - to feel beyond. She puts her hand over Eve's on the steering wheel and gives a light squeeze. Eve stares at her hand as she enjoys the touch. Lilith delights in her reaction. "It is now."

END