Paradise Lost

From a collection of 100-word stories & wonders

An old man climbs a stairway to paradise, but soon finds himself out in the cold. Photo by Steve Finegan

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Jack sighed, smiled. Shivered awake. “What’s this?” His tongue scoured toothless gums. But it had all been so… real! No, this wasn’t right. Joints popping, he rolled out of bed, onto spider-veined feet and bald, quivering legs. His skin hung in toga folds. He hobbled downstairs, out into the backyard, making for the sun-drenched stairs. Gone! But they’d been right here, just beyond his poker-faced garden gnomes. He’d taken them two at a time… He sniffed, caught the fading scent of lawn-sprinkled August evenings. Wept as the dreamlike shouts of reawakened boyhood friends flew whispering away.

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