Thursday, 29 June 2017

A TASTE OF PARADISE - A VERY SHORT STORY...



Robert wasn't sure what had suddenly made him think of his old neighbourhood and want to visit it again, but before he knew it, he found himself walking along the street where he'd lived as a child.  It was a beautiful sunny day, which puzzled him, as he could've sworn it had been pouring with rain not too long before. He prepared himself for the shock of the changes he'd first seen around forty years ago, on a visit twenty years after he and his family had moved to another house in another area. He'd lived in many different houses and areas since then.

But what was this?  The old folks' home that had been built on the field he'd once played football on with his pals had gone, and the field was once again as it had been in his day.  What's more, the new houses which had been erected on the site of his former primary school had also vanished, and a perfect duplicate of his boyhood seat of learning now occupied the space.  Robert was astonished, reminded of his dreams of winning the Lottery and restoring the neighbourhood to as it had been when he'd lived there.  Had someone else done that very thing?

"Let's have a look at the old house," he thought, and made his way down the back lane of the top terraced row where he'd lived from the age of seven to fourteen. He froze in his tracks as his eyes fell upon his former home, the site of so many joyous childhood and teenage memories.  A man worked in the back garden, while his wife sat in a deck chair, sipping lemonade and reading her women's magazine. A boy played keepie-uppie in the corner, and the impression of domestic bliss was almost tangible. Robert rubbed his eyes, not quite believing what he was looking at. Wasn't that his father and mother, as well as his brother he saw before him - or at least their very doubles?  It couldn't be them, because they'd died years ago, at different times and in different places.  Was someone playing a trick on him?

Perhaps he was dreaming, but he could feel the cool breeze that lovingly caressed his heated brow and hear the musical murmur of birds twittering in the nearby trees with a greater potency than even the most seductive dream was capable of. Surely this could be no delusion?  He tried to recall what had prompted him to revisit his old environs.  Last thing he remembered was that it was raining, and that he was about to cross the road to buy a paper from the newsagent's on the other side of the street. Was that a rapidly approaching car he saw from the corner of his eye as he stepped out onto the road...?  Why did he find it so difficult to think, to remember?

His father looked over and hailed him, and his mother and brother smiled in happy surprise.  "We were wondering when you'd turn up," his mother said.  "Come into the house and we'll have a bite to eat."  Not quite understanding, Robert glanced at his watch to see if he had time to indulge this welcome fantasy, whatever its explanation, but the watch was gone from his wrist - a wrist which belonged to that of a young boy.

And then he understood, fully and all at once, what had happened, and with that knowledge came the realization that Paradise is precisely what we wish it to be.    

14 comments:

Paul McScotty Muir said...

That was really good Kid - lets have more when you get time. I think we all want to revisit the past and who knows maybe paradise is exactly that when the day comes you go back to a time you were really happy / content at least in your mind for a nano second of eternity.

Kid said...

Glad you enjoyed it, PM. (It seems to have gone down like a lead balloon, going by the number of comments it's received.) It wasn't 'til I re-read it just there that I realized that you, in particular, would be able to relate to it because of your own situation.

Paul McScotty Muir said...

I think we all at some point want to "runaway" to a time in the past when it was all easier - or to be in the presence of those no longer here- Nostalgia is a strange thing its so near and yet a lifetime away at the same time, very frustrating at times. Im sure a lot of folk read this and just thought "yeah" or maybe it ws to personal to reply. Nice things are always worthwhile no matter how small they may seem, they all add up and that was a nice (worthwhile) story.

Kid said...

I borrowed some elements from my own history (mainly 'geographical') for the story (write what you know, they say), but it's by no means 'autobiographical', and is intended for anyone who can relate to the sentiment of the piece. Congratulations, therefore, on being 'tuned-in', and discerning enough to see any merit in the tale. Wrote it in about 20 minutes yesterday while waiting for a boiler repairman to turn up. Tweaked it a little since, and may tweak a little more as it occurs to me.

Paul McScotty Muir said...

20 minutes!!! it took me 20 minutes to write my reply! - I like these type of stories as its good to know you (me) are not the only one that think about Things like this.

steve said...

I enjoyed reading the story
It touched a cord with me.
If we could only go back just for a short time it would be like a taste of paradise

Kid said...

Well, might've been 25. And yeah, I've seen myself taking ages on a response to someone, in order to properly convey what I'm trying to say. But just think, PM, there most likely are loads of people who never think about things like this.

******

Glad you enjoyed it, S. Makes the 20-25 minutes I put into it worth the effort. More than worth it in fact. Yeah, wouldn't it be great if time travel was a reality.

Kid said...

Oh, and I see MY 'weirdo stalker' is back, ticking this and the previous post as 'funny'. He's not quite able to stop visiting this blog, is he? Now I wonder who it could be? I see DuckDuckGo in my visitor stats quite often, so it's obviously someone who doesn't want to lay a trail. H'mm.

John Pitt said...

Wow! That is a POWERFUL short story, Kid! I could tell that Robert was based on yourself straight away, but I wasn't expecting the twist, until you mentioned "crossing the road". And I became quite emotional at that point! Who knows, that might be how it will be for you?
With regard to a desire to visit the past places, I only do so in my mind. It would break my heart to see the actual changes, so I have "preserved" them how I left them!

Kid said...

Well, loosely based on myself, as far as location goes, JP, but it was written for everybody. What can I say, I'm a generous sort of guy. Unfortunately, we've all got to 'cross the road' when our time comes. Let's just hope it's better on the other side.

John Pitt said...

Just gotta clarify what I meant by my "Who knows,...." sentence!
I didn't mean that you might get knocked down! What I meant is when you leave this planet, your personal paradise might be something like that?
( Oops! )

Kid said...

If I ever get knocked down, JP, the driver's initials are likely to be LS. (Tell the police.) See? I can laugh at such things.

John Pitt said...

You buggah! - You literally made me "laugh out loud", whilst the missus was discussing a serious matter with me!
I don't know WHY Leo Sayer would have anything against you, though!?

Kid said...

What are you on about? I was meaning Louie Spence.

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