Friday, November 28, 2014

Nick Johns Week 127: Paradise Lost

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Nick Johns' Picture Choice: Two

Title: Paradise Lost

Looking back from the ridge at the newly old, freshly ruined remains of all that I thought I knew, I set my feet to the immortal road, hoping that some new day may reveal, from the fading echoes of my shifting memory, a trail that will reunite me once more with my stolen happiness.


She had appeared, unlooked for, during last night’s walk of the boundaries; fey, flashing eyes, tantalising with fiery dares and forbidden promises.

“Dance with me.”

She whirled away;

I chased her, sprinting across new sown fields by treacherous moonlight.

I caught her, by her design.

She laughed as we fell together, a tumbling, breathless embrace.

“Stay with me.” She whispered “What loss is one night from a life?”

Gripping my hand, she drew me toward her. I spiralled down, deep, drowning in the billowing scent of her.

I soared aloft on the wings of mystery and imagination.

My blood caught fire, kindled merely by the light of her presence.

But, at once, capricious as a cat, she tired of me, discarding me to wander, lost among the inexplicable wonders of her domain.

Heedless I dallied.

Timeless I tarried.

A hint of a memory stirred me from indolent ruin and I set my sails for the safe harbours of home.

Careering in and out of light, pursued by phantasms, blinded by colours undreamed of, I wandered. Exits rushed up and then playfully receded from my questing view. Disconsolate, bereft without her, finally I subdued the maze.

Cast out, stumbling, staggering; mole-like I was re-born into the dark of the moon.


Rumours of dawn harry away the lingering shadows of the night sky as I rise, exhausted, from frost kissed grass.

Gossamer images of her recede from me, dreamy recollections shredded by the chill morning breeze replaced, in timidly returning daylight, by the stark reality of a derelict home and weed-strewn, cropless fields.

With a heedless hand I unpocket a coin.

A glint of gold shimmers in my hand. I gaze on her face, impressed into the metal, and raise it to refix her in my mind once more.

Caught in the first, watery rays of the winter’s morning sun, it flares, burning bright and cold, leaving only thinning smoke tails drifting from my hand and ripples of regret chilling my heart.

I turn away.

I must seek out the path that will rid me of this blasted place, and there find grace to rebuild a life that can scourge my soul of the illicit wonders of this night.


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Despite his Mother telling him not to, Nick continues to make things up.