Club Paradise

“There’s a long line tonight.” The familiar voice behind me speaks after hours of silence.

“See that silver lining?” a crack of golden light and then darkness.

“Let me go first?” his grin is widening.

“Not even in your dreams.” I grin back and like that we are long-lost friends.

You’re shivering, take my coat.”

I look down to see a black tutu, fishnet stockings and a skull patterned t-shirt.

His coat smells of winter tea, all mandarins and almonds. The air, one huge cigarette puff exhaled overhead.

The door cracks; I see a figure standing there. “Not without exchange.”

I reach into my chest and pull out a tiny piece, a shard really, of who I am and place it in his bowl.

The figure examines and approves. “If you are a dreamer, come in,” and I enter the eternal warmth of paradise.


Tonight’s d’Verse Prosery prompt from Lillian asks us to write a piece of prose (flash fiction, memoir, nonfiction) that is 144 words or less (mine is exactly 144) and includes, word-for-word, the line , “If you are a dreamer, come in” a line from Shel Silverstein’s poem “Invitation” from Where the Sidewalk Ends. Join us.

INVITATION

If you are a dreamer, come in.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer . . .
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire,
For we have some flax golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

34 Comments

    1. K.Hartless

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Carol. Oh, I like the idea that what comes out of each person has various characteristics-cut, clarity, color. I wonder if her friend will make it into Club Paradise and if all willing to give of themselves are welcome? Didn’t realize the can of possibility worms I opened with this one last night. But, could be fun to explore deeper.

      Like

  1. msjadeli

    I much like the image you chose to go with your story. You’ve got my curiosity going as to what the place is they are waiting to get into. The breaking off a shard of oneself as an entry fee elevates this story to the mystical. A very enjoyable read, Karen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. K.Hartless

      Thank you very much, Lisa. I think I was thinking of where you could go in your dreams-to paradise, but there was a cost and so you can’t go all the time. However, I like that others can find their own meaning. A price for eternal paradise. A queue to heaven?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. msjadeli

        You’re very welcome. I appreciate the deconstruction in the comment. I like that paradise can be whatever you want it to be. I think mine would have lots of buttered and salted cooked asparagus and an unlimited supply of fizzy lifting drinks 🙂

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    1. K.Hartless

      Thank you, Ingrid. I think it is now on my compost heap to write a queue story from this. Should be fun to get to peak behind the curtain, perhaps? Or just to see more of what comes out of people when they dig inside themselves.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. kim881

    A clever sleight of hand in this one! At first, I thought the queue was outside a nightclub, although the ‘hours of silence’ did give me cause to doubt that, and then I changed my mind again when I read about the guy wearing ‘a black tutu, fishnet stockings and a skull patterned t-shirt’. I love the appeal to my sense of smell in the description of his coat, ‘winter tea, all mandarins and almonds’ – like one of my candles! I also love this sentence: ‘I reach into my chest and pull out a tiny piece, a shard really, of who I am and place it in his bowl.’ Paradise – the eternal nightclub. 🙂

    Like

    1. K.Hartless

      Thank you so much, Kim. Is this a place we can go to at night if we are willing to pay the price? That was my initial thoughts but now it may be changing. Somewhere we can be ourselves without any fear of being judged. Can we go there only for the night? Still much for me to think or maybe still leave some things for the reader to fill in for themselves. Really great comments to get me thinking even more.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Anonymous

    Like a dream in itself, it’s so imaginative, full of unexpected descriptive details. The “shard really, of who I am” is such a profound line and as mentioned above, gives way to so much more to write about!

    Like

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