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Short Story 25

Updated: May 8, 2023

Fool's Gold

“What do you see?”

There was light everywhere so blinding nothing could be perceived through it, “Light.”



“And nothing else?”

The light began to melt away and there was… grass, yellowing grass. “Grass.”

“Go on, I want you to try and see beyond the light. See beyond the grass.”

The light gave way to a wide-open sky of dark blue that stretched out like an ever-flowing ocean. Mountains highlighted the distant sky, texturing the valley of yellow grass. There were birds and a few small animals running around. Trees appeared, and in the grass, there were wildflowers everywhere.

“I’m in some kind of valley. There are trees and flowers. Some mountains really far away. A calm ocean. And the sky is big and open. It’s beautiful.”

“Are there no clouds?”

“Not one.”

“And the mountains, are they all around or just in one direction?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Take your time and look around.”

The mountains were all around the valley now, like distant walls they hung in varying heights, but still so far away there was nothing to be concerned about. The ocean was gone, as if it never had been at all.

“The mountains are in every direction, but they’re far away.”

“So, where do you think you are?”

“In a valley, a wide valley.”

“I see, and do you like this place?”

There was a pleasantness. A sustaining curious quality that crept under the skin. It didn’t seem to matter if you ate, drank, or saw to any of the natural qualities of life. They didn’t seem to matter here. It was peaceful and everything had that wonderful feeling, that sensation like nothing in the world could possibly happen.


“Would you like to stay here?

“I think… I think I would.”

“Well, of course you can if you want to, but if you do you can never come back.”

“Come back?”

“Yes, to this other world, to all the things you knew while you were here.”

Other world? Things there? There was no recollection of what that was or if it really mattered. All that was seen was the outstretched valley and the mountains, the mountains that appeared a bit closer now. There was a breeze cool and soothing, with just a touch of warmth in it. The sky above a deep never-ending sea of blue. It was peaceful here. If something was forgotten, wasn’t it better to let it remain there, in that hidden place where it couldn’t disturb the beauty of all of this.

“Can you give it up?”


“Then do you really wish to stay here?”


There was a feeling, something like tearing that emanated out. It was uncomfortable, disconcerting. The valley remained lovely, but the mountains were closer now, they were encroaching on this undisturbed place.

Images, isolated moments passed before the serene, people. Faces. Emotions. They were married with things unconceivable, blended with wants and desires. Fears and anxiety. Love and hope. A burning, deep and tearing. To give it all away…

“Wait.” It was difficult to project now, “Wait, wait, I… I don’t want this.”

“Didn’t I tell you there was no going back. You said you wanted this, you said you wouldn’t regret it.” Pressure, expanding pressure, “The process has already started.”

“But… I, I don’t want it anymore.”

There was an image of one person. Their smile, the way their eyes shown in the light and smoldered in the dark. The feeling of their skin and the hope that came from a single touch.

“It’s too late. Just relax the process will be over soon.”

To hold on to that person. To keep grip. It was impossible. Already they were fading, edging away out of reach. The mountains in the valley were closer now. There were clouds in the sky of an ominous gray.

“No, no.”

To reach out and take hold. To get a grip that wouldn’t let go. It was all a lie. The valley was a lie. It was made to muddle the mind and turn the thoughts to jelly. If only it were possible to grip and hold on. To be able to…

The mountains stood over like terrible shadows all cloaked in deep black with clouds of smoke overhead blocking out the sun. There was a rumbling, a cutting pain, the images faded as the mountains sagged down like crashing waves and everything went black.


Thank you so much for reading everyone!!

Prompt Sentence: Fool's Gold

Word Count: 735

©DecemberKnight 2023

Special thanks to Tim Rüßmann from Unsplash for the use of the image!

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