One Ticket to Paradise

“So you’re telling me Paradise is an actual, physical place?”

“It is, Master. I’ve never been there, of course. Access is denied to beings of smokeless fire, such as I. They do say it’s very nice.”

“What if my final wish was to go there?”

“Alas, I cannot take thee. Most faiths allow for only a single path to everlasting bliss, as you know.”

“Phenomenal Cosmic Power comes with some severe limitations, eh? Hmm. Is there any way to game the system? How about… Could you at least get me close?”


“Like just outside it? Can you take me within twenty feet?”

“That is a most unusual idea. Yes, yes I believe I can do that, if such is your wish.”

“It is. I wish to be just twenty feet away from Paradise.”

“As you wish.”

Darkness, tightly confined. I could barely move my arms or legs. I turned my hand and felt around, but there was only cold, hard stone.

“Hey! Genie, this isn’t right.”

“Your wish is granted. Look up, Master.”

Overhead, a circle of blue, I could see clouds and sunlight. I’m sure I heard giggling.

“Paradise is now twenty feet directly above you.”

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Inspired by this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt:

Note the tiny note inside the hole: 6.1 meters (almost exactly twenty feet). There’s a documentary (about backup singers) that was called “Twenty Feet from Stardom,” providing another partial inspiration.