Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: This Side of Paradise (not about the book) (07/14/11)
TITLE: Cloud Eight and Three Quarters. Or Not.
By Allison Egley
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Her friend, Grace walked up next to her. "What are you looking at?" she asked.
Grace sighed. "Could Nine, huh? Wouldn't that be wonderful?"
"Yep. Wish I could get there. Life on Cloud Eight and Three Quarters leaves a lot to be desired," Addi stated.
Grace laughed. "'Cloud Eight and Three Quarters?' Where did you come up with that?" she asked.
"Oh, you know. Almost perfection, but not quite," Addi stated. "Actually, though, now that I think about it, life here is far from perfect. Maybe it's more like Cloud Three Point One Four One Five Nine."
Grace rolled her eyes. "Once a math major, always a math major." She flopped down on the ground next to her friend. "Getting back to your earlier point... Pun intended... life here isn't all that bad, is it?"
"No, I guess not. But It's nothing like what I've heard about Cloud Nine."
"Really?" Grace exclaimed, deciding to play along with her friend.
"Well, for one thing, I heard that on Cloud Nine, they don't have any mosquitoes."
"You mean, no biting and itching and... Ouch! ...becoming a feast for a bug the size of a small child?" Grace said as she swatted away a big one.
Addi chuckled. "Nice timing, Mr. Mosquito," she said, trying to follow the bug with her eyes as it flew off with a full tummy. She turned back to her friend. "Anyway, that's what they say."
"Who's they?" Grace asked cautiously.
"Oh, you know. All those insider reporters who have claimed to have been to Cloud Nine and back."
"Right. Like that's possible," Grace said, standing up again.
Addi chuckled, as she stood. "Yeah, I know. But it's nice to dream, isn't it? What would our Cloud Nine look like?"
Grace started walking, then running, then turning in circles, as she let her imagination take over. "Well, let's see. Ice cream, cookies, and any form of chocolate would all be good for you. Actually, anything that you personally liked would be good for you, and anything you didn't like would be bad for you,"
"So you mean since you like watermelon and I don't, watermelon would be good for you but bad for me?"
"Oh, that sounds nice. What else should we have on our Cloud Nine?"
"Here on Cloud Three Point.... whatever... there's a lot of stress, right?" Grace asked.
"Well, let's see here. War, famine, floods, poverty... yeah, I'd say there's some stress."
"So what if there wasn't any stress?" Grace proposed
"I'm not sure I could function like that... I think I've almost come to enjoy worrying. Without anything to worry about or stress over, what would I do with my time?" Addi stopped running around in circles and flopped to the ground again.
"Uh.... are you feeling okay, Addi?" Grace said, standing over her and staring at her face.
"Fine. Perfectly fine. Just trying to imagine what blissful ignorance must feel like. And waiting for the world to stop moving."
Grace laughed. "But that's the thing," she said. "If we were on Cloud Nine, a lack of stress wouldn’t be living in blissful ignorance, because stress wouldn't exist in the first place."
Addi was silent for a bit. "Nope," she said, shaking her head. "Still can't imagine it."
"Well," Grace said, "I'd better get going." She offered her hand to Addi and pulled her to her feet. "I guess we'll just have to continue imagining what Cloud Nine must be like, huh?"
"Yep. Until we're heaven bound," Addi said,
Grace sighed. "I can only imagine."
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