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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: This Side of Paradise (not about the book) (07/14/11)

TITLE: Paradox Island
By Lillian Rhoades


Paradox Island

Our arrival on the isle was neither intentional nor conventional. Like so much of life we debarked upon its shores quite by happenstance. The potential for shipwreck often forces you to embrace the unknown, to settle on what’s at hand, much like trying to sharpen a pencil with a dull knife. You use the knife because there’s nothing else. In this case, the isle was our only shelter from a storm that had buffeted our ship for several days.

Once we stepped on shore, the genesis of a gentle zephyr listed towards us, playing with the strands of our hair, engaging our curiosity and taunting us to explore. Within minutes, a full blown tropical breeze caught our breath and tried to control it. We could do nothing more than suck in until the wind lost control and we were free to let it out. Doing so, helped to wash away anxieties held in check during our battle with merciless seas. Finally, we were safe - on solid ground.

Warm, tropical breezes welcomed us, and the verdant, flamboyant, green landscape, laced with flowers of every color of the rainbow bid us stay.

Had we chanced upon Eden?

Since most of the crew were survivors of shipwrecks of a personal kind, and having been through many a stormy circumstance where the outcome seemed too good to be true, we knew enough not to get excited about first impressions. We also knew that to come to a conclusion without seeing the whole picture was fraught with danger no matter where our dwelling place.

After all, we had little knowledge of the lay of the land, nor what existed behind this lush, sylvan setting; akin, in our minds to the First Garden.

And so, we set out to explore, hopeful, but cautious.

We had no sooner stepped a few feet past the edge of our newly discovered paradise when we heard the zing of an arrow that miraculously missed its target. We knew that for the moment retreat was a death sentence. So, we immediately assumed combat positions, face down, and slowly snaked backwards towards “Eden’s” sanctuary – where we could hide from the darts.

With the blink of an eye, our garden of delight had suddenly become a fool’s paradise. We had stumbled upon an Eden look-a-alike. There would be no promise of security here, no harbinger for hope, no basking in ….

Lyn laid her pen down, pushed back in her chair and closed her eyes, but not before a tear slipped through. The similarity between the plight of the characters in her story and her own life tugged at her emotions, and left her unexpectedly overwhelmed.

She remembered all the times she thought she’d brought her shipwrecked life to safe harbor, only to find disappointment and disillusionment.

Would this always be the way things turned out? Was the Christian life nothing more than a mirage? Was there a place of perpetual peace? Could one find a haven of rescue from life’s stormy seas this side of heaven?

Questions hummed in her head until the sweet music of God’s promises drowned them out.

Lyn picked up her pen and began to write. No need to wait. She already knew how she wanted the fate of her characters to end.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Juliette Chamberlain-Bond07/24/11
No wonder you used the title 'Paradox Island.'
That is decidedly what it turned out to be - just an imitation of Eden.
A little bit like life really, as Lyn reflects as she lays down her pen.
Eliza Evans 07/25/11

I love the idea of the first part. You use some very old english. It's nice but that's hard to pull off.
For example. Would they have had pencils as we know them? And if so, how else would they have sharpened them but with a knife?
The spelling would be different as well, I think.

So, I felt the voice was a bit inconsistent. But some lovely turns of phrases in there!
"sylvan setting" just feels right here. "First Garden" nice.

"We could do nothing more than suck in..." Love that. :)

Second part. Lynn's feelings got tidied up too quickly, in my opinion.

LOVE this-"Was the Christian life nothing more than
mirage?" Perfect for this story.

And I do want to read how it ends! :)
Edy T Johnson 07/25/11
Clever! I love how you use words ("survivors of shipwrecks of a personal kind"), and "paradox" is a favorite topic of my own. I know I'd like to read more of your writing!
Noel Mitaxa 07/26/11
I like your use the device of breaking off for life to suddenly imitate art. Some great use of colour and imagery make this a very interesting entry.
Laury Hubrich 07/26/11
Our writing always mirrors our lives well, mine does, anyway. Can't speak for everyone:) Nice job writing this. Just when I was getting into it - you brought me to reality. Yikes! :)