Paradise: A Short Story About Life After the Shift

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She was beautiful, with her slim figure dressed in a loose flowing cotton dress, her crazy hair and bright blue eyes not far off the colour of the sea itself. It wasn't her looks that attracted him though; he came across many beautiful women in his work as a freelance photographer.

A review of Lucia Berlin’s short story collection Evening in Paradise

It was her loneliness and intensity that lured him. Even at some distance he was aware that she was different from any other woman he could meet. Lisa sensed the man approaching even before she turned around. She had been aware of him standing there staring at her and had felt strangely calm about being observed. She looked at him and felt the instant spark of connection she had only experienced once before. He walked slowly towards her and they held each other's gaze. It felt like meeting a long lost friend - not a stranger on a strange beach.

Later, sitting at one of the many bars on the resort, sipping the local cocktails they began to talk. First pleasantries, their hotels, the quality of the food and friendliness of the locals. Their conversation was strangely hesitant considering the naturalness and confidence of their earlier meeting. Onlookers, however, would have detected the subtle flirtation as they mirrored each other's actions and spoke directly into each other's eyes. Only later, after the alcohol had had its loosening effect, did the conversation deepen.

The Blood of Paradise: | UVA Press

They talked of why they were here and finally, against her judgement, Lisa opened up about her heartache of the past year and how events had led her back to the place where she had married the only man she believed she could ever love. She told him of things that had been locked deep inside her, able to tell no one. She told him how she had felt after she had lost her baby. She was six months pregnant and the happiest she had ever been when the pains had started.

Paradise: A Short Story about Life After the Shift By JoAnn Miller

She was staying with her mother as James was working out of town. He hadn't made it back in time.

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The doctor had said it was just one of those things, that they could try again. But how could she when she couldn't even look James in the eye. She hated him then, for not being there, for not hurting as much as her but most of all for looking so much like the tiny baby boy that she held for just three hours before the took him away. All through the following months she had withdrawn from her husband, family, friends. Not wanting to recover form the pain she felt - that would have been a betrayal of her son. At the funeral she had refused to stand next to her husband and the next day she had left him.


Looking up, Lisa could see her pain reflected in the man's eyes. For the first time in months she didn't feel alone, she felt the unbearable burden begin to lift from her, only a bit but it was a start. We accept payment by MasterCard and Visa. For more information, contact us by email at cs bargainbookstores.

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