Farther Away

Farther Away

Far, far away, Theodor Kittelsen

Farther Away

The lights of the magic city, glowing beyond the mountains on the horizon, have called to many over the years. Those who are down on their luck, with nothing to lose, have answered the call for ages. Stories of the good fortune to be found there have beckoned them, and they have responded. There are no true reports of that good fortune, for none have returned to tell their tale. Many feel this is due to the arduous trek across the mountains. Once there, why leave such happiness behind?

And now, here it was! Jeremy stopped to marvel at the sight of the city, visible through one last mountain pass. He wondered how many had come far enough to actually see the city. It was just as he imagined, glowing as if its streets were lined with gold!

But it still was a good distance away, and he had traveled so far, already. This would be a good place to rest before continuing. He would use his backpack for a pillow.

Lying on either side of him, all around him, in fact, were the bodies of all the travelers who had come before him, nearly hidden in the grass. With lips sealed, their minds screamed silently to him. β€œNo! Don’t rest here! Don’t even continue! It is magic! It’s a mirage! Turn back, before you’re turned to stone!”

Jeremy dropped the backpack from his shoulders and glanced towards the magic city one last time. He lowered himself to the ground and laid his head back. Even as his eyes were closing, all around him was surrounded by a haze.


Farther Away_a

This is my response to Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction challenge #10: Far far away, which offers a painting by Theodor Kittelsen, Far, far away…. Fairy tale? Perhaps. The word count here is 273. As always, Jane’s critique is welcome.

Image source: Wikipedia

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27 thoughts on “Farther Away

  1. Fairy tales so often by their nature create problems to be solved. I like the notion of the being turned to stone for then you begin to wonder on the original premise that no one returned because the city offered such a beautiful life. So therefore we as readers want to know more about what is actually going on. Being turned to stone conjures all sorts of images of medusas and the like. Very engaging enjoyed where you took me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks.
      I’ve said before that I see faces in random designs. I saw a head on the right, lying back and facing up/right, and a reclined bearded body on the left, facing up/left (hand on chest). I played with the contrast in those area to accentuate them, but I’m sure I’m the only one seeing things. Of course, once I saw people made of stone, I had to tell why they are there.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I like the rocks too. For once the rocks are trying to be helpful. I certainly wasn’t expecting the ending, very clever twist there. I think I’d have ended it on a rather stronger note than a ‘haze’. He was turning to stone after all. But that’s me. I’m squeamish about pain πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Microfiction challenge Far Far Away: the entries – Jane Dougherty Writes

  4. Somehow I missed this one when you first posted it. (I often wait to read others’s work until I’ve written my own.) This is wonderful, Ken.
    I enjoyed reading the comments, too. I can see the field of poppies similarity, but then you need a Glinda, and is he the hero of this, or just another traveler? Perhaps we’ll find out in a sequel. πŸ™‚

    Cloud Atlas is on my list of books I want to read. My husband and I really liked the movie, and I’ve read Bone Clocks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We saw Cloud Atlas at the theater, and I have it on my dvr. In the book, the author says he understands concessions and revisions are necessary for the big screen, and he’s fine with changing character relationships that were made, so I plan to re-watch it with that in mind.

      Liked by 1 person

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