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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Art (01/18/07)

TITLE: Paradise Lost -- Paradise Renewed
By Beth LaBuff


“…We now take you to the town of Paradise Valley, the scene of a triple homicide, where our reporter is standing by ….”

Settling in my chair, I was relaxing for the first time this evening, hoping to catch the news before I turned in for the night. Now I wasn‘t so sure that I wanted to hear the depressing details.

“…the gunman fled the scene. No motive has been determined for the shooting.”

Shutting my eyes against the gruesome mental picture, I tilted the chair backwards.

“…when we return we’ll take you to the Museum of Art where the painting “The Garden of Eden” circa 1410, by an unknown German Master, is on display.”

Now that might be interesting, I thought, willing myself to stay awake for the report.

When I opened my eyes, the painting shown on the TV was like none I’d seen. I didn’t expect the lavish detail and colors. The emerald grass seemed to sway and there was herb yielding seed. In the midst of the garden grew two trees. A river was watering the garden, a river teeming with fish. Birds were soaring. The picture seemed to be lit from within by two lights, one greater, one lesser. There was life in the garden and it was good. Could the actual Garden of Eden have been anymore beautiful, I asked myself? I leaned forward, struggling to see the artist’s signature. It appeared to be “Adam”. Was Adam a German name, I wondered?

As I continued to gaze at the painting there seemed to be a rustling in one of the trees growing in the midst of the garden. I rubbed my eyes, not exactly sure what in the world was happening. Then darkness crept over the picture, dimming that great light. Thorns and thistles were choking out the lush vegetation making it unfruitful. The garden was shriveling as if cursed. A growing chasm seemed to split the painting. I was saddened by the marring of this exquisite work of art.

Then from the dry ground a root appeared, a tender plant, growing into a cross. From the cross flowed a river of blood filling the chasm. The darkness was being washed from the canvas. The painting was being renewed. As I looked there stood a lamb looking as if it had been slain. As the darkness vanished, the signature line reappeared, it too was altered, it now read, “Last Adam.”

“…we now take you to the Museum of Art…” I startled, ….awakening.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Donna Emery01/25/07
Excellent story! This was very skillfully done; I loved the transformation from before to after the Fall. A very creative way to tell the story. Great job!
Donna Emery01/25/07
Excellent story! This was very skillfully done; I loved the transformation from before to after the Fall. A very creative way to tell the story. Great job!
Marilyn Schnepp 01/31/07
A vivid description of Paradise Lost, and then another of Paradise renewed; very creative...and straight from the Bible; nicely done and well written. Thanks for reminding us of what Jesus did for us.
Bonnie Way01/31/07
Neat images here; really like the contrast between the three Edens, especially with the fallen Eden juxtaposed against the ugliness of the first news story.
Jacquelyn Horne11/12/07
This was really interesting. I like the way you portrayed the story. Good job. Good writing.