Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “All that Glitters is Not Gold” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/24/08)
TITLE: So you think you want the Midas touch?
By Cristy Zinn
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“What time is it?” she asked, a half-smile playing on her beautiful mouth. She was super-model gorgeous. Her bottle-blonde hair swept down her almost naked back and her long bronze legs stretched out from the satin like an advert from a glossy magazine.
“Where am I?” he asked in a taut voice unlike his own.
“What?” she laughed, “Did you drink too much again last night?”
“I don’t drink.”
“Whatever.” She shook her head, “come back to bed.”
“Where am I?’ he whispered to himself.
He walked over to the spotless floor-to-ceiling window and stared out at the incredible view. This wasn’t even his home town – he had no idea where he was. Outside the morning light had begun to sparkle on the flat water of paradise and luxurious yachts lined the small dock that stretched out into the secluded bay. Everything sparkled. Everything was perfect.
“Where am I?” he asked again.
“Are we playing some kind of role play game, baby? ‘Cause if we are I don’t know where you’re going with this one.” She rolled over and lit a cigarette while she lay propped up against the black, satin pillows.
“Where’s my wife?” he asked.
“Back on the street corner where you left her after the divorce. What’s the matter with you?”
“This is not my life.” He squeezed his eyes shut and shook his head. He had to be dreaming.
“Ah come on, it’s not so bad now is it? You’ve got what everybody wants baby.” Again, that empty laugh.
The words dislodged a memory from his mind. A tall man with a grizzled face, talking to him. A crooked smile had played from the man’s lips when he had asked Dale why his life was so mediocre when he had the potential to have it all. One question had thrown his whole day out and he had spent the rest of it wondering why he had settled. He used to have such big dreams and now he was… stuck. He had daydreamed of another life. A bigger life. And now it seemed he was there.
He went to the window again, catching his reflection. He looked different. His hair was cut in a different style and his body was more toned. He looked like something out of a Men’s Health magazine. But it wasn’t him. The eyes were dead and cold. It wasn’t him. He closed his eyes to block out his reflection.
A knocking opened his eyes.
“You okay, Love?” it was Gina’s voice. It was his wife.
He looked around the room and saw the familiar small, box window, the too-worn comforter on the bed and the photo’s of their kids on the walls and he felt his ragged breathing slow to a relieved sigh.
Gina popped her head around the door, her hair was wet on her shoulders and she had a toothbrush poised in one hand.
“You were groaning in your sleep.” She said.
He jumped out of bed and pulled her into his arms, “You are magnificent.” He said into the small of her neck.
“I’m what?” she laughed, “what’s the matter with you?”
“Just had a bad dream.” He sighed, “But it’s over now. And I’m back.”
“Back? From where?” she raised her eyebrows.
“A place where I had everything but you and I was everything but me.”
“Sounds like an awful place.” She laughed, kissed his unshaven cheek and carried on brushing her teeth.
He went to the window and looked out over his front yard, strewn with tricycles and wheelbarrows. He saw his reflection too. His just woken face looking creased but his eyes dancing with life. He thought nothing had ever looked so perfect.
(Inspired by a Swithfoot song)
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