Tag Archives: Garden of Eden

Trinkets from Paradise Lost

FF 222 Jan Wayne Fields

copyright Jan Wayne Fields

The booth clung to the edge of the fairground like a leech. The owner sat alone, swiping at a futuristic-looking tablet.

“Whadya got?” I asked.

He stood, flashing me a shark grin. “Novelties from lost places.” He proffered a small box. “From the Garden of Eden. Real apple wood.”

I rummaged through the items. “Lost places? Really?” I held up a hat marked CALIFORNIA.

He glanced at his watch. It had no time, just the year: 2020.

“How’d that get in there?” His shark grin widened as he shoved the hat behind him. “Now, how about a T-shirt from Atlantis?”


Dearest Melissa: A Letter While Stuck in a Tree

Dearest Melissa,

I am currently stuck in the top of a tall pine tree, after having been chased here by wolves. It is quite lonesome, and so I am writing this letter to you that so you can share, at least partially, in my discomfort. I have no pen or paper to use, so I am writing this letter on the currents of the air with the hope that it will find you at last, wherever you are.

Incidentally, I hope this reaches you and not another Melissa, since that would be quite awkward.

It all began, I must confess, with a dream. A dream such as you could only imagine. I was walking along the banks of the Nile, when twelve crocodiles danced past me, most of them doing the foxtrot. I had initially thought they were alligators, but the littlest one, doing the hornpipe, disabused me of this idea.

Then I saw it, standing on top of the Great Pyramid: a great, grey wolf. It was such a noble animal (much nobler than the pug that I had when last we met) that I immediately began yearning to have it as a pet—no, more than a pet: a companion, an ally, perhaps even a steed.

I awoke from the dream with the idea of taming a wolf firmly in my brain. Still, I felt I needed guidance. I consulted my horoscope and under October 14: Cancer, it read, “You are about to embark on a great quest. Get rid of the things of the past and face your future with nothing but great force of will.”

It was as if the writer had been looking into my soul. I immediately put an ad in the newspaper to sell my pug and boarded the next flight to Yellowknife, in northern Canada. And so, here I am.

It did not take me long to encounter wolves. There were some lurking around the airport, but they looked too commercialized and I walked past them. Then I saw some at the supermarket, but they looked like town wolves. You might as well have a dog as a town wolf, so again, I let them be.

I reached the edge of town and plunged into the vast, uncharted wild. In a moment, I was lost, with no idea of my heading. I asked a passing lumberjack the way, but he ignored me in his haughty, Canadian fashion. Then, just ahead, I saw a great pack of wolves congregated around the carcass of a caribou. I was brave; I was calm; I channeled all my force of will, just as the Bumpkin Gazette’s horoscope writer had instructed me, and so I slowly walked to meet the wolves, and with them, my fate.


It is quite phenomenal how much force of will a pack of wild wolves possesses. I must have been out of practice, because a moment later, I found myself fleeing through the woods until I spied this very tree and climbed it, seconds before the leader of the pack leapt at me. I must now wait them out, it seems. Somehow, I have a feeling they will lose interest in me and wander away. I will continue writing later.

Several hours later

Dearest Melissa, the wolves have not left. It seems that instead, they are setting up a sort of camp underneath my tree. More wolves are arriving and they are building temporary shelters of branches and caribou skins. A spider’s web-building and a beaver’s dam-building are nothing in comparison to a wolf’s house construction, although I had hitherto been unaware of that fact. If I ever make it out alive, I must contact the National Geographic.

The wolves all look sleek and well-fed, so I can only imagine they are doing this out of spite. Why, I cannot imagine. It may be because of an unfortunate incident that occurred some time ago. I had to relieve myself (I am sorry to mention it, but it is vital to the story) and unfortunately, it hit the leader of the pack on the head. I yelled an apology in my best Canadian accent, but alas, it did no good. The dialect must be different in the North.

Several more hours later

I am thankful that wolves cannot climb trees, but still, they are trying very hard to overcome my vertical margin of safety. For a while, they were taking turns gnawing at the trunk with their teeth but luckily for me, the wood was too hard for them. I saw one try to enter into negotiations with a black bear that was lumbering by, but it seemed uninterested in climbing up to get me.

Dearest Melissa, I sincerely hope that you get this message, which I am assigning to the wind to carry straight to your ears. I brought no food or water, being under the impression that the Canadian wilderness was a second Garden of Eden. As well, it is getting dark and quite cold.

Call the Mounties, my dear. Otherwise, I fear that I am screwed.

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