The Elusive Paradise

by Chandra Sundeep

The Elusive Paradise

It was a hot summer day. The elders had retreated indoors for their afternoon siesta. Taking advantage of their absence, few young lads sneaked out to meet their friend.

“It’s an amazing place, far more beautiful than you can imagine!” Afzal let out a low whistle. “Here, see for yourself.”

He chuckled as the teens squealed at the photographs.“Wah! A palace!”

“A gigantic swimming pool.”

“Kebabs, chocolates, ice-creams!”

“Ooh… girls… this is paradise!” The boys giggled, their cheeks flushing in excitement.

“Wish we could go too…” they sighed in unison.

Afzal’s eyes it up, “of course you can!”

“But we don’t have any money,” a hesitant voice whispered.

“Oh, we don’t need money to go there. All one needs is faith!”


“Yes! So, who wants to come along on a fabulous trip to paradise?”

Afzal counted the excited hands reaching for the skies. “Remember, it’s a secret. If you tell your parents, they’ll never let you go. You’ll be trapped in this wretched place forever. Now go home and meet me here at midnight.”

As soon as the happy feet trooped away, a victorious Afzal whispered in his phone. “10 boys recruited. Arrange for them to be smuggled.”


This story, The Elusive Paradise, was awarded 2nd Runner-Up of the November 2021 Writing Challenge in the adults’ category by Beyond the Box.


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