STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

He had pulled himself up from the gutter, from the place where the only options was to rise or die.

He kicked the addictions, beaten the disease, climbed each painful step through the trash and rubbish and litter of his broken life.

Now he had made it back, back to the light, to the world, to society. This should be his triumph, his moment of glory.

But he looked around at the world he had aspired to, that he had fought so hard to attain. And he saw that it was just as hideous as the one he had escaped from.

Copyright Roger Bultot

Happy New Year to you all! A cheery story on the state of the world to kick off 2023. Here’s hoping for more optimism in the months ahead.

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read more stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

‘The Barra Boy’ is available now. You can find all the information for getting a copy HERE.

70 responses to “STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN”

  1. The quality of the cage may be better

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not much of a choice to have. Thanks Neil

      Like

  2. Sad reality. We always think the grass is greener.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s difficult to find any greener grass sometimes. Thanks

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You could be writing about Ty, my MC in Veteran.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true! Thanks Susanne.

      Like

  4. Dear Iain,

    Sadly that’s the way of the world. It can be an ugly place. At least your MC can see it more clearly now and perhaps do something about his own corner of it. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    PS I enjoyed The Barra Boy and have left a review on Amazon. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rochelle, for the comment and the review! So pleased you enjoyed the book 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hari Om
    A guid new year tae you and yours, Iain! Yes, bleak start – but I rather feel it to be on the mark, too… YAM xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, here’s to better times ahead. Happy New year.

      Like

  6. Probably better to change the world you’re living in than make the effort to find something infinitely worse or at best just the same. Of course, you might get lucky…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, much like your character this week, he needs to find some hope.

      Like

  7. But now, he’s ready to plant a seed or two in the dung heap.
    Look! Over there! That might be a promising spot to start up…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He needs to find that bit of hope we are all searching for! Thanks Liz, Happy New Year to you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And to you, as well!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. He is still triumphant because he healed himself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In the end, what more can he do than that? Thanks -all the best for the new year!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Happy New Year to you and your family!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Life, even from the point of view of the healthy and well adjusted, will always be especially hard to handle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It can be a tough old business at times

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Well that was a downer (lol).
    On another note, your book Barra Boy made it to my list of Best Books I read in 2022, I just wanted you to know that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s amazing, thank you for reading it and mentioning it Dawn. So glad you enjoyed it. I’ll share your post tomorrow!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh well…I wasn’t hinting at that or anything (swear)..but okay 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Perhaps he’ll now aspire to do his bit to improve the new place he’s found himself in. Wishing you and your family a wonderful New Year Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Keith, a little hope goes a long way.

      Like

  12. Old sayings come to mind: Bloom where you’re planted. Brighten the corner where you are. BE the difference.

    Cliches seem to me to just clutter up the space more than it was before.

    Hope, however, comes from within and is not a cliche at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We all need a little hope. Thanks Linda

      Liked by 1 person

  13. “Wherever you go, there you are.” Without internal balance, the exterior is a shell. Thoughtful writing, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Your welcome 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Well done. I like the symmetry of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Happy New Year Iain. Good take

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Di, Happy New Year

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Always appears greener on the other side.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does indeed. Thanks Danny

      Like

  17. Ah, yes, expectations.

    “I have overcome my mess, now what the hell is wrong with you other people?”

    Watching those in recovery trying to deal, perhaps for the first time, with reality is the stuff many a wonderful memoir are made of. 🙂

    I enjoyed this, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your thoughts Bill

      Liked by 1 person

  18. He needs to recharge his optimism batteries!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We all do from time to time! Thanks Liz

      Like

  19. reality bites. but one shouldn’t give up. when the going gets tough, the tough get on going.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Great take. There is nowhere to escape, so maybe we need to make some changes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We definitely do need to.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Oh great use of the stairs as his journey to get better
    Such a shame to find the world is not worth the fight. This was beautifully written

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Yes, the world can be an ugly place – but at least now he is seeing it as it really is as opposed to through a drug-induced haze 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. It’s easy to lose hope when looking around us, seeing what could be done but isn’t done. He’s healthy now, though, so he isn’t dancing on the volcano, burning, any longer. He could make an effort to make things better, every little bit makes a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. The first step is seeing it. Now, he can fix it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Let’s hope he can.

      Like

  25. Oh, a bit of reality to start the New Year – did not see that one coming! And, so excited for your new book. Going to plunge into this weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fantastic, thanks for giving it a go and hope you enjoy it!

      Like

  26. Sad reality.
    Hopes dashed.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. There’s strength in realizing there’s no bed of roses at the bottom or top of the stairs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – no one has it easy it seems, but some suffer more than others

      Like

  28. You took me by surprise with your ending, Iain. I can only hope that your protagonist finds a worthwhile reason for his life. Well written!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’re all searching for that, some find it easier than others. Thanks Penny

      Liked by 1 person

  29. O no, I was climbing with your character, then I almost crashed and burned.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A familiar trajectory!

      Like

  30. I hope he doesn’t return to the gutter. 🥴

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Let’s hope he can find a way to climb again.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Dear Iain, wishing you more optimism in the coming weeks. Sending you some of today’s sunshine, after 3 days of stormy cold rain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Still raining here Susan, but optimism will return I’m sure!

      Liked by 1 person

  32. This is brilliant! And … I hope that he seeks support, and learns that perhaps what he’s feeling may be post-addiction depression. It colors life in a way that makes the mundane, morose. … (the son of a friend almost took his life after years of battling addiction. He got ‘clean’ but found the failings of the world too much to manage. Fortunately, he got help, and it saved his life. He realized that reality, while imperfect, holds joys that addiction masked).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Intersting to learn that something I thought of as a little story has some rooting in reality.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 The best ones often do! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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