Stairway to heaven

Patsy scratched her underarms, rolling a vein between thumb and forefinger. She was hungry; for food and more.

She would struggle to find another climb; to find the heaven she had touched so many years ago.

She was sixteen and Justin’s eyes were starlit wells. In the background Robert Plant was crooning.

“It won’t hurt”, he said. “Let’s climb together”.

Just the prick of a needle and then came stars, a rush towards sky.

Once they’d been invincible.

She reached for Jason, and just touched ice.

Jason had left for a private stairway, a stairway that might reach his heaven.


I expect I’ll not be the only one who sees “Stairway to heaven” in that image. For some reason I have always assumed that some reference to drugs is in that song, and that is where the prompt took me.

Friday Fictioneers is a group of bloggers who write 100 word stories every week to the same picture. Rochelle set the bars (high) and selects the picture.

September 21, 2016

82 responses to “Stairway to heaven

  1. Tragic and a waste of life, but then so many people have ended this way. Not truly a Stairway to Heaven after all. Nicely written and well framed with the jumps from past to present. Great tale, Bjorn

  2. I can’t count the number of times my boyfriend and I listened to that song on our way to an after-school janitorial job. I didn’t see that in the picture and glad you did. You took it and ran. And yes, I think drugs must have played a big part in the music.

  3. It has never occurred to me before, but that totally looks like “Stairway to Heaving.” 😛

    This is the best opening ever: “Patsy scratched her underarms” … I’m picturing her all monkey-like. 🙂

    And this is a super-rad follow-up: “rolling a vein between thumb and forefinger” … I’m seeing her playing with a vein she pulled out of a wrist. Then you go into the hungry part, which makes me think of her as a cannibal. (Can o’ bull?) I’m such an idiota.

  4. I always enjoy your work and have missed it during my time away. Can’t wait to get back in and catch up on some of your work I’ve missed. Great work!

  5. What a great take on the prompt and beautifully (tragically) told. I’m listening to Led Zeppelin often, it’s one of my favourite bands. Back in the days, almost all music was connected to drugs. I didn’t see the Stairway to Heaven in the picture until you wrote it, and then I had this, “but of course!” moment.

  6. Ouch, I felt her desperation and the need for an ever-greater high to match the one before. I have this feeling Jason isn’t coming back down. I liked the description of ‘ice’ there – conveys so much.

  7. Great job, Bjorn. I read in the paper yesterday where heroin is making a strong comeback here in the U.S. That’s one reunion tour I don’t care to see.

    On the upside, this photo made me think of an earlier post I had written entitled “Stairway to Kevin” that ended with the discovery of an old man in an outhouse.

  8. Great tale, well told and very poetic. Rolling a vein between thumb and forefinger gave me a weird sensation, I think I like it and don’t like it in equal measure, which has got to be a sign of good writing.

  9. A deeply moving account. We all seek heaven’s stairs in out own way. I climb it when I read a good book ot write one myself. I didn’t see a stairway to heaven. I couldn’t get past the reflections. They captivated me.

  10. I just love this sentence: She was sixteen and Justin’s eyes were starlit wells. I love these things paired together. Well written, moving and sad. Drugs are so hopeless and destructive.

  11. Nice set-up. I like your play on words ‘heaven’ and ‘ice’ Very effective. Tragic story, and unfortunately an all too common experience, it seems. The lure of escaping to a higher state of experience traps so many young people.

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