Supposed Paradise

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Featured Review on this writing by AdamCarlton

Imagine a beautiful expanse of turquoise water, a white sandy beach, inflatable beach toys and women lounging around in bathing suits. The lake has become such a draw for us this Summer.
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Imagine a beautiful expanse of turquoise water, a white sandy beach, inflatable beach toys and women lounging around in bathing suits. The lake has become such a draw for us this Summer.

Ekaterina has posted a photo of herself posing in a red bikini on Instagram. Whole social media pages have been dedicated to her charms as she lies near the lake, illuminated by the iridescent, irresistible blue hue of its pristine waters.

Sergei and Anastasia, Dmitry and Kristina, have flocked out of the sprawling industrial city to the blue pond with their children to take photographs of their tropical bliss.


Bogdan has coined the phrase ‘Poor Man’s Maldives’, capturing perfectly the synergy that the tropical oasis has with the tropical vacation destination in the Indian Ocean. Despite its frigid waters, and the metallurgical factories that stand with smokestack statues on the green horizon.

Eva and Viktor have posted photographs of themselves in beachwear and doing yoga, posing elaborately for the camera.

Vladlena and Evgeny have created such a run of tongue-in-cheek images of their supposed paradise that the Company has been forced to issue them with warning notices, acknowledging that the lake has become a social media star but urging them to take a more cautious approach to publicity.

Dina and Anton have ventured as far as the lake’s edge. And the young adventurers, Gleb and Natalya, have even paddle-boarded on the water.

Beside the new effluent pond, Ekaterina in her bikini and Anastasia in her summer dress have struck poses as if they were enjoying the tropical sunshine on a sandy beach in the Caribbean.

Yelena has posed at the water’s edge with her inflatable pink flamingo. And Boris and Izabella, a newlywed couple, have posted a series of pictures of them exchanging vows as they splashed through the murky blue shallows.

Ludmila and Ivan have delicately inserted a foot into the chemical slurry as though testing the water for a dip, even though the Company has warned that it is almost impossible to get out of the dump’s muddy bottom.

The lake sparkles with a sapphire iridescence at night, leading Yelena and Igor to splash one another in the water, then risk a swim to the distant fall-out beacon.

Alexei, Anastasia, Gleb and Natalya have started holding midnight picnics on the heavy metal contaminated beach, refreshing themselves with the unique-tasting mineral water from the lake.

‘It seems to me that the dangers have been slightly exaggerated,’ Ekaterina says, ‘Naturally, I shouldn’t really swim here but an hour-long photoshoot isn’t going to grow me a third breast, is it?’

Other bathers have posted less-inviting photos, showing the hulking rusting pipes that carry the unprocessed nuclear slurry from the nearby power, heating and electrical station to the blue pond, the decaying toxic smokestacks in the background. The lake is a man-made waste site, its irresistible blue hue is not the colour of pristine waters reflecting off the blue sky, rather the deposits of calcium salts which have been irradiated by the infusion of the heavy metal oxides and untreated nuclear waste that run off the plant.

‘It is not especially poisonous,’ Igor, the Company salesman says of the water, adding that the radiation level falls within normal limits according to tests by its own laboratories, ‘However, the lake does have a high PH value, derived from the coal sludge that is pumped into it, and its blue sulphates can cause an allergic reaction.’

He asks, in a jocular manner, that tourists hunting for selfies refrain from diving into ash dumps. 

So far, only Anastasia, Boris, Vladlena and Sergei have complained of severe stomach cramps.

Ekaterina, Alexei, Dina and Anton have started to bleed from their orifices.

Yelena, Bogdan, Eva and Victor have been infested with raised red boils, known as cancer-furuncles or sludge sores.

While Izabella, Vasily, Kristina, Gleb, Ludmila, Dmitry, Natalya, Evgeny and Ivan: members of the local swimming club, are reported missing presumed dissolved in our Supposed Paradise.

...and Gleb!

Submitted: March 16, 2023

© Copyright 2023 h-j furl. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:



Nice writing a good choice of images

Fri, March 17th, 2023 4:17pm


Thank you so much - it's based on a real pollution incident in India.

Sun, March 19th, 2023 3:25pm


They really should stop lacing beach resorts with radionuclides!

Sat, March 18th, 2023 4:23pm


I agree 100% - if ever The World needed you to sort it out Adam, by whatever means necessary, now's the time! Lovely to hear you tell it like it is! Best Wishes, HJ

Sun, March 19th, 2023 3:28pm

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