“The streets are paved with gold,” they said. As if that’s something to be proud of. Wasting gold on cobblestones? Really??
“But… gold streets! That’s amazing!” They kept insisting.
But old Fritz knew better. Sure they looked pretty in the first glow of morning light, all soft amber and rosy pink, but that same glow reflected into every window, of a morning, and usually at least an hour before decent folk had tumbled out of bed.
Maybe if you were one of the lords and ladies up at the castle-keep at the top of the cliff, looking down on glowing streets was akin to a miracle. But those at the keep had heavy shutters and thick draperies to block out the light.
The commoners? Not so much. They had wooden slats and fabric curtains, maybe.
And those at the castle had wet nurses and nannies to soothe the babes and littles when the glow from the streets was blindingly bright.
Fritz, on the other hand, had lived a lifetime of assuring his children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren that no, it wasn’t MOLTEN gold, and no, it wasn’t hot like lava, and just turn your face to the wall, kiddo, and sleep a little longer.
Streets paved with gold? Fritz had long considered moving to another village more than once. A village where the gold wasn’t flaunted, and the streets were paved with sensible things like brick cobblestones or gravel.
And yet… he couldn’t deny that the gold streets of the village where he’d spent ninety-three winters attracted a wealth (no pun intended) of tourists who were eager to spend their money in his shop, and the shops of his friends and family.
Streets paved in gold? Fritz weighed the concept in his mind a bit longer.
Then he rolled toward the middle of the bed he shared with Hazel, who – god willing – would mark her eighty-seventh winter in a few weeks.
He’d just sleep til the angle of the light changed, and the gold-covered streets no longer dazzled his aging eyes.
Dazzling story! (Just like the gold.)
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