Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Five


The Invention

by
Alexander M Zoltai
Dedicated to
Holly Gonzalez

~~~~~~~~~

He hoped he was beginning the creation of the future.

Earth had labored too long, in ways that only kept people fed, clothed, and out of the weather…

The scrolls said it had been 500 years since the Catastrophe—the books pushed it back another 200 years.

There had been air travel, large cities, regular ship traffic between what folks called the continents—he knew of only his land and the one across the Rehua Sea.

No matter how long ago the Catastrophe had been, his invention should give people a chance to spend more time doing what he did—create for the sake of creating—create to make personal imagination capable of being shared…

Certainly, books did this to a certain degree; but, almost completely about mundane and practical topics—“Work Books”—carefully hand-written; showing individual creativity only in the shape of the scripts.

But, people needed to be free to write stories that imagined a better world or even other “worlds”—needed to be free to make objects that helped with planting, harvesting, weaving; and, even more exotic and unheard of methods and processes.

He thought his invention could enable all these things, and more…

He’d first devised (was it 40 years now?) a way to dig for what a few of the scrolls called “copper”.

This improved the lives of his People by enabling crude knives and better digging tools—even new tools for eating.

He adjusted the valve that admitted the steam to the tubes—25 gleaming copper tubes—the first thing he’d made for his “Invention”, nearly twenty years ago, these tubes—his “conductors”…

Then, he’d made the “fittings” that let him connect the tubes to each other and to the leather sacks, his “bladders”.

The twin bowls—held together with copper “wires”—where the steam was produced—he called his “cauldron”.

Naturally, he’d made, a few years before, a way to focus fire through smaller tubes, “pipes”, that helped him shape metal.

He was working from some fragmentary ideas written in a very special book—so special he carried it everywhere he went…

His personal collection of scrolls and books was what his People called their “Library”, gathered from places spread over a large part of the coast of his People’s Land—New Oz.

Scrolls and books discovered after much digging…

He’d shared many names and terms from these works in the Library—gave them to his People to use.

He barely remembered his mother—teaching him the “language” in the scrolls and books; she of infinite patience.

She never told him how she had learned…

He looked at the book he’d been using—trying to decipher the handwriting…

This book was harder to read than all the others; but, the “author” had great Wisdom, which made his efforts worth any time it took to interpret the script and reveal the way the man thought…

He needed this Wisdom to bring his invention to completion.

He hoped his mother’s Spirit was proud of his inventing what he would call “The Producer”.

———

The first “Products” made by “The Producer” were more conductors, bladders, cauldrons, and pipes.

There were now six Producers and he was training a group of his People to operate them.

He spent the time from sunset to the shifting-of-the-winds talking to the Leader of his People about the Wisdom in the hard-to-read book. The Leader was younger but had a unique ability to decipher the book…

———

Five years passed…

Twenty new inventions had sprung from The Producers.

There were wheels with copper cladding, sheets of copper shaped into doors and window frames, a hollow box with pipes—“stove”—that fed fire onto meat and other pipes that heated water.

His People had helped him come up with even more things that were soon to be made.

His People were busier than ever but just beginning to realize certain small savings of time—precious extended moments to sit and think, or feel…

The first moving product—propelled by steam from its own internal cauldron—fed fire through pipes from one of the special stoves that burned compact “bricks” of “peat” from the bogs near the Holy Mountain—this “vehicle” was created exactly ten years after The Producer.

The vehicle was hard to control and had injured five people and killed one.

Still, with the flat area behind the seats, the people trained to operate it could accomplish jobs that used to take weeks in just a few days—more time available to think, plan, feel, create…

———

More years went by and he realized, finally, that there wouldn’t be very many left before he joined his mother…

There were so many new inventions providing so much time to think, feel, and create that the People decided to start a special school, just to teach each other how to create.

He was chosen to teach the first group of teachers…

———

Eventually, his body died…

The People mourned for a full cycle of Moon phases…

Not so many years later, it was decided that the People needed a special group called the “Enforcers”—those who saw to it that certain individuals with too much time on their hands weren’t able to get away with causing trouble…

Many other special groups were formed—each to meet a need of the People.

One day, the very aged Leader of the People decided that they needed a “statue”—he’d learned that word in the very special book from his best friend, a man he still mourned—the People needed a statue of the Inventor—something to look up to—something to inspire—something to calm the ache in the Leader’s heart…

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* Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

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