Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Six


ResponseAbility

by
Alexander M Zoltai
Dedicated to
Sunandita

~~~~~~~~~

She couldn’t wait for her birthday to arrive.

Six weeks till she’d turn fifteen.

So much to do to get ready…

Her friends had trouble understanding her seriousness about it all.

Sue had said, “Come on, Mary, lighten up—it’s just fifteen not thirty-two!”

But, Mary didn’t know how to explain what was going to happen…

~~~~~~~~~

She was very near the top.

She’d started at sundown.

It was now pitch-dark.

She knew the clouds swirled below her.

She knew an eagle soared overhead.

She gave it her all—hauled her body up over an outcrop to the peak and sat, happily exhausted.

Gazing at the stars she prepared for the final step.

She jumped… up… and soared…

Then, she woke and spoke to herself:

“Will it really be that important?”

~~~~~~~~~

One week to go…

Mary finally figured out what to say to Sue.

She caught up with her at the mall and offered to buy her a tea.

After they got their order and sat down, Mary said:

“So… The reason turning fifteen is so important—Wait…You remember my parents are religious, right?”

“Yeah, but not so you could tell—just real nice people.”

“They are—best parents ever—but, very religious; and, in our Faith, fifteen is the age of choice—could say age of responsibility. I have to decide, have decided really, whether I’ll be an official member of the Faith—follow all the laws.”

“Laws?”

“Yep—not many really, mostly a lot of guidance on how to be of service to humanity…”

“Laws…?”

“Yeah, some real laws, like no alcohol.”

“What else…”

“There’s a nineteen day fast in the spring.”

“Fast? No food?”

“No food, no drink; but, only from Sunup to Sundown.”

“Hmmm…”

“Actually it’s good for your health to fast…”

“Yeah, yeah—what else?”

“I get to choose one of three special prayers to say every day—already been saying the short one since I was five—might say the medium and long ones for a bit—see how they feel…”

“What else?”

“I think the only other one is saying some of the sacred writings every morning and evening.”

“That’s it?”

“Pretty sure—yeah.”

“Don’t know about the fast…”

“Me either; but, I gotta try.”

“Why?”

“Why…?”

“Yeah, why?”

“Why what?”

“Why do you have to make it official, make yourself follow laws.”

“Well…”

“Yeah…?”

“Well… I want to do what my Prophet says is good for me…”

“How do you know your Prophet knows what’s good for you?”

“My parents explained a lot of it to me, I been studying hard since I was eleven—it just seems right in my mind—more important… in my heart…”

“Now you’re talkin’—heart…”

“Yeah…”

“Yep.”

“You said it!”

“Absolutely!”

The girls dissolved into sweet giggles…

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Read More Story Bazaar Tales

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