Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Twenty-Three

The Inside Is Outside

Alexander M Zoltai


The answer was never really hidden…

Whatever was going wrong in the city certainly had a viable solution…

How to read the situations—how to resolve the problems?

Did it have something to do with people’s choices—their inner lives?

Were nearly all citizens to blame?


James Dickenson was tasked to create a program to radically reduce crime in the city.

He gathered a group of people around him—ex-drug addicts, ex-cops, ex-corporate psychologists, ex-security personnel, mothers who’d lost their sons to turf wars, and others.

James had lost his mother during the turf wars—she wouldn’t move out of the old neighborhood…

The Crime Task Force’s first session was a free-for-all discussion about the statistics—James encouraged them to relate any private connections with the lawlessness (nearly everyone had personal tales to relate…)

He matched folks in his mind and made notes for forming sub-groups at the next session…


The next session was postponed because the building with their meeting room was bombed.

James sent carbon-copied emails to each sub-group he’d formed and told them to meet in safe places—get to know each other while he found a relatively secure place to work.


The next week they met at the Army Reserve Headquarters—Special Forces troops patrolled the grounds, in plain clothes…

Each sub-group was encouraged to fully share their personal stories about their connections with various crimes—especially to share the pain it engendered.

James was challenged about his methods…

He passed out copies of a communication he’d received from the Mayor of the city which contained directives from the Ruling Council of the country, specifically endorsing anything James desired.

Part of it read: “James Dickenson has been in the trenches, in many countries—dealt with crime from the personal to the governmental level—shows remarkable insight and delivers surprisingly practical methods for remediation. Do give him every consideration possible.

After seeing they’d all read the communication, James said:

“We’re starting with the pain because that’s what breeds the crime; that and the confusion created around the pain that gives birth to the anger that explodes in villainy.

“We’ll explore our own pain and the anger it can engender—we’ll find resolutions for that angry pain—we’ll craft methods that can be adapted for use on the streets by special agents, folks who know how to spread the power of the resolutions.

“We’ll still have to arrest people, perhaps kill a few in the process; but, our job is to find the seeds that the special agents can plant that will sprout into hope in the hearts of the youngest and least experienced criminals.

“It will probably take a full generation’s growth past adolescence to begin to see improvements…

“If you wonder how my training began—what qualifies me to lead and encourage you in this seemingly strange mission—it all started when I was twelve…

“I was visiting my mother in the eastern ghetto—she sent me to live with my aunt when I was six—sent me out of harm’s way—stayed with my father; was riddled with bullets trying to protect him from the gang leaders he’d crossed…

“I went on to study everything I could about crime and most of you know that most of the official literature is missing something—leads too swiftly to incarceration—holds out no hope on the street, the environment where the criminal mind is trained, the place we have to invade with our special agents…”


James said more, spent months shaping his people into capable instructors for the Task Force’s Special Agents—agents drawn from the street—the component souls of a spearhead advance into the front lines of love…


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8 responses to “Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Twenty-Three

  1. Johnpaul Mahofski (@2febbfc2194b440) December 26, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    It is possible to relieve the pain if this group will enter the trenches physically and their formula for love will involve them becoming part of the very communities that the mother saved him from living in… But if their reeducation tool all of James data collected is mostly to remain on paper and be discussed eventually adding programs or lectures and newly written texts through the school system the pain will remain.


  2. Johnpaul Mahofski (@2febbfc2194b440) December 26, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Best story ever.


  3. Alexander M Zoltai December 26, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Perhaps it was too “lyrical”; but, I’d hoped the last line, “the component souls of a spearhead advance into the front lines of love” would say they lived their values…


  4. Alexander M Zoltai December 26, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Thank you, Sir………


  5. Johnpaul Mahofski (@2febbfc2194b440) December 26, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    Not too lyrical just a novice reader that is now thrilled for this group—I hope they are ready to feel the pain as they heal it.


  6. Alexander M Zoltai December 26, 2016 at 7:39 pm



  7. Jane Watson December 26, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    This is a great story. It addresses so much that is important and which needs to be done or at least attempted to bring about a more peaceful and equitable society.


  8. Alexander M Zoltai December 26, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    With you on every point, Jane—thank you for such a confirming comment :-)


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