Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Tag Archives: Short story

Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Seventy


Guilt and Innocence

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

My name’s John and I’ve got a few things on my mind…

I suppose I need to start by talking about one of my girlfriends—when I was younger. She used to fall into a bit of a trance and start punching me—hard…

She’d been sexually abused as a young child…

I think her reaction—not really about what was going on around her—was some kind of fear—maybe frozen into her muscles—then—some trigger word unlocked it all…

I suppose that experience is what makes me extremely aware of abuse…

I do still wrestle against telling women off when I think they’re out of line—but—I would never do sexual abuse—in fact—it’s a very creepy subject…

Thing is—how can it be proved a man abused a woman—except through legal tests?

Seems lately like more folks don’t think—they just believe every woman who says that guy abused me—least the news seems to be saying that…

It’s all pretty tricky…

I mean—maybe—that old girlfriend of mine wasn’t abused—maybe she was just crazy.

Tricky stuff—and—here come all the news media—spouting off what they think—having their panels of “experts” deciding who’s guilty—way before any real legal investigating’s done.

Then the comedians. They can’t stop themselves cashing in on rumors of abuse by public people—making jokes that make people guilty—way before any legal decisions are made…

It’s insane…

Hell—it’s so bad in our society that many cops tell someone that says they were abused to just suck it up—never even give them a chance to prove it…

And—some cops are abusing girls…

Insane…

Of course—not all the media is bad—all the time—there was that newspaper—back in ‘02—did that major story about priests abusing young kids—did some real investigation—supported hints with facts and records and proofs…

Still—there are too many people being called out and nobody knows for sure if they did anything…

Some real good folks having their lives ruined—while some evil folks are staying way under the radar—but—it’s getting really crazy—like that story Frankenstein where the village folks chased after him—probably killed a couple innocent folks in the rush…

And—I need to add something important—women can certainly choose to abuse boys and men…

Then there’s the “news cycle” thing—one channel starts with one story—three others repeat that story and add two more—another six channels repeat all those and make a couple up…

I don’t know—innocents being branded evil—evil ones bribing themselves out of court—young kids being abused—teens lying about abuse to get attention—grown folks never saying a thing about what happened to them as kids—other folks just making it all up…

I’m sure no expert—but—where’s that thing…?

The thing that lets folks decide right from wrong—keeps people honest…?

Oh yeah… Remember…? That word that’s almost forgotten…  

Well—people do say it—but—do they really mean it?

What is that word…?

Oh yeah…

Justice………

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Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Sixty-Nine


CyberWar Updates

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

 

Wednesday the 2nd:
“Massive computer breach at hospitals in fifteen countries—critical equipment failures—hundreds dead.”

Sunday the 6th:
“Hack of nuclear plant control networks in four countries. Dangerous release of contaminated waters.”

Tuesday the 8th:
“Failure of European Union Agency for Law Enforcement’s computer network with High Alerts in twenty-seven countries.”

Wednesday the 9th:
“Suspicious activity reported on nine Federal Networks. Major digital search underway. All messages repeat the words ‘Greetings’ and ‘Wishes for Unity and Love’…”

 

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Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Sixty-Eight


Drug Chronicle

One Hell of a Disgusting Tale

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

My first drug was the instant food my mother was encouraged to feed me—started back in the 50s—Mom was encouraged to feed it to us kids because we were just this side of poor and it was relatively cheap and, more importantly, fast to prepare—Mom also worked outside our home…

You may not think instant food is a drug, or at least that it’s not addictive…

Do a bit of research on it—it sells like hotcakes—companies that sell things want you to keep buying them—why not make them “tasty”, in somewhat addictive ways?

Sure, instant food (or, even, fast food) isn’t as addictive as heroin; but, those foods, just like heroin, are absolutely not good for your body…

So, to move on, my first beer was consumed in somebody’s garage while I was out with my early high school chums; and my first cigarette was around the same time, in the break room of the library I worked at.

It took till my brief stay at my first college to become actually addicted to beer and cigarettes.

Fast forward to my time in Vietnam—much more beer, other kinds of alcohol, and, what seemed to me a blessed substance, marijuana. That time, “serving my country”, in an exotic foreign land, established the benchmark against which to raise the stakes on drug consumption…

After the Navy, I lived in San Francisco—the American drug capital in the 60s.

I’d joined the military because, even with only a couple short jobs under my belt, I knew I wasn’t cut out to work for other folks—I joined the Navy to have the disciplined structure of its life train me how to hold down a job…

I’ve never learned how to hold down a job working for other folks; and, those three years in San Francisco unconditionally set the pattern for the next 50 years—get a job, do well for a week or two, do increasingly poorly, quit—all while juggling work against my other job—getting drugged-out…

Naturally, over the years, many sweet women successively grew tired of mothering me and/or watching me commit employment-suicide…

I tried my hand at a number of self-employment schemes; but, damn it, they just kept getting in the way of my main profession—staying drugged-out and feeling like I was protecting myself from the evils of a society that pressured me into being a druggy—nice little addictive round-about, eh?

I really can’t tell this tale properly without mentioning some of the most dangerous “addictive” drugs I’ve taken…

I put those quotes around addictive because the drugs I’m talking about are from dealers that we call doctors; and, most folks actually trust these kinds of dealers with their lives—taking their pharmaceuticals out of fear instilled by the medical “priesthood” who are, mostly, happily jumping in bed with the corporate gods of the “legal” drug world…

Those drug-dealing doctors, over many years of prescription multiplying and switching, literally killed my mother…

Think I’m drug-bemused and imagining the doctors killed my Mom? Latest stats have the third most killing thing in the U.S.A. as “doctor error”…

So, pharmaceuticals are “addictive” like stopping at red lights is addictive; or like, when you’re young, doing what your parents tell you to do becomes addictive—so addictive we can keep doing some of those things long after we’re grown and should know better…

Why did I call this, “One Hell of a Disgusting Tale”?

Because I’m in my seventh decade and I’m just barely holding my life together, just barely doing some things of actual worth, just barely being able to deal with folks with a sense of justice and compassion…

Just barely…

And, that, my friend, is Disgusting………

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Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Sixty-Seven


Sanctuary

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

Marbre was confused and suspicious…

Her child was already learning and only three months from her womb; yet, she sensed a threat…

She spoke with the other mothers and the girls who would be mothers soon—they knew of no threats—all wondered what could be wrong and expressed their concern for her…

But, Marbre was not solaced by friends who couldn’t sense what she did; plus, with all the political problems plaguing the worlds, she was very glad she hadn’t moved to the Governing planet, Rosnm—life on Selui was harrowing enough…

She switched on her info-panel and searched the news…

There it was…

She’d been horribly upset with the way the Ruler was baldly lying and bullying, multiple times a day—hardly anyone of sound mind believed him or thought he was fit for office (matter of fact, his election did seem to prove the voting procedures needed deep improvement...).

Now, though, he had given a sinister announcement that people who disagreed with him should be jailed…

Marbre visited her friends—mothers all—and shared the news. Every one of them now understood why she had sensed a threat…

~~~

Marbre did extensive research—it appeared the Ruler could get away with jailing dissenters…

She convinced her friends to join her and form a group that claimed religious sanctity for their principles based on the proper moral teachings for children—it appeared the Law permitted exemption for religious doctrine…

They, in fact, banded together and began renting a structure they called their “Temple”…

They felt they’d done all they could to protect their children from growing up in a world going mad…

They would just wait it out in their Temple until the people decided the Ruler had to go…

~~~

Two years passed and millions had been jailed. It was a common fear that soon there would be no people opposing the ruler who were not in jail…

Marbre and her friends had had many visits from government representatives—none had attempted to disprove their “religious” claims…

Six months later, the Ruler had rammed-through a new law banning all religions.

~~~

Marbre and her friends and their children had taken flight—literally—escaping in a craft aimed at a nearby planetary system…

They had no clear knowledge what the conditions would be…

They laughed about all the fears they’d had on their homeworld…

They eventually—after four years of spaceflight—decided they really did need some form of religion to keep them sane…

When they finally arrived at their destination, they were welcomed by a race of people who believed all Real religions were true…

Now began a new concern—wondering whether their individually-crafted religion was true…

~~~

It is true—many years later—that they are still wondering; though, the whole process of seeking sanctuary and questioning their religious premises has broadened and strengthened their minds and hearts—it has been said: “Change of mind becomes change of deed; and also, change of the world.”

Plus, the effect on their children of these consistent investigations has been truly remarkable…

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Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Sixty-Six


The Light Within the Darkness

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

The Prime Leader, Cerbrus, was staggeringly angry…

The Minor Leaders, all twenty-six of them, were in a meeting that he was not invited to.

They had attempted to keep it secret—he sent his best troops to bring the ingrates to his Residence.

~~~

Eighteen years before, in a mountain village, a girl was born—she had various Signs associated with her birth—her parents did all they could to keep her from discovery as the longed-for Promised Child…

Her name was Pershone.

~~~

The Minor Leaders were not arrested so much as escorted to the Prime Leader’s Residence—each proceeded by a cohort of their own troops and a standard bearer—all surrounded by the Prime Leader’s Imperial shock troops.

If the whole Land were to be attacked, repulsion would be quite easy…

~~~

Pershone knew she had a Mission—knew she must be circumspect—knew what to do…

~~~

The Prime Leader began to speak to the Minor Leaders:

“I will spare your lives, in the Name of my relation to the Godhead, SupremePrime.

“You will all show repentance by performing a spiritual trek to the Sacred Mountain, Itrisurk and camping near the Allu Canyon.

“Then, you each will walk up, alone, to the Cave of Luro and repeat a prayer I will provide.

“After which, I will welcome you back here to enforce my own brand of penance, to be observed before your peoples…”

~~~

Pershone travelled to the mountain, Itrisurk, taking only a female friend and three pack animals.

~~~

The Prime Leader arranged to have a special cadre of his undercover troops activated—covert agents triggered into action by secret messages—one in each of the Minor Leaders’ personal guard corps…

~~~

Pershone and her female friend, Lai, reached Allu Canyon and camped directly below the Cave of Luro…

~~~

The Minor Leaders arrived at Allu Canyon and encountered Pershone and Lai…

The Leaders engaged in a heated discussion about what to do about the two women until Pershone walked up to them… They immediately fell quiet and Pershone said:

“I am the woman who has matured from my previous state as the Promised Child.”

They all, Leaders and soldiers, looked at each other; but, none spoke…

Pershone walked extremely close to the Leader of Nesru and said, softly:

“I will gift you with knowledge. The Prime Leader has spies in your guard corps. He intends to kill each of you; but, I will stop this plot. Quietly tell the other Leaders.”

The Leader of Nesru went to each of his Peers and privately conveyed the message.

When he had returned to Pershone, she walked around the large group of men; and, as she walked, certain of the soldiers dismounted and began to follow her—twenty-six of them…

When she had returned to where she began, she stopped, and the men who had been following fell faint…

She then said: “Now, let us talk about your fear of the Prime Leader…”

The Minor Leaders told her of their secret meeting to plan some way to override the Prime Leader’s death grip on their plans and hopes for their peoples.

They all admitted being intimidated by various forms of dread and apprehension when confronted by the powers of the Prime Leader…

When they had talked themselves out, Pershone said:

“You give the man more power than he actually has—you make him into a god when the only God there is has created this man just as He created you.  He has certain traits that can instill fear in those who have learned to be fearful—learned I say, since you all are brave men in your own realms…”

The Leaders looked at each other and began to smile… with hate in their eyes…

Pershone spoke:

“You will not attempt to subdue this man with the same tactics he uses against you. I will confront him and clear the way for your future—this is why I was born… You must stay here until word reaches you of my success.”

She gave them further orders; then, she and Lai departed…

The men had no desire to do anything but what Pershone had told them to do…

~~~

The Prime Leader waited anxiously for word from his spies…

When evening of the third day arrived, he decided to send his shock troops to Itrisurk…

Before he could give the word, he was alerted that a strange woman desired an Audience.

Being a man who’s prime sport was taking advantage of women, he gave permission for her to enter his Chamber…

She appeared to him as a mere country girl with a friend attending her; perhaps, a village elder’s daughter…

He spoke:

“Young woman, what brings you to the Court of the Prime Leader, the Representative of the Godhead?”

“I come to warn you.”

“Of what, my dear?”

“First, your spies in the guard corps of the countries’ Leaders are incapacitated. Second, the Leaders themselves are in counsel together at Itrisurk.”

“You are an unwelcome messenger, my dear… Still, you aid me… I was about to send my shock troops; but, pray, how in the world did you know this and what made you come here?”

“I come here to inform you that the other Leaders are in counsel to reorder their domains so they can form a unified federation of nations, none being a supreme ruler, all being just and fair supporters of tranquillity.”

“Who are you?”

“I am the incarnation of a power that can wither you—I am your Conscience.”

He ordered his priests to chant his most mighty incantations…

While this was happening, he approached the woman and locked eyes with her.

Cerbrus’ body began to subtly vibrate—he began his own chant, a contrapuntal intonation to his priests’.

As Cerbrus’ body increased its vibrations, his fear became manifest—he reached for the woman…

He collapsed.

Pershone asked Lai to counsel the priests; then, she helped Cerbrus to his feet and instructed him:

“You will abdicate your rule, you will go to a far country and farm a plot of land—you may have nine helpers in your new life—I let you live…”

Pershone stretched out her hand and pointed at Lai…

Her friend began to softly glow…

Pershone said to the priests: “She is my arm—she is my hand—none may oppose her.”

Pershone vanished…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Read More Story Bazaar Tales

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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com