Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Tag Archives: Short Tales

Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Seventy-Three


Unity

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

She was The Witness—she was objective—yet, in spite of years of experience, she was still quite nervous…

She’d just arrived by shuttle (by order of the World Leader) from Lafri Pertru and was ushered into an inquiry (suggested by the World Leader) with a man claiming he was the longed-for Divine Messenger who would fulfill the prophecies of all other religions.

She could make no comments, ask no questions—The Witness only witnessed…

But, she was acutely aware of the significance of the religious leaders’ questions and comments:

Skiron Blret—“As the Prime Priest of the Naidiest religion, I ask how you could possibly be a Prophet—our Skalit Pondreker was the last Prophet.”

Mentre Veokre—“For the love of Belru, how can you make such claims?

Burint Senk—“I demand a miracle to prove what you claim…”

Luu Frdi—“Speaking for the Consolidated Brethren of the Order of Holy Worshipers, I find you to be a mere man, of no consequence… I have no questions.”

The comments continued—round after round; and, the religious leaders began attacking each other…

She sat through these embarrassing proceedings, listening to these men acting so pompous and proud and wondered what the Claimant was thinking…

The Claimant spoke at that moment:

“I am the One all your Scriptures speak of—I am the Promised One, come to unite all religions, all peoples, all territories—I am willing to meet with each of you singly; however, this gathering is not appropriate for seeking the Truth—your disputes and pride do you no justice…”

She stopped being nervous—started being extremely curious—wondered at this Person who was more spiritual that all the others combined…

She wasn’t looking forward to going through the exhausting ritual of reporting to the World Leader—The Probing…

She wished she could just go somewhere and contemplate…

~~~

Eventually, the religious leaders each went their own way—stoking the fires of distrust and hatred amongst their followers…

The riots began not long after the inquiry.

The Claimant was confined for his protection.

The anarchy, within one quarter-revolution of the planet, consumed 450,000 lives…

~~~

The World Leader demanded a private conference with the Claimant.

~~~

“So, you are the one causing so much mischief, responsible for so many deaths?”

“No, Your Honor, I am the one who has been in your jail—I suggest you question the religious leaders and their followers about the unrest and crime.”

“You have no fear.”

“You are correct and I respect you for noticing.”

“What shall I do with all these crazy religious folk?”

“I recommend calling the religious leaders into your presence and instructing them to quell the actions of their followers—perhaps promise them their own incarcerations if they cannot accomplish a return to order…”

“Amazing…”

The Claimant remained silent.

The World Leader said, “Will you tell me of your Faith?”

~~~

The riots were quelled and the World Leader spoke to all the people on the NewsNet:

“O, peoples of our World.

“I come to you with sadness and fresh insights.

“You may already know that I am very angry with certain religious leaders, even though they did bring their followers to heel; yet, that was only after massive carnage…

“You may not know that I am meeting regularly with the new Prophet of the Grendia Faith.

“He is truly a fount of wisdom and is a pure and honorable man—unlike the leaders of the other Faiths.

“I have ordered meetings between this Prophet and these other religious leaders…

“A meeting between the Prophet and each one of the other leaders, separately—each meeting in my presence.

“These will be followed by a general meeting with all of us in attendance.

“I hope to learn much more; and, I pray the other religious leaders can learn what religion should truly be.

“I will speak again to all of you after these significant meetings; but, for now, please remember, no practice is a real religion if it leads to anger or distrust or violence.

“May you all prosper and find occasions to facilitate your unity…”

~~~

She was still The Witness—she was still objective—she was now a member of the Claimant’s Faith…

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

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Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Seventy-Two


The Do-Gooder

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

“I admire his commitment to purpose; but, I can’t stand him…”

Those words were said by the richest man in town, Jack Herrington…   I responded:

“Well, he’s never been disrespectful to me…”

“Sam Jaffe, you’re a tavern owner—what’s he got to be up in arms about with you? Give me another whiskey… Does he come in here?”

“Naw, I seen him around—shops and all…”

“Well, I just can’t trust a man goes out of his way to show off how holy he is…”

“Holy, Mr. Herrington? I’ve never seen him be that way…”

“Well… He better stay clear of me since that ruckus with the homeless folk…”

“What harm’d he do you, Sir? He took ‘em all in under his own roof…”

“I’m going to make sure the zoning board goes after him—illegal boarding-house or some such…”

“Why you got it in for him so bad?”

“Because… Any man does that much getting out of his own way can’t be trusted—it’s unnatural.”

“It’s only what the Church tells us…”

“The Church!? Bunch of hypocrites!”

“Mr. Hobsworth ain’t no hypocrite—he surly believes, deep down, what he does…”

“Ain’t natural—folks have to look out for themselves—what’s he going to do, help other folks so much he dies doing it?”

“And, what if he does, Mr. Herrington? What if he does?”

“You challenging me, Sam Jaffe!?”

“I’m just standing up for a really good man…”

“You poor fool… You’ll see who knows what’s right… I’m going to see him in jail or, at least run out of town.”

“Mr. Herrington, that just ain’t right!”

“You sure you want my business, Sam; or, you want my guns trained on you too?”

“Well… If it comes down to that, I’d say you’re the one can’t be trusted, not Mr. Hobsworth…”

“What!?!”

“You heard me, Sir…”

“And, you’ve lost my business!”

Jack Herrington walked out of Sam’s tavern and began a campaign to deter folks from patronizing it.

Interesting thing about it all—folks loved Sam and Sam drummed up his own campaign to raise funds to help Mr. Hobsworth in his moral undertakings…

Mr. Herrington pushed hard, with lawyers, to subjugate the feared do-gooder…

The judge in the case wasn’t a patron at Sam Jaffe’s tavern—he wasn’t in the pocket of Jack Herrington—he wasn’t ignorant of the law and its purpose.

The richest man in town spent four months of house arrest for Vindictive Harassment…

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

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Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Seventy-One


Who Am I?

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

He was getting old…

His friends would tell him, “No, no Aziia, old is a state of mind, you’re still young!”.

But, he knew for a fact that his body was not young any more; still, he understood the state-of-mind argument—an issue that, for a few years now, had greatly troubled him…

He looked in his small mirror and said to the wrinkled face: “I’m just getting damned weary of myself… But, I can’t seem to let go and trust in something more grand than me and my life… And, dear Aziia, you just don’t look like you have much time left to straighten things out…”

On an intuitive urging, he went to his desk and searched for a certain piece of paper—eventually found it and considered the “to do” items he’d written down—nearly five years before:

* show compassion and goodwill

* render some service to humanity

* attempt to guide and counsel others

* be kind to everyone

* be humble

Some of those to-dos seemed rather grandiose; but, as goals, they certainly showed that Aziia was plagued with a desire to get rid of his all too familiar, judgmental, and fussy ego…

He wasn’t what some might call a rampant egoist; but, as he often reminded himself, it was becoming rather obvious that his vanity was holding him back from some “higher calling”…

He considered his to-do list again, chanted it like an agenda of affirmations, began to feel self-conscious, and went out for a mindless walk.

His stroll brought him, perhaps not so mindlessly, to his favorite café.

As he entered, he saw one of his treasured younger friends, a lecturer in philosophy at the local university.

“Hello, John!”

“Oh! Aziia, you seem so eager!”

“Uh… Well… My mind’s been hounding me and, in fact, you might be the best person to consult…”

“Shall I get you a cup of tea?”

“Oh, I’m not that old yet—I’ll be right back.”

After Aziia had returned, sat, and tended to his tea, John asked:

“So, the hounds in your mind…?”

“Oh… Yes… So, what’s your opinion of the ego?”

“Opinion? Hmm… I’m not sure it’s an opinion—more a considered premise.”

“And, this premise is?”

“The ego is the central focus of the physical concerns of the mind.”

“And, the central focus of the metaphysical concerns of the mind is?”

“The soul…”

Aziia finished off the tea in gulps and, as he stood and began walking back to the counter, said:

“Now, we’re getting somewhere…”

~~~

They’d conversed for about an hour when Aziia said:

“Now, I reveal the second part of my concerns—my age and my desire to attain what you indicated as “freedom from self”. I will ponder all you’ve said, John; but, my age beckons me to cease discussing and go home and rest. Can I book a longer appointment soon?”

John laughed and said: “As long as you want, next Saturday, around one-thirty?”

“Perfect”

~~~

Aziia spent the next six days going over the points John had made—he’d taken many notes and worked hard to condense them into precepts or axioms:

* Being full of self leaves nearly no space for depth-learning.

* Without cooperation and mutual attitudes (altruistic purposes), there’s only limited and solitary development, like an animal or plant.

* What folks called evil or “the devil” is a power unleashed when the Truth of being human is falsified—when the ego smothers the soul.

* The ego doesn’t have to be killed; but, it must be fought if it tries to take the soul captive.

* A good practice for quelling an overactive ego is not broadcasting our sufferings or complaining about how we’ve been wronged—essentially, raising consciousness to the highest level and basking in the sunshine of the soul.

* Just as the earth attracts everything due to gravity and every object thrown up will come down; so also, materialistic ideas attract one to the center of the ego. Anger, passion, ignorance, prejudice, greed, envy, covetousness, jealousy and suspicion, all of these suck you into the jail of egotism.

* A person trying to detach from one of the ego’s passions will fall, unconsciously, into the claws of another passion unless the consciousness learns some method of spiritualizing or raising the frequency of the desires—the love of self, like gravity, draws one right back to the materialistic cravings.

Aziia not only studied these new axioms, he correlated them with other concepts in the books of the ample library he’d accumulated during the many years of his life—years he was now more appreciative of…

~~~

When they met at the café again, Aziia began their consultation with:

“John, do you have a religion?”

“No.”

“Hmm… Look over these statements I distilled from the notes of our last session.”

John took the paper and read what was titled Soul Axioms—looked up—cleared his throat, and said:

“This is what you got out of our talk?”

“Yes…”

“Hmm… I see why you asked if I have a religion… Naturally, as a philosopher, I’ve studied all the religions—drawn parallels between their teachings—attempted to see their precepts being practiced… But, I’ve never noticed any large group of people who seriously applied those precepts; although, I’ve never done any rigorous searching for truly religious people… I have noticed, though, that most of the religious folks I’ve known are too eager, no matter the precepts they’ve happened to acquire, to redefine them according to what their ego demands, creating perverted and grotesque versions of priggish, stuffy devotion to their lower selves…”

“So, you’re anti-religious?”

“No, I just have a healthy antipathy toward religious pretenders…”

“Well, to get back to my Soul Axioms… Would you be willing to sponsor an elective course in Explorations of The Ego and let me facilitate it?”

“I’d love to; but, why would you want to conduct such a class?”

“You certainly know that teaching something is the best way to really learn it?”

“Yes, indeed I do…”

Well, even though I’m approaching Advanced Age, I need a crash course in… Well… Here.”

Aziia had reached into his pocket, pulled out his to-do list, and handed it to John.

John read it out loud:

To Do

“Show compassion and goodwill.
“Render some service to humanity.
“Attempt to guide and counsel others.
“Be kind to everyone.
“Be humble.”

Then, John said:

“Well, I must ask…  may I have permission to take your course?”

Their laughter echoed round the café…

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

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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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