Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Story Bazaar

Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Fifty-Six


Who’s In Charge Here?

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

State-run News Headquarters:

“The rallies being held are not productive of tranquil conditions for the Capital…”

Opposition WebSite:

“The government is using fancy words to hide their corruption…”

Message from the National Unity Group:

“We regret the insincere actions of the Government and abhor the violent nature of the rallies…”

State-run News Headquarters:

“Any further rallies will be met with force—we are not going to let a few rowdy people disturb the smooth operation of public services…”

Opposition WebSite:

“Meet at the River Crossroads football field at 1pm, Saturday…”

Message from the National Unity Group:

“We’re praying for sanity and calm…”

State-run News Headquarters:

“We have no alternative—troops will quell the riot…”

Opposition WebSite (through mobile app):

“Resist with all your might — we must give our all—our lives—for freedom…”

Message from the National Unity Group:

“True liberty isn’t won by violent means—may the two sides see their way clear to engage in productive consultation…”

State-run News Headquarters (sent, encrypted, to troops on the ground):

“Shoot, on sight, all people on street—don’t ask Captains, just shoot…”

Opposition WebSite (through mobile app):

“They’ve killed most of us; plus, hundreds of innocent bystanders—hide in the hills until we can regain our strength…”

Message from the National Unity Group:

“We hereby register condemnation of the Government’s actions—its slaughter of people.
“And, we express concern for the protestors, because of their shortsighted and foolhardy responses to the Government’s actions.
“We’ve obtained a permit for a public gathering at the River Crossroads high school auditorium at 1pm, Saturday. We’ll do all we can to ensure that all parties attend—government representatives, protest leaders, and distressed citizens…
“We’ll be discussing the following topics:
How Can We Find Common Ground.
“How Can We Live in Peace.
“How We Desperately Need Each Other.”

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Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Fifty-Five


Why Don’t You Just Get A Life?

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

Prologue:

I’m really nobody; but, there’ve been times I thought I was Way important…

Those days are over…

~~~~~~~~~

This getting a life thing got started by being born to religious parents…

I suppose the fact that Mom was sincerely living her Faith and Dad was horribly conflicted about it all was what got me going on the whole Maverick life-style—what else to do when you have two nearly completely opposing models of what being a human means…

I’d have to credit Mom with the influence that kept the Maverick restrained for so many years—pretend you’re growing up just fine, doing all the things folks expect—act like you’re getting a life…

High school was when the cracks began to appear—acting out against teachers who didn’t really know what they were doing—being unable to socialize appropriately with the other kids—beginning my over forty years of drinking…

Then, the whole farce of trying to go to college—three attempts—three strike-outs…

Of course, since I couldn’t ignore the fact that I was a Maverick, I thought I’d better do something that would “re-shape” me—help me get a life.

I joined the Navy…

Got a little knowledge, travelled to a couple foreign countries, picked up my drug habit—still a roaring Maverick…

So, I spent my 20s and 30s working my brain to a frazzle, still trying to get a life…

When I turned 42, I had finally done enough living and studying and conversing to realize a good thing when it came along—I became a member of an extremely modern but little known Faith…

Nearly thirty years later, I’m writing this “story”—still a Maverick, though somewhat civil about it—no longer doing various drugs—attempting to be healthy—struggling harder than ever to get a life…

Epilogue:

What does it mean to “Get A Life”?

What does “Life” mean?

What is “Meaning”?

Epi-Epilogue:

Pretty sure ya have to want to get a life; then, define, within yourself, what life means; then, define what meaning means; and then… things should go fairly well………

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Grab A Free Novel…
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Fifty-Four


Break Free…

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

Muzar was carrying his wife, Yaleza, in the glare of explosions, to the refugee spacecraft…

The attackers had arrived suddenly, from the dark side of  Bulon’s moon, and devastated eighty percent of the land…

Their children had been killed in the bombings…

Yaleza hadn’t wanted to go—wanted to die on the spot…

Muzar had dragged her from the building and, after she’d passed out, carried her toward the outlawed spaceport.

Muzar laid his wife down near the access hatch of their escape ship. He doubted the old and small craft would get into orbit, let alone to the supposed haven-planet, Zelun; especially with all the people he was sure had already boarded.

He paid the fee to a disreputable looking fellow (every bit of the money he had), picked his wife back up (hoping she would, eventually, waken…), and entered the overloaded craft…

Right after Muzar laid his wife down where a youth had just been lying, right after Muzar thanked the youth, right after Muzar wondered what he saw behind that youth’s eyes, the spacecraft fired its main engine and lifted off.

Those aboard had no idea how lucky they were, as projectiles fired from a ship in orbit narrowly missed their craft but incinerated two just like it on the ground, now smoldering ruins of metal and flesh…

The youth was still standing over Yaleza and Muzar…

Muzar spoke: “You’re from Aurenga?”

“No, from Lueen—I swam the thin passage up north…”

“Parents dead?”

“Last year…”

“Why do you seem… distinct… apart…?”

“I was a soldier.”

“Yuan bless you—you’re so young…”

“Not as young as last year…”

The boy shoved his way through the packed refugees.

~~~

Halfway through their desperate journey, Yaleza woke and proceeded to cry for thirteen hours…

~~~

The ship was nearly at their hoped for haven.

They could hear the crew talking to someone on the planet:

“We measure 20,000 selks.”

“Confirm. Set course on transmission band 22.7 ret—use evasive landing maneuvers.”

“Copy.”

“How many migrants aboard?”

“200.”

“Got our pay?”

“Confirm that.”

“Copy—hope a few of those migrants live through re-entry.”

The men laughed…

The boy was back with Muzar and Yaleza. He looked to them and said, “Migrants…?”

Yaleza answered: “They lie to protect themselves. We were promised understanding people would be waiting seven selks from the landing port. Muzar was given directions…”

Muzar said, “Perhaps, we are beginning a new life…”

~~~

The ship landed—they transferred funds by radio-link, still making a large profit; then, immediately took off again, interceptor missiles following…

The trio watched their escape vessel expand into a golden-orange fireball—it lit their way into the forest that hid their further escape…”

~~~

They arrived at the camp, exhausted and bloodied from their pitch-dark stumbling travels.

They were given liquids and food…

They stayed in a cramped room—the people in charge thought they were a family.

Eventually, they were all sent away (after useless struggles that only bloodied them more) in different vehicles…

Yaleza wasn’t driven very far and was promptly raped to death.

Muzar, driven to a hidden detention center, existed for a year before he expired from grief.

The boy fought his way free from his captors and, after long secretive travels, hired on to a pack of rebel fighters—he didn’t wonder what happened to Muzar and Yaleza, just like he didn’t wonder about anything, his entire focus on learning how to kill as passion—kill for relief—kill for its own sake…

There were internal conflicts on Zelun for many years and it suited him just fine…

He died an old man, on an island that had too many superstitions swirling about it to be inhabited—died alone, except for the fantasies that called themselves mother and father, the fantasies that confused themselves with Yaleza and Muzar, the fantasies that welcomed him as a weary refugee………

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

Read More Story Bazaar Tales

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
Visit The Story Bazaar

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

Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Fifty-Three


For the Children

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

We’d travelled to the mountains—found the hidden valley—discovered the training camp…

The sun hadn’t risen yet, but would soon light the valley…

Our film crew was there to do a documentary…

The team had been carefully selected—no one with a record of government involvement…

The documentary was to be about the most fearsome terrorist organization in the world.

They, of course, did their own horrific promotion videos for the Internet; but, my reputation as an independent film-maker apparently gave me the highly questionable “privilege” of showing the world the inner workings of their main training facility.

We’d been cautioned to not film on the way in; but, now that we’d arrived, we scrambled out of the two four-wheel vehicles and immediately began creating the establishing-footage; during which, I couldn’t help but notice all the children—some teens; but, many younger—all carrying guns and ammo belts…

I told the team to focus on the kids—the swelling sunlight made some wonderful dark/light compositions…

We spent all day filming—wildly ripping through digital storage capacity—knowing this was a set of one-takes that would need very careful editing. We were assured by the camp leader that one of their outside agents would contact us in three months to view our finished product…

I kept urging my team to include as much of the kids as possible, even if we’d been instructed to interview various adults—angle the shots to include the children.

Near the end of our time, I was introduced to two of the children, not yet teens, and the translator began to relate their tale as the cameras rolled…

The slightly older one, a boy, began:

“We are fighting for God’s Cause—we have special training to infiltrate a tourist area in a major European city and become glorious martyrs for the Prophet.”

The younger one, a girl, continued:

“We have no fear. God is Great and we will receive wonderful rewards in the Next Life.”

Much more was said, all of it seeming to be desperate justification for what these young humans would commit…

We finished our work in the mountain valley…

We returned to our civilization and realized it would do no good to alert the authorities—we didn’t know which city was targeted; still, we passed the word to our military contacts…

But, there were exploding martyrs all over the world—it seemed there was no way to stop them…

Our one thin hope was that we would be guided in our editing to show a powerful sub-plot with the children as the center of the action—praying our finished documentary would meet with the terrorists’ agent’s approval—praying the exposure of the kids would spark international action…

We certainly knew how to get it aired all over the place…

We certainly didn’t know how to protect those children…

All we could do was help them become the tragic stars of their own treacherous tale………

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

Read More Story Bazaar Tales

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
Visit The Story Bazaar

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

Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Fifty-Two


What is Reality?

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

Sam worked hard to keep up with current events. He ventured through many social media spaces to form his opinions…

One day, on what he thought was a whim, he decided to search a few of those spaces with the word “reality”…

He created a special document to hold his collection of the comments he thought could help him form his own opinions—quite a mixed bag of thoughts and feelings:

“No such thing as reality, we’re all fooling ourselves, life is a dream.”

“Reality is what you end up with when your drugs wear off.”

“I could really let go on this one—so much to say—don’t quite know the words… I think we need the reality of compassion for ourselves? Maybe that’s what I mean…”

“Reality is good drugs, safe sex, and plenty of food.”

“I doubt reality—fantasy is much kinder…”

“The reality of politics is the successful implementation of a fractured program of values.”

“The reality of love is unconsciousness.”

“The reality of politics? War, greed, enslavement, abuse, oppression…”

“Love is the Only reality.”

“Hate is the only reality—love is a trickster wraith…”

“The state of the world is a reality? The state of politics is a reality? The state of corporate culture is a reality? Actually, all that is just what a bunch of folks want to be real whether it is or not—just what dances around pretending to have permanence—just the latest phantom of a perverted selfish imagination propping up a temporary rule of chaos with the sacrifice of humanity’s hopes and wishes as its outcome.”

Sam had gathered these few, out of many more, to help him think things over; but, the last one, the longest one, had something about it—oh, sure, some of the others were important in their own way; but, something was lurking in that last one…

He went back to the site and followed the thread further:

“…just the latest phantom of a perverted selfish imagination propping up a temporary rule of chaos with the sacrifice of humanity’s hopes and wishes as its outcome.”

“How can you say that? There are real values in every person’s reality…”

Sam scanned down a bit:

“Real values? Lasting? Values someone can count on to not evaporate in the face of the latest fad-thinking?”

“Values? Reality? Come on! It’s all just random stuff—what evolution uses as raw materials…”

“Well, if I can jump in, values are fluid—yours mine theirs—easy to turn them into each other, depending on the circumstance…”

Sam scanned a bit further—found more from the original person who’d talked about “…the sacrifice of humanity’s hopes and wishes as its outcome.” :

“Well, you can doubt whether humans have a higher self—that’s fine. Plenty of ‘modern’ philosophers and scientists claim our minds are just the result of random chemical interactions. But, if you really want something to think about—want some solid info—some thoughts that are more true than most everything else I’ve ever read, check out this link: http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/ab/PUP/pup-7.html .”

Sam took the link—read the words—grabbed his dictionary—read it all again—and, again…

Nearly every day for a few months, Sam referred back to that link and the “magic” words that made so much sense…

He’d go to sleep wondering how he could ever live up to those words…

He’d wake up with fragments of those words floating in his consciousness…

Sam decided, after he’d thought long and hard—shared some of his thoughts with his best friends down at the cafe—thought even more… He decided he hadn’t truly been living a Real Life up to this point…

His new motto became:

“If you can’t nail down your values—can’t clearly name your reality— your mind will surely get you in trouble.”

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Read More Story Bazaar Tales

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
Visit The Story Bazaar

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