Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Various Stories

Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Forty-Five


Who’s Your Guru?

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

Adam was mind-blastingly excited—he’d been granted an audience with an up-and-coming Guru, potentially leading to a viral Internet article that would firmly establish him as Important.

He had to use every bit of his journalistic experience to corral his thoughts into the proper bounds—away from his potential fame and toward the job ahead…

Not many folks knew about the Guru, who insisted on being called Joe; but, certain sources Adam knew (sources he would richly reward) had claimed the guy was incredible…

Adam had learned that the man was of Vietnamese birth, from an incredibly wealthy family (which he’d disowned); and, his move to Scotland had happened along with his assumption of the name Joe.

Adam had lined-up a number of people who’d attended sessions with Joe to get their feelings and thoughts before he had his own audience, in what he’d learned was an extremely upscale hotel in Aberdeen.

The trip to Scotland from the United States was an exercise in calming down—getting back to the journalistic roots Adam had acquired over the last twenty years.

His slow climb to the top seemed as if it was about to get a huge boost…

~~~

Once in Aberdeen, he interviewed the folks who’d met with Joe.

Basically, they all agreed that Joe was “Phenomenal”, “Amazing”, “Incredible”, and, most important to Adam, “Accurate”.

He’d asked them all what exactly “accurate” meant and he got variations on the theme, “told me exactly what I needed to hear.”

Adam was sure Joe had researched him, too—made sure the journalist selected for the audience would give him the best boost in his own guru-like endeavors; but, Adam felt strongly that he had to cover the story, find the truth, and avoid being a patsy for a greedy guru…

~~~

The audience happened on a rainy day in the posh rooms Joe was staying in, undoubtedly due to the proceeds from his followers, since he’d disowned his wealthy family.

Adam was in process of admiring the highly polished wood and the finely textured wall covering along with the stunning chandelier when Joe appeared in the doorway, paused, then walked over and sat down opposite Adam (with no handshake…)—his very ordinary clothing was striking in contradiction of Adam’s expectations—sweatshirt, jeans, and running shoes.

Joe spoke: “Welcome and please forgive me for making you wait—there were folks to attend to.”

Adam detected a slight accent but knew that most people would think the man was an American.

Joe continued with: “Will you have some refreshment?”

“Ah, no, thanks; would love to get down to work.”

“As you wish—your questions?”

“What makes you qualified as a guru?”

“Me? A guru?”

“This is what everyone I’ve spoken with calls you…”

“Hmmm… I suppose it’s an understandable mistake since what I tell them seems to help them so much…”

“What would you call yourself?”

“I’m a free-lance counsellor who only asks people to pay me when they feel my advice is worth something. It pays the bills and lets me help others.”

“I assume this place is paid for out of what your followers give you?”

“This residence is a gift from one of the people I advise.”

“You must have given them some extremely valuable advice.”

“They do feel that way…”

“So, Joe, may I ask for a bit of advice and pay for it with my article for the online newspapers?”

“As long as you only have it published because you feel it’s helped you.”

Adam turned on his mini-recorder, then said: “O.K., tell me what I should write about.”

Joe looked mildly surprised, smiled slightly, and replied:

“Hearts and minds are being ripped to shreds by various cultural and intellectual fads. This is very sad and should be countered.

“Also, civilization is good as long as it’s not so confusedly guided by conflicting demands.  All seem to agree that humans are fated to be consumers, yet all want to cater to those pitiful consumers in ways that war with all the other caterers.

“I would also add that the true nature of humans is not what pertains to their bodies—people are important for what they do with their spirits—spirits that are beyond dollars, sex, and nationality.

“Finally, it is important to realize that all forms of prejudice are due to ignorance of the most important facts.”

Joe rang a small bell that was sitting on the table next to his seat.

Adam was trying to gather his wits.

A young man entered with a tray bearing coffee and tea pots, a water canister, and cups and glasses which he placed on the low table between Joe and Adam.

Adam poured some tea then said:

“These are all seemingly fine ideas… You expect me to take them to the papers, have them publish these thoughts?”

“Adam, you asked me to tell you what to write about. Would you now like me to tell you why you should write about those ideas?”

“Yes…”

“First, because real knowledge should not be hoarded by the few at the expense of the many.

“Second, because real knowledge is only obtained when the physical and the spiritual realms are consulted—science and religion should get together and start agreeing on what humanity needs.

“Third, whether a person’s explorations of truth are spiritually or materially inclined, they need to cleave to justice so that superstition is banished.

“Finally, when both sides of the human-argument are engaged in proper determinations of truth, unity will be attained.”

Joe reached for the coffee pot, poured a cup, sat back, closed his eyes, and sipped the coffee…

Adam watched—thought—watched…

Joe opened his eyes and said, “Anything else?”

“Please… tell me how I can let people know these things…”

“If you perform your work as a true service to humanity, it will be as if you’re praying. This will aid you in the telling.

“Also, consider that the people you’re talking to are all human—they truly only differ in skin color and other very bodily-determined factors—the rest of the differences are from the atmosphere of their upbringing—take these as the forms and colors and fragrances of various plants in one human garden.

“Do, also, be aware that, just as one human body must have its component parts all functioning in unity to maintain health, just so does the human family need unity of its various groups and peoples. Do never forget that you deal with people who have caught dangerous maladies from the illness of their all-inclusive Family.

“Finally, realize that you, alone, cannot deliver this message to humanity, no matter how many Internet outlets you include with your efforts. You must deliver your message to the people you feel will most resonate with it. Then, leave it up to them to carry it forward. Certainly, you can stay in touch with whoever carries the message forward; but, realize all are responsible and all must learn from all.”

Joe gave Adam a lovely smile and said, “It’s good you’ve recorded what I’ve said. Do go and study it.”

Adam smiled back at Joe and said, “I know why people flock to you, Joe. You have an amazing depth of knowledge and you know how to read people.”

“Dear, Adam, what I told you was not from reading you in any way, unless it was my unconscious doing the reading; and, the knowledge I’ve given you is not mine. It’s all borrowed from a man named Abbas Effendi; and, his wisdom was from his Father. I fear I’m using this knowledge improperly by accepting money from people; it does trouble me and I very well may stop accepting the donations… So, do realize, Adam, that all I’ve told you is as important for me to do and share as it is important for you—we are comrades now in the effort to heal humanity of its dire illness…”

~~~

Adam returned home, locked himself in his apartment with enough supplies for a few months, and began his preparations to complete the toughest journalistic assignment he’d ever had…

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Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Forty-Four


The Throbbing Heart

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

Joe was a writer.

Well, he did write—hadn’t been published—was totally confused about the clash between “traditional publishing” versus “self-publishing”—had three novels in various drawers; and, was thinking of telling all his friends that he really wasn’t, after all, a writer…

Yet, “something” inside said he was only spinning his wheels, was frozen in fear of failure, spent too much time doubting what he’d written, should slap himself and either submit his manuscripts to some publisher or learn how to self-publish...

He spent the better part of a year re-checking his revisions of all three novels—making sure everything hung together—felt they were worth something—wished he could convince himself that people needed to experience the stories; but, couldn’t seem to move forward…

He began hanging out at the café for longer and longer spells—tried to find his bearings—attempted to discover the inspiration to Act

He’d created the beginnings for six more novels, about 1,500 words each; but, after four weeks, he’d not found the power to take action on the books sitting in his drawers.

He thought he should, perhaps, hang out somewhere else…

Right then, a diminutive man approached and said, “Excuse me, Sir, the café is quite full, may I share your table?”

Joe dazedly said, “Sure…”, and continued typing (he had no idea what he was typing…).

After a few minutes, the man said, “I couldn’t help but notice your typing away there… Are you a writer?”

Joe stopped and stared at the man…

After a number of seconds, the man said, “Sir…?”

Joe said, “Yes…”

The man said, with a lilt in his voice, “So am I.”

Joe muttered, “Uh, well, no… not really… just a dabbler…”

The man looked intently at Joe for at least a minute while Joe sat frozen in his inner turmoil, then said, “I have the suspicion you are a fine writer.”

Joe sat…

“Am I right, Sir?”

Finally, Joe said, “I’ve tried… I’ve got three novels at home… can’t seem to do anything with them…”

“Ah! I totally understand, Sir. I remember a friend at University counseling me about how to assure myself I would succeed as a writer… He gave me a quote that I couldn’t help but memorize: ‘Purge thou thy heart that We may cause fountains of wisdom and utterance to gush out therefrom, thus enabling thee to raise thy voice among all mankind.‘ He said it was from a Prophet called Bahá’u’lláh… I’m not sure about Prophets and all; but, that quote sounded like God talking to me…”

Joe slowly passed out, his head lowering onto the table in a descending series of dips and lifts…

The man rushed to the counter and got a cup of water, returned, dipped his hand in the cup, and flicked the water on Joe’s face, three times…

Joe opened his eyes, wiped at the water, looked at the man, and asked him to write the quote down.

~~~

It took three more months of soul-searching; but, Joe finally realized he Had to get his books into readers hands, Had to do it sooner than later, Had to learn how to self-publish because he knew no traditional house would accept his works—far too radically different—not mainstream at all…

~~~

Joe never saw the diminutive man again; but, as he continued to hang out at the café, working to promote his books in various ways on the ‘Net, he was also praying that he’d meet another struggling writer so he could share the quote that so rocked his world:

Purge thou thy heart that We may cause fountains of wisdom and utterance to gush out therefrom, thus enabling thee to raise thy voice among all mankind.

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

Read More Story Bazaar Tales

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

Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Forty-Three


Where Is The Center?

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

He’d always been an inquisitive person.

No one could say he hadn’t done a sufficient amount of searching for his answer.

Yet, his search, though compellingly close to completion, was still not finished…

He was passing old age and approaching ancient—he was almost a recluse; yet, he needed to sum up his searching, whether or not he got to the end…

He called his old friend and asked her to visit—he would get her feedback and let that launch him on a writing spree…

~~~~~~~~~

His friend arrived, tea was served, computer was on, and the writing program open…

“Monica, help me find the center, give me a clue about making all these ‘collective centers’ merge into whatever coordinates them all…”

“Shoot…”

“O.K., there’s patriotism and nationalism—sometimes valuable for bringing folks together, sometimes forcing them apart… Then, political allegiance—again good and bad… Then, a certain unity of ideals—just fine if the ideals are positive… And, of course, marriage, sibling fidelity, family ties, and the good ol’ neighborhood…”

Monica was a painter—saw most everything as related shapes…

“O.K., let’s see…  I think you could put all those on a sphere and find their connections; but, they may never all come together in one place; still… If there were a unifier at the very center of the sphere; and, all those ‘collective centers’ approached the sphere’s center… But, dear friend, what is at the center of the sphere?”

“Oh, Monica, you are just totally brilliant! The center of the sphere? It’s what we’ve talked about so often—the Oneness of Humanity!”

Monica looked a bit stunned and said:

“Uuhhh… O.K., it sounds like you have what you need to begin writing; but, even though we’ve talked so much about the Oneness of Humanity, I feel I have to go and find a way to travel to the center of that sphere…”

~~~~~~~~~

He finished his writing and sent it to Monica; because, if anyone could arrange for others to read it, she could.

~~~~~~~~~

He passed on before she could get it published; yet, they both found their way to the Center………

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

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Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Forty-Two


Wonderment

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

Ung sat on his haunches wondering…

One of his mates whacked him on the head and pointed at the waste in their cave, meaning “Get busy!”

As he gathered the bones and husks from their meals and carried them to the tribe’s pile, he wondered if people in the future would have as many mates as he had to have—four women to satisfy and get children with…

After he’d deposited the waste, he sat back on his haunches and wondered…

Another Whack!, from another mate, who pointed to the pile of meat that needed roasting…

Roasting finally done, Ung wandered out to the Magic Tree grove just as the Sun approached the horizon…

He wondered if people in the future would live in structures made from the wood of trees like these and, as he sat there on his haunches watching the Sun slowly going down, another mate came up behind him and gave him a Whack!, pointing to the water jugs needing to be filled at the river…

After the water was in the cave, Ung wandered out to look at the stars and wonder if there were other people somewhere out in those villages of lights spangling above him…

His fourth mate snuck up and bashed his head with a rock—clear signal that the women wanted him in the cave helping them make babies…

Ung wondered if, when he joined his ancestors in Spirit Realm, he would still, always, have to have his wonderings whacked away………

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

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Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Forty-One


What Grandfather Said, Just before He Died…

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

We—all nine of us—stood in silence, watching him breath with effort…

Then, he spoke:

“You understand? This must be a special time—so much suffering—so much potential—a time like no other…

“You must strive—strive intensely…

“Perhaps… Speak… hope to enlighten a few who… could enlighten a few more; and… on and on—all seeking a wider allegiance…

“Perhaps… make what appears so earth-bound become a clear symbol of higher planes of… bliss…

“Perhaps… attract higher powers to infuse the quest with grace…

“If possible, all this could reduce the onslaught of calamity—turn it to vapor—find only a feeling of unity—be at oneness…

“If possible, receive the protection of the ages—the firm anchor from… Paradise…

“Perhaps, if possible… see a banner of love, a flag of fellowship wave in the celestial breeze…

“Perhaps… Truth will bring this to pass and wash clean your minds—give a bounty, unbelievable to those looking only down…”

And then, he passed………

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

Read More Story Bazaar Tales

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If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
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Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com