The Message

Snow-capped mountains at night looking like they are glowing, image for the Science Fiction short story 'The Message' from The Flash Fiction Ponder.

 

Snow-capped mountains at night looking like they are glowing, image for the Science Fiction short story 'The Message' from The Flash Fiction Ponder.

A Short Story

By

Rico Lamoureux

 

All Rights Reserved

 

Animated in stillness, the snow-capped mountains of Tibet appeared to glow amongst the backdrop of the night’s sky, off in the distance a picturesque temple coated in the most recent of snowfall.

Frozen silence until a patch of the white earth began to shift, lifting up before falling away as three figures emerged from beneath it, each dressed in a simple robe yet unbothered by their icy surroundings as they rose from their meditative practice, the shining stars above like a sky full of crystals.

 

One week later and a half a world away the three monks now found themselves atop the pavement of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, draped in their maroon garb as they approached a gated entrance of the White House with humble steps.

Guard shack at the White House, image for the short story 'The Message' by The Flash Fiction Ponder.

“Good afternoon,” a member of the Secret Service greeted, “how can I help you gentlemen?”

The eldest among the trio was the one to speak, his smile more authentic, innocent, peaceful than the guard on duty. “We would like to see the president of the United States, please.”

“The president is a very busy man. If you would like to schedule a tour of the White House-“

“Will we be able to speak to the president if we take this tour?”

“Probably not. There’s been times when he’s come out to greet the public, but these are far and few in between. As I stated, he’s a very busy man.”

“”Yes, we can only imagine,” the monk continued, “but it is of the utmost importance we speak with him. We have come a very long way to give him a message.”

“A message from who?”

“From whom we cannot really say, for we are not entirely sure ourselves.”

A van from the media then began to pull up.

“You can try calling the main office,” the gatekeeper suggested as he readied to check in the vehicle. “Or write a letter, but again, no guarantees, given the president’s schedule and all.

“I’m going to have to ask you gentlemen to clear the way now. Have a nice day.”

“Where can we wait?” the monk replied with an unwavering naivety.

“Not here, Penn Avenue over there is the nearest public street.”

Secret Service then conducted their scanning of the vehicle before letting it through. Upon doing so the gatekeeper looked back to where the monks had been standing. They were gone.

White House at night, image for the short story 'The Message' by The Flash Fiction Ponder.

The stars above the White House were mere dust particles compared to the view they had back home, the three monks standing in stillness outside the gate as traffic passed behind them. Not until midnight did a member of the Secret Service approach, offering to call them a cab but letting them be once it was clear they were determined to stay. And so life went on around them, unmoved, unwavered for the next day and a half while in their state of just being.

It was on that thirty-sixth hour when someone finally approached who had the power to ignite the flame. The flame which spread like wildfire once the inquiring reporter from the White House Press Corps happened to notice the odd scene out front of those statuesque-like monks. Once he had caught wind of their purpose his journalistic heart began to race, the only thing faster being how quickly their story became viral.

By the time the 6 o’clock news hit the airwaves millions around the world had already viewed the live coverage online, the monks no longer alone in their plight as both national and international media covered these three simple men displaying such remarkable stamina.

Back of Tibetan monk, image for the Science Fiction short story 'The Message' by The Flash Fiction Ponder.

And so the next twenty-four hours had history being made, Pennsylvania Avenue being lit up like never before. Enough of a spectacle to indeed get the attention of the most powerful man on earth, sending out a personal invitation to the magnificent three to join him for dinner and thus end their two and a half day show of perseverance.

 

Rack of ribs with sides, image for scifi short story 'The Message' by The Flash Fiction Ponder.

“You sure you gentlemen are fine with those sides?” the U.S. President asked of the three monks eating their yellow rice and vegetable medley. “These ribs are quite something.”

“Most kind of you, Mr. President, but this is more than enough.”

“So, what’s this urgent message you have for me? Very impressive, by the way. I can’t even get that kind of media coverage.”

Again, the eldest monk was the one to speak up, the younger two remaining in silence.

“Mr. President, our people have been studying the mind science of the Buddha for over fifteen hundred years now. During this time we have remained in place like that of the sky above, there for any who choose to look upon, acknowledge, learn from. From this passive approach we have observed humankind go through both triumphs and turmoil, the latter of which has only grown ever more with passing time.

Monk high above mountain tops, for the science fiction short story 'The Message' by The Flash Fiction Ponder.

“We are a humble people, Mr. President, happy to share our knowledge with those who seek but never looking to impose. And so has been our approach for the past one and a half centuries. But recently, recently such a path has come to an interesting crossroad.”

“I’m listening,” the president said between bites of his messy ribs. “Go on.”

“You see Mr. President, when one devotes their full energy to broadening their mind discoveries can be made that others would think of as impossible. One such revelation is what you Westerners would call telepathy.”

Telepathic monk, image for the scifi short story 'The Message' by The Flash Fiction Ponder.

“So you’re trying to tell me you can read minds? What am I thinking now?” the president joked, not missing a bite.

“Such is not important. Please, allow me to continue. As greed, ego, desire continue to evolve we have respectively kept our distance, but recently an outside force has reached out, through telepathy, as this is the universal language, to let us know the time has come for change.”

Cleaning up with a wet wipe, the president chose to go for more humor.

“Did my opponents put you up to this?”

“No Mr. President, I assure you, we are here on our own accord.

“Impermanence. This is what we Buddhists call change, for if there’s one thing we can all agree on it is the fact that nothing stays the same, correct?”

“Right you are.”

“Thus we have been approached by this cosmic force to let us know we must put an end to this self-destruction if we are to survive as a species.

”In other words, they are here to save us from ourselves. Hence we have been told to deliver this message to you.”

Deep laughter now filled the air, the president’s pork-grinding breath settling over the table like a foul fog.

“Cosmic force? Telepathy? Sounds like you’re trying to convince me we’re being visited by aliens.”

In all seriousness, all sincerity the eldest monk replied with one simple word.

“Precisely.”

“This is been a lot of fun, fellas,” the president said as he rose from his seat, “but I’ve got a lot of serious matters to attend to, including an early meeting with your neighbor, Russia.

“Area 51 is not as sophisticated as you enthusiasts all think. Reality is we don’t know that much more than the average Joe, so sorry fellas, can’t help you out.

“I’ll have someone see you out.”

Remaining seated, calm, the monk asked with the same gracious tone he had had throughout the discussion. “Mr. President, may I please finish the message? It will only take another few breaths, I assure you.”

“Go ahead.”

The three monks rose in unison, the youngest one now speaking for the first time. “Tonight you will inform your country’s citizens, and the rest of the world, all power shall be relinquished to the three monks standing before you now.

“Those who will not comply will be no more.”

From 0 to 100 the expression on the president’s face became instantaneously serious. “Be careful now boy, that can be considered a serious threat.

“I don’t know what kind of game you fellas are playing, but-“

With an appearance as sudden as a flip of a switch the room lit up from bright light pouring through the windows, so intense in fact the night appeared to be completely overtaken.

Before the president could snap back from his utter shock four members of the Secret Service, three men and one woman, rushed into the dining area guns drawn. But before they could even reach their commander-in-chief all four were instantaneously transformed into the surrounding light, dissipated, extinguished.

It took the demise of another half dozen agents pouring in before the president picked up his jaw and began to plead. “Okay, okay, please, no more. Whatever they want, it’s theirs. No more.”

With such submission the overpowering light within the room dimmed, the president of the United States walking over to the window and joining in with billions around the world looking up to see their once earthly sky now ablaze in an all-encompassing supernova-like phenomenon.

Supernova above Earth, image for the short story 'The Message' by The Flash Fiction Ponder.

He turned back to look at his new leaders.

The new leaders of the human race.

~

 

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