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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by AprilBelle on August 9, 2014

A Meeting with History

Buddha sat crossed legged on a grass mat. "Ok, sister, let me have it."

I twisted a piece of hair as I thought... the problem was that I had so many stinking questions I didn't know where to start. "I'm not Buddhist, you know..."

"Yeah," he smiled softly. "I get that. Try not to get caught up in labels. Just let it fly, don't think about it first."

I mentally reviewed how I managed to be here, sitting in front of Siddhartha... One minute I was rubbing a laughing Buddha belly at the counter of the Natural Foods Cafe, and the next, I found myself in this ethereal forest breathing Nag Champa incense. Damned if I knew how it happened. But it was clearly a chance to get a few things off my chest. Hallucination or not, I honestly didn't care anymore. My life was one frustrating series of cliches. I worked at a job I didn't like, I yearned for a life that seemed completely out of reach, I watched TV to escape the utter mediocrity, and I prayed my weekends lasted long enough to blunt the depression. They didn't.

I sighed. "Let me start with this... can you tell the future? Are you psychic or am I just going to get a bunch of mystical, 'look within' crap?"

"My, my," he rolled his shoulders. "Aren't we full of self-pity?"

My eyes widened. It was true, granted... but still. "You really exemplify compassion, dude."

He smiled... "Look, let's cut to the chase, shall we? I can see the future sometimes... but to be specific, I can definitely see your future now. And here's the fortune in your fortune cookie: You're going to live a long life."

I cringed. The suckage that was my existence stretched into a distant future. This wasn't exactly good news.

Narrowing his eyes, he continued. "Yeah, a long life. Along the way you're going to be surprised by yourself. You'll make some crappy choices, some elegant choices, and then you'll come to a 'big decision.' I'm not talking about something like should you take a new job or stay where you are, growing your 401k. I'm talking about life. And death. And joy." He settled deeper into himself, closing his eyes. "You're going to decide if you'll become ... me. And that decision will come up again and again until it gets answered."

The incense started to burn my eyes. Like a singing of a Tibetan bowl, inside a resonance started at the base of my spine. "Shit." I could feel the truth of his words even though my mind screamed at me to get up and go. "So... what happens?" I asked. "What do I decide to do?"

Suddenly the light around me grew brighter and brighter. I could barely see Buddha's outline as I became engulfed in golden flame. "Om mani padme hum, sister." He winked. "Just remember... being the Buddha is no excuse to let loose on the donuts. A big belly is optional. And one more thing... I believe in you."

The resonance grew louder and louder, until I couldn't think, couldn't stand, and as quick as a snap, I was back at the cafe. "Well, miss, have you decided yet?" I looked at the cashier, my eyes as big as saucers. "Yeah... I have."

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