“Do you think they are dead, Jeff? They don’t look it, but I can’t detect any breathing.”

“I don’t know, I guess we’ll have to wait until our ‘path’ guy turns up to find out. I understand this mob are into some sort of Eastern religion. Maybe they are in a trance. These yogi guys can apparently suspend their breathing to such a degree that you can’t detect it easily.”

“Yeah, it’d be embarrassing to have them come awake when most of their organs are strewn around the autopsy table,” Jeff said with a laugh.

Twenty-five men and women were sitting cross-legged in a circle about a five metres radius from three men sitting at the centre. Each of the centre men facing the outer circle covering 120 degrees. They were in a clearing at the centre of a large wooded area and there was no building or structure in the vicinity.

Jeff and his detective partner Rick stood outside and calmly discussed the reason people would get tied up to these strange religions. The two of them were pretty much straight down the middle of the road, meat and three veg guys. They had seen it all. Blood-shed hardly moved them anymore, unless it was that of young children. Even the most hardened of their profession found this difficult to handle. But this, this was a novelty. More amusing than something to get serious about. After all, they may not even be dead. 

The pathologist finally turned up and walked around the seated men and women and had a smile on his face and turned to face the two detectives. 

“I think you need a psychic rather than a pathologist at the moment. It seems to me they are not in the conventional sense of unconsciousness, more like a very deep slumber. Are they breaking any laws being here?’ Seeing Rick shake his head he said then that a ‘baby-sitter’ would be a good idea in case other not so well-meaning folks decide to fool around with them.

The police like order, they also like conventional situations where there is plenty of precedents to guide them. The detectives decided to shoot the problem upstairs for the bigger-wigs could decide what to do. After a few hours, the hierarchy decided that they couldn’t be left where they were littering the landscape, and would have to be up-lifted to a place where other people could keep an eye upon them. On enquiring, if they should be straightened out from their ‘Lotus Positions,’ the answer was to let them remain cross-legged and lifted that way, and that’s when the real problem started. 

A hospital lifting device was brought up to the first person of the circle of ‘meditators.’ Two hospital nurses attempted to place the person in question onto the lifter when a loud crack was heard and the two attendees were thrown two metres and onto their backs. The partially lifted ‘meditator’ seemingly unaffected by the happening but could be seen floating a few centimetres off the ground.

Rick, observing this phenomenon, muttered to Jeff that he thought they had now arrived at the ‘shit hitting the fan’ moment, and very soon their services would cease to be required and they would be replaced by ‘Boffins,’ or ‘back-room’ boys.’

Indeed, Rick’s forecast was to some degree correct. They became guardians only and were merely needed to keep ‘rubber-neckers’ away.

The sight of the ‘hovering’ meditator had the scientists licking their lips in anticipation that some of their ‘tried and true’ conclusions were about to be subject to closer scrutiny. Frustration abounded as so far they were not able to do more than observe as any touch of any of the meditators was met with the toucher even using the very best insulated tools were subject to the same ignominious through the air and onto their backs scenario. However, a researcher using a long pole touching one of the centre three individuals was paralyzed into complete immobility, apart from being able to breathe. 

Governmental hierarchy immediately sent Non Disclosure forms to be signed by everyone. The rather more benign scientists that sought to increase their knowledge for the sake of personal interest and Mankind were soon replaced by military types more dedicated to the ways in which certain parts of Mankind could be destroyed. These ‘adventurers’ had access to many more inadvertent ‘volunteers’ which they used without too much regard to the rules of the niceties of human experience. They were the equivalent of the old type of ‘cannon-fodder,’ and they had volunteered, hadn’t they? A local hospital was taken over by the military as if it was a response to war-time conditions for the volunteers in various states of ‘frozen’ shapes. Apart from a very slow, almost absent breathing, the bodies of the men and women were in some sort of stasis. Permission was asked for to be able to take one of the volunteers apart to examine his internal organs but was refused, temporarily.

Attempts to place a structure of different types always failed as they each just dissolved to ashes. Naturally, this excited the military even more. They imagined tanks and aircraft being able to be rendered into ashes in a very short time had them slathering at the mouth with desire. Oh, the technology just sitting in front of them but not one part of it could they access. However, the fact that it could be done, one day they knew they would be able to duplicate it.

As if to thumb their noses or whatever olfactory mechanism was used by some controlling entity, all the meditators levitated in unison to a height of three meters and stayed there. No other movement was seen by the observers, but they were now excluded from the whole area beneath those aerially suspended. In fact, everything was excluded beneath them including animals insects remote-controlled vehicles of any kind. This ‘stalemate’ existed for the next few days when something even more alarming happened. All the personnel having anything to do with meditators in the vicinity were also paralyzed and suspended to the tune of some two hundred of them.

Military intelligence not directly connected with the project now named ‘Eris’ by some wit, thought of a solution in case, like a plague, it spread its uncontrollable influence far wider. Atom bomb the potentially hazardous monstrosity. Rick and Jeff having had leaked to them some of the military thinking both took accumulated leave and decided that they and their families would enjoy the more tranquil setting of New Zealand for an extended time.

Despite serious measures to contain this ‘Alien’ event, gradually it leaked out and ‘Uncle Sam’ with its more radical thinking and wherewithal, pushed the lesser local military authority back to an advisory position. They commanded the government to evacuate the whole area of civilians whether business or ordinary to a leat twenty miles distance. The Prime Minister touched his forelock and acquiesced without demur, privately glad to be able to sheet authority and possible blame to a foreign power as usual. However, despite having greater resources, they suffered the same fate of suspension. Soon an area the size of a small town had suspended people populating it and all pretence that they would bring this unaccountable situation under control was thrown to the wind. When finally, a translucent dome appeared over the whole area which was impervious to any type of intrusion, and this included a small atomic device sneaked in and detonated on the order of a particularly belligerent general.

The situation with the dome existed for a year when the dome disappeared and the temporary inhabitants of it were found to be in a splendid state of health but the original meditators missing. The health of the ‘returnees’ was of such a state of excellence that they were further incarcerated. Investigators with government consent over-rode protestations in their anxiousness to account for the reason for such robust health and sought to divulge its secrets.

Although the original clearing in the woods had enlarged to a considerable extent, nothing of any consequence still existed there apart from cameras and other recording devices in case of a ‘second coming.’ After about a month after the dome’s disappearance, an indeterminate individual of either sex appeared at the location. He/she was dressed in garb reminiscent of the old idealised pictures of Jesus Christ so favoured by the Roman Catholic Church. He/she floated a half metre from the ground but was still able to ‘walk’ around the clearing. Smiling benignly, he/she started to speak.

Fellow humans, greetings. We visit you a few times over the many centuries to see how you are faring. We are from the earth as you know it, but you could say, moved on. We do a little test at different times to see how you tackle different situations. Mankind has always been innovative, even if a little hostile in its deliberations to what it does not know. Even though you have a few environmental difficulties, we are sure you will surmount these in the near future. In the demonstration we teased you with, we wanted to get your attention and for you to know the message which I leave you with is worth your serious consideration. Simply, life is a continuum and all that it entails. Knowing this, you may pay more regard to what you will be for the foreseeable future, coming back to.

With that, he/she vanished.  

July 19, 2020 02:11

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Keerththan 😀
08:24 Jul 31, 2020

Loved it. Well written. Amazing story and definitely an amazing story for the prompt. Keep writing. Would you mind reading my story "The secret of power?"


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Emily Nghiem
04:12 Jul 22, 2020

Your story is out of this world. Literally. It does not fit on the 2D plane of written words. I can see this story developed more fully. I don't think the short story format does it justice. Either a graphic novel or sci-fi movie might capture the depth you tease us with here. The linear structure of the English language, such as using "he/she", are two-dimensional restrictions that the higher dimensions of these characters and your imagination far surpass. Can I convince you to collaborate with graphic artists and adapt your story to a mult...


Len Mooring
21:52 Jul 22, 2020

Emily, you've got me flabbergasted again with your marvellous comments. Usually, these stories of mine are done in a sitting with a smile on my face as an exercise to keep my brain from shrinking. I have done a full-length novel along similar 'Marvel Comic' lines about a genius girl and the computer she developed. This you are welcome to read, if you have the inclination. Thank you, again for the encouragement.


Emily Nghiem
03:52 Jul 23, 2020

Dear Len: Look for another writer on here Ray Van Horn. I connected him with a startup producer in Houston looking to partner comic book artists with writers like you and Ray. Before you graduate from the planet, you need to get your stories in the hands of artists and producers who can do justice to your creative madness. Let's form a team. I have some crazy ideas as well. Maybe we can keep each other entertained. And when the world is ready to share our trove of inside jokes, maybe we might let them in on the joke. If they can take it....


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