The Electric Guru Company

Emily was excited, far too excited if the truth be told. And part of her excitement was based on the fact that she was doing something different, and that which quite possible fell into the inviting realms of naughtiness. After all, dolls were droll, games were lame, and friends were a thing of the past, thankfully. She huffed to herself, since she was good at huffng and needed to keep up the practice if she was to become an expert like her mother. She had little time for friends and their limitless obsessions, but as a result Emily found that life was just a little bit boring, listless and basically unsatisfactory. And at the ripe old age of eight years, it was dawning on her that the future was starting to look just a little bleak. That was until this morning. This morning something had come through the post box. A very old fashioned something. It had been a letter. Emily had never seen a letter a letter , least-ways not a real one. She had never seen one up close up and personal, and best of all it had actually been addressed to her! Well, sort of. It had said in bold letters ‘The Occupier’. And since Emily was after all an occupier of the house, it must have meant her. Not perhaps The official Occupier, but who was arguing about irrelevant little details. She had unfolded the foil package, heart a flutter, and glanced inside. There had been a genuine letter, but perhaps of more interest was the small flimsy metallic disk. A CD Dad had called them.

“Wow!” She had muttered, not altogether sure that a wow was good enough. She considered a huff, but didn’t, as that would be overdoing it. She wasn’t sure if you could sprain something by huffing, but, well, you never knew!

At the top of the page was a logo, of a small bald man, wrapped up in some yellow and maroon cloth, with a glittering holographic aura fluctuating around his peaceful brow. Underneath was the company name. The Electric Guru Company. Enlightenment Guaranteed, or your money back, in another life (trial version). The little man must be a guru she had surmised. He had a happy face, and Emily kept glancing back at him as he appeared to wink cheekily at her whenever she tried to read. She smiled and giggled and skipped into her bedroom to read the rest of the letter in private. Which was hard work as her big sister Ruthy, 13 years old, was next door playing her favorite 2nd age music. E-Trash they called it, and Emily didn’t doubt why, it sounded like bin lids being bashed together as randomly as possible, with the occasional screech of a dying marsupial. She could hardly hear herself think. She wondered why her sister liked the noisiness and thought that it probably had something to do with boys, but that is where her interest failed her. After all, she was up to something, and the noise was distracting, and of what possible use could boys be.

The letter was long, and full of interesting words like dependent arising, and suchness, but disappointingly, not very interesting. Well at least to Emily, and she was only 8 years old. After reading it for the second time Emily’s attention turned back to the small CD, a little smile germinating at the corner of her mouth as an idea was formed. She left her room and sneaked downstairs, past the Mimmzie, the baby sitter robot, who regarded her coolly, shrugging her metallic shoulders as if in disapproval. Emily ignored her as she always had. Climbing onto a stall she unlatched and opened the big cupboard under the stairs, revealing the houses mainframe. Yes, she had been right there was one there. Pressing a button that had it’s own film of downy dust a drawer slid open, juddering like an old mans hand, into which Emily dropped the disk. It closed swiftly, as if not believing it’s luck and started humming to itself.

Emily wasn’t entirely sure what she had expected to happen next. Perhaps the mainframe would blow up, or the Mimmzie would go mad killing them all. Perhaps the house would destabilized in it’s orbit and go crashing down to the Earth below, or maybe her sisters music would stop. As you can probably guess, none of the above happened. But Emily still managed to jump with surprise, when a small holographic man appeared at her feet and winked that familiar wink.

“Hello.” He said, and he seemed to struggle with the H’ a bit, as if he were swallowing the sound not saying it. He bowed , hands together as if prayer, all the way to his knees, and when Emily did likewise, he started to chuckle It was an infectious chuckle, laced with mischeviousness which suited the moment.

“Your will need a cushion… and a pebble.” He said after staring over her shoulder for a few seconds, as if he were looking for someone else.

“Really, oh, ok.” Emily said. She had wanted to ask him some questions about what, and why, but she complied not exactly sure why she did so. After all what and why would have been a good place to start, when you had just materialised a miniature guru in your hall way. The cushion was easy, as was the pebble. She stepped out of the house into the garden area. A floating platform of greenery, all of it painstakingly brought up from Earth below, and rummaging about in Mum’s geraniums, found a nice pebble. It was nearly black and smooth to the touch, worn by millions of years of sand at the bottom of the sea, and probably quite home sick for the planet below, well if it had known where it was it might have been. Emily was pleased. Pleased that she had found the pebble, and pleased that the irrigation system hadn’t yet clicked on, it was due to.

“Sit on the cushion.” The little guru instructed, and Emily complied.
“No, not like that, all slouched forward, upright, as if a string were tied to the middle of your head and your were hanging from it.” He said.
“Hmmm, better, I suppose it will have to do, but try to be alert, to feel alert!” He said. His voice had sounded quite stern and Emily was a little worried now. What was she doing here listening to the peculiar little man. He winked again, his face almost split in two the nicest smile Emily could ever remember having seen.
“ Don’t want you to hurt your back, or develop any problems with your posture later in life. It is better to start properly yes, hmmm.” He said and Emily smiled back, yes she had to agree. Hold on, start, start what.

“Now I want you to look at the pebble. Stare at the pebble with all your will.” He had said sitting on a little cushion of his own, and looking at the pebble.
“Good, just watch the pebble.” He had repeated calmly. Emily wasn’t impressed. It was perhaps quite a good pebble, with a nice lumpy on one side. Interesting as far as pebbles go. But it wasn’t exactly MTV. But she shrugged her shoulders. She had nothing better to do at the moment, and the stuff on MTV made her want to shove needles through her eardrums…
And anyway, maybe she was wrong. The lumpy bit to one side looked a little like her Dad’s nose. How odd. And the smooth black surface, the longer you looked at it, seemed more and more like skin. A pulsating, living skin.
“Ugh!” She said, blinking. The pebble was just a pebble again.
“Good, good, now keep looking at the pebble. Tell me, can you see that it is breathing.” He said, in such a jocular way that it made you want to both laugh, and study the pebble more. And as she did, Emily realised that the pebble was breathing, and then smiling she realised it was her that was breathing, and that she had somehow transferred the gentle nodding of her head onto the pebble.
“Excellent!” The pocket guru said and chortled.
“Now!” He said ominously.
“Become the pebble.”
‘What!’ Emily thought with shock. But then thought better of it. It was after all turning out to be a very interesting experience, and what was the worst that could happen.
“Become the pebble.” The guru said, his voice sounding strangely melodic. Emily complied. She stared at the pebble until she saw the skin again, stared until it started to breath, stared, stared and stared. She imagined what being a pebble was like. How it would be cool, serene, hard to upset, content, patient and…

POP!

Thump.

The noise upstairs from Emily’s sister’s room stopped. A door opened and in the peculiar silence that followed feet stomped down the carpeted stairs.

“What’s all this racket!” Her sister Ruthy shouted.

“I can barely hear my music, it’s the latest one from ‘Boys and Droids!’” She explained to no one in particular.

“”OUCH!” She shouted simultaneous stumping both her big toes. Her face as red as an imported beetroot she hopped from one foot to another and said some very unsavoury words. When she had finished her painful jig she looked down. To one side there was a crumpled pile of her sisters clothing but in the middle of the hallway…

“What idiot left these here, I could have broke my neck, and Mum would have been furious if she had had to buy me a new one.” Ruthy scooped up the objects and running into the garden threw them in a rage. The cushion came to land with some surprise amid Mum’s geraniums, and the two pebbles on the lawn, just as the irrigation sprinklers clicked on. Even in her rage she thought better of throwing Emily’s clothes into the garden, mum would have kittens if she did that.

She ran back inside locking the backdoor and muttering under her breath about what she was going to tell Mum when she got home.


Mrs Stuggins was no more shocked than normal at the noise she was greeted by when she finally got home. The last shuttle had been late, again, because French Space Traffic Controllers where having one of their regular industrial disputes. Ruthy was upstairs, as usual, playing that dreadful racket that would probably cost her a set of new eardrums, and there was a peculiar banging coming from the back garden door. That was new. She was not sure what she had expected to find when she opened it. Certainly not a soaked and naked Emily.

“Bloody Pebbles, bloody Guru’s.” Emily fumed as she entered the kitchen, and strode past her bemused mother into the hallway. The tiny holographic guru was hiding sheepishly behind a flower pot, and smiled nervously when she saw him. Emily was not in the mood for a whimsical chat, for any sort of chat for that matter. She had spent two hours being watered, which wouldn’t have been so bad if she had been a geranium, but she wasn’t, she was an Emily, or was she a pebble… No! She was a naked, soaked and angry Emily. But then the guru smiled a bit more, by a factor of perhaps a billion. A smile brighter than a supernova, a smile that promised more than mere pebbles and they had both started to laugh.

The Electric Guru Company

JohnG

Westcliff One Sea, Southend, United Kingdom

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Fantasy children’s story for disgruntled adults

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