Story Contest 2018 #1 - Outstanding Stories (Senior) »

A Secret of Longevity

“A Secret of Longevity” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Vlad Kovalevskyi, Lozova gymnasium, Ukraine.

A Secret of Longevity

Once I went to a cafe. I ordered juice and waited for a friend. Unexpectedly, a stranger in very unusual clothes came to me. He was wearing sandals, and his face hid the hood. He was like a monk.

- Will you buy anything for an old traveler? - he asked.

- Why should I? - I asked back.

-In return, I can tell you a fascinating story.

The stranger took off his hood, and I immediately recognized my old friend who had gone to a trip to the Himalayas.

-Is that you, Luke? How long haven’t we seen each other? After you went to that expedition we have not got a single message from you.

-Yes, John, I'm also very glad to see you.

- But, Luke, how is it? When you left legal work, you looked much worse.

-Yes, this work had very worn me out. I was like a lemon, from which someone squeezed all the juice. The infarction that I experienced when doing business meant much more than just old age.

- What do you mean? - I asked with interest.

- It means my complete devastation. I was known, often ate in expensive restaurants but ... But I developed only material, forgetting about my spirit. I was blinded by money. Once upon a time a writer wrote that money is poison. Then I did not understand his words, but now I have understood the true essence of them. Money overshadows the minds of many people, and I was one of them once.

-Is your departure connected with your spiritual devastation?

- Yes, and that's the main reason. So I sold everything and went to find the purpose of life. I had gone to many temples until I got to one guide. This guide was very popular with the other ones. He took me to a village and said: “You'll go now. You have to pass this test yourself.” He went back, leaving me alone with my thoughts. The next morning I set off. I walked along the marked paths, occasionally meeting turns. I was walking that way all day, the trails could be seen. I decided to make a halt, put the tent and cooked dinner. When I was already falling asleep, I heard how strong the wind blew. The next morning everything was quiet, and I calmly continued on my way. I walked and saw a very beautiful butterfly. At first I was surprised very much that there, in the snowy mountains, there were such insects in general. After the butterfly, I saw a man in a long red cloak. In his hands he held a basket. I began to approach him, but he began to run away. I chased him. I ran through turns, trails. At last he stopped and asked: “Why are you here?”

“I am here to understand the meaning of my life, the true values of life. I want to learn the secret of longevity from the wise men, which, according to the stories, live high in the mountains and live hundreds of years”, my answer was. “Then follow me.”

I followed him and soon we came to a village hidden from prying eyes. The people in this village wore identical red cloaks with hoods. Everybody had slight smiles on their faces. All of them were busy with their own affairs. Someone was picking flowers, someone was meditating.

And the next day my training began. Learning to live right. These monks were vegetarians and did not eat meat. They lived in harmony with nature. Their movements were unhurried to preserve vital energy.

My teacher Ravan began his lessons very early. He told me the rules of life. He explained me how to find out his mettle of life. But Ravan taught me only on one condition, I will tell this wisdom to the rest of the people.

- And what is your goal in life, Luke?- I asked my friend.

-Tell this wisdom to all people. That's everything for today. But before I go, I'll give you a piece of advice. Develop an understanding of how important your time is for you, do not let other people take away your time and invest it only in those activities that are worth it. Do not organize too many meetings.

-Of course.

Next day I went to the same cafe and met Luke. And he began his story again.

-Hi, John, I'm glad to see you again.

-Hello, Luke.

-Today I'll tell you the main rules of life. When Ravan taught me the rules, he forced me to smile and meditate. I ruled out meat and started to eat more vegetables. When I first came to that village, I was very surprised. Imagine, in the middle of the snowy mountains there is a village with flowering gardens of flowers and plants, people in this village live for a century. For example, my teacher Ravan was ninety-seven years old, and he looked for forty years. In that village there were very beautiful women. I was also taught by other monks. In the village lived the sage Khan, he is the oldest. He is one hundred and twenty-three years old.

- So, what is the secret of longevity?

- Get up with the sun, do sports, eat less meat and more fruits and vegetables.

- Is that enough?

-No, of course, this is not everything, but the things I mentioned are the basic rules of longevity. Feed your soul firstly and then your body. I really hope that my advice will help you. And now, I'm sorry, I must go.

-Good bye Luke, hope to see you again.

-Sure, my friend.

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