Browsing Tag


Short story, writing competition

The Yoga Guru ( Joint winner of The Gauntlet )

Author: Alberto Furlan

Illustration: Christopher Harrisson

This is not what I had in mind when my friends recommended Kinziak the “amazing yoga guru.”

“You just have to try it,” they said, covered in suspicious bruises.

I’m looking up into the thatched roof of a mongolian yurt just off the M25 near Slough, breathing incense, London’s daily offering of smog and what is likely marijuana.

“Let my voice guide you” says Kinziak with the annoying voice ads use when they want to sound like they’re sharing a secret. Like they’re post-coitally telling me where the family treasure is buried in between Agents of Shield on a Sunday night.

“Picture the first thing that comes to mind when you hear me.”

Christ how long is this going to – did that clock just appear out of thin air?

Yep, a clock is hovering above my head. Whatever Kinziak’s burning with the incense, it’s good.

“You’re a natural” says Kinziak like I didn’t just break the laws of physics. “Now, imagine something you want to get rid of. It will bother you no more.”

I nearly sneeze. Hay fever. Mother nature’s special gift. A rose materialises. Am I totally off my face?

“A rose” Kinziak says in a non-chalant tone. He must be higher than me. “Let’s continue. Keep breathing. In… aaaaaaaaahhhhnd out.”

I want to murder – oh look a knife. I should keep this in check.

“Be careful where your emotions take you.”

What if I drowned him? There, a fish.

“Now, imagine something that you love, but hurts you. Something you know you should get rid of.”

He hasn’t even finished his sentence that a bottle of wine appears above my head. I could do with a glass of wine right now. How is this happening?

“Finally, imagine something that you miss, that you’ll never get back. Something you need to let go.”

Before I can think of anything other than calling the guru a tit, my sub-conscious kicks in and I conjure the notes of Bowie’s Starman in my mind.

Obviously this isn’t magic, so David Bowie, who admittedly I will miss on occasion, does not resurrect. However, I have wished for a starman, waiting in the sky, so I get Tim Peake. Tim Peake is now hovering above me in his space suit, and I can see his eyes through the tinted visor. He looks confused.

Kinziak does not.

“To end the ritual, think of something that you have wanted to fix for a long time.”

I’ve never tried very hard, but all those people who say it’s easy can fuck off. I hate the Rubik’s cube.

Tim Peake looks panicked.

“To finish the ritual” Kinziak inhales “this might be painful, but you need to let these things go from your mind. It’s you keeping them up there. Let go.”

“Are you seri-” I begin, turning to face this idiot with the powers of a shit Green Lantern. But then Tim Peake and everything else comes crashing down.