Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What's in a Name?Act 7:Ulysses

Guest post by Stan Faryna
A gifted writer, Stan has written an inspiring, genealogy-based  historical fiction for you. Sit back and get transported back through time to his ancestral home of Poland. Enjoy!
This is a continuation of the story that I had originally written for Betsy Cross' genealogy writing contest.
Click the linked text to read Act One of What's in a name? Or, if you read Act One, check out Act Two. 


There was another loud knock. It startled Ania. She buttoned her blouse quickly.
Her 50th birthday was just a few days before. But she was still a beautiful woman.  

Ania felt nauseous and dizzy as she moved to the door and opened it.

Contempt and anger was written across the red-flushed face of the landlord's son. Behind him stood two of his friends. Bullies - no more or less.

"Get you, murderous witch, and your murderous family off of my land!" he said between clenched teeth as he waved a paper at her face.

"Be gone in a week. And leave it clean and in good stead that we may feed, hoard, and sleep here at our leisure."

Tomasz, Henry's cousin, helped Ania's father into the room. Her father was 82 but clear and quick of mind. He asked Tomasz to inspect the document.

Tomasz took the paper from the landlord's son and read it.
"It says that Ania has failed to pay the full amount of the lease agreement and therefore she and her family shall evacuate the land within one week," explained Tomasz. "It is signed and stamped by a judge."

"I have the receipt of Henry's payment!" exclaimed Ania. 

"You'll see!"

Ania went to the cupboard and took out a paper registering Henry's payment to the landlord. It was signed by Henry and the landlord and witnessed by two men. It was dated twenty four years before. She showed it to her father and then to Tomasz. Then she defiantly presented it to the landlord's son.

The landlord's son took the receipt and ripped it in half. Without looking at it. Then he handed the torn receipt to one of his friends standing behind him.

"What receipt?!" asked the landlord's son with a broad smirk.
Tomasz leapt past Ania and landed a fist on the smirk of the landlord's son - he staggered back from the blow. One of his friends stepped forward, however, and brought down an iron bar on Tomasz' forehead. Tomasz slumped unconscious to the ground.

Ania's father yelled out for John.

John came running from the barn - carrying an axe.
In a tavern next to the town hall, just a few hours earlier, three older gentlemen were quietly discussing a confidential affair.

A court clerk approached their table with a yellowed and ragged dossier.

"Your excellency. Gracious Sir. Signore Faryna. I'm sorry to keep you waiting. 

I know the Signore must be tired from your long journey, but I have just now collected all the records that you requested in your correspondence. They weren't easy to find. They were misplaced, in fact."

The clerk handed the dossier to Signore Faryna. Satisfied by the contents, Signore Faryna put a purse of coins on the table and the clerk snatched it greedily like a starving rat taking a scrap of cheese that had just fallen to the floor
"I have also arranged your meeting with the Mayor as you requested," he said expectantly.

Signore Faryna put a second purse of coins on the table. And the clerk snatched it up just as greedily.

"The meeting is in an hour."

Signore Faryna glanced at the hands on his silver pocket watch.

"Thank you," Signore Faryna told the clerk. "Come back in an hour and you will shine in good use."

"Your Polish is fantastic, Signore Faryna. Do they speak much Polish in Rome?!"

"The Signore is tired from the long journey. Let us not tire him further. Come back in an hour. 

I will tell you all about the wonders of Rome. After our meeting, I will tell you things that will amaze you" said the Bishop sitting at Signore Faryna's right hand.

"Yes, your Excellency. Forgive me," the clerk replied.

"Only allow me to say that I am surprised by the beautiful blue of Signore Faryna's eyes. I thought this was a Polish treasure. Alas, Rome has everything! And I have nothing here.

"You only having nothing, young man, if you do not give yourself to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield," replied Signore Faryna in perfect Polish.


"No, John!" Ania yelled out to him.

John stopped short of the landlord's son and his friends. 

"History ever wants to repeat itself," laughed the landlord's son. 

"But a good student of history will make friends in high places, and together they outsmart her. For history is a woman and she will be bedded.

That is how destiny is borne and fate negotiated by ambitious sons."

Looking to his friends, the landlord's son spoke:
"I have waited six years to seize upon this land for which my unlucky father was murdered. My mother, ashamed and weak like a woman, failed to press the case against this widow and her son.

The widow, I fear, may be too old to mount. Maybe!

Maybe, if we could turn the clock back five years, I would have followed in my father's pursuit of interest and satisfaction. But, perhaps, my friends, you enjoy a woman like you enjoy good wine.

Every man must judge a wine for himself!

One of the friends of the landlord's son licked his lips. The widow, he thought, was beautiful. Her long silver hair rolled like a river of moonlight. 

More importantly, he thought to himself, a good appetite needs no sauce!

John raised the axe above his head and he meant to bring it down. But two policemen stepped out from behind a tree in the yard and they took John forcefully by each arm. The axe fell to the ground.

"Let my son go," Ania shouted at the policemen. 

"These men, they attacked us, they've destroyed an official document, and they have just now threatened to harm me."

"What receipt?!" asked the landlord's son with a broad smirk and bloody nose.

"Yes, it was a receipt," argued Ania. "I just now said it was a document. You see, he knows what I'm talking about. Arrest him!"

"I will testify against these men," said Ania's father as he stumbled out of the house.

"We will testify against this family," said the friends of the landlord's son. "They have failed to pay the rent for twenty four years and they intend to murder again."

The senior of the two policemen nodded his head in concern and then spoke to all:

"I have seen this strong, young, and violent man raise an axe against these men who came to serve an eviction. We will take him into our custody. Peace and security require this.
His fate belongs now to the Rule of Law and the imprudence of an esteemed judge."

"Nooo!" shouted Ania in tears.

She fell to her knees, tears flowed down her tired face, and she bowed her silver haired head and it swept the earth. Her father stood by her side - shaking in his rage.

"I have lost my husband twenty one years, seven months, and three days ago. And now I will lose my son!

Heaven help me. Lord, hear my prayer. Hear my prayer, help a widow in her affliction!

Give me my husband back. Give me my Henry back! And, Lord, let my son by my side."

"And if not this, pour out the wine of God's fury upon the earth! Unloose the angels at the four corners of the earth. Send forth the horseman. Unlock the gates to the dead lands. Let the trumphets blow and the seven seals be broken. 

For nothing good can be. Or grow. Or fruit. No hope. Nor love. Nor a heart be written upon by the gentle finger of God!" 


Above Ania's sobs, all heard the sound of pounding hooves coming up the country lane.

Three carriages pulled by eight horse teams each and their escort stopped at the yard.

His eminence, Andrzej Stanisław Załuski, the Bishop of Cracow, alighted from the first carriage and asked the policemen what foul scandal was afoot. The mounted Jesuits eyed the policemen suspiciously.

The senior police officer knelt before the Bishop and nervously explained that they had arrested a young man, who was about to commit murder upon the men who had come to serve the papers of eviction. His mother crying on her knees was protesting the arrest.

The Bishop spoke loudly to all:

"Religion, James writes, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction - not to visit affliction upon widows and orphans!"

The mayor alighted from the second carriage with the captain of the police on his heels.

"I declare the eviction a forgery and a fraud," the Mayor shouted at the policemen.

"The judge has sworn that he did not sign and stamp the eviction. I have just come from the courthouse.

Let that man go free!"

Still on her knees, Ania pointed to one of the friends of the landlord's son.

"That man has the receipt of payment which was torn by the other."

The captain of the police nodded to the policemen to check the man Ania had pointed out. The young man ran but was caught quickly by the mounted Jesuits. The two halves of the receipts were found in his pocket.

"Thank you, your excellencies. Thanks be to God!"

Ania and her father wept in joy.

The bishop helped Ania to her feet, he blessed her, and then he whispered to her to thank Signore Faryna in the third carriage.

Ania went to the window of the third carriage and asked for Signore Faryna. One gentleman pointed to another whose face was covered by a hood.

"Thank you, Signore Faryna," she whispered.

Henry pulled the hood back from his face - tears streaming from his blue eyes. He put a finger over his lips.


The other gentleman in the carriage with him, who was known to Henry as Moise, blubbered and snorted uncontrollably. 

My name is Stan Faryna. The name, Faryna, comes from my father's family - Polish immigrants to America. To be sure, Faryna is a most unusual Polish name. This is a story about my family name.

Stan Faryna, Daddy, Author, Servant Heart, Online Strategist, Entrepreneur, Blogger, Mentor, Design Wonk, and- yes, suspected Galafreyian.

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  1. I assume this story ends with an explosion, like everything else Stan get's his hands on, it simply blows up in a billion brilliant pieces.

    Nicely done my friend. Great stuff as always :-)

    1. Thanks for coming by Dino! Yes, Stan has one amazing mind! Super talented. Wonder what he'll do next?

    2. Thanks for your encouragement, Dino! You rock!

  2. Time for you to compile a book of your short stories, no, Stan?

    1. LOL! First I need to build a reach and following like you got, Saul!

  3. What a gripping story, Stan! And wonderful turns of phrase. "The wine of God's fury" is my favorite.

    "Religion (...) is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction - not to visit affliction upon widows and orphans!" -- bloody brilliant. Not just the concept, but the way it flows.

    Bravo. Bravo.

    1. Indeed, the truth is stranger than fiction.

    2. Encourage Stan to finish his novel!! The novel about the end times.

  4. Interesting premise, I just read Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett and had similar dealings with corrupt power and the way justice was meted out.

    Very well done sir, very interesting read.

    1. Thank you, Bill. I'm glad to know you are still friendly with me knowing now that I descend from a murderous Polish peasant.

    2. Hey Bill! Thanks for the visit!

  5. The breadth of your experience is ALWAYS amazing, Stan. I appreciate you more each day.

    1. Multi-talented and entertaining he is. Thanks for coming over Jayme.

    2. "Telling the right story, to the right people, at the right time, and in the right way."

      I've been thinking about this definition of PR of yours. Because it also defines marketing. Branding. Maybe, even selling.

      Perhaps, writing too. [grin]

  6. Stan, Betsy,

    I agree. Stan...seriously, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?? GO! Shoo! Go finish your book! I LOVE your writing, you know that. But what you may not know is I absorb and breathe a good book. It gets inside me as if the words, thoughts, feelings and actions of the characters become my own. Finish. Your. Book.

    What a fantastic story! I must ask, though, where was this picture taken? Hugs and winks to you both. Thanks for this.

    1. Big hug to you Amber-Lee!

      The picture was taken in Bulgaria. It's one of my favorite taverns there. In the charming hillside city of Veliko Tarnovo. I have more pictures of Veliko's old city on my Facebook. That's where Betsy found this picture. Facebook.

      Yes. [sigh] The rewrite needs to get started...

  7. Hi Stan

    I love this! As usual, your writing is very fresh and unique. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thank you, LaRae. And thanks to Betsy. I would never have finished this story had she not insisted on it.

  8. Awesome read..I wanted it to keep going! Book? Let me know when it's out!



    1. My end of the world novel, Ann. I have a first draft for maybe half of the first book. Needs one or two rewrites though...

  9. Very powerful, Stan. Your writing excels in fiction and non-fiction. Both deliver a powerful message in an eloquent manner.

    It's no surprise that you are descended from heroes, my friend.

    1. Big hug to you, Carolyn. Your encouragement always means so much to me. And I love how you always see the message. Love that!

      Alas, I desperately need a skillful, diligent, and patient editor. [sigh]

  10. I agree with John. I really like "The wine of God's fury." It evokes numerous images in my head. I keep looking for the thunder and lightning.

    1. None of us want to see the thunder and lightning that comes with that wine! Trust me on that, Jack.

  11. Intense, Stan! I love how it's tied to reality and history. =) You're an amazing writer! =)

  12. Big hug to you Sam! Thank you for your encouragement!

    We have to blame Betsy for this experiment. [grin] I don't think it would have ever occurred to me to write a family history story!

    Since I started writing this story, I've been pondering what family history means to me.

    Does family history speak through us, our lives, our personal challenges, and/or our karma (for lack of a better word)? If it does not, why is it relevant?

    In fact, I have viewed family history with certain suspicion. I think of the Monarchist League. And, yes, Hitler too. I think of the present currents of anti-immigrant sentimentality of modern Europeans who blindly question the adulteration of their so-called indigenous families and culture in the face of economic and political crises. Denmark, England, France, and Holland especially come to mind.

    I once had the awkward experience of spending some time with exiled King Kegali of Rwanda and around him buzzed bugs that sought titles in a kingdom that was no more. And those bugs included Americans and Europeans who had nothing to do with Rwanda. Nor would they ever serve Rwanda.

    Where do I come from? Is this question relevant to me? Is family history relevant to what is beautiful, good, and beautiful about me? One or more of these questions may be important, but I remain unsure which ones. Perhaps, Betsy will help me with this question. I hope so.

  13. What a great story. Very refreshing to find it on a blog. It does not happen often that one is entertained this well on a blog. Excellent way to show case family history. Thanks for sharing.


What do you think? I'd love to know.