The pen’s ink flowed gracefully across the page as the man furiously wrote. Every word, every letter was written with such precision as that of an artist painting a picture; every small drop of paint exactly where it should be with a purpose. His hand never wavered; perfect calligraphy covered the whole page. Even when drops of ink splattered on to the page as he quickly moved the ink-tipped feather-pen from blotter to paper they all seemed perfectly planned, adding a touch of artistic look to the already aesthetic letters.

It seemed impossible something so beautiful, so perfect could be written so rapidly. Yet here it was, happening before my eyes. It was so amazing that I didn’t even bother to disturb him, lest I cause him to make a mistake.

It was ten minutes later when he finally appeared finished, done with writing and now admiring his work. He arranged the ink-stained pages together in their proper order, carefully handling each one of them as if each was thousands of years old and would become dust if he touched them the wrong way. It was truly marvelous to see this writer at work, so focused, so intent on what he was doing he was able to shut out the whole world around him, only caring about the paper treasures before him.

He understood the value of pages, of books, to a writer. They’re not simply pieces of paper with words; no, they’re something much, much greater. A book is truly a remarkable thing. Something to be revered, something sacred. It is a work of art, a masterpiece. I know this because I am also a writer. I know the value of my words – the influence, the inspiration they have over others. The importance of realizing their great value, how amazing books truly are.

I could tell he was thinking something similar, a serene look on his face as he observed the product before him. Of course he was pleased; it was remarkable, as all his works are.

He finally looked up from his desk, noticing me for the first time. “Ah, Lorenzo! It is good to see you again!”

“And you as well, Giovanni,” I answered.

“I am glad you’re here! Would you like to see it?” He proudly displayed the stack of papers.

“Of course, but you said you wanted to show me something else,” I reminded him.

“Oh, of course! Well this can wait.” He set down his book and scurried over to the far side of the room where he dug through several containers. “It’s around here somewhere,” he muttered.

“Aha!” he exclaimed, finding what he had been looking for. He extracted a flat stone from beneath several papers and knickknacks, showing it to me enthusiastically.

And immediately I knew why he was so excited. It was simply extraordinary. At first glance there seemed to be only scratches on the smooth surface, but upon closer inspection I realized it was something much more. Something wondrous. The runes were so carefully carved, so exquisitely written, I was instantly reminded of Giovanni’s work, yet this was in a language I had never seen before.

“What do you make of it?” my friend asked excitedly.

“I…I’m not sure,” I said, still examining it closely. “It must be ancient.”

And for a long time we simply stood there admiring the ancient inscription.


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