- His wrist ached.
- The copyist dropped the quill to the floor, and marveled at his achievement. The greatest compendium of knowledge the Empire had ever known. Cultures and fashions Imperial and foreign. Detailed descriptions of the blacksmith's craft and magical secrets wrested from the eternals. Hagiographies of the Empire's finest and the virtues that guided them. The secret knowledge of the stars, and the forbidden knowledge of heresy.
- But this copy would never be read by human eyes. It was an offering. Surely, for this magnum opus, this epic task, he would be granted that most precious of all gifts of the Day Realm, a small ivory tablet exchangeable for a glance at the hidden mysteries of Phaleron, the Great library; a copy of a single precious document.
- As he reread the dedication, he became aware of his mouth becoming moist in anticipation. Gently, he pushed himself away from his work; unable to allow his dreams of the future to mar the page, to damage his chances of them coming to fruition.
- Carefully, he lifted the hefty tome, a lifetime's work, and carried it up the spire to the regio, blinking in the breaking light of dawn that streamed in amongst the bookshelves. He had fantasied about this ritual so many times in his mind that it seemed natural that Elioe should step out from behind the journal archives.
- Elioe, striding forth with the power of a battle hymn, the pride of the tales of the greatest of heroes. Whose hair flowed like iambic pentameter; whose lips were the answer to unsolvable riddles.
- No words were said; as the copyist stared lovingly at the Attendant's majestic caligraphic barbels, the Attendant of Poetry extended a fine hand, an ivory tablet, with the scent of a sea breeze.
- The copyist was emboldened; as his eyes gazed into horn-rimmed pools he gently took Elioe's hand in his own and kissed it gently, quite unaware that the walls of the small library had given way to an endless expanse of neatly stacked and catalogued bookcases.
- He stepped back, and opened his mouth, ready to exclaim his devotion for Elioe, when a single finger fell upon his lips, a gesture that spoke volumes. He nodded in understanding.
- He spoke in a whisper, passing the ivory tablet back.
- "I have dreamt about this place, it is my every waking desire. Grant me the greatest story of passion of this place; of furtive foreplay amongst the folios, of giving the keys to your tomes to another. This is the Great Library, surely it must contain such a thing."
- Elioe nodded deeply, revealing the slightest hint of sadness. From a scrollcase at her waist, she withdrew a single sheet of vellum and exchanged it for the tablet; as the copiest took the sheet, the mundane library reasserted itself.
- The copyist ran to his room, eager to see what his years of toil had earnt him.
- "His wrist ached."
a guest Apr 8th, 2013 47 Never
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