31 January 2010
The Alchemist: Epilogue
“What is it, Mike?”
“You’re the head of artifactual documents. I think it’s best if you tell me.”
I turn my head to see that he’s holding a book in his latex-gloved hands. I immediately understand what’s troubling him. I can tell just by looking at the find that it is not from the mid-1100s A.D. like the other artifacts of the area.
“Have you run any tests on it yet?” I ask.
“Do we need tests? I mean, it’s pretty obvious what this could mean for this entire expedition…”
“I know, I know.” Contamination of a site is one of the worst nightmares of any person who calls himself an archaeologist. It can nullify any discoveries made on-site. It has the potential to ruin scientists, especially those who ignore the contamination and publish their findings. All it takes is a little further investigation by a competitor on the same site and you’ve got a legal mess on your hands.
“So what should we do?” Mike asked worriedly.
“What can we do?” I said, throwing up my hands. I stared into the distance. “What’s in the book, anyway?”
“Should I use the equipment?”
I opened the book violently to the first page. Mike uttered a little cry. I looked up at him, fuming. “This book has ruined everything we’ve worked on here for the past two months, and all you can do is cry about it like it’s your baby daughter. Well, fine.” I threw it at him. “You read it.”
There are so many smart reasons to buy e-books rather than paperback books. How we read books has been changing over the years since the advent of the computer and other gadgets. People are reading online text at an astonishing rate. One of my websites has over 11 million page views. That’s 11 million pages of text I wrote that nobody would have read without computers because it wouldn’t have been ...
Mike looked a little hurt by my harshness, but I didn’t care. He was a softy as far as I was concerned. The new model of archaeologist. They do everything by the book without a thought as to how it’s going to be out in the field.
“Alright, here’s the first entry. ‘Most people begin each page of a diary with the date, but I’ve been wandering out here with my sheep so long, I honestly don’t remember what the day is. It’s been many days since I was near civilization, but I see a town on the horizon.’”
As I stood there and listened, one of the first things I noticed was the fact that this was a diary written by a young shepherd. That, first of all, struck me as strange: A shepherd who knew how to write. And a young one at that! I then realized how the boy used his words. It was obvious that he loved to write and that his vocabulary was massive for the time that he had lived in. The whole thing was very strange. So as Mike read on, my curiosity overcame me. I slowly let down my barriers and allowed the story to fill me.
My barriers remained down until alchemy entered the scene. “Alchemy? Are you serious?” I laughed. “This is such a waste of time.” I grabbed the book. “This, my friend,” I said, pointing to the cover, “is a work of fiction. It is someone’s silly idea of a joke.” Start packing everything up, I want to be out of here by tomorrow afternoon. I tossed the book onto the table and started packing.
The next day, we sat in the airport with several cases and waited for our flight back to America. Suddenly, a lady passed by and knocked against a bag on the suitcase next to me. The fictitious work fell out. She apologized, picked the book up off the floor, and handed it to me. I slowly took it into my hands, looked up, and thanked her. A smile briefly turned up the corners of my mouth and I exhaled through my nose. How ironic was this? I distinctly remembered throwing this book, which spoke of omens, into a hole, which I filled with sand. And now, the book turned up without warning. It was the perfect omen.
I looked over toward Mike. He was listening to music on a portable music player and looking in a window in the opposite direction. I looked back at the book in my hands. Finally, I decided that it can’t hurt anything to read a little bit more of this omen, if for no other reason than for entertainment. I turned to where Mike left off and began to read. I thought better of it and turned to the first page. I inhaled and exhaled, removing every barrier from around my mind and my heart. I began again: Most people begin each page of a diary with the date…
Who Were the Vikings? The word Viking in the Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language says that the word Viking means the following. "Viking 1. any of the Scandinavian pirates who plunder the coasts of Europe from the 8 th to 10 th centuries. 2. a sea-roving bandit: pirate. 3.a Scandinavian. 4. U. S. Aerospace. One of a series of space probes that obtained scientific ...
Several hours later, I gently closed the book. I heard the first call for our flight. Mike looked over at me expectantly, before he noticed the tears in my eyes. I stood up and walked over to him. I handed him the book. He looked into my eyes curiously. Then, as I turned away, he asked where I was going. I slowly turned again. I looked at the book, then into Mike’s eyes once more.
“To the Pyramids.”