3 things to inspire 1 story written in 20 minutes. #story320
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In his hands was the Voynich Manuscript. A 240 page document from the 15th century with illustrations and text. Most interesting was the text; it could not be traced to any known language.
The illustrations themselves were also quite interesting. The first half filled with renderings of plants, unfamiliar to the planet. The second half filled with drawings of human forms sliding through tubes, being dismembered, and arranged in some sort of sack.
The manuscript had been found in the early 1900’s and now it was in my hands. An impulse vibrated through me to stuff the book in my shirt and walk out of the rare books section of one of Yale’s libraries.
Instead, I stared into the pages, past the ink, as if something would crawl out of the microscopic fibers. I pondered what this would mean but not for long. A couple of dots over one of the strange letters began to grow. The Umlauts twisted around each other growing but remaining equal to each other in size.
On the page in front of me was now a rendering of a mobile phone with a cracked screen. The text accompanying the previous illustration now changed as well.
I was still unable to read it but the entire page had reformatted itself.
On its own, the page turned and the swirling dots turned the existing illustration into a new one. This time it looked like a bowl holding parts of some sort of machine. The text changed and the Umlauts moved to the next page.
I was in awe. If I could learn the language of the Voynich Manuscript, I would come up with words to better describe my feelings. I can’t so I was in awe of the book rewriting itself while I held it. Each page the dots move faster and faster until the last few pages were a rush of wind before the book shut.
I nearly dropped the book, which pulled me back to reality.
Now I thought about what it looked like to be given the opportunity to hold the original Voynich Manuscript and return a completely different book. I was amazed how the mundane world of social pressure was a stronger pull than the wonder and magic I had just witnessed.
I set the book down and walked out of the library.