“Fountain of Clay”
If there is
“Where did you find this again?”
“A shard, a clay pot fragment, we pulled it out of the third hut.”
“And you’re sure it was in written in English?”
“Will you read it again?”
“Simon! I’ve read it to you three times now, and I’ve…only got one bar left.”
“Okay, okay. I’ll be there in the morning.”
Dr. Underfoot put his one on the ground next to the dig and sat. The walls were fifteen feet deep. The tests had dated the rock, sediment, and shards, at the floor back some 15,000 years. The sharp curved pot fragment still in his had included a hand drawn picture of man holding a sign upon which were written the words he’d quoted to Simon.
“Nothing good will come of this,” he muttered, “Nothing good at all.”
He climbed back down the latter and placed the shard with the other odd fragments all with the same man and the same sign, but each in a different language. The more he studied the pile the looser his mind felt, as if he’d taken a sleeping aid. In his addled condition, Dr. Underfoot began, as if by instinct, arranging the shards about the inside of dig. There were too many pieces to count, every time he took one from the pile, two more appeared in its place.
When the entire floor was filled with clay fragments, Dr. Underfoot stopped. He took a long breath in through his nose, exhaling through his mouth. He spun around and around until he fell to his knees.
Madness came over Dr. Underfoot. He pounced the mound of shards breaking them with his fists. His hand soon bloodied, but he felt he was making progress and that the mound was decreasing in size. Then a light shown down on him, and he looked up into its brilliance.
“Dr., are you okay?”
“Who are you? Where are you?”
“It’s Reaves. I’m up here.”
Dr. Underfoot look at his clean hands and then around the earth floor. Only one potshard lay in ruins in the dirt.
“Reaves, help me out of this hole please. I need a drink.”