The Tablets pt 1

Posted: September 26, 2015 in Stories
Tags: , , , ,

Professor Lewis brought up the final slide of his lecture as a wry disappointed smile crossed his wrinkled Visage.

“This young scholars is both my proudest moment and my biggest failure. This is the tablet I discovered at the bottom of an aerobic lake.  A tablet that predates every man-made object ever found, and yet holds a complex language.”

The slide showed a large stone tablet of a deep black with markings covering about 80% of its surface the symbols were hard to focus on. My eyes would dart and go fuzzy unless I concentrated quite hard on keeping them focused.

“40 years ago” Professor Lewis continued

“I discovered this while on an exhibition studying an old ruin in Syria as part of my doctorate studies”

He chuckled to himself.

“quite on accident really, It was my day off and Kali, one of the students helping on the dig for extra credit, trying to boost some dismal exam scores, he was a scuba enthusiast and somehow had managed to scrounge up a couple of suits. Well after 3 weeks in that blasted desert sand everywhere heat that never stopped  I jumped at the chance to get away and be cool.for an afternoon”

“I had never dived before and if I had would probably never have found this tablet” he gestured to the screen above and behind him.

“I didn’t know how to get in properly I fell off and sunk right to the bottom”

He laughed again his old face cracking into a wide grin as he shock his head.

“One minute I’m on the boat Kali trying to explain what I needed to do the next I’m half a kilometer under black water with my helmet pressed against a rock and my light shining brighter than it ought against smoothing smooth and polished looking. Well it turned out to be my thesis. once I had a closer look realised it was an ancient language and convinced Kali to help me haul it up for a proper look. That was when I realised that it wasnt ancient Arabic or Hebrew some of the symbols were similar but others looked Greek others Sumerian a few of them even looked Oriental. It didn’t make sense. Unfortunately it still doesn’t 40 years later and I’m no closer to translating it.”

He shook his head and looked defeated once more.

“And in the 30 years I’ve been teaching this class neither has any of my students. But I’ll give you the same deal I have all of them, translate it and you will receive full marks for this class a doctorate defense hearing and if you pass that my chair at the University.”

This bought a few cheers and laughs from my fellow students, but I sat dumbfounded, transfixed by the picture of the tablet as the symbols seemed to dance about on the screen fuzzy then clear, bright then dark. I closed my eyes as my head began to dully ache.

After the lecture had finished I stayed behind to talk with professor Lewis.

“Quincy, what can I do for you” the professor asked jovially.

“I was wondering if I could get a better look at those tablets the picture on the screen seemed to be blurry or moving about or something. I think the projector was out of focus.”

professor Lewis frowned and looked like he was about to say something then shook his head and forced the frown to leave his face.

“No Quincy. Don’t waste your time with these tablets, don’t waste your career like I did, take my advice just walk away now try not to think about them again.”

I was unsatisfied but I went back to my room and tried to get back to my studies forgetting about the tablets for now.


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