FS - Sami and the Mysterious Box

    • 14 posts
    August 15, 2022 12:54 PM EDT

    Note: This story is gender neutral by design. It will serve as good writing practice to write in a gender neutral way. So, we will use they/them/theirs for the main character.

    Story starts:

    Sami quietly places their books, notepad with pen, and the box on a table in a far corner of the library. Though they have net and a new Macbook Pro, the library is always where they prefer to research topics. Nothing better than the smell and feel of books. It's a comfort that Sami can't explain, other than the fact that their mother had taken them to the library as special times just with them and mom. Sami sighs, remembering back to those days - a faint scent of lilac lingers. Their mother's favorite. They look around but find they are alone. Must have been their imagination. Shaking their head, they focus again on the task at hand.

    They want peace and quiet while researching the mysterious box that had arrived by special carrier last week. Work had been so crazy that it left no time to figure out what the box is, who it is from, and why it had been sent to them, til now. Mistake? Probably. Nothing exciting ever happens to them.

    They stare at the box and conjure up various reasons for its existence and arrival at their doorstep. Ornate, hand-painted designs cover the exterior. It appears to be made from a light wood, perhaps teak, oak, who knows? Whatever wood it is, it seems to ripple when looking at it in different light.

    Sami opens the first book on wood and searches through each photo. It takes about 30 minutes to find the right one. Ancient Kauri. 

    Radio carbon dating places the age of Ancient Kauri trees at 50,000 years old.  That is the maximum limit of radio carbon dating, so it’s possible the wood is even older.

    Kauri is gorgeous wood that is similar in density to Cherry and can be worked with normal woodworking tools.  It has a natural, rich caramel color and incredible grain textures.  ‘Active grain’ shimmers and seems to ripple when you move it in the light.

    Bingo! So, it's made of Ancient Kauri! That doesn't help much with when it could have been made as someone could have made it more recently from an old piece of wood. But, it does sound valuable as wood that old must be rare.

    Type of wood - check! On to symbols. These symbols are reminiscent of ancient Mayan designs. Sami has always had a fascination with Mayan culture. Perhaps this also solves the mystery of why it was sent. It could be from someone who knows of their interest in the Mayans. If so, it had to be from family or a close friend.

    The old book on Mayans smells musty as Sami gingerly opens it. The librarian had suggested it when she noticed the designs on the box. As it's a very old book, it was kept under lock and key and is only allowed to be read in the library...

    • 40 posts
    February 28, 2023 10:51 AM EST

    Writing in gender neutral is challenging, enjoyed the mini story.