Carl scoured the ancient texts; poured over dusty tomes; consulted moldering volumes in long-forgotten and abandoned archives.
Sitting cross-legged on the broken mosaic floor, cob-webs lacing his hair, he pulled yet another crumbling manuscript into his lap.
This one was different; guilted letters shone burnished bright in the dim lamp light; illustrations gyrated as if the scribe had only just put down his brush and quill.
Here would be his answer; the lodestone for his quest. The words sent him to the highest peaks of the Andes and Himalayas searching for a rare bloom never propagated nor tamed. Rumored to bloom only once in a millennium.
His friends and colleagues feared Carl’s fate. No communication, not even a line of text. Months passed, and then suddenly . . . there he was, wearing a small red flower as proof of his quest: to procure the ultimate talisman against the modern plague of . . . (you can fill in whatever you think plagues us most right now; I have some ideas . . .)
feature image: @pixabay