Unicornia

When the moonbeams reached us, shapes began to appear on the first page. Indigo saw them, too. We were both able to make out the title, Unicornia, and then, the rest of the page as well. I’ll let it speak for itself:

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And Isaac? Well, Isaac couldn’t see anything. The man who had set off this entire chain of events was completely in the dark.

The moon

After months of research, conversation, and hypotheses, we finally felt so close to the answers. We didn’t even consider bringing the book all the way to the lab tent to examine it. There, deep inside the hole, Isaac lifted the large leather cover to reveal the first page. It was blank. He paged all the way through from beginning to end. There was nothing inside. No words. No images. Nothing.

We were quiet. What was there left to say? All of this traveling, this digging, this discovery…only to be stumped again? Plus, I still couldn’t shake that uneasy feeling I’d had at the airport—the sense of being followed.

And then, the clouds parted to reveal a tiny crescent moon.

Treasure

Finding the book today was better than finding out I could read minds. It seemed impossible that it could be so deep inside the earth in the midst of those diamonds. Indigo and I found it hard not to rip it from the earth, but Isaac insisted we follow proper protocols and excavate the book with extreme care. Four hours later, we were able to lift it from the surrounding earth.

 As we dug it out of its resting place, I could see the same glow around the book—like the glow around a star on a hazy night—that I had seen around the unicorn in my crystal ball. Indigo and Isaac thought me crazy when I tried to point it out to them.

Digging

How strange it was to meet two people who felt like strangers and best friends at the same time.

Indigo mentioned that she had the uncomfortable sensation of being followed through the airport in Siberia by a tall, thin man with nervous eyes and a most unpleasant expression. I joked that it sounded like Shufflebottom. But, we wasted very little time on chitchat.

Fact: We dug deeper in the original site for an entire day and found nothing.

Fact: We awoke the next day and did the same thing. Late that afternoon, the rock began to change consistency. That’s when we realized that we were unearthing diamonds.

Question: Were the diamonds a clue?

Fact: Over dinner, everyone was quiet. You’ve never seen a group of people so unhappy about finding diamonds. (Okay, maybe that second sentence isn’t exactly a fact. I’m not sure I can prove it, but it certainly felt that way.)

Fact: The next day, we continued on. Just after lunch, Indigo’s digging revealed the corner of a book.

This had to be a clue.

Losing hope

So many theories and no way to prove them. We need evidence.

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Fact: I’ve been digging further and further from the site, hoping to find something. Anything. All that I’m finding is the sense of digging my own grave.

Fact: Shufflebottom continues to report on my “activities” in various journals and has now proposed that The Society strip me of all that I have accomplished. The vote is scheduled to take place in a month, at which point, all that I’ve worked for will vanish before my eyes, much like that elusive horn.

Disgrace has been replaced by a more powerful emotion. Despair. Am I chasing a figment of my imagination? Could Shufflebottom have been right all along?