Story Desk

You sit down at the story desk.  Skimming through the manuscript on the table, you find that it is a book of tales.  There are tales that point to a moral, whether or not it is explicitly stated, such as a tale about a kind old man, his mean wife, and the sparrow whose tongue the wife cut.  Some of the tales talk about strange things, such as the ghost of a discarded household item that haunted a temple.  There are notes in the margins of the manuscript; some are complete thoughts, some are words or phrases that highlight reoccurring themes or imagery, and some are symbols used in much the same manner as the words.  Perhaps the symbol of an eye represents sight and the eye with an “x” through it represents blindness.

There are two tales that catch your eye due to the large number of multicoloured notes in the margins, suggesting these stories were read multiple times.  One is about someone named the Fox of the North and a drinking contest.  It seems likely that the Fox of the North is a man, though at times it seems as if the tale treats him as if he were some sort of talking fox.  The other is about a girl who opens her locker one day only to find another world filled with anthropomorphic creatures.  When she opens her locker the next day, the world is gone and her friends think she has been reading too many stories.

Having finished with the manuscript, you set it down and take a look at the map that was lying beneath it.  Placing where this map depicts proves difficult, for the names of places are unfamiliar.  There are annotations written on the map, such as “Battle occurred here in the first year of King Leonard – victory for King’s men” or “The inn here serves the best lamb stew, but beware the ale.”

A hinged box sits on a corner of the desk.  Either it wasn’t there before, or it had been hiding under a manuscript.  Upon opening the box it becomes obvious that it is some sort of device.  The top half has a metal border holding a finely polished black surface.  The bottom half has an assortment of buttons.  Pressing the one with an arrow pointing to the right causes the box to make a metallic click.  A whirring sound emanates from the box and a light flickers on the black surface.  As the light fills the screen, it resolves into a moving image and sound emanates from the bottom of the box.