Challenge #02040-E216: Just One ThingsteemCreated with Sketch.

in fiction •  2 months ago

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If it exists, there's probably a Wikipedia page about it. -- TheDragonsFlame

When the Sky People left, they left behind the Thing. It was flat, and it could bend, and it would not break. It was not food, and it was not a tool, but the Sky People had touched it a lot, so it had to be important.

Thorn poked at it the way she had seen the Sky people do. The figures that came up meant little to her, but the shaking and the red was danger. On the fifth try, she got the pattern that changed the Thing. So many colours. So many different ways the Thing could show her... things.

One of them spoke to her. Words that didn't have meaning, but Thorn was young. Thorn learned. She learned Thing words like "edible" and what "cook" was. And how to make "fire" like the Sky People did. The Thing was useful. Once she could understand it. And one of the first things she understood was that the Thing liked to eat sunshine, but it wasn't a plant. She kept it in daylight so that the LoBatt Warning would never show.

"Cook" was the most useful thing to learn. There was "open roast" which meant sticking things on sharp sticks, but special sharp sticks that weren't "poisonous". There was "roast under coals" which meant burying the food in fire when it was wrapped in good leaves and that meant that Thorn could add things to make food taste even better.

When Thorn and her children had most of the words, they could learn more. What was "metal"? What was "forging"? What was "ceramic"? Her children were clever. They learned more of the words than she ever could. They raced ahead with things Thorn barely understood, but understood as good.

They were learning "farming" and "storage" and "preservation" and it meant that Thorn had children, and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren before she grew too old and frail to know any more.

Her family remembered her, all the same. Thorn, who found the Thing. Thorn, who learned the words. Thorn, first mistress of Wikipedia Galactica.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / HaywireMedia]

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