Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Sample from The Tree of Virtues

One of the more cool bits, I think. I am sorry I don't have the artwork completed, but at least you can look at the music. It's not very good music, but then I mustn't give away the story...

--Dr. Thursday

Steve's eyebrows went up when he saw the contents. It was something very strange, but also very beautiful: it was a piece of parchment, inscribed with a Latin phrase and Gregorian chant notation. In the upper left was a huge and gorgeously colored capital letter O which began the verse:
Omnis vallis implebitur
Et omnis mons et collis humiliabitur

It was exquisite - but the other side was blank, and it gave the impression of having been excerpted from some larger work. Steve could read the Latin, and recognized it as coming from St. Luke's gospel, speaking about St. John the Baptist's work:
Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be brought low. [Lk 3:5, see Is 40:4]
But what it meant, why he had been sent such a thing, he did not know. He'd ask Chuck about it - besides it was time for lunch.

Chuck looked at it. "This is an amazing piece of art, Stever. Beautiful - sharp - cleanly and elegantly done. Except for one thing. Or two."
"I don't think this music is a real setting. I mean," he shrugged, cleared his throat, and softly sung the verse. "There's something not right about it."
"Sure - even I can see that," Malcolm said. "I'm not familiar with Gregorian chant, but I've seen it before. And they use lots of other symbols than this does. These are all the same."
"Yeah," Chuck agreed. "That's one thing. Then, take a good look at that artwork for the capital O."
Malcolm held it close. "Hold on a second, guys! You know what this is? It's the circuit diagram for the filter in a power supply! Look..."
"Well, maybe," Steve said as he looked again. "Or just some fancy ornamentation. But those guys carrying the baskets..." He broke off. "Whoa. Baskets!" He tapped his fingers on the table as he counted: yeah, there were twelve baskets... "And that guy looks like a civil engineer at a transit - you can even see he's wearing a plumb bob on his belt. It's like a modern take on the prophecy."
"The painting itself looks new," Tony said. "That's real parchment, you can tell from the feel - but it looks like it was done with acrylic paint!"
Chuck shook his head. "I dunno, Chem Kid. We may have to take back your title, 'cause that sure looks like real gold leaf to me! But I know what you mean, it's way too clean. Damn good rendering, I'd say. It's probably by one of those modern artists like Alderman, done in the 'spirit' of the Middle Ages. If you don't want it, Stever, I'd love to have it for my room."
"Sorry Chuck - but if I find out where to get 'em, I'll order you a copy."


At 22 July, 2010 12:39, Anonymous Paul S. said...

Sounds intriguing. I too am a fan of The Shrine of the Holy Whapping.
These are the same characters from that Christmas story?


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