Scaffolding

Any closet novelists, short story writers, script-writers or prose poets out there?
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Firebird
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Scaffolding

Post by Firebird » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:59 pm

Whilst doing research into early Christian heretics in Canterbury Cathedral library, I came cross a book of collected letters written by artisans to their sons. The book stated in its preface that these epistles were read once and then handed over to the cathedral authorities. They conveyed the wishes of generations of fathers, who died early from disease or hard work and exhaustion and didn't see their sons mature. The following lines exemplify the sentiments of these letters:

I write this letter knowing I will never see the end of the task I started. My working life has been taken up with this monument to God's glory. It has been said that it's the architect's mistake to believe that because his plan is complete, so is his building. However, it is this plan that has given my family food, shelter, and purpose. I could see the end without knowing it. This is why I say to you, my son, be a part of this plan, live as I have, and let it give you a role, a wife, and a child. Be part of God's glory . . . My life has been good, never wanting for anything. All this is yours, with the knowledge that one day one of your descendants will see the scaffolding removed; he will see the unveiling of the finished plan.

I put the letter back where I found it, walked out of the library and saw that the scaffolding was still standing -- a few workmen still chiseling away.

Charles
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Re: Scaffolding

Post by Charles » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:59 pm

I like this a lot. This was a very enjoyable and satisfying piece.

If I were to crit I would say there is a bit of inconsistency in the "book of collected letters" the "following lines exemplify" and then "put the letter back where I found it". The latter implies you'd found a letter in an archive, rather than finding a reprint of collected letters. The easy fix would be to just swap "letter" in the concluding sentence to "book". But then stumbling across an actual letter in an archive would be far more interesting, if you want to rewrite the first bit.

Or maybe I'm just be nitpicky.

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