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´╗┐Title: Longevity
Author: Windser, Therese
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Longevity" ***

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LONGEVITY

By THERESE WINDSER


_A morality tale--1960 style._


Legend had it, that many thousands of years ago, right after the Great
Horror, the whole continent of the west had slowly sunk beneath the West
Water, and that once every century it arose during a full moon. Still,
Captain Hinrik clung to the hope that the legend would not be borne out
by truth. Perhaps the west continent still existed; perhaps, dare he
hope, with civilization. The crew of the Semilunis thought him quite
mad. After all, hadn't the east and south continents been completely
annihilated from the great sky fires; and wasn't it said that they had
suffered but a fraction of what the west continent had endured?

The Semilunis anchored at the mouth of a great river. The months of fear
and doubt were at end. Here, at last, was the west continent. A small
party of scouts was sent ashore with many cautions to be alert for
luminescent areas which meant certain death for those who remained too
long in its vicinity. Armed with bow and arrow, the party made its way
slowly up the great river. Nowhere was to be seen the color green, only
dull browns and greys. And no sign of life, save for an occasional patch
of lichen on a rock.

After several days of rowing, the food and water supply was almost half
depleted and still no evidence of either past or present habitation. It
was time to turn back, to travel all the weary months across the West
Water, the journey all in vain. What a small reward for such an arduous
trip ... just proof of the existence of a barren land mass, ugly and
useless.

On the second day of the return to the Semilunis, the scouting party
decided to stop and investigate a huge opening in the rocky mountainside.
How suspiciously regular and even it looked, particularly in comparison
to the rest of the countryside which was jagged and chaotic.

They entered the cave apprehensively, torches aflare and weapons in
hand. But all was darkness and quiet. Still, the regularity of the cave
walls led them on. Some creature, man or otherwise, must have planned
and built this ... but to what end? Now the cave divided into three
forks. The torches gave only a hint of the immensity of the chambers
that lay at the end of each. They selected the center chamber,
approaching cautiously, breath caught in awe and excitement. The torches
reflected on a dull black surface which was divided into many, many
little squares. The sameness of them stretched for uncountable yards in
all directions. What were these ungodly looking edifices? The black
surface was cold and smooth to the touch and quite regular except for a
strange little hole at the bottom of each square and a curious row of
pictures along the top.

They would copy these strange pictures. Perhaps back home there would be
a scholar who would understand the meaning behind these last remains of
the people of the west continent. The leader took out his slate and
painstakingly copied:

    Safeguard your valuables at
     ALLEGHANY MOUNTAIN VAULTS
          Box #4544356782


THE END



Transcriber's Note:

    This etext was produced from _Amazing Science Fiction Stories_ May
    1960. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S.
    copyright on this publication was renewed. Minor spelling and
    typographical errors have been corrected without note.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Longevity" ***

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