D.A.R.K. may have barred the doors to the Humanities Hall, but Prestor had flown around the library long enough to know where to hunt for scraps of manuscripts allegedly written by humans. There were deep shafts in the North Wing that sunk down into small caves known as the book mines. It was in these mines that the keepers of the library banished loose pages and tattered books. Only in very special circumstances and with great ceremony was anything ever discarded. So, for reasons of both value and worthlessness, these fragments piled up in these dark and forgotten places. Prestor was a frequent (and lone) visitor to them. He had a faint memory of finding something with the word “Miracles” in one of them. Whether or not it had to do with the book by C. S. Lewis, he wasn’t sure. But he hoped.
He shot down one of the shafts, wings folded back for speed, and landed amid undulating hills of parchment. He lit a torch with a sharp exhale, then began his search. Two hours passed before he found what he was looking for in one of the mounds. Yes! It was the front cover of the book Miracles. It was green with small gold lettering, rather plain. The spine hung by threads from the cover, and it indeed named Lewis as the author. But no pages were attached to the shell. Not one.
Prestor clawed as carefully as he could through the soft, worn pages around him. It wouldn’t be wise to rustle around too much. If the lost pages were here, they were probably close, and he didn’t want to push them farther away in his enthusiasm.
Page by mismatched page, he slowly separated and spread out the mound. One page in particular caught his eye, but not because he thought it might be a page from Miracles. He noticed it because the writing was different. The sentences were short and in groups of four. He picked up the page and looked it over. He grinned—it was, in fact, a page from Lewis’ book. Sometimes (though he would never admit to it) Prestor felt he had a special connection with ink and paper. As though he could call the right words at the right time to himself.
He leaned back and stretched his wings in victory. Now then, what did it say? And why was it written in such an odd manner? He read the first paragraph:
Among the hills a meteorite
Lies huge; and moss has overgrown,
And wind and rain with touches light
Made soft the contours of the stone
Why, this was about falling stars, not miracles. Why was Lewis speaking of meteorites instead of the book’s namesake? He read the paragraph again, this time pausing on the words “moss has overgrown”. So then, the meteorite has been lying there for some time. Quite some time. By now, it would be indistinguishable from the landscape, especially so if it had been shaped and softened by wind and rain. Yes, from above, a dragon would never recognize it for what it was; perhaps even a human leaning against its bulk might not take notice of its origin. What is all this about, Lewis? Prestor frowned, but then realized something and gave a satisfying rumble. Very good: the writing on the page was a complete thought—as confirmed by the initials C. S. L. after the last paragraph. What’s more he had time to read it. After all, D.A.R.K. would never think to cordon off the book mines. He and Lewis could finally have a small, but complete, conversation.