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The Ancient Art of Copywriting: Never a Truer Word!

This may or may not be a story of fiction, revealed in….chapters…

Chapter One: “A Parchment is born”.

Many centuries ago, in a place of your own choosing, there lived a man.
One day, he just arrived in the village from places unknown. He made his home in an abandoned hovel, where sometimes on a dark and stormy night, some animals and birds would find temporary but damp shelter.

To the people of his village, he was known as Circum. This was for his habit made of rough sack cloth – for it was all he could afford – and for his penchant to walk around in circles, muttering something to himself.
The villagers knew him to be a man of some knowledge, although no-one was quite sure what it was. Circum was often approached by those who needed a message written to either their far flung friends and family, or to someone in Great Authority.
As the villager would babble his or her oft garbled message, Circum would dip his bedraggled quill into a pot of thick black liquid, known as “ink” and on a crumpled piece of old parchment, would form mysterious unknown symbols. He told the villagers that these symbols were called “Writing”.
None dare ask whether this writing would be understood by the intended recipient. None the less, the villagers gladly paid for this service in copper coins or with either a chicken or some eggs – depending on which came first.

If a villager was poor and needed to tell the Great Authority that he could not pay his taxes, let alone Circum, a special piece of parchment was produced. Upon it was written: “P ay in A Y ear or P ay for A L ifetime”. The villager, much to his credit, would make a mark or a splodge of ink with the imprint of his thumb on it, at the bottom of the parchment.
Circum had made many such parchments, but the villagers rarely understood what their obligations were. Or perhaps they did – and just laughed to themselves and ignored their promises. Now and then, a villager would disappear in the middle of the night, never to be seen again. In hushed whispers, it was said that the Great Authority had claimed him…. When the villagers had tried to return these parchments without the accompanying coins or chickens or eggs, Circum rolled the now worthless parchments into a ball and hurled them in anger at the floor. They bounced.

Whatever miserably paltry amounts of coin or chickens or eggs Circum did manage to collect, would be traded for more parchments, ink powder and chicken feed. He always remained in a state constantly bordering on starvation. Yet, to the amazement of all, he kept up his strange daily ritual of “Writing”.
There were times when Circum would simply sit silently in his unheated and draughty hovel and “write”. Sometimes he would throw the quill and ink pot against the wall. At other times, he would simply tear at his hair or tear at his beard or angrily tear up the now ruined piece of parchment.
At other times, the villagers would suddenly hear him make a joyous shout.
Peering into his dimly lit hovel, they would see him “writing” furiously. As the more brave and curious looked over his shoulder, they could discern that the series of symbols on each parchment looked very similar.
In either a trance or state of enlightened ecstasy, Circum kept writing the same series of symbols on as many pieces of parchment as he could lay his hands on. After, he would stop, fingers stained with ink and cramped with the efforts of sustained “writing”. Curious villagers would ask what it was that he was so earnestly engaged in. The answer was always the same:

“I’m copy writing! I will send my parchments to the furthest corners of our land and even beyond!” Bewildered peasants would stare at him in open-mouthed awe and even admiration. Yet, they would gladly take the bundles of parchments with them, whenever they would wander far afield.
“Go forth!” he would say to them “and nail one parchment to the main post within the Market Square of each village that you pass through. There may be someone who can and will read what I have written!” So, without even realising it, Circum had invented “post men” and “post-it-parchments”.
Whether any of these parchments ever reached their intended destinations remained unknown to him. Circum would wait expectantly outside his hovel every day, hoping for someone to bring him even one single parchment in return. There was a deep depression around the hovel, caused by his daily and nightly circuitous walking and waiting. And waiting. And waiting. And waiting….

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The Ancient Art of Copywriting: Never a Truer Word! by 

This story could be entirely fictional, a fairytale – or even partly born of personal experience. Gentle reader, I will let you be the judge. So far, three chapters have been written, and the story may yet be completed, the Muse willing and if the creeks don’t rise….

An old photographer and his dog trying to find what turns a photograph into a worthwhile picture. Perhaps try to take a worthwhile photograph in the first place? The digital darkroom is a creative, fascinating place. If only I could learn to use it and the cameras I have to best effect… I love “mucking around”, as you can see!

Now, you know all my stuff is Copyright If you try and pinch any of it, I’ll jump through your screen and rip your bloody arms off!

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  • GailD
    GailDabout 3 years ago

    Very good George. I can see some truth in it.

  • G’day Gail! Every word I have written here is a true one. Honestly…. :)george

    – George Petrovsky

  • kamaljeet kaur
    kamaljeet kaurabout 3 years ago

    Very interesting story…..he cld be a calligraphy artist LOL!!!

  • Indeed he could! Possibly, I can weave that into the story somewhere, if my Muse will guide me that way! Wait and see….:)george

    – George Petrovsky

  • Þórdis B.
    Þórdis B.about 3 years ago

    This is beautifully written and I will wait for the nest chapter!

  • I’ve been re-reading and changing it a bit… give it a day or so…. :)george

    – George Petrovsky

  • kamaljeet kaur
    kamaljeet kaurabout 3 years ago

    I thought of calligraphy because of the ink…parchment… n quill …..!!!! being a calligraphy artist myself it was so natural :)..will wait for the new weaving into the story!!!

  • Thanks for adding this to your favourites Kamal – let’s see how it will unfold…

    – George Petrovsky

  • Kate Adams
    Kate Adamsabout 3 years ago

    Beautifully written George!!….makes me think!!

  • G’day Kate – thanks for adding an old scr -oops! Almost giving the plot away!
    Thanks for adding this to your favourites, and I wonder what on earth it has made you think of? Calling the men in white coats for me? :)george

    – George Petrovsky

  • Antanas
    Antanasabout 3 years ago

    very good

  • Thanks for taking the time to read this! :)george

    – George Petrovsky

  • Enivea
    Eniveaabout 3 years ago

    I’d love to hear this one night, sitting around the campfire :-)

  • Sold! You make the campfire – I’ll tell the story! Perhaps you should reserve judgement until a few more chapters appear…. thanks for the fave too! :)george

    – George Petrovsky

  • © Hany G. Jadaa © Prince John Photography
    © Hany G. Jada...about 3 years ago

    Dear George; I purposely wanted to start readings this on this lovely Saturday Christmas morning….. I thought I really wanted to leave it as a “virtual” present under my virtual tree from a not-so-virtual friend…. and what a “real” treat it was… can’t wait to unfold the pages on Chapter 2…. I heard it’s out in the open….. LOL…… WONDERFUL writing and captivating witty story. Hany

  • Thanks Hany – does “virtual” mean “almost real”? Surreal? Unreal? Having sat in the archives for a few years, this story can be now progressively unveiled. Many might ask “Why?” Me too! But what the heck…. :)george

    – George Petrovsky

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