I don’t normally do prompts, but I like how open and yet directional this one is. So here goes.
“Maybe the world is round,” said a certain Pythagoras, who wandered around his office one day, playing with his beard and questioning everything everyone knew, as was his forte. “Stop questioning me!” They’d yell at him in the streets when he replied to their theories or more accurately assumptions with a simple “Maybe,” and a pondering, searching look in his eyes, as if the sky could give him all the answers.
If the earth was flat, what happens to all the water? Does it go into the Sun? He thought. He supposed that could be what kept it from killing us all, burning us up as it swept us up into its golden flames.
That’s a rather nasty view of the Sun, he thought, but Pythagoras thought about such things often, so it wasn’t the first time he was surprised by his own violent nature. “For it is in all men,” he had once proclaimed to a council of mathematicians, some of whom scowled but some of whom nodded.
“If only they would listen to me now. When I question the basis of everything.”
For the water from the Earth cannot simply be that which quenches the Sun, Pythagoras thought. He had no real proof, but did anyone ever have foolproof, well, proof, for anything?
It simply made no sense for the Earth to be flat. Does everyone else just think we’re on this sheet of dirt that flops around the universe? “I mean seriously picture it hanging off the laundry outside the king’s palace. That’s rather meta though, I suppose, isn’t it?”
There came a knock on the door. Pythagoras looked at the sun dais. “Is it that time of day already?” He asked himself as he opened the door to let Akakios inside.
The boy was gleaming. “What have you discovered today, my boy?” For it was his task to discover something everyday.
“I have discovered nothing.”
Pythagoras’s eye’s were shrouded, his brows furrowed. “Then why are you so happy?”
“Well I have learned something that I think you might even be surprised at.”
“You have learned? But doesn’t learning imply discovery?”
“Therein lies the achievement. I have discovered in my failure to discover.”
Pythagoras stroked his beard. “Expound upon that.”
“Well,” Akakios said, pacing. “I couldn’t discover anything because I kept doubting myself, or doubting what I searched for, really. Then I realized that’s exactly what you do. I discovered that everything is a maybe.”
“No, my boy. I am a mathematician, and what you have just said is blasphemy to my kind.” As Pythagoras said this, Akakios’s head hung in shame, and realizing he made a grave error, he started for the door.
“I’ll be off, then.”
“Because I have failed you. I am no longer worthy to be your pupil. I have-I have missed the point of everything.”
“Balderdash.You just probably have no past lives is all. You’re knowledge base is starting from ground zero. However, mine have taught me that two things are infallible: mathematics and religion. Certain things are not maybes, despite what the village rumors say about me. You will come to learn this in time.”
Akakios looked like he was about to cry, like he’s been saved from death, not just disownment. “What would you like of me now?”
“To go. We are done for the day,” said Pythagoras. Akakios was shocked, his face frozen in wonder. “What? Today’s lesson is over. Trust me, that is enough for you to learn in a lifetime, nonetheless a day.”
None of this was edited, so I hope it was legible. Also, apparently my version of Pythagoras was British.