A late pick-up and this time, Mister Ibis was driving while Mister Jacquel rode shotgun, tapping away slowly on the keys of a cellphone which Wednesday's boy had given him.
"Are you 'texting' again?" Ibis asked, glancing across at his partner, and making the inverted commas audible.
"Shadow sent a message: he's in New Zealand dealing with an earth spirit that's gotten out of hand," Jacquel said.
"That boy certainly gets around, just like his father, but couldn't he have taken the time to write so much as a postcard?" Ibis said, patiently.
"The mail is disrupted: about the only planes getting in or out of Christchurch are evacuation flights or relief planes," Jacquel replied, hitting the 'send' button. "I'm sending this to his Twitter page: it's about the only mode of communication that's working right now, since the phone lines are jammed if they aren't down."
Ibis sighed. "Texts and Twitters and bits of energy that once flew off a bit of amber if you rubbed it the wrong way with a bit of wool," he said. "It's so...much. It's enough to overload one's mind."
"I suppose people thought the same thing you taught them how to write," Jacquel replied, closing the flip of the phone and slipping it back into the breast pocket of his jacket.
"That was a different matter, that was intended to help preserve tales and other secrets that might be lost in the telling," Ibis said. "But is there a real need to preserve the blank mundane things like teenaged crushes on pop singers and who's stoned on what?"
"It's a part of life, which isn't always full of noble deeds and high adventures," Jacquel replied. "It's also full of burps and farts and aches and pains."
"And yet it borders on abuse of the gift of writing," Ibis said.
"That's the risk of a gift: once it's out of the hands of the giver, the receiver may either keep it and use it well, or they might repurpose it, or damage it or destroy it, or worse yet, they might just regift it," Anubis said.
"I suppose then they've merely repurposed the gift," Thoth replied, thoughtfully. He fell silent, pondering this paradox, yet not about to belabor the point with one who knew life better than those who lived it...