“Design me,” said the clay. “Mold me. Make me unique.”

But the sculptor faltered. The cube was soft and dove-grey, virginal, without so much as an indentation or soft thumbprint. The responsibility to create from this vast potential was overwhelming. The possibilities too many – how would the sculptor know when they had done the right thing? Would a bell ring when her knife hit upon the sacred True Form this art was meant to take?

Of course not, but the sculptor worried. Turned the clay on its dais wheel and examined this side, then that. But at last away went the chisel and the fettling knife. The needles and the paddles, too. The light turned off, and the footsteps faded. And the sculptor was no longer a sculptor, if she’d ever been.

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