Part I is found here: https://trentlewin.com/2012/09/18/burst-a-history-of-the-period/
A History of the Period (Part II)
In the mayhem that resulted, our shaman and his coal miner friend were slain. The period – alone, bereft, nearly lost altogether – lay quivering in the snow, until a young girl plucked him up and carried him off. Oh but here was a spirit, a spritely being that had no concern for the villages or the towns, the river or the silt – here was a girl who longed for the valleys and fields that lay beyond the mountains of the Pamiri. Did she know what she had? Did she suspect as the shaman had that the single mark upon the paper in her possession would change all the world? Whatever the case, she kept the paper against her breast, shielding it against the cold winds as she grew into a woman and finally made her trek across the plateaus, wading alone through the snow into the heavens themselves.
She almost made it, but a bear had her in the end, a great brute that consumed her bit by bit, and that paper too. The poor, unassuming period may have had its last there, but for some habit of the beast that resulted in it visiting a particular patch of grass next to a forest path where it routinely chose to unburden itself of shit. Thus was the period reborn, ripped from the innards of that mighty bear as it roared its relief to the stars. No greater calling, no more piercing a cry could have been let to signify that the period had been returned; and even as the echoes of the beast’s cry faded and it waddled away from its recent deposit, our hero heard the calling.
This man was a poet of course. And as we may suspect, his name is indeed recorded through the histories; but to speak it would diminish the part of our main player, our singular dot that lay besmirched upon the paper. Our hero the poet found the sheaf and cleansed it in the snows, then studied its form the night through, until he lay mesmerized under the morning sky. Legend tells us that so entranced was he – so consumed with glee – that his body raged with heat, and the snows about him melted. He awoke amazed, and travelled at once over the last of the Pamiri mountains into China. He kept his possession hidden, but by some virtue of its effect upon him, screamed his compositions with a newfound vigor into the market squares, the parlours, anywhere else he could mount a stage to perform. The people stopped to hear him, amazed by the vitality in his words, the poetry that flowed like a stream from his tongue; but most amazing of all were the pauses he placed in his compositions, the minute hesitations that left the listener waiting just long enough to heighten anticipation of the next remark – or in dread that there might not be one at all.
It should be no surprise that word of the poet came to the attention of the mighty Khan, who summoned the young man to his court and had him recite his proudest poetry before an assembly of a thousand. All were amazed at this new style of the telling, the elevation that this man had made to the age-old art of poetry; all, that is, save the mighty Khan, who regarded our hero poet with great suspicion, for he well suspected that this young man was in possession of some secret, some knowledge of arcane origin, some magic that the Khan would of course have to obtain for himself.