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It showed up when they were fixing the sidewalk on the corner of 6th and Arthur. 

At first we thought it was some kind of funky public art, but the building super said he hadn’t heard anything about that, and, well, there was the writing on the sidewalk. Not fancy writing, just a scrawl like a kid might do with his finger in the wet cement.

Then we guessed it might be a prop left over from one of those modern fantasy series everyone’s watching. Grimm, or Game of Thrones, Merlin, something like that. Maybe some vandal took it from the set, stuck it in the wet cement just to see what would happen. But nobody stepped forward to claim it, even after the first set of pictures went viral.

We scoured craigslist for days, looking for an ad, something on lost and found, some re-enactor’s car broken into, stuff stolen. Nothing.

Someone eventually called the police, but they said it wasn’t really in their jurisdiction. They did send the graffiti removal squad, but it’s not technically graffiti and anyway the squad couldn’t remove it, no matter how hard they tried.

Eventually, everyone sort of forgot about it. I know that sounds strange, but you just get used to these anomalies that creep into your life. You step around them, remember to glance down when you get close so you don’t trip, and then your eye ignores them, you notice them without really noticing. We put traffic cones around it for a while to remind ourselves but soon we didn’t need them. Now nobody really pays any attention to it but the kids, climbing on it and tugging at it as they wait for the school bus.

Now that we’re used to it, I guess it would be stranger if one morning we woke up and it was gone, nothing left but a hole in the sidewalk and those scrawled words, whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone…

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