The clock, the clock, the blasted clock. It wouldn't stop ticking.
Entirely by design, granted—it was the perfect timepiece, after all. But on late nights like this one, with a wandering mind and nobody else in the spacious library save for his insubstantial assistant, the lone sound of one metallic tick after another started to get to him. Sometimes he thought he could feel his keen ears twitching along with the rhythm.
Lexy breathed out a heavy sigh (partly just to hear something, anything else) and slumped back in his chair, away from the jumble of books on his desk. He'd finished her errand days ago, and had kept quiet as part of their usual playful antagonism. But this task had been more important to her than he'd realized, and she'd actually ordered everyone, from the recent band of refugees to the kitchen staff, to leave him in peace. Leave him alone.
Despite his disdain for the common folk, he really hated to be alone. Rarely would a whole day pass without a single visitor, whether it be her or Udon with her maddeningly cheery mood or some servant actually looking for a book. Now, it had been, what, a week? (eight days, thirteen hours, thirty-two minutes, four, five, six...) since so much as a knock.
Enough was enough. He'd been thinking, and he didn't like thinking while he was alone, but if he was going to do it then it might as well not be here.
He got up and drifted towards the back wall. "I'll be in my office."
He'd made it all the way across the library and just set his paw on the doorknob when the response came. "Will you?"
While the librarians were eerily synchronized when it came to intellectual matters—for example, the entire conversation that was just compressed into two words—they didn't exactly fit the traditional mold of "friends". Lexy wasn't one to speak much about personal matters, and Caldera wasn't one to pry. Until now, it seemed.
The excursions to the office were an intermittent, but common enough, affair. Lexy would start to brood, disappear into his office, remain quiet for some time, and eventually emerge his usual somewhat-more-cheery self. What caught Caldera's interest was the obvious fact that Lexy was not actually in his office for much of this time. Why he would erect such a paper-thin charade and where he actually went off to were somewhat of a mystery, but Caldera had always politely indulged. Today, after a few years of working together, the scales had finally tipped: it was now ruder of Lexy to vanish without so much as an honest excuse than for Caldera to intrude on a personal matter.
All of this was succinctly conveyed by a single question.
The door sported a new and intricate locking mechanism, featuring numerous interchangeable gears, sliding panels, and small dials, all labeled with symbols and arrows and connected to an intimidating deadbolt. Lexy pushed gently on the binding of a book on the adjacent shelf as he twisted the doorknob; the door swung inwards with ease, fake deadbolt and all. He strolled in without looking back. "Come on, then."
Caldera followed into the little room. It wasn't much of an office, but Lexy liked the sound of the word, and nobody else could quite figure out what else to call it. Part study and part junk drawer, it was the equivalent of a tinkerer's garage, packed to the gills with artifacts of dubious value, stacks of half-filled notebooks, parts of aborted projects, far too many boxes of extra supplies, and (allegedly) a desk somewhere. For all the rabid organization Lexy inflicted on the library proper, it seemed he had to compensate by packing just as much chaos into this little back room. The only thing a refined host wouldn't find mortifying was the shelf of binders along the back wall, the librarian's pride and joy, always kept in perfect order and with a thin halo of clear space around it.
The Daedalus to this labyrinth was busy extracting a small wooden box from beneath a particularly formidable pile of junk. (It was, Caldera had to concede, the last place anyone would look for something hidden in here.)
The box was quite plain, adorned only with small hinges on one side and an unlocked latch on the other, though it did rattle a little as Lexy stood up. He flipped it open, retrieved the item inside, and tossed the empty container aside—casually, but with a crazed precision that ensured it landed on a fallen stack of parchment where it'd be easy to find later.
It was a silver spoon. Well-polished, perhaps, but otherwise entirely uninteresting. No engraving along the handle, no flourish at the end. The librarian strolled over to his associate, never quite looking at the utensil gripped tightly in his hand, and caught his best friend's gaze at last.
"Hold on to me, Caldera."
Using his name like that, when it was clearly unnecessary, was strangely... affectionate and certainly out of character. Still, Caldera said nothing; he only looped one metallic coil around the Eevee's brown arm, and watched him curiously.
Lexy grasped the bowl in his free hand and, with a hint of a grunt, bent the spoon neatly in half.
A gentle force tugged on Caldera's coil, bringing him along with his companion in a direction that didn't seem to exist. The view of the cluttered room around him quivered ever so slightly, as though every shape within his vision had grown restless all at once. Soft lavender spilled from cracks between objects that weren't cracks at all, obscuring the details like a sheer curtain. And with a pop barely louder than that of a soap bubble, the world abruptly returned to normal. The effect had been nearly instant; if Caldera were properly equipped to blink, he could easily have missed it.
But even if he'd been blindfolded, he'd have noticed that the pair was no longer in the same room. This was the polar opposite of Lexy's back room in every way. The pair were standing between a small dark fireplace set into a marble mantel and two plush navy high-backed chairs with matching ottomans. A thick rug, covered with ornate beige and blue patterning, marked off this lounge area; the remaining third of the room showed off the well-polished hardwood floor and sported a writing desk and a few cabinets. Shelves lined any free space along the walls, though these were modestly populated: most were only half-filled, a handful were completely empty, and hardly any were as packed to the gills as the shelves in the library.
Two things about this scene stood out as particularly unusual, even considering the abrupt change of scenery. The first was that the room showed no signs of recent use, but nonetheless was completely spotless. The fireplace had not a hint of ash in it, yet a little pile of fairly fresh logs sat in the adjacent holder. The desk and cabinets were closed, and every book was neatly on a shelf, but Caldera couldn't see a speck of dust anywhere.
The other was the single large window, on the opposite wall from the "business" end of the room. Heavy shutters obscured the outside, yet cold morning light streamed through and painted bright lines across the rug.
Caldera didn't have the same penchant for timekeeping as Lexy, but he knew with absolute certainty that it was about three past midnight.
Lexy set his spoon—now straight once more, with no sign of having ever been bent—on a small round table between the chairs and sat down in one, staring off into the distance. Caldera settled in the other—it seemed appropriate. He waited.
After a long pause, Lexy began.
Part 1 of as-of-yet unnamed story about Lexy by (writing alone can be seen: [link] )
Guess what guys! I'm
reopening my stores
(Etsy and Storenvy)
and commissions, I
can finally announce
that I'm getting
married and I need
to save as much as
possible for the big
day, July 27th.
before anyone asks,
the wedding is not
been planning it for
a long time...
Sorry, I can't
believe it's been so
long since I've done
this "orzEdit: I
forgot, but my
friend here's having
it's about your
with your favourite
food. It can be your
own character or
FIRSTLY: thank you
so much for all your
kind birthday wishes
and little gifts!
:hug: you made me
:heart:I hope this
small feature can
bring a smile to
your faces, too
:)enjoy and make
sure to fave some of
this great pieces!
;)and now we move on
to the first part of
would like to
address something I
have been seeing as
of late here and on
other sites. Artists
who are asking if
commission them if
they were to offer
commissions and if
so, how much should
they charge or how
much are they
willing to pay?
`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More