Alfred felt the smooth surface of the Watch as he wandered in the darkness. It didn't help, not even to reassure him. But he was too afraid to try to put it back in his pocket, lest it slip from his fingers and be lost in the tunnel -- if tunnel it was.
It had begun as a round, tunnel with granite walls. as the light had died, the tunnel had become square, the walls rougher. Then it had become round again, with walls clad in what felt like metal sheeting. Then the walls had become soft, with a peaty smell. Then the corridor had widened, and Alfred was almost glad he couldn't feel the walls any more.
In the silence, Alfred heard a sudden clang. He started and tried to run, but was grabbed by a strong arm, and there was cold metal at his throat.
"Who are youse?" came a voice from the darkness.
"Alfred Pilbrook," Alfred said. "Um, I hope you can see in the dark or something, because otherwise it's not very safe to have a knife…"
Suddenly there was light, bright electric light. Alfred squinted, his eyes feeling like they hadn't seen brightness in a year. When his pupils had adjusted, he looked down, to see that the implement at his throat was not a knife, as he'd imagined, but a bronze sword.
"Good-o," he sighed. ...continue reading "Clocks and Boxes — Part 51: Exposition"
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