Every hour, on the hour the Clock Tower in the center of The City will ring its' great brass bell. You can hear the sound from every corner of The City. From every corner of your house. From every corner great or small. It is so much a part of life in The City that no one even notices it anymore. Of course they'd notice if it stopped working. While it might be the only thin in The City that didn't need to be wound to work, it winds The City. The Clock Tower keeps The City working. Without the Clock Tower there would be no City.
But no one knows why. Why does the Clock Tower wind The City? Why does the Clock Tower never need to be wound? How does it work if no one winds it? Who built the Clock Tower? Was it the Builders? Those ancient people who built The City? What purpose does the Clock Tower serve? Is it just to keep The City running? Why, why, why?
Questions the same and similar danced about Leo's head everyday whenever he heard the brassy sound from the Bell. Oh he had asked them to everyone he could think of. His parents. His siblings. His friends. Their parents. His teachers. Professors at the University. The Librarians. Clock Workers. The mechanics who repaired The City. Any old person who he saw. They all had the same answer.
The Clock Tower just is. It has been and always will been. Asking questions wont change anything.
And that was all they knew. It was enough to drive Leo crazy, bonkers, up the wall, off the deep end. It drove him straight into the historical records of The City library. The restricted section of course. He had already picked through all the books not under lock and key. (And some of those too.) But there was nothing. Nothing. Nothing was worse than one of those unsolvable puzzles the mechanics made with gears and springs and gave to little children. For those were designed to never be solved. But this was real life. There must be answers somewhere.
Of course if one needed answers they just had to know where to look. If the records were useless and the people were useless, then there was one option left. The Clock Tower itself. Which was where Leo found himself look upon. (Well, more of looking up than upon.) He was shirking class. He'd be discovered later and scolded, but if he got answers it was all worth it.
Leo had his hands stuffed in the pocket of his jacket as he eyed the foundation of the tower. There was always a way in to any building. You just had to be skilled enough to find it. And Leo was skilled. His curiosity had driven him to the dubious work of breaking and entering. Coming from a wealthy family he had been introduced to intrigue at a young age. When no one had answered his questions about what was going on political or even socially he learned you had to go to the source for answers. Of course one simply didn't ask. For you'd never get answers that way. But you had to look. Like looking under the bed for example. Many a letter full of dubious deeds and happenings were usually hidden under beds.
A useful skill set which he was going to put into use today. The sun was rising higher overhead by the minute. Soon he'd have to make a circuit around the tower and find himself a point of entry. Then? Well, then he'd have his answers.
Rapunzel awoke with the morning sun and she was off from there. She quick jumped out of bed and got dressed. She left her small modest bed room and headed down the old wooden stairs. She looked upon her Clock Tower once more in beautiful morning light. The floor was completely open with shadows of the hands of clocks everywhere. There was a small hole in the wooden floor which led to the under workings of the tower, the real beauty. Rapunzel closed her eyes just to make sure she was on time. "50,51,52,53,54,55,56,57,58,59,60, 7:34" She told herself and looked to the clock tower to see the hand had shifted to 7:34 right to time with her. She smiled and jumped with glee. " perfectly on time as always Rapunzel good job" She applauded herself. Rapunzel ran over to the stairs and zoomed down the first shaft jumping then onto a metal railing that stretched to the other side of the Tower. She scurried along this metal pipe until she jumped grabbing onto another shaft and sent herself flying of that to the second floor of usable space.
You see the Tower is not exactly a set structure. It has small pockets of wooden flooring here and there, but for the most part it was bars and gears and rectangles shafts. Now there were stairs to almost every "floor", but Rapunzel never liked to make use of them. She thought that maybe when she was old and couldn't get around as easy she might use the stairs. For now though the Clock Tower was her playground.
Rapunzel went about her chores for that day. She started with the sweeping and cleared all of the floors with as much dust as possible. Then she went on to the mopping and scrubbed each floor till she saw no more point to scrubbing at all because it was just so clean. Lastly she went to her favorite chore, the polishing. She had to do the polishing in a timely manner and it really honed in on all of her reflex skills. She had to check each and every gear for rust or grime and clean it up mighty quick before the gear got all the way around. The big gears were easy, it was the small gears that were the real toughies. Though day in and day out she finished. After all her chores it was around three o'clock and it was time for her lesson. Master Owen would teach her about the clock and the city below us. Mostly he would teach her more about how mechonizems worked and protocols and what to do if this or that happened. Rapunzel found it interesting, but also rather mundane.
Lastly After dinner Rapunzel was finally free until the next morning. Rapunzel's latest obsession had been people watching as she liked to call it. She stared down into the city and made up stories for everyone she saw. There was a girl who always came by the fish market at exactly two o'clock and Rapunzel liked to pretend that it was because she was really a horrible monster and if she didn't eat cooked fish at exactly Two o'clock she would rein terror on all the citizens. The idea simply made Rapunzel laugh which was one of Rapunzel's favorite things.
Last edited by Bluemoon277; 01-01-2013 at 06:08 AM.
Leo was about halfway 'round the clock tower when the bell rang out in time for noon. Of course his stomach decided to pitch in too. I'm hungry. It whined. Leo ignored it. He'd eat after he had gotten into the tower and back out again. He pressed his thin lips together. The Clock Tower was proving to be a little more difficult to get into than he had previously imagined. He finished circling the tower a little after one. His stomach was complaining, by that time, nonstop.
So Leo gave in and wandered off to get some food. No never-mind he had intended to be done by this point. But he knew patience. Answers never jumped out at you. You had to wait for them and when the time was right... you grabbed them!
A little after two, Leo returned. He was happily full and ready to begin searching the base of the Clock Tower again. It was tedious work, but he was good at it. He saw the story of the tower laid out if he had the skill to read it. It was old. Older than he had expected. Yet in good working order. Someone must keep it. The revelation surprised him. Did someone take care of the tower? If that was true, why did no one know? Or maybe someone did, but why keep it a secret? The new questions Leo received only made him more determined to get answers.
However, luck was what got Leo into the Tower. Leo would take his luck where he could find it. He considered luck just as much as his skill, if not more so. Without luck, no matter how much skill you had, you'd still get caught. The luck this afternoon came in the form of an older man. He was probably younger than Leo's father, Mr. Burt, but not by very many years. This older man slipped into the Clock Tower a little before three-o-clock. Leo was surprised, but not as surprised as he would had been this morning. He had already come to terms that there must be someone in the tower. Perhaps this older man was the person who kept the tower in working condition.
Leo watched the man enter the Clock Tower and waited for many seconds. Then he moved casually, not in a straight line- It was lines that made you more noticeable- to where the man had gone into the tower. Leo stared at the wall for some moments before finally touching it. His pale but worn hands caressed the metal structure. It was cool to the touch, for the sun had not touched this spot yet. It appeared to be solid. But now Leo knew better. He touched every part of the wall before finding a small inlaid hole. Leo smiled. Success.
Rapunzel stared out the giant clock face onto the city below. 'what is it like to live in the city' she wondered? Rapunzel placed a hand on the sheer clock face and then let it slip off the cool glass. 'What do they feel, why do they work, what makes them get up every morning' Rapunzel couldn't stop thinking. 'who would I even meet though, sometimes the city folk are so cold, and mean, and scary, and they yell....a lot' Rapunzel scared herself on the thought and tired to push it from her head. Rapunzel stood from the floor and got on her tippy toes. She spun in circles to try and get the thought from her head. Soon enough the thought left and a song came. She hummed the tune out loud and soon it echoed through the Clock Tower. " Tick Tick Tick goes the clock on the wall, all the world waiting to fall, one carousel stuck alone on the track" Rapunzel sang trying to put words to her tune.
Leo got down on one knee, a finger carefully marking the small hole. If he lost it now, he'd spend minutes trying to find it again. Time he didn't intend to waste. With his free hand he pulled out a few small metal rods. Each one smaller and finer than the last. He picked out two he wanted and captured them with his teeth, for he had no hands free at this point. He replaced the unselected wires into his pocket. Then he grabbed the two rods and gently wormed them into the small hole.
It was the work of heart stopping seconds as the rods danced in his hands. Then there was a small sound. Leo gently pressed against the wall. It swung smoothly and soundlessly forward into the base of the Clock Tower. He smiled to himself. He slipped inside and closed the hidden door behind himself when no one was watching. His entire body hummed with anticipation. Soon he'd have his answers.
Leo waited as his eyes adjusted to the gloom of the inside of the Clock Tower. It was huge! He craned his neck as he gazed upwards. His eyes struggled to make sense of the wood, and pipes, and metal gears. It was so complex. He stared gaping for a few seconds before he remembered there was at least one other person in here. He quickly moved back into the shadows. Where should he go first? Would there be answers on the first floor? Should he find the older man and ask him questions? No. That would be foolish.
Leo frowned. Up? There didn't seem to be much on this floor other than gears and pipes. There also didn't seem to be a down. So Up it was, by default. Leo slowly made his way over to the stairs. It looked old, but sturdy. The only thing that made him go slow was the treat of other people and that the stairs might creak.
Rapunzel found herself bored yet again. Bored was something she loathed, because if your bored it meant you had run out of ways to entertain yourself and you are boring. Not only that, it meant you had reached your minds limitations and had no longer anything to create. Rapunzel swooped down the stairs to a lower "floor". She looked around and then jumped to a pipe. She pulls herself onto said pipe and crouched long for her next move. She stepped onto a giant gear and waited for it to intertwine with the next. Once it did she grabbed onto that gear and climbed it. This of course was hard because as Rapinzel climbed up the gear would turn down. It felt like she was getting no where, but finally she was enough along the gear to where she could stand and jump to a solid shaft.
Rapunzel sat on the shaft a bit worn out just by getting there. She looked upon the gears and pipes smiling at the workmanships mastery. She looked at every little gear and then she saw something a bit out of the ordinary. Right next to a small gear laid a key hole. Rapunzel's mind flew with questions. She looked at the key hole again inserting it from afar. Aha had to get closer. Rapunzel looked from her shaft and the only way she saw to look at it was from the pipe above it, but she would have to hang upside down.
This frightened Rapunzel slightly, but her curiosity was too strong. She jumped and grabbed onto the pipe. Flipping backwards and quickly wrapping her legs around the pipe she let herself hang upside down. Rapunzel let herself breath a little knowing she wouldn't have much time, but if she freaked out there would be no point at all. She looked at the keyhole now up close and thought it might be another hole to the key that was strung around her neck. She grabbed the necklace and pulled I off her. Carefully she placed it in the hole and turned. A small door popped open and inside thi small nook was another key.
Rapunzel gazed at this key until she knew she had to get right side up. She stuffed the key in her pocket and wrapped the necklace around her neck again. Rapunzel flipped herself back upward and jumped back onto her previous shaft. By a serious of jumps and turns Rapunzel arrived back on the actual floor. She held her new fond treasure close to her chest. " what have you stumbled upon this time Rapunzel" She asked herself jumping with glee as she had this morning. Rapunzel grabbed her necklace and added the key to the chain for as keeping.
Leo took a deep breath. No time like the present. He slowly started up the spiral wooden staircase. It was about a quarter of the way up the first spiral that he realized how exposed he'd be. There was nowhere to hide. Unless he wanted to brave the pipes, but the thought didn't stick and he didn't try. While he wasn't scared of heights he didn't have a death wish. Or rather, he was only scared of heights then he was in immediate danger of falling. Which he would be on one of those slender metal pipes.
Leo made it up to the next floor. Judging by the distance it was about three stories up. He paused right before the hole in the wooden floor to calm his breathing. This place was a wonder. And it was so confusing. Luckily there was really only one way to get anywhere, or else he would run the risk of getting lost. Unluckily there was on way of getting anywhere and if the older man returned...
Leo shoved the thought away. He wouldn't get caught. He then poked his head slowly through the hole. No one. He quickly moved through the hole in the floor. The sound of the large gears behind him covered his sound with noise of it's own. Leo's quick brown eyes scanned the area as he moved to a spot where he could be concealed from view. This area was more looked after than the ground floor. Curious. But there was nothing here that would answer his questions. He looked at the stairs leading to the next floor. How many floors were there?
Leo was beginning to doubt the wisdom of this misadventure. Perhaps this should be a scouting mission and he'd come back later for proper answers. The longer he hung around the more likely he was to be caught. Then again, returning a second time was even more of a risk if someone like the older man realized he was here. Then he would be in trouble.
Leo hesitated for a few second more before making up his mind to continue. He would either find answers today, or not at all. There would be no second chances. It would be too risky. Plus, it was funner this way. Leo let his mouth slide into a half-smile. Fun indeed.
In Rapunzel's Glee she didn't notice the creaking of floors below her. Though when she stopped for a moment she could hear the mis placement of the old wood. Rapunzel tuck both keys into her shirt and softly walked to the wooden opening. She could see the shadow of someone, but she wasn't sure who. Rapunzel sat next to the opening. 'It can't be master he's in his room, master never leaves his room until lessons or supper' She thought wide eyed. Rapunzel wanted to see this person, but she didn't want them to see her. Not just yet.
Rapunzel could see a shaft were she could start her journey to the lower level undetected. She got a running start and took off, her toes leaving the mildly dusty floor gave her a sense of satisfaction. She then jumped to a gear and then to another and jumped from that to a cool pipe. at that point she had unfortunately run out of momentum. she swayed back and forth for a moment before letting go and landing on a long metal scaffolding. She peered between two Medium sized gears at the intruder that entered her Tower. " Who are you" She asked her voice echoing and sounding like it came from everywhere. "Why are you in my Tower" She added.
Rapunzel ran across the scaffolding to another place where she could look upon him. " Are you from the city" Rapunzel asked again. She noticed teh boy hiding in teh Sahdows. 'why is he hiding in the shadows, does he not want to be here, is it bad to be here, Does he think my Tower is Bad' Rapunzel asked herself getting a bit flustered on the thought that anyone could think her Tower was bad.
Leo had just came out of his place of concealment and was making it to the next flight of stairs when a voice echoed all around him.
"Who are you? Why are you in my Tower?"
Leo's head whipped around. He didn't see anyone. The voice, female, seemed to have come from everywhere at once. So there was more than one person living in the Clock Tower. This was supplied by the calm, rational part of his mind. His irrational mind propelled him back into a corner. Right into a gear which snagged his shirt. He jumped forwards and out of the way before it ripped his shirt too badly.
"Are you from the city?" The voice asked again.
Leo looked around. Still no one. His palms were sweating and his heart pounding. Was someone really here? He looked around for something he could use to defend himself. There was nothing. He wasn't good at hand-to-hand. He really should had brought a knife or something. Even his letter opener from home would had been nice in the moment.
The questions weren't making much sense. The first two, well that made sense to ask an intruder. But the last one... Where else would he be from if not from The City. His heart lept. Did this mysterious voice know about other places than The City? Perhaps it had even been past the clockwork monsters that only the brave dared to pass.
Slowly the new questions pushed the overwhelming fear from his mind. Oh, the fear was still there, but he was beginning to think more rationally now.
"What?" Leo managed. It wasn't the best response but it was all he could manage.
Rapunzel could tell her was scared and she couldn't figure out why. Why would she scare him, what was he afraid she would do. Rapunzel ran further along this scaffolding that seemed to run completely around the floor. Rapunzel quickly lost interest in her previous questions as her mind wandered else where. If he doesn't know of the city then where did he come from. What if he was from what is behind the City walls?What if he was the new form of Clock Work monsters? They always seemed to change in Rapunzles mind seeing as everyone she saw were different from the rest.
"Don't.....don't be scared" Rapunzel told him only then noticing the fact that she was scared as well. Rapunzel realized that now she was behind the intruder. He was barley a few feet in front of her. "How did you get in" Was her second question. Rapunzels voice had lost it's echo with it's placement. She didn't notice though his voice now echoing instead of hers.