“Tenk has fallen into torpor. Find where his soul has fled, and it will go well for you!”
Of course, Mr. Underby could not hear the silent command of his old spiritual master, who sat in the red room above the dark and brooding house next to the Bucket of Blood. He had other things on his mind these day. Power. Real power. Here, in the warren of City Hall, was a long way from feeding the romantic notions of those that sought the services of the fortuneteller’s parlor in a shabby flat in Sweetwater Square.
The clocktower was much quieter now. Most of the clocks had wound down, including the unnerving TOCK of the monstrous clocktower machinery, whether by winding down or by fault of its own tempermental nature could not be told. Underby was the only one that came up to the clocktower now, he made certain of it. The elevator was kept barred ‘for the safety of the public until maintenance was complete.’ It was a good place to get away from the demands of city hall, especially now that all that damned ticking had stopped. He understood why Tenk had taken up residence there.
Tenk. Yes, he was still there, one arm dangling over the edge of the hammock. Underby paid him as much mind as he paid a piece of bric-a-brack on the shelf. Suddenly, the sun came out of the persistant smog of the city filling the room with light. Tenk’s shadow fell across the floor. It was not as dark as the other shadows. Underby stared at it, then his eyes widened in understanding. He lifted Tenk’s hand to the window, towards the light, and faintly, could see the dark cross of the window frame through the flesh of the hand. He methodically checked Tenk for signs of life. Skin warm, warmer than most people’s skin. Breathing shallow but regular. Eyes responsive. Still, there was no doubt about it. This was going to complicate things.
Mosseveno Tenk was fading from the world.