Phaedra woke long before dawn and pulled on her gloves and coat and hat and snuck quietly from the little apartment and out into the streets.
At this hour, she felt like she was the only one awake. The first factory shifts of the morning had yet to come in and start the droning machines that made up the symphony of the daylight hours, and the pubs and gin houses had long since closed their doors. Just the cry of a startled gull, the faint tolling of a bell in the harbor, the continuous soft ticking of the numerous clocks in the city kept her company as she made her way to Old Bridge.
It was surprising how easily she had slipped beneath the city’s notice. How easy it had been to go to ground, to slip to the back of everyone’s mind. It had given her time to recover from the still-muddled events of some months ago, sure, but it had also granted her an anonymity she had not enjoyed in some time. How easy it had been to recover her trunk from its hiding place in the Bucket, and how easy it had been to slip through the streets gathering what she needed.
Now, of course, it granted her the peace to simply sit on the canal steps and tie her skates on. To glide, unharrassed, out onto the now feet-thick ice of iron bay and skate slow figure-8’s, singing a song across the dark ice to a darker sky. Singing a song through the long hours until the sun crept above the horizon, a song that called out to those who knew it like a lighthouse calls to a ship on a storm-riddled coast, a song most had forgotten.
Most, but not all.