Insomnia Is Not My Friend

A restless night, sleep was far to seek. Too many unresolved mysteries to ponder, too many questions (asked and unasked!), too much left undone. I haunt the halls of my own home like a wraith, unable to settle in any one place for long.

I checked on Harry. He was curled up in a little ball on the floor beside his bed but seemed content enough to be there. Doubtless he could not be accustomed to sleeping in a bed! He too seemed restless, but I did not wake him. I dread to think that even children must share the same nightmares we do.

I alleviated the danger of boredom by flirting with a small crowd of assuredly drunken admirers below my balcony sometime later. It’s quite flattering, the attention is, I mean. I almost donned my pirate hat to entertain them, but I feared that might be going a bit far.

When the coffee was finally brewed I settled in to make some notes on a new incarnation of my aetheric transcommunicator. Practical use in the field is ever so much more preferable than toying with something in a lab, no matter how sophisticated the lab; while on expedition I had had several thoughts on how to simultaneously widen its field of functionality as well as deepening the capabilities it already possesses. Now I’m much anticipating access to an aethertronic laboratory so I can build the first prototype. Alas, that will have to wait for some weeks yet.

I’ve heard or seen nothing new on Randall Ross, the mysterious fellow who’s been asking after me in the Flit. I assume it’s only in the Flit, but Henrik has said he’ll check into it when he has time and I’m sure he’ll let me know. In any event I don’t intend to let it impede my normal activities in any way. If Mr. Ross thinks to follow me, he’s going to wear out his boots trailing me from one end of Fallen London to the other and back again, all in the course of a single day.

I have heard nothing else about the iron box. I still cannot get past any of the locks.

I have come to the tentative conclusion that while tea is lovely for socialising, coffee is best for working. It’s a conclusion which requires more testing to verify, of course.



  1. Theodor said,

    July 28, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I have also been kept awake, of late, by mysteries and the hunger to have them solved; I told you what occurred when last I slept, and again I must thank you for hearing me. I would be the more disquieted, I think, if I did not have your regard and patience to ground me, or Henrik’s offer to sand the word NORTH from the headboard. But should you need company in the small hours, mine will most likely be available.

    • cl0ckw0rks said,

      July 28, 2010 at 9:31 am

      You will always have both, dear Theodor, for as long as I am alive to supply them. As for your offer, I do thank you and shall take advantage of it the very next time sleep eludes me — for whatever reason.

      I paused awhile ago in an attempt to nap and had that nightmare again. You know the one: The enemy camp, the delicious smelling stew… even though I screamed and struggled with myself to walk away, I took a bowl of the stew and ate it. With predictably unfortunate results, I fear.

      And no roasted chestnut vendors in sight…

      It strikes me that for all the time we’ve spent in conversation over various matters, I have no idea how you feel about children. I have… taken one in whom I’d like you to meet, if you’re disposed at all.

      • Theodor said,

        July 28, 2010 at 10:19 am

        The hungrier one is, the rarer chestnut vendors are, it seems. I do know that nightmare … I could never attend to what the soldiers were saying, though I knew it was my mission to. Once I burst into the main tent from frustration, and was looked on with contempt by a company of cats. *a thin smile* I am sorry.

        … I … would not be indisposed … but I find that children are indisposed to me. To say it plainly — I bore them. And indeed I have conversed more often with the ghosts of children than living ones; on the surface one wished to keep me with her to tell her folklore, and that is the closest I have ever gotten to a child’s approval.

        • cl0ckw0rks said,

          July 28, 2010 at 10:57 am

          *chuckling softly* I cannot guarantee anything of this one. In his former life he was a full-time urchin and a member of the Fisher Kings. In this life, that’s only a part-time pursuit. The rest of the time he’s… learning how to be my ward. And I’m learning how to have one.

          He’s woefully unschooled, Theodor — in everything except impudence and thievery. He’s formed an attachment to me I cannot explain; I’m grateful for it, but a little intimidated also for domesticating him even a little is going to be a greater challenge than I could hope to meet alone.

          I… hoped… I could pray your patience for him, once a week or so perhaps, whatever you feel you can spare. I cannot lie to you, my dear friend — it is not an easy thing I ask, and I am aware of it. I will also understand completely if your natural reservations might cause you to demur.

          • Theodor said,

            July 28, 2010 at 11:20 am

            … Then it is not for me to let your prayers go unanswered. Unsuited though I may be to it, I will school your ward as best as I am able.

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