The office is an efficient space – not small, neither large, by the standards of university offices dedicated to professors. The furnishings are eclectic, an assortment of classic Victorian, colonial American and Fey artisanal, yet sensibly matched so as not to appear garish or tacky. Sentimental and personal keepsakes on hardwood shelves and in glass cases are surreptitiously placed throughout the room, breaking up the enormity of dusty thick-spined books on bookshelves that line three of the room’s walls, interrupted by a large display case, a locked cabinet and a pained window that looks out upon the university lawn.
The display case holds a macabre collection of skulls, mostly humanoid in appearance, with a wide variety of shapes and palors, some appearing bestial and others reptilian, of unknown origin. They all have a carefully inscribed placard by each one, holding scientific names that only the scholarly soul would comprehend.
The gentle ticking of a water clock permeates the room. It hangs upon the fourth wall by the door, it’s spiral face toward the window that’s letting in misty diffuse sunlight which falls upon a magnificent mahogany desk. The desk takes up the space before the window, facing the door.
The office decor includes a coat stand, standing opposite the clock by the door, holding a black greatcoat, which appears to be smoldering with pitch black smoke rising in rivulets, and an ebony chapeaux. An umbrella stand next to the hat stand holds a black umbrella and an ornate walking stick with a brass dragon handle, and a narrow full-length mirror stands beside it. Two wing-backed guest chairs sit off to the side of the office, flanking a small table holding an exquisite singularity chess set, which appears mid-game – an astute observer would see checkmate in 3 moves.
The rhythm of the clock is accompanied only by the melancholy lullaby emanating from a small music box on the mahogany desk. A tall, lean figure with pale skin and long hair that has an opalescent blue cast is sitting in a leather bound wing-backed chair on small brass casters, bent over the desk. His handsome, empyrean features are grimly set, as he focuses on writing in a small leather-bound journal, pages yellowing with age. A long-stemmed cedarwood pipe hangs from the left side of his thin lips, smokey creatures lazily wafting from it and disappearing into the ceiling. The tobacco gives off the feint aroma of an ancient forest on a vibrant spring day, mixed with a hint of absinthe. His focus is interrupted only briefly as he dips his Phoenix feather quilled pen in an India ink well.
After several moments, the music box winds down and completes its lullaby. The figure adjusts the tinted spectacles lingering on the tip of his aquiline nose. He takes some powdered chalk and a blotter and treats the pages of the journal, assuring the ink is dry and will not smudge. Carefully placing the silk bookmark between the pages, he closes the journal with a brass clasp, and tucks it inside his surcoat. He stoppers the ink well, carefully cleans the quill and puts them back in their appointed place on his desk next to the music box.
He stands, straightening his surcoat and glides gracefully to the cabinet, unlocking it with one of several keys on a small key ring chained to a brass button of his surcoat. Inside are an arsenal of modern and mystical weaponry, which he carefully checks, loads and holsters so as to be easily concealed. He locks the cabinet when he finishes.
He then strides to the hat stand. He looks at his reflection in the full-length mirror – and proceeds to adjust his surcoat, cravat, greatcoat and top hat as he dons the latter two meticulously.
Taking a moment to look at the glass display case, he takes the pipe out of his mouth.
“I regret I must leave you all for a time. Duty calls and all that. I will be back forthwith and I am confident I will have some new companions for you. But before I go I must thank you all for aiding me in recollecting the recent events. The information you consistently provide is invaluable.” The figure says to the display case cordially.
The figure moves gracefully to the desk, extinguishing his pipe. He places the pipe into a leather pouch containing his tobacco, stomp and matches and tucks the whole pouch into the inner pocket of his greatcoat. He gently closes the music box, locking it with another small key on his brass keychain.
The figure takes on a sentimental tone. “Farewell, my sweet sister. I’ll be seeing you shortly.”
With that the figure strides towards the door, taking his pocket watch out of his surcoat pocket. Checking the spiral face of the pocket watch to make sure it’s synced with the water clock, he nods and tucks it back into his surcoat. Taking the walking stick from the umbrella stand, he opens and steps through the hardwood door, locks it behind him, leaving only the gentle ticking of the water clock in the empty office.