It was at 9:55 pm, as I finished, walking by Brix who was extinguishing his cigarette, let Gertrude shut the door behind me, and returned to bed, exhausted, to be awakened by a the phone ringing, a strange occurrence as it was far past midnight, and though I had met some of the townspeople beyond Brix and vanderSnoot,  they were as nameless to me, as I was to them.  My wakeup call would not be for a few hours, I contemplated dreamily, realizing then that I had not even summoned for one, for my alarm clock, of the windup variety with its chrome alarm was sufficient to rouse me in time to deliver my findings at council.  Then, again, the phone ringing, and I jumped with a start, confused and misled, half in a dream, to shut off the alarm, to look at the time, and be brought back to the phone.  Yet, the silver pen reminded me, though there was no moon, the pen in the window with its effervescent shimmer, and I grabbed the phone and bristled at the scheming voice of my employer, that I should make haste to pad the report further, for the price he was exacting was greater than what I had provided, and despite my rebukes that the conclusion was foregone, I could not ignore the shimmering pen – it was ready to leap off the table!.  The princely sum was too high to be ignored, and I had come this far to dismiss this notion – the report had been written for no good cause, with no real consequence, and I would be, should be damned for continuing, but I had, you might imagine, long ago, begun to lead astray.

I did fall asleep, and woke past the time my alarm should have rung, and whether I had remembered to set it or not, was a question of no consequence, because I would not have come to a better conclusion. Yet, slipped under my doorway, a message, undoubtedly written by a silver pen of the same make as mine, that the job was called off, and no pay would be forwarded, as council had met in camera, unknown to my employer, the day before, concluding, that as long as Ms. vanderSnook was willing to keep the building open longer than its mandate, without asking more from public coffers, then why should they offer any resistance?

The End

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