Matthias had never liked being a clockmaker’s apprentice. He didn’t like the town either with its gear filled walls and mechanical monsters roaming the streets at every turn. And the steam and smoke everywhere. Oh how he hated being choked everyday by the endless clouds of grey matter. All he wanted was to get out of the city, or at least make it better. The observatory where Matthias now sat was abandoned, desolate, and to him full of amazement. He could look into one of the many telescopes and see a place other than the city that he hated. But the observatory was soon to be demolished to make room for another of the King’s extravagant buildings. Matthias thought it was just an excuse to get rid of something out of the ordinary. See, the townsfolk despised of anything that was different to what they knew. Matthias had read of places where science and new findings blossomed. But there was nothing for him in Nordale.
Matthias realised that he had been sitting on the dusty floor of the observatory reading his marvellous book of science for almost two hours and it was now quarter to nine, only fifteen minutes to curfew. Fearing his mother’s harsh words or the police arriving at their door, he leapt up and ran towards the exit, a trail of dust billowing after him. He ran past the people staring at him, shouting to get inside soon. He ran past the machine animals that prowled the streets looking for boys like him who were out late. He made it to his mother’s dusty shack in the nick of time, with only five minutes to spare.
“Where have you been?” shouted his mother, flogging him with a dirty rag. “Never mind, get up stairs! Into bed. Now!”
He ran up the stairs, careful not to anger his mother any further. His exploration of the observatory would have to wait another day, he decided. With the stars seen in his telescope still in his mind, he drifted slowly off to sleep. Unbeknownst to the fact that something big was about to happen.