The Observatory

Thom landed hard, but on his feet. He sat back, breathing hard, but mostly unhurt. Dust from the broken wood still floated down.

It was a room of windows. Light came in from windows in all directions, flooding the circular room with the golden light of late afternoon. Underneath each window was a table, laden with a curious assortment of objects. In the center was the most curious object of them all- a brass telescope, of a normal size, extended to its full length on a wooden tripod, and pointed at the ceiling. 

Thom stood slowly, awed at the amazing collection of objects in the room. He walked slowly around the room, gazing at the objects under the twelve windows. At the first, there were sea shells, arranged on a bed of sand. At the second, there was a twisting column of black wire, rising in a convoluted pattern to a sharp point.  On the third table, there were three books, all rather old and decrepit looking. Thom tried to lift the cover of one, but heard something that sounded like a rip, and hastily set it back down, sending out a puff of dust. 

Thom walked around the room, taking in all of these objects. There was a bird in a cage, that whistled sweetly, and a dead bouquet of flowers. Thom couldn't help but wonder what all of these objects had in common, arranged so purposefully in this strange room. 

After Thom had finished his loop around the room, he walked cautiously over to the item he had saved for last: the brass telescope, looking oddly small in the center of the large room. The telescope looked up at the ceiling. Thom looked up also. There was no window in the ceiling, nor anything that looked like it could be moved to reveal one. There wasn't even a mural or painting on the ceiling for the telescope to look at. What was the purpose of a telescope that looks at nothing?

The tripod was short, even for Thom, so he had to kneel to look in it properly. He carefully grasped the telescope with both hands, and put his eye to the hole.

The End

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