Tunansia’s Room

Edmund was becoming used to long pauses, so he waited patiently until Tunansia was finished staring at him. After what felt like several minutes, she spun on her heel like a dancer and began to walk with purpose down the hallway, her dress flowing behind her like the wake of a ship. Recognizing her lack of rejection as acceptance, Edmund followed quickly, jogging to keep up.

They walked for almost three minutes, turning periodically down the web of long thick hallways. At first Edmund thought Tunansia was a bit lost, turning several times until they were crossing a path they had already taken, when he realized she was trying to get him lost. He smiled to himself–it could have worked a month ago, but now he knew Moulde Hall quite well, and so when she stopped at a small birch-wood door, Edmund knew they were in the middle of the west wing on the fourth floor.

The door was carved with a strange twisting design that reminded Edmund of a thunderstorm. An ornate anvil was carved into the bottom of the door, while a basic and almost slapdash hammer rested on top of it. Tunansia tugged on a silver ribbon at her waist, and produced a thick iron key with which she unlocked her door. Stepping aside, she pushed the door open in an uncharacteristic display of manners to let Edmund enter. He did so, cautiously, looking around as Tunansia shut the door behind him and locked it again with a swift flick of the wrist.

Tunansia’s room seemed smaller than Edmund’s at first, but as he looked about he could see that the room was actually larger, yet much more full of furniture. Several large tables filled the floor, covered with long twisting glass tubes, thick iron plates, strange devices with copper wires and levers, and a softly burning flame that was gently warming a glass vial full of something green. The tables shared the room with a bed that reminded Edmund of the small ratty beds from the orphanage. All along one wall was a strange array of curved and sinister looking tools of various sizes. The curtains were drawn shut, with only a small gaslight and a few cracks of fading sunlight to brighten the shadowy corners.

Tunansia stepped into the room, tossing her book on her bed. She walked among the glass apparatuses like an ingénue strolling through a garden of flowers. As she walked, she would periodically grab a glass and pour the contents onto a plate, or into another vial. Sometimes she would add a pinch of powder, or drop of fluid that would make the concoction smoke, or shiver. After every three or four steps, she would pause to scribble something on a nearby notepad, or cross something out with a frown on her face.

Finally, after she had passed by all the tables and finished her administrations, she turned to look at Edmund again, her hands on her hips.

“What… exactly… do you need?” She asked, quietly.


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