That light was not supposed to be on. Tatterdemalion watched the sky. Taking another route through labyrinthine rooftops to avoid the lit window would result in her getting wet. She had little regard for her clothes, but the books tucked into her cloth satchel would never survive a drenching. She bit her lower lip and worried it for a moment before inching down the rooftop. She dropped carefully onto the palm width stone ledge that ran along the building, under the windows. She dug her fingers into the grout between the masonry and smiled to herself. Ignoring the slick twist in her stomach she escaped into the feel of the stones. She felt the age and strength in walls that sheltered so much of what she loved. Stone was simple and solid and kept so much in a simple geometric shape. Thoughts toying with geometric equations, Tatterdemalion approached the lit window.
Breathing evenly, she reasoned that it was a rare thing for a person to look out their window. A bit of shadow was commonly assumed to be a dark cloud passing over the sun. Academics rarely looked out their windows. They were often much more concerned with their texts and manuscripts to be concerned about an odd sound and flicker of light. Or so Tatter told herself.
She peeked into the lighted window, if the room’s occupant had happened to glance contemplatively out at the gathering storm, he may have seen two large gray eyes beneath aristocratic brows before they ducked out of sight. The man in the chair had dark hair going to a silvery grey in long streaks. Tatter watched as he bent over the thick tome on his desk. A bit apart, his right hand held a pen and he scrawled notes onto a sheaf of papers. His apparent engrossment settled Tatterdemalion’s stomach and her heart warmed. She knew this row of windows for she often snuck into them. Professors always had the best reference materials. She watched for a few moments longer before quietly shifting across the window. Her toes picked out the familiar grooves in the stone. Soon it would be too cold to go barefoot. She would need to lay in a bit more food.
She froze still as a rabbit at the sound of the window opening.
She turned her head just enough to look back. The professor looked back at her out of deep blue eyes. His thoughts running faster than Tatter could guess. Then she hastened off the ledge and over the rooftops. She scurried over the roofs, around chimneys, and scrambled over gargoyles until she reached her attic. She swung inside and latched the window. Shaking, she collapsed on the nest of blankets and pillows she used as a bed. Someone had seen her. She must be more careful. She swung her satchel off her back and cradled it in her lap. No one would ever make her leave. She would just stay quiet and careful and the man would forget he’d seen her.
Professor Lawrence Rutherford closed his office window and wondered. He made a careful note in his journal, closed his current project, and retrieved his pipe. He needed to think.
It’s that time again. I stole this line from fliptheotter. She’ll post the original tomorrow. Wonder who stole mine….