Finley: Parker

“Finley, my boy,” cried out Parker, Finley’s bunkmate and best friend, “get over here and explain what this dreadful deed is to those of less stature.”  Finley walked through the smoky room, for most of his classmates smoked pipes in their free time, to a group of young men and women circled around Parker.  “What are you going on about, Parker, and why is everyone up at this late an hour?”  Parker was of a middling height with a commanding presences and charismatic flair.  He was blond and handsome, from an important an influential family, and an above average student.  It was assumed that he would follow in his Father’s footsteps after graduation and run for a seat in the House of Parliament.  Though it was often commented that he was the gravity others circled, he had the most wonderful gift of ascribing importance to whomever he was speaking with—when conversing with Parker, you felt like the Senator’s son.  He was wealthy, yet humble; outlandish, yet genuine.  Finley not only admired Parker, but was warmed by their friendship.  “Late an hour?” Parker looked aghast, “Why, Fin, it’s barely midday.”  “What?  I hate to point this out to you, Parker, but outside of these circular windows lining our dormitory is nothing but darkness, you know, the absence of light?”  “Why,” Parker looked about, “He doesn’t know!  Whatever have you been doing with your time my most gracious and noxious bunkmate?”  “Looking for that damned Ashby’s book.  It’s taken most of my day, and it now appears as if a darkness is settling, so, I’m off to bed so that I might locate Ashby afresh in the morn.”  Parker assumed a rather serious manner, “Now look here, Fin, I swear on my most holy and honorable of Grandmothers, Bethpage Lackamore,” Parker crossed his heart, “that it is not of an evening, but rather midday.  The sun, most mysteriously, has vanished and a darkness previously unknown to Elaea has settled upon us.”  Finley stared at Parker.  “I do not lie in this, Fin, ask, ask away to any one of us,” Parker said this while waiving a finger about the room.  “It’s true, Fin,” said a third year named Gertrude.  “We’ve no idea what’s happening.  I proposed some sort of natural phenomena—“  “Nay,” cried out Milton, a rather pious third year, “’tis nothing natural, but a sign from the heavens.”  This was received with a hardy round of boos and hisses as Parker leaped onto a leather chair and waved his hands in a downward motion to quite the crowd.  “Here, here,” said Parker, “Milton’s position, while not altogether believable, is at the very least valid, and all opinions shall now be heard.  Now, do we have any other suggestions?”  “Well, if you don’t mind, I have a theory,” said Malory, a young woman with dark hair.  “Do tell,” said Parker.  “I lean towards the natural phenomena variety and therefore suggest that this is nothing more than a solar eclipse.”  She looked at Milton, “The heavens are not angry.”  This again, was met with an uproar before Parker could once again calm down his constituents.  “I say it’s nothing more than a practical joke,” cried out one student in the far back corner.  “And who has the power to play a practical joke with the heavens?” another cried out in response.  “A mystery, then,” yet another shouted.  “Death, to death descend,” a rather frail third year named Elliot began to shout.  “Do stop it!” screamed Parker.  “Emotive responses to explainable realities are no help.  If you can’t control yourself, Elliot, then by all means, shut yourself up.”  The room quieted.  “Now, is there anyone else that has a reasonable theory to posit?”  No one had time to answer, however, as at this moment the Guildmaster’s bell reverberated throughout the Tower calling his students and colleagues to a Grand Council in the chambers of the Guildmaster.  Parker, still standing on the leather chair, looked about the room and said, “Right then, off we are.”  


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