Kronos Got Drunk – Part Four
“Seems horribly cliché,” I said.
“What does?” asked Prometheus. He seemed offended.
“The Greek God of time living in the most famous clock tower in the world — even I could’ve thought of that.”
Prometheus squinted at me for a moment before looking back at the Elizabeth Tower.
“You think?” he asked.
The god of forethought squinted at me once more, licked his lips, and kept walking.
Prometheus had taken us within walking distance of the tower. I was both surprised and relieved to find there were no ill side effects to teleportation. The whole thing was strangely normal. One moment we were in my apartment, the other we were in London. Simple as that — no flashing lights or whooshing sounds. One blink, and we were somewhere else.
“I’ve never been to London,” I said. Prometheus was walking in beeline fashion and I was struggling to keep up.
Prometheus stopped walking. He scanned the area before resting his eyes on me.
“Welcome to London!” he said, smiling briefly. He again started walking toward the clock tower; I reluctantly followed.
“Can we explore a little bit?” I asked at length. We were only a few blocks from the tower now. There were people everywhere.
Prometheus stopped, took a deep breath, turned to face me.
“You’re right. This is a cliché place for the god of time to live. The trouble is, I don’t actually know where he does live. In his lifetime — which is eternal, by the way — he has lived in space, in Tartarus and in Elysium, to name a few; those aren’t even on earth. When he is on earth, he has dozens of temples to choose from — along with any sort of location that glorifies time. Seeing as there aren’t many Hellinistic temples in operation these days, I thought it would be good to start here.”
He gestured toward the Elizabeth Tower. Before I could say anything, he continued.
“The likelihood of him being here is very small — one in millions. We’ve got a lot of potential ground to cover. So as much as I would love to ‘see the sights’ with you, I’d prefer we keep moving — especially seeing as we’ve only just started five minutes ago.”
Before I could say anything, he spun around and resumed speed walking toward the tower.
“Couldn’t you have just teleported us straight into the tower if you’re in such a rush?” I asked as I tried to keep up.
“So you missed?”
We carried on in silence until we reached the foot of the tower. There was a street that crossed directly in front of it and on it was a staircase going down to a fenced courtyard. The gate at the bottom of the staircase was locked. Prometheus touched the lock; it opened.
“There’s a camera at the top of the stairs,” I whispered harshly.
“We’ll be fine.”
At the base of the tower was a door that Prometheus unlocked in the same way as the gate. He confidently led us through the series of doors and hallways where We passed several people, none of whom paid us any mind.
We came to a door with a little plaque which read Clock Tower. Prometheus opened it, and up we went.
There are 334 stone steps in The Elizabeth Tower — by the time we arrived at the top, I was almost entirely out of breath. My legs burned. Prometheus continued on, entirely unfazed.
I suppose you get to do these things when you’re a God, I thought, but didn’t say.
“As I expected,” said Prometheus. He had led us to one of the clock face rooms. There was a door in the same wall as the clock face. A note was posted on the door.
‘Out. – Kronos’
“But you were right!” I said. “He lives here!”
“Of course he lives here!” said Prometheus. “It’s a clock tower! He just doesn’t live here right now.”
“Then why has he left a note saying he’s out?”
Prometheus rolled his eyes.
“The paper and the ink on it are both over one hundred years old,” he said.
“One hundred!” I exclaimed. “How has no one taken it down?”
“The better question would be, ‘How has no one noticed a door which opens onto a 62-meter drop?'”
The playful grin returned to his face.
“He’s crotchety and old, but he’s wonderfully inventive.”
Prometheus knocked on the door.
“You said he’s not home!”
“He’s not, but maybe someone who can help us is!”
The door flew open. Behind it was a huge candlelit hall where there should have been open air — it was easily three times the size of Westminster Abbey.
Holding the impossible door to the impossible room was a small, decrepit-looking man wearing a housecoat and a sleeping cap. He must have been more than 90 years old.
“Dad!” said Prometheus, with a grin. “So good to see you!”
previous: Kronos Got Drunk – Part Three
more by ISAAC GOLLE
photograph by Petradr