The Dar Orien Clock
(c) J Victoria Michael, Songbird, The GriffinSong Trilogy
‘Dear me. Almost noon.’ Leachim’s deep voice broke Irenya’s concentration. He was looking over his shoulder at the wall. ‘I had not realised the time.’ He swept her and Balfor a look of apology. ‘I need to visit young Nik. Hurt her arm swinging from a tree.’ He rolled the manuscript in his hands, set it aside and stood. ‘Competing with the boys, if I know the child.’ He left the library at a trot.
Irenya glanced at the wall; she couldn’t recall seeing a clock. Attached to the wood panelling was a version of the object she’d noticed elsewhere, an odd-looking sculpture made from two pieces of painted metal. A stylised sun, partly obscured by a jet-black panel, was the only clue to its function. She shivered and returned her attention to the manuscript in her hands, denying herself any reminder of how many days had passed since she last held her son.
How the Clock Works (Author Note)
The black panel, controlled by a simple mechanism behind the timepiece, moves across the ‘face’ from left to right over a twenty-four hour period. The panel slowly obscures the half-moon, the sun and finally the other half of the moon. When the face is completely concealed, the mechanism slides the panel back to the left.
The herbalist Aeryl, wife of Leachim, tells Irenya… ‘Many is the time delivering babes at night I have heard the tiny click and faint whirr as the marker slides back to the single star, ready to begin all over again.’