He had just finished wiping off the last table when the power flickered out. Tetu straightened up and felt his way toward the kitchen where Auntie Shu sat undisturbed, absentmindedly stroking Bo, her white catotter.
The old woman called to him from her seat by the stove, “Light me a candle, I can’t finish my crossword in the dark like this!” Her voice dropped to a mutter as he smiled in her direction and began shuffling around the kitchen drawers for a book of matches, something about how in her day people like them had Councilman Sokka to keep the benders out of their hair.
Tetu frowned to himself as he let her mumble on, there was no doubt that the power outage was somehow related to the newly passed curfew. He lifted a match to light the wick of the candlestick on the windowsill when a movement outside caught his eye. Angry voices bubbled in from the alleyway that the kitchen window looked out on, and soon enough Tetu could see his neighbor’s faces illuminated in the moonlight.
“We’ll make them turn the power back on!”
“They can’t really do this, can they?”
The voices outside grew louder and louder, the cries of children joining the displeased murmuring and echoing shouts of adults.
“Well? Where’s that light?” Auntie Shu looked up at her tenant expectantly, her mouth pulling into a straight line. Her frown deepened as he crouched next to her, a smoking candle in his shaking hand. “What is it, boy?”
“I think,” he said hoarsely, looking at the floor, “I think it’d be best if you went in for the night. I need to check something.”