03 - First Light.   Posted by The Lens.Group: 0
The Lens
 GM, 79 posts
 Thy focus of
 the Light
Wed 9 Mar 2022
at 00:41
03 - First Light
Matt started from the top of his side of the lens carefully, looking outside often. He could just see the rocks that had seemed to hold the flotsam of a phantom shipwreck in the night: with the tide out they rose from rosy sand and straggled bands of shingle, delicately draped in sea foliage among pools. The beach remained attractive and the sea kept its secrets, the foam brighter over the shoals. There could be anything down there, as in the depths of sleep. There might be dreams.

Matt cleaned, and looked outward, and cleaned, and looked. On his second side of the lens, three prisms down, he looked back from the roil and break of waves below to see their reflection moving in the glass, and that of the sky.


"Hall!" Matt's attention was brought to the Captain's arm catching his roughly, and he almost staggered with the idea of impact in being snapped back to himself.

"Hey now, what did I say?" the Captain continued. "I know that look, that's a body who's looked into the lens, dazed himself. Keep that up you'll start fancyin' you see things in there, like Kirkness."

The older man relaxed his grip somewhat, realising he might have scared his companion. He let go, looked away, then back at Matt, his expression hard to parse. There was no real anger, but maybe fear, perhaps: fear for him. The Captain shook his duster warningly at Matt. "New rule: to be sure you survive the job, mentally an' if things should get confusing in a storm at night, don't see things."

His tone relented. "You go on and finish that side, no good getting leery of 'er, and then you go out on the walk with the bucket and sponge and make a start on the storm panes whilst I fetch out the papers. Mind not to go lean out agin the rail for no reason, though," he finished, and his look was serious, maybe sorrowful. "I hope y'can understand I'm trying to keep ye safe."

Outside, the wind and waves moved as they always had, and bright birds drifted. The ironwork around the lamp array was solid and normal, and no-one could fall through the lighthouse's solid stone, nor plummet tumbling into its inverson to stand on two feet at the top/depths as he stood now, in his new boots. A small shifting let him feel the motion of his bones and something of the salt stiffness in wool and leather. Still, he was whole and the waves rolled below, and there was a lens to finish and panes to wash.
The Lens
 GM, 80 posts
 Thy focus of
 the Light
Sat 12 Mar 2022
at 08:59
03 - First Light

Hetty wound her way down in the pale early morning light, the steam of her mug warming her hands and her friend on her shoulder. She did not look into her room, certainly not in or under her bed, stepping lightly down and down until she could pull the door open and step out into the swift pull of the wind. Pest made some muffled noise in half-complaint at being engulfed in a rush of still-unbound hair and pushed off to slide down the air like an arrow, land in the shelter of the back threshold and yell until Hetty came up to open the door.

Inside, it seemed Matt had got out the ingredients for pancakes, but half the tabletop was clear and Hetty only needed to set down her mug and fetch the slate from by the sink and the yeast from its cool spot (albeit followed by a loud seagull who though food might happen) to get going. Knowing enough to understand that messing with the bread was Trouble, Pest simply installed herself on the table to watch as Hetty made a well of flour and poured yeast and warm water into it, stirring the stuff with a pinch of sugar and salt until there was enough solidity to fold the flour over and start kneading.

There was a quiet joy in forming damp dust into something solid, drinking tea whilst the new-formed dough rested a moment and then pushing and folding the thing. Hetty swayed, steadily stretching the dough under her weight and gathering it, turning it to stretch again. All excess moods could be given to the bread, to later rise and dissipate as steam. The hard force of anger, the nervous jerking of fear, the troubled lean of sorrow that could not speak: all these made a better bread as much as happy exuberance. She swiped a dash of butter in the better to help the loaf keep and enjoyed the magical moment when he gluten finally 'took' and rendered the dough smooth. Hetty crushed it fairly flat and folded all edges to the middle to make a round. Pest requested some, since it looked like food, and just as always, Hetty rolled scraps stuck to the slate into a worm for her, which Pest sized and ate as always, and as always paused halfway and looked utterly disgusted by, but swallowed anyway. Perhaps she felt she had some duty to the bread ritual.

Hetty flicked water on the loaf, set a large bowl over it and installed the slate at the back above the stove to let it prove, leaving only her hands to clear up. She would have a few moments alone with her thoughts and her seagull before the men came down, the kitchen a quiet sanctuary in the wan early light.
Matthew Hall
 player, 58 posts
Tue 22 Mar 2022
at 13:36
03 - First Light
”Yes, sir. Thank you,” Hall told the captain, embarrassed for having done the very thing he had been warned against, ”I’ll see to it, sir.”

Hall took several gulps of the cold morning air as he stepped out onto the walk. He was sincerely grateful for the captain being mindful of his welfare. That concern tempted him to share some of what he had experienced last night with the older man, in hopes that Captain Dowling might know how to guard against such dangers. Hall pushed the thought away as quickly as it arrived. The captain’s worry was mingled with fear. His words about Kirkness losing his mind meant that any talk of horrors lurking within the tide would only lead him to believe that Hall was already headed down the same path of madness.

He looked down, taking in the sight of the shore in the morning light, momentarily enjoying the rocks and the waves in the morning light. Discipline, he silently reminded himself. Careful not to look at the lens, he began washing each of the panes.

Don’t see things. The captain’s words hung in his mind as he worked.
The Lens
 GM, 82 posts
 Thy focus of
 the Light
Sun 27 Mar 2022
at 23:48
03 - First Light
The high salt wind whetted its edges against Matt's face when he came outside, as though to shave him to a yet further smoothness. The sea boomed and broke on the shoals in beaded rainments of aqua silk and long layers of white lace, exquisite and huge and distant below the wheeling gulls. There was a keen, fresh joy to this height and dawning world, even as the wet sponge fairly froze his fingers in the wind. The sting of the soap where it touched flesh scraped by barnacles the night before was a thin thread of distraction, but mostly he blanked his mind of what might sway beneath the waves, even if it was belly-up as it had lain on the beach. Captain Dowling came out with a satchel of old newspaper and nodded to his companion.

The older man scrunched one sheet at a time and vigourously went over what the wind had half-dried, leaving the glass heartbreakingly clear from his efforts. Matt watched him only a little, aware of his own part. The younger man was unsure if he was being watched more in return, though perhaps after being attacked by the last man to become fascinated by...whatever was in or with or beyond the lens an extra glance at intervals would be understandable. Hall worked, and the gulls screamed, and the sea gave its constant heavy breath along with the whipping wind.

At length they were back where they had started and the Captain patted Matt on the shoulder with the fondness due a good dog as they stepped back into the sudden windlessness of the lens room. All was a bright paleness now, the sky a soft silver like the shadows beneath a wing and the lighthouse the highest thing to be seen.

"That's as well, lad. Now come down and we'll see what like for pancakes."

-

Henrietta Dowling
 player, 50 posts
Mon 28 Mar 2022
at 02:42
03 - First Light
Matt had a nice smile, she noted. And hers became a little less mischievous and a little warmer before she remembered her uncle was right there. Hetty felt much, much better after she'd finished setting the bread. All the tension had flowed from her muscles straight into the bread.

"Silly thing, you should be grateful that I still give you anything!" But her heart was not in the chiding. She had accepted responsibility for the bird the moment she decided to save her. And she didn't regret it, not really.

As she cleaned her hands, she glanced back towards the lighthouse where her uncle and Matthew had disappeared into the sky. How were they getting on? Her uncle was an easy man to like. Just like her father had been before.  Hetty busied herself tidying and wiping up anything she could think of as she waited for them to return, trying to distract herself from the events of the night.

[[GM edit: clarity]]

This message was last edited by the GM at 08:30, Mon 28 Mar.

Matthew Hall
 player, 59 posts
Thu 31 Mar 2022
at 13:08
03 - First Light
Hall nodded to the captain, pleased with the crystal clarity of the glass, but mindful that the elements would require that the whole chore be repeated tomorrow. He gave one last look at the sky, taking a gulp of the sharp, cold air before following Captain Dowling inside.

He made a point of not looking at the lens as he moved to the stairs, now respectful of its hypnotic power. He wondered what it was that Kirkness believed he had seen within the blinding light, the question suddenly casting doubt on the note of warning that the man had left behind. Were the “night floors” nothing but the corridors of Kirkness’ tortured imagination, a dark emptiness that he wandered while in the throes of madness? Tempting as it was to agree with the idea, Hall found he couldn’t do so. After all, Kirkness had been right about what lingered near the shore.

One hand on the tower’s wall as he descended the steps, Hall cleared his throat and spoke to the captain. ”Sir, if you wouldn’t mind my asking, what manner of ships did you captain before coming here to Merigg?”
Pest
 NPC, 14 posts
 Tame Seagull
Sun 3 Apr 2022
at 22:38
03 - First Light
Pest stood a moment after Hetty's mock-scolding, then dipped her head and gave a very gentle, pleading whistle, as though to ask the Great Being, Provider of Food to forgive whatever humble tresspasses had passed her sight and place a food in the beak of this poor penitent. Surely the mighty haver of opposable thumbs might find mercy in her heart, mercy for a poor little bird who had almost definitely not pestered the new wickie into giving her scraps already.

*..kee...kee...keee...*





Out in the lighthouse, the Captain cleared his own throat with a sturdy cough. "Captain? Stockfish and timber, mostly: timber and stockfish. Some fresh fish down to the Yankees, but mostly salt cod and smoked salmons. Food for explorers and folk headed right the world around. Beats whalin' by a long stretch, I can tell ye."

They headed out into the wind again, the world brushed with brightness without the sun quite showing clear, wrapped in a coy mantle of cloud. The Captain paused briefly, holding onto his hat against gusts. "Hmm."




He went on and into the cottage, picking up some extra firewood as he passed, and frowned at Pest. "Get her off the table, Hetty, at least," he said, and sat himself in a chair to stoke up the stove somewhat before heaving up in a retreat around the table.

"I'll take a couple if they're going,"
he said, inspecting the pancake ingredients, then looked up. "Had a mind t'have ye fixing creels today, Mister Hall, to have you eased into the upkeep of things - is that work you've done before?"
Henrietta Dowling
 player, 51 posts
Sun 10 Apr 2022
at 16:25
Re: 03 - First Light
Hetty couldn't keep the mock stern expression on her face or tone in her voice for long, not when Pest looked at her like that and made that sweet sound. She gave a long suffering sigh and her lips twitched in an effort to contain a smile. "Silly thing," she murmured.

She was gazing down at the bird tenderly when the two men entered. Her head whipped to face them, eyes wide as if she'd been caught in the act. "Aye!" she exclaimed. Hetty reached for the bird to move her somewhere else, trying to entice her into her arms with another scrap.

"Was thinking after I tend to the garden, I'll go get some eggs and see what else I can't find," she said. "Less you think there is something else more helpful."
Matthew Hall
 player, 60 posts
Mon 18 Apr 2022
at 15:58
Re: 03 - First Light
”Yes, sir. I did some crabbing fairly regular when I lived in Maine. Easy way to keep oneself fed. It’s been a bit since I’ve patched one, but I’m sure it will come back to me,” Hall answered the Captain.

He mostly stifled the smile that came to his face when he saw Pest with Miss Dowling. The bird was likely good company. Hall sorely missed the dogs that had been his companions when he was young. Their simple presence, and having them to care for, had gone far towards keeping the deepest shadows of his home at bay.

Hall realized that he was standing awkwardly, mostly unaccustomed to being in a kitchen that he wasn’t performing some work in. Clearing his throat, he said, ”Is there anything I can help with, Miss Dowling?”
Captain Dowling
 NPC, 15 posts
 Experienced Wickie
Tue 19 Apr 2022
at 22:48
Re: 03 - First Light
"Very good, very good. Maybe she'll let you help at the weeding or gathering in the dulse - Hetty, I know you're fond of the sea fare but we'll get through the hen's eggs before going into the stores out by." Captain Dowling nodded to himself.

"You should show Mister Hall our stacks, though: perhaps give him a tour of the island, that won't take long. Knock back the bread afore ye go and it'll be ready to bake by the time you're back."


*skirrrrrr...*
Pest added from an awkward perch on Hetty's elbow, in case anyone had forgotten she was there, but forebore to yell.

"First, however," said the man who'd watched the seas until dawn lit them, "Pancakes."




So it was that Matt made pancakes and Hetty (mostly) restrained her seagull and Captain Dowling managed to keep himself awake throughout the cheerful chaos. For a perhaps half an hour it was as though the group about the kitchen table had been long companions, and this their home, all concentrating or exchanging easy words in the warm centre of the room. The Captain caught an accidentally-knocked can of syrup as it rolled with increasing speed towards the table's edge, checked the young people knew what they were doing with the day and rose to take his leave until the day was waning, still clearly owing sleep.

Hetty and Matt were left alone in the kitchen with her washing the plates and him drying, still companionable but now remembering they did not quite know each other. Pest tried to help by pecking at the soap, occasionally doing a headshaking little dance of discomfort whenever a fraction got into her mouth.

[[If you'd like to small talk, discuss dreams, omens, forbidden desires etc. or decide where you'd like to go next IC...]]

Matthew Hall
 player, 61 posts
Sat 23 Apr 2022
at 20:05
Re: 03 - First Light
Hall had become so accustomed to silence that at times, he neglected to fill it when he was with others. However the morning, with its easy, comfortable talk had served to make him feel at home in this new place, mostly dispelling the shadows that still clung to his thoughts from the night before.

Drying another dish, he glanced at Pest perched on Miss Dowling’s shoulder and smiled. ”She’s very attached to you. I know that it seems that she’s always after food, but I think she truly values your company.”

“Are there any parts of the island you’re especially fond of, ma’am? I’ve only had the chance to see a small portion of it so far.”

Henrietta Dowling
 player, 54 posts
Mon 16 May 2022
at 03:30
Re: 03 - First Light
The morning more than made up for the restless night. It was the best morning she'd had in a long time and even the shadows of Kirkness's fate and the... thing she'd seen couldn't darken it for more than a moment. Pest's sometimes curious, sometimes indignant squawks and not-so-stealthy attempt to sneak food punctuated the morning.

She found the silence in the kitchen fairly comfortable as she scrubbed at the dishes vigorously. It brought color to her cheeks and a focus to her gaze that was rare to see. Hetty blew a strand of loose hair away from her face and looked over at Matt with a wry smile.

"I appreciate hearing that," she said. "Sometimes I wonder!"  The smile softened as she rolled her eyes towards Pest. "I think I needed her too. Don't know what I'd do without the wee thing sometimes, honestly."

Hetty quickly looked down at the dishes and resumed washing. No use tainting his perception of the island or putting ideas in his head. "Oh yes!" she exclaimed. "I think the whole island is beautiful but I'm biased since I grew up here. There is a cove I've always found particularly beautiful but you can only access it at certain tides. What was your favorite spot at the last lighthouse?"
Pest
 NPC, 15 posts
 Tame Seagull
Tue 17 May 2022
at 23:48
Re: 03 - First Light
Though possibly considering filling her little body to the top with air and yelling as her contribution to the conversation, Pest automatically reached and caught a lock of Hetty's hair that swung near her beak during vigourous griddle-scrubbing. Aware that such was not food but unsure what to do with it, Pest gave a little *hnk* noise and stood there holding onto it, being Helpful.

[[going to let Matt get a word in there before we head out, I think.]]
Matthew Hall
 player, 64 posts
Tue 24 May 2022
at 00:15
Re: 03 - First Light
”This is my first lighthouse,” he answered, suddenly self conscious of his lack of experience, ”When I lived on Deer Island, in Maine, there was this inlet, a fair distance from the docks and the yards where the ships were built. Sort of this…forgotten little corner of the island. On one side of it, there was a tall outcropping of rock. I gashed my knee up the first time I climbed it but, once I got to the top…there was this beautiful view of the ocean, stretching away all deep blue and foam, as far as you could see.”He grinned at the memory. ”Sometimes, at high tide, you’d get showered by the incoming waves.”

He nodded. ”It was a good spot. Peaceful. I visited it quite a bit.”
Henrietta Dowling
 player, 55 posts
Wed 25 May 2022
at 16:27
Re: 03 - First Light
Her eyes widened, more in surprise than anything else. His first posting, really! That was interesting. Her eyes remained wide as he told the story, although they were fixed on the path to make sure it would be clear before them. For a moment she was silent and Pest gave what Hetty interpreted as an appreciative squawk to punctuate Matt's description.

"Did it leave a scar?" she asked curiously. Hetty had her own share of minor ones from similar incidents. "It sounds very peaceful and very beautiful. This spot I am taking to you is just about one of my other favorite places. You can get a great view of the seal colony!"


GM edit: formatting fix whilst I'm here

This message was last edited by the GM at 12:17, Fri 27 May.

Matthew Hall
 player, 66 posts
Fri 27 May 2022
at 17:14
Re: 03 - First Light
Hall grinned. ”Yes, actually. It left an almost perfectly vertical scar across my left knee. I had to stitch up the leg of my trousers.”

“I’ve always loved seals. Sometimes large groups of harbor seals would turn up on the east end of the island back home. They could become quite loud. Some were surprisingly friendly.”
He smiled at the memory.
The Lens
 GM, 90 posts
 Thy focus of
 the Light
Sat 28 May 2022
at 23:37
Re: 03 - First Light
Pest had turned herself about and launched into the air once they left the shelter of the looming lighthouse crag, a high floating fleck amongst other white birds dark grey against the silvery sky. Walking the slight downhill grade across the island was an easy swing of limb and muscle, made tricky only by the tough roots that crossed the heathland path as they likely had forever, yielding for neither buckled shoe nor heavy boot (perhaps soft moccasins had trod between with caution, but who might say how often those first nations had used the island, if at all).

The water that an unwary step might bring pooling about the sole of a boot came up red as the clay glimpsed here and there in patches, red as old rust or half-dried blood. Hetty waved to the island's best attempt at a tree out of habit and Matt wondered how much salt a pine could take. They walked on over stringy then salt-stunted grass, and when Matt looked up he realised there were constructions ahead: three narrow cairns or chimneys close together, like shrunken grain-kilns orphaned of their ancient houses.

They began to hear the sounds of seals in the bay belowas they approached, and to kick bleached seashells where the island's red-streaked rock showed through, remnants of both winter storms and molluscs given the long drop by seagulls on the hunt. Pest re-materialised herself from the indifferent wheeling of background birds to stand atop one of the stacks and yell, for no more reason than it seemed a good spot for yelling.
Henrietta Dowling
 player, 57 posts
Wed 15 Jun 2022
at 02:18
Re: 03 - First Light
"My perception of loud changed after Pest." Hetty looked up and shaded her eyes to catch sight of the gull soaring above them as they continued. "I wouldn't get too close to the edge, mind," she cautioned. "The cliffs here can be treacherous." Hetty scuffed her foot against a patch of clay as indication.

"And the stacks are close. On the way back I can point out some of the plants here that are good. But we can take a bit to watch them," she said. Her uncle would probably grow worried and chide her for taking longer than needed. In fact, sometimes she did it on purpose. Having someone to worry over her was... nice sometimes.

Hetty smiled, whether at the thought of her uncle or the antics of the seals was hard to say. Maybe both. Her shoulders relaxed a bit and she leaned forward to get a better look at the seal. "That one there is Adam, he's a sneaky one!" she exclaimed as she began to introduce Matt to the different seals and share a bit about their personalities. "Mary over there is the most curious and adventurous of the lot..."
Seal Colony
Sun 19 Jun 2022
at 23:00
Re: 03 - First Light
The seals lay soaking up what warmth they could down below, blinking in the wind or curling themselves up to whatever comfort beng U-shaped brought them. One or two flopped around the weedy rocks to find a better spot, and younger animals rose and fell out in the water, sliding down now and then to disappear and reappear with a snort, dog-like seen side on. When they came up looking back to land they might as well have been human skulls given back from the deeps, the eyes showing no whites and the dark of the nose down against the water. The seals knew none of this, any more than they knew their Christian names.

It was good, for a while, to lie on the grass together and watch the waves surge and the seals lie likewise amongst the seaweed. Little patches of delicate leaves amongst the stunted grass spoke of flowers in summer, even as the wind struck at them with a tang of salt and the prospect of later getting worse. The seabirds still yelled to each other and pest came to stand on Hetty's back for attention, her friend being stopped, as it seemed, for the moment. Matt became acutely aware of the specific space between their bodies, from the high point of the seagull's head to the length of his side. Pest gave him a look that probably boded yelling.
Matthew Hall
 player, 68 posts
Sat 25 Jun 2022
at 19:37
Re: 03 - First Light
For the first time since his arrival, Hall felt almost entirely at ease. Miss Dowling’s knowledge of the seals’ individual personalities, and the names she had given each of them, brought a smile to his face that lingered. It faltered only once, when he briefly saw a pattern in the water that he knew should not be present, but he blinked, focusing on the tide, and it vanished, his smile returning.

He looked over to Miss Dowling, part of his wonder at her, aside from the morning light upon her striking features, coming from the bird perched upon her shoulder. He had spent much time around seagulls as he worked on the shores of Deer Island, and though they would eagerly accept any food that was offered, discarded, or not sufficiently guarded, none that he had ever seen remained around people for long. They usually scattered when workers drew near. He couldn’t help thinking that Pest’s presence, and her trust in Miss Dowling, was a reflection of the young woman’s caring nature.

He opened his mouth to ask Miss Dowling a question, but then thought better of it, allowing the query to fade within his throat. Turning his attention to the seals once more, mindful of the edge as he had been cautioned, he allowed the quiet to linger for a time before saying, “You know every part of this island, don’t you, ma’am? I can’t say that I had explored all of Deer Island before I departed it, but those parts that I did…they almost became part of me. It may seem an odd thing to say, Miss Dowling, but some corners of that place became more home to me than the house I dwelled in. Like my rocks that were my lookout to the sea. They were spots where I felt that I belonged.”
Henrietta Dowling
 player, 58 posts
Thu 30 Jun 2022
at 01:33
Re: 03 - First Light
Henrietta looked over at Matt and blinked owlishly. Was she upset he had interrupted her reverie? Was she processing the question? Both? Her smile was an echo of the Mona Lisa's, a touch genuine, a touch playful and mysterious. Did she sense another question had died on his tongue? (The answer to that, was no. But one had to wonder at the expression on her face.)

"Aye, I've never known any other home," she said matter-of-factly, the smile on her face fading a bit as she looked away from him and wiggled forward on her stomach to get a closer look at the seal colony. Her fingers idly drummed a rhythm as she watched them, turning to look back at Matt.

"You are young and fit, handsome enough face, speak well enough, and willing and able enough. You could likely do anything." Envy in her gaze, wistfulness in her tone. The island suited her well enough but she had to wonder if she would ever taste any other air, swim in other seas, climb any other hills? "So what makes this better? Why did you choose this?"
Pest
 NPC, 16 posts
 Tame Seagull
Mon 4 Jul 2022
at 17:46
Re: 03 - First Light
Distracted by the finger-drumming, Pest hopped down on the leeward side of Hetty and tried to catch a fingertip whenever it flashed up from the 'waves' of the others. For all she could probably bite hard enough to pinch if she wanted, the little seagull clearly considered this a game and knew  Hetty would be annoyed with her if she did, simply practicing the art of the catch.
Matthew Hall
 player, 69 posts
Wed 13 Jul 2022
at 15:51
Re: 03 - First Light
The question briefly rendered Hall quiet, his expression momentarily somber. The shadow vanished as quickly as it appeared, the memory that prompted it fading like the passing of a vagrant ghost. He glanced over at Miss Dowling again, finding himself suddenly hesitant to speak to her, the simple details of his life, his hopes, seeming terribly banal.

He watched Pest play her game for a moment before refocusing on the contented colony of seals below. Sighing, he answered, ”I suppose I wanted to find a home. I don’t necessarily mean a place where you have shelter, a spot to lay your head. If you’re able to perform some honest labor, it’s not terribly hard to find a roof. Especially if you make your living on the sea.”

“I wanted to belong. To find some small corner of the world where I could fit. Where I felt welcomed. Settled, even. I suppose that’s what I’m seeking.”


He smiled wanly. ”I don’t think I’ve ever had that. It’s why I left the place I grew up in. I’ve had glimpses, though. Mostly in those special places on the shores of Deer Island that I stumbled across. Sometimes, I worry that I won’t know it if I do find it. But I’m willing to keep searching.”
Henrietta Dowling
 player, 59 posts
Mon 25 Jul 2022
at 02:58
Re: 03 - First Light
"Belong." She said the word as if she was tasting it. It was the only thing she said for some time, staring thoughtfully at the water. Belong... What a word. What a concept. But she thought she understood what he meant.

"I think I understand," she said slowly. "Somewhere you can be yourself, you know can always return to, you will be safe." Her voice was soft as she mused about the island. Was that how she felt there? Even with everything that had happened? How could she know when it was the only place she'd known?

"But why search this way? Why not... some other profession? One that's not so remote and lonely and would give you better freedom to leave if it's not the Place?" she said. "How will you know when you've found it?"
Matthew Hall
 player, 70 posts
Tue 2 Aug 2022
at 01:36
Re: 03 - First Light
Hall pondered for a moment, then smiled. ”I might not know if I find it. Or I might never stumble across it at all. I suppose that’s part of the risk you take. Ending up as a wanderer.” He paused, momentarily caught up in the seals’ antics below, then added, ”But better that than never to try and find it at all.”

His eyes grew unfocused, his memory briefly stealing awareness. Shaking his head, he said, “Where I came from…that wasn’t home. A lot of sadness there.  The place, it taught me a lot of important lessons, but I didn’t belong. It seemed there were several there like me, living on that island by fate or happenstance. And some of them…they were willing to settle for it. Even though they were miserable. I was afraid of becoming like them. Just a shadow, merely existing.”

“I do love the sea, though. Most of my glimpses of something better have involved it. I’d like to be near it, even if I end up as a vagabond. Another itinerant sailor. I think that’s why I’ve gone about it this way.”