03 - First Light.   Posted by The Lens.Group: 0
The Lens
 GM, 76 posts
 Thy focus of
 the Light
Sun 6 Feb 2022
at 01:54
03 - First Light




  ~Sunrise Saturday September 25th, 1909: light cloud, Beaufort 6 (windspeed ~24 knots); visibility moderate



Matt woke, for an instant not entirely sure where he was. The grey-blue of predawn lit the room from above and the risen wind filled it with rapid textured hush. Nothing stirred.

*tonk* *t-tonk*

The map of the place filtered into his brain, locating the sound. Downstairs. Kitchen window.

*t-tonk*tonk* *tonk*tonk*

He had duties to attend to very soon, including working out what to take up to the Captain as 'a start on breakfast'. The covers were warm but the knocking was incessant.

*tonk*





Hetty came awake.

"Hey," the Captain was saying, gently shaking her foot. It seemed she'd turned on her front at some point and pins and needles prickled through her gradually-numbing left arm where it lay beneath her. her uncle looked at her with slight concern, lit by the half-light of approaching dawn as much as the Light above. It seemed the lamp was out by now, the sea making its steady sound but few seabirds keening awake.

[Language unknown:  "Menta ati winewawaas niwa t ame masa ilou asme toitng ie be Mr. Ica ur as m, pr er cewhit a os atne ughta ckou wilichect newaek dies. Evac ouloee?"] he asked.


Edit: on second thought, hiding your dreams. Also a couple of clarity fixes.

This message was last edited by the GM at 09:48, Sun 06 Feb.

Henrietta Dowling
 player, 46 posts
Mon 7 Feb 2022
at 02:21
03 - First Light
Hetty winced as she started to shake her arm to hasten the flow of blood back to her arm. She didn't regret her uncomfortable night's sleep for a second. She just nodded at the question and her eyes widened. She sprang to her feet and hurried downstairs so she could quickly scrub the necessary bits-- she'd just bathed the other day after all. The blanket slid off and she shivered at the cool air.

"I'll see you in a bit then," she said and scampered down the stairs. She abruptly stopped in front of the curtain to her room. With a deep breath and a determined expression on her face, she entered. Normally there was something almost soothing about the sound of the bells, like a welcome just for her. That morning it almost sounded more like a warning.

Without taking too much time to think about... it, she stripped, used a bit of water from the small cracked jug to dampen a rag and ran it over the most essential areas, grabbed some fresh underthings, and pulled the nearest dress she could grab over head. Next was the longest part of her morning, trying to tame her hair...

This message was last edited by the player at 17:09, Sun 20 Feb.

Matthew Hall
 player, 52 posts
Tue 8 Feb 2022
at 00:45
03 - First Light
Hall remained beneath the blankets briefly, unwilling to leave the safety he felt within their warmth. For a moment, as the haze of sleep left him, he was on the beach again, losing the struggle to keep himself out of the water, his breath departing as he slipped beneath the tide. Shaking free of the half dream, he gulped air, momentarily desperate to know that he could do so.

His heart calming, he rose, forcing himself to only think of the present as he dressed hurriedly. He made certain to comb his hair and shave, mindful that the Captain would be taking stock of him this day, quietly assessing how he performed his work after his first watch in the lighthouse. Whatever lingered on the shore after dark, this remained his only hope for a fair living, a respectable job. He had to put his haunted thoughts behind him and focus on his duties.

Breakfast. The act of cooking seemed a sudden haven, something tangible and familiar to occupy his mind and hands. He moved to the stairs, taking them briskly as he considered what might be a pleasing meal for Miss Dowling and her uncle.
Pest
 NPC, 11 posts
 Tame Seagull
Tue 8 Feb 2022
at 01:31
03 - First Light
The tapping noise continued throughout Matt's abloutions, getting if anything more irritated and persistent. When he came down to lift his slightly salt-stiff jacket and trousers from the stove, the sound only got louder.

*TONKTONKTONK*

Pest did pause on seeing him, and that he was not Hetty - much to her chagrin - then seemed to shrug it off and continued to steadily apply for entry.

*TONK*TONK*TONK*

      *TONK*TONK*

It might be best to set the kettle on and boil a few eggs for that 'start', then stoke up the stove and consider beyond that once the dawn cleaning was done. At any rate, Pest clearly wanted in on whatever he was doing, particularly if it involved getting smoked fish out of the pantry cupboard to wrap a boiled egg in.

*TONK*


_
Matthew Hall
 player, 53 posts
Tue 15 Feb 2022
at 17:13
03 - First Light
Matt set to work on morning tea and a handful of boiled eggs, accompanied in his efforts by Pest’s staccato requests for admittance. Once everything was warming, he sighed. As he retrieved a broom to sweep the kitchen, he opened the window, allowing the cold salt air entrance, along with the determined seagull.
Pest
 NPC, 12 posts
 Tame Seagull
Thu 17 Feb 2022
at 01:47
03 - First Light
Steam curled gently up the chimney alongside the stovepipe. Pest waited only until Matt's hands were out of easy grabbing range, then flew hastily into the room and fluttered under the table. There was a soft, uncertain *pit-pat* then a pause and sudden *pitpatpitpatpitpat* of webbed feet for a moment as Pest looked about and rapidly went out into the hallway, then a mildy ominous silence.

Matt drew a bowl of fresh cold rusty water to scare the eggs, and set it down in easy reach. Having determined Hetty was not hiding anywhere nearby, Pest returned from the depths of the house at a glide, installed herself on the kitchen table and screamed solidly for two minutes for no other reason than being a seagull whose beak wasn't otherwise occupied. Outside, the other birds were waking, making their racket out on the cliffs, a quiet background every time Pest paused to take a breath.


*SKEEÉÉÉÉÉÉÉAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! SKI-SKI-SKI! SKIIIIÉÉÉÉÉÉÉAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! SKEEÉÉÉÉÉÉÉAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!*

The sun sufficiently instructed to rise and the only human in sight encouraged - Pest seemed to hope - to do something that might make food appear, Pest took to following Matt around on the nearest surface to wherever he was sweeping, still flaring warily away at any sign of being reached for, but occasionally daring a wheedling whistle now and then, hoping he'd feed her. Any indication that he might do so produced louder and more excited noises from a bird whose volume seemed to top off at twice the size her little body should be capable of.




At length Matt packed a handy basket with cosied teapot, teatowel, mugs and warm eggs, warmed a bucket of wash with the remnants from the kettle and let himself out into the brightening grey. Pest went and stood on the lighthouse threshold, screeching and bustling nigh underfoot to help him know he should open the door. When he set down the bucket and opened the latch, the wind seeking at his cuffs and collar, she dived in at once, flapping her way to swing up the stair in a graceful arc. Earthbound as ever, Matt toiled his way up into brightness, ignoring any quiet sounds of bare feet or shifting petticoats from Hetty's room where surely the young woman washed and dressed. Shortly it sounded like Pest had joined her, too.

The Captain proved to be folding the blanket when Matt reached the watch room. He nodded approvingly at both bucket and food, indicating Matt might set the latter on the desk. "Good Morning to ye, Mister Hall, good to see you're up promptly."

He checked his watch and gave a glance to the marker on the weight line that was close to full descent. "Mm. Let's have a share of what you've brought whilst the sun rises. Did you sleep well?"


edit: mechanical terminology

This message was last edited by the player at 02:01, Thu 17 Feb.

Henrietta Dowling
 player, 47 posts
Sun 20 Feb 2022
at 17:10
03 - First Light
She was still tugging at her brush through her hair when Pest flew in. "Morning Pest," she said. "I hope you didn't bother Mr. Hall this morning!" Hetty set the brush down and paused, hand outstretched as she she reached for something to pull her hair back with.

Her nose twitched as the faint smells of the food Matt had brought reached her. Suddenly the hair tie and the ordeal of the night before was forgotten, drowned by the rumble of her stomach. "Come on then," she sighed. A few moments later she joined her uncle and Matt. "Good morning, anything I can help with?" she asked.
Pest
 NPC, 13 posts
 Tame Seagull
Wed 23 Feb 2022
at 23:06
03 - First Light
Pest stood on the washstand and gave Hetty's empty hand a dubious look, then pecked at the thick ribbon Hetty had set out for a hair tie, in case that helped (or was secretly an undiscovered worm). Behind them the bed sat and the covers did not move.

When Hetty went out, Pest gleefully took up a post on her shoulder and then the desk beside the basket, whistling softly and plucking at the teatowel to suggest yes, a start on breakfast would be good. *kiiiii kiiiiiii kiiiiii*
Captain Dowling
 NPC, 13 posts
 Experienced Wickie
Wed 23 Feb 2022
at 23:06
03 - First Light
"Hm, well after first tea you can set up the day's bread whilst Mr. Hall and I clean the panes," the Captain said, seeing that Matt did not look quite floury enough to have discovered where the cottage's starter was and set a loaf rising himself.

A pale coppery gold was flooding in from the top left-hand side of the room, window and stairwell both, mingling with the Light's bright white to leave everything seeming stark and delicate. A warm mug in hand would be a powerful comfort.
Matthew Hall
 player, 54 posts
Sun 27 Feb 2022
at 18:59
03 - First Light
”I boiled some eggs, if you are hungry, Miss Dowling,” Hall offered, ”And I made some tea. Hopefully, it isn’t too strong for your liking.”

He frowned at the Captain’s question. ”I’m afraid I slept fitfully, sir. But that’s probably just owing to the island being an unfamiliar place. I’m certain that I’ll settle in soon enough.”

He took a sip of tea and made ready to join Captain Dowling in cleaning the glass.
Captain Dowling
 NPC, 14 posts
 Experienced Wickie
Sun 6 Mar 2022
at 22:41
03 - First Light
The Captain glanced over a moment, but focused on peeling his boiled egg, sat on the stairs. "Ah, Hetty had a poor night of it, too: likely there's some pressure front headed in, what with the sudden wind. Still, I hope you fare better tonight."

They ate quietly and filled up on the warmth of strong tea as the watch room filled with dawn. With the sun risen the Captain bid Hall pick up his bucket and await orders, then climbed the stair and took the dark goggles to put out the remnants of last night's flame.

Given the all clear, Matt and his bucket of wash rose up into a world of blue and gold and deep green sea, the muffled sound of surf and seabirds rising from below. The Captain gestured where he ought to set the bucket and handed him a soft cloth when he'd come right up to the lens. "This is for 'er...mind not to look right in, just along the planes to make sure they're clean and with no kind of muck astuck. Have to mind your eyes, even just with the sun."

The last did not sound quite convincing somehow, but the Captain took his own cloth and set to cleaning one side of the Fresnell lens just as he'd said, so there was hardly anything to object to. The light on the prisms' planes was fascinating to behold.

[[please take a draw, Matt.
edit: colouring speech]]

This message was last edited by the player at 06:55, Mon 07 Mar.

Henrietta Dowling
 player, 48 posts
Mon 7 Mar 2022
at 02:49
03 - First Light
Hetty's eyes brightened and she nodded. There was something so soothing about preparing the bread. When Matt mentioned eggs, she looked at Pest who was perched on her shoulder then gave Matt a conspiratorial look and raised a hand to cover her mouth. "I do like eggs," she whispered loudly.

With that, she moved past him with the gait she had developed to help Pest best balance on her shoulder to get some tea for herself and some breakfast. Steps and words eventually faded as the men went to tend to the lenses. Maybe one of these days she'd be able to be more involved...

She grabbed one of the eggs to begin peeling it. The day seemed so mundane after the night. Hetty paused, mouth open as she was poised to take a bit. Then she shook it and bit with more firmness than necessary into the egg. None of that, not with the memories still there. Maybe later she'd go to her room and search but for now, it was time to refresh herself. She finished the egg and poured herself a cup of tea to let it cool while she went to start the bread for the day.
Matthew Hall
 player, 56 posts
Mon 7 Mar 2022
at 17:28
03 - First Light
Miss Dowling’s joke brought a smile to Hall’s face. He readily obeyed when the Captain gave his instructions, taking the cloth and setting to cleaning, glad for the simple mundanity of the task. Though he was careful to be thorough, he couldn’t avoid the occasional glance down at the rocks and beach below, wondering at how different they looked in the light of the sunrise.
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.