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Hamilton Christmas

 
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FinMack
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:47 pm    Post subject: Hamilton Christmas Reply with quote

Hamilton House had not spared any expense for winter decorations around the halls and common rooms: twinkling lights, sparkling ornaments, garland for miles, and hot drinks with a new holiday themed movie every day.

Fin supposed it was to help distract from those that didn't care for the season or had no family to visit. However, his tiny tribe was going to stop by at one point or another to see him and that made him smile.

Anticipating a crush, tables and chairs had been put into each patient's room that had visitors on the schedule. Fin pushed his small table against the wall because Lucy said there might be some food. The chairs were arranged against the wall, as well, waiting patiently for occupants. Some garland had even found its way into his room though the Scot would deny the effort.

His door had to remain open at all times and someone would be by to check on them hourly but those were the only additional restrictions for the day.
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[He] scares me because he has been the most miserable of all men, jailed & beaten and cheated and starved and sickened and homeless, and still he knows there's such a thing as love.
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Lucy Mitford
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



The car on the way to Hamilton House was crowded---with people and gifts and food. Sean was in the driver's seat, Fox in the passenger seat, and Cris, Shae, and Lucy in the back. The car was spacious enough to accommodate them, but it still felt to Lucy like they were squeezed in back for a cozy adventure.

Martta had helped Lucy with the food for the midday holiday party. A basket contained warm, fresh-baked scones. Martta had also packed up little jars of clotted cream and blackberry jam to accompany. But there were savory foods too. Crusty fresh bread, sliced for sandwiches with the sliced ham and cheeses that Lucy set up on a board with more little jars of condiments. A plate of mini-quiches too, eggy little vegetarian cups of varying tasty flavors. And for those who just wanted to graze, a little bit of dried fruits and spiced nuts. While it sounded like a large spread, Lucy arranged it neatly on the table Fin had set-up so that it did not look overwhelming, rather warm and inviting. There were small paper plates and napkins as well, but no utensils, in deference to the Hamilton House rules, but for a handful of rounded-end, no-teeth spreaders. Martta remembered drinks too, of course, sending Lucy with a couple large thermoses of coffee and hot water for tea, both which were checked at the front.

On arrival, Lucy smiled, hanging back to check Fin's mood as best she could before offering him a hug of greeting. Only when she was certain that their group arrival hadn't totally overwhelmed him did she begin unpacking the treats Martta sent, and the bags with the Christmas gifts.

Lucy had gifts for almost everyone save Fox and Benjamin to whom she'd already given gifts. Fin had a small stack of prettily wrapped gifts. And there were gifts for Shae and Cris too.

Fin's first package contained a couple of soft-cover books, including Treasure Island and The Count of Monte Cristo. The next package contained a couple of paper framed and matted photos of Lucy and Fin together that she'd had printed from her phone. The paper framing meant there was no glass and they could be easily taped to the wall of his room if he wanted. Another package had been marked "fragile" and "this side up." Inside was a small water environment with two live marimo moss plants.



The gift came with care instructions---no direct sunlight, and change the water every two weeks or so---as well as a note from Lucy:

Fin, A calm place to go in your mind when you need to escape. I hope it brings you peace and tranquility. With love, Lucy

The last package was a tin of homemade holiday cookies baked by Lucy and her friends just a couple nights before. Lucy quietly commented that he could share them with some of the other people here, if he wanted to.

There were two other packages as well. One was for Shae and one for Cris. The gift for Shae was in a medium-sized, flat box. The note that accompanied it read, Shae, For when you dance. xoxo, Lucy. Inside was a hand-embroidered, red silk flamenco shawl. Lucy assured her that though it looked delicate, it should hold up.

The last gift went to Cris. It was a relatively small package. The note that accompanied this one read, Cris, For your happy memories. For the people and things you love most. For the moments you want to last forever. Thank you for being my friend. xoxo, Lucy. Inside the box was an instant camera.

While Lucy was eager to see the gifts opened, she was just as eager to sit beside Fin, sip coffee, and talk and listen to her friends.


Last edited by Lucy Mitford on Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Crispin
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although not heavily laden with packages for this trip, Shae had jumped at the offer for a ride over to Hamilton. The extra hands would be useful in helping Lucy transfer the spread of food and drink inside the facility, and the warmth of a car was nothing to turn down as the temperatures around the city continued to drop. While not cramped, Cris will still do what he can to keep himself tucked neatly into his corner of the backseat.

Fox may have appeared to arrive empty handed, but his gift was explained to Fin on the sly while the food was being set up. The fellow had conspired with Martta and bribed the Hamilton staff after one of his previous visits. By arrangement, whenever Fox stopped by, he’d now be able to openly bring Fin some non-facility cooking. To-go diner breakfast eggs and bacon, burgers or tacos, and most especially: Martta’s Shepherd's pie. The redhead had sweet-talked the cook into making extra (though when she heard it was for Fin, she was more than eager to help supply).

When the time came to open gifts, Shae had added her own gift for Fin to the pile. Brown leather strapping held a smooth piece of sea glass from Scotland that could be worn either as a bracelet or a pendent

Small enchantments had been laid on the piece. When held, the wearer could sense the direction of the nearest body of water. In addition, with eyes closed and a bit of concentration, the wearer would experience the sensations of a particular location. In this case: Lucy’s beach on a perfect sunny day. The warmth of the sun, the salt on the breeze, the white noise crash of the waves, and the light filtering down through the water.

Like he had the evening of Lucy's party, Cris loads only a single plate with polite portions of the food spread available, preferring cups of tea to anything he must chew. Once it comes time for Fin to receive the gifts they'd all brought, he abandons it with ease in favor of watching the other man when he gets to the single, craft paper colored box tied up with a burlap ribbon.

Once Fin lifts the lid, he'd find the acrylic case of an album titled Lifescapes: Return to Scottish Moors, a repeat of the last gift he'd given the Scot, though that seems to be a running trend, given the snowglobe he'd given Lucy the night before last. The cd is nestled on the chest of a navy blue sweater, folded into a tight square. The tag inside the collar proclaims the garment to be handknitted at home from pure, Scottish wool; the goal in mind being to supply Fin with more of a tangible connection to the home he missed down to his bones. He takes the tight neck clasp of gratitude with a broad smile, tinged with slight relief.

He doesn't expect to be traded a gift for the ones he'd given Fin, but he accepts the trinket he's offered: a wood carving, Celtic knots forming the tribal shape of a boar that he's told is a symbol of courage and strength, traits the Scot says Cris represents. When Fin makes the addendum of virility to that short list, the Nephilim thwacks him soundly in the chest and shoots a swift, searching look throughout the visitation room to gauge just how far from them Shae is at that moment. Fin’s raucous laughter is enough to wipe the strain from his expression.

Luckily, or unluckily as the case may be, Shae was occupied for that particular exchange. Presented with a gift from Lucy to open, Shae was delighted at the shawl. Both for the color and the fringe which would look well in motion. Lucy was given a warm hug of thanks in return and the reassurance that Shae has a routine she’s been working on where the shawl will be a perfect addition to her costume.

She later circles back to the Scot when he made it known that he had a present for her as well. Fin’s gift of an abstract painting in blues, dark reds, and greys touched her when he explained the source of his inspiration. Shae gave Fin a kiss on the cheek and expressed excitement over hanging the piece in her workroom or behind the minibar on the second floor.

In contrast, he expects Lucy's present (because of her forewarning) but what he does not expect is how much he enjoys it. He tells her, as he fidgets with the small camera and the slew of film packs she'd included to get it into working order, that it's an incredibly thoughtful gift that hits a mark he's certain none of his friends in town had, despite knowing he's given them no opportunity to do so. Going further, he explains that he had fun taking a variety of pictures, documenting places he'd seen, people he'd met, and the two Warlocks with whom he shared his life. That following Bianca's death, he often took photos and videos of things he thought she might like to see, were she alive, and he found himself doing the same for Salome.

Now, that he has the ability to do so for himself, he endeavors to take advantage of it. The rest of the afternoon, once he can snap shots of more than his fingers and his own face, is filled with the whine and clatter of a tiny shutter as he makes his rounds of the small party. No subject is off limits. Candid portraits spit out alongside posed pairings and trios, Cris' photography spree ending with the commandeering of a nurse to click six takes of the entire group smushed together, and smiling, a copy meant to go home with everyone present.

The lion's share of the collection he'd accrued, some thirty-five photographs, he leaves with Fin, pocketing only four for himself: the group shot, two of which capture the vitality and merriment suffusing their raven haired subject, alone, a blessing in itself for his eye, now infinitely preserved, and one with his arm lovingly circled around Shae's collarbones from behind, his hand cupping her shoulder and his mouth pressed to the side of her head.





(Thank you, Shae Stormchild!)
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Benjamin Piers
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Benjamin rarely drove, but for today, pulled out the big Cadillac convertible to go visiting. He had acquired an ugly Christmas sweater, complete with blinking lights and cats, and walked in to find Fin's room already busy and warm.

He found himself a place to settle and enjoyed the conversations and quiets alike, he was an easy going soul who almost always had a smile on his face.

There were gifts, of course, a small book filled with photos of Ruahd and Liath playing in the sunshine. It wasn't easy to get photos of just those two, as many of the photos also contained most of the other animals living with the actor. There was also a splendid portrait of Bob the Rooster and his favorite little red hen.

And socks and underwear. Benjamin sheepishly explained that when he'd been held in hospital after a rattlesnake bite, he missed having real socks and underwear most.

Something Benjamin hadn't seen Fin with in a long time, too. A sketch book. A set of conte crayons in grays and colors.

Benjamin had nothing else planned for the day, and would cheerfully hang around until put out. Or when Fin started looking tired or overwhelmed.
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Billy Yahzzie
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As unobtrusively as she’d left Lucy’s gift, Billy likewise left a gift for Fin at the front desk of Hamilton House, threading herself among the festivities and vanishing before her presence could be noted. The gift was housed in a glossy green dollar-store gift bag, sealed at the top with a bit of scotch tape that had been hastily ripped and placed. Instead of a gift tag, the dedication was scrawled on the bag itself: “Fin.”

In addition, Billy left an envelope with her own message for Fin:
“You’ve been on my mind. Found this at the apartment and thought you might like to have it. —Billy”

Inside was a small, oblong wooden box the size of a pencil case, but with additional depth. The natural oak had been sanded smooth and (fairly) delicately hinged in gold. The top of the box featured a carefully-wrought inlay in varying species of wood creating the tonal differences that composed the scene. Rudimentary though the work was (Ketch lacked the delicacy of a true craftsman on a canvas so small), the Scot would undoubtedly recognize the graceful curve of Scottish foothills fronted by Eileen Doran Castle.

Inside the box, three of the off-brand, store-bought cigarettes (certainly quite stale by now) that Ketch favored lay neatly in a row, demonstrating the purpose of the piece. There was also an index card, again featuring penmanship that drawled as lazily as the shifter’s voice tended to: “A few last resorts.”
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