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Sag Harbor

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Owen Ramsey
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm

Joined: 08 Jul 2016
Posts: 68
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Jobs: Alchemist, Scribe

2860.92 Silver Crowns


PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:01 pm    Post subject: Sag Harbor Reply with quote

[[Thanks to Una Mia for the scene]]

It was twilight, the hour at which the hotel served wine spritzers and sangria on the sweeping patio, and the hour at which Una inevitably found herself sitting among the other tourists watching the yachts return from their daytrips.

The Baron Inn curled around the shoreline as if gathering it closer, and the tables on the patio were advantageously staggered in three lean rows before the vista, with visitors tending to gather at the left end where they could watch the ocean suck the sun from the sky. For the past week, Una had chosen a table at the far-right corner with a bordering hedge of bougainvillea and a ceiling fan that lazily stirred the surrounding air. A waiter topped off her untouched sangria for the third time. One more visit and the pink liquid would topple over the edge of the glass and stain the tablecloth, but she admired the man?s dedication to service. When he smiled, she smiled back. This had become their routine, and they rarely spoke aside from service industry courtesies. However, this evening he lingered with his pitcher propped atop his hip. Una tilted a look very slightly aside to him where droplets of water ran down the curved glass and darkened the weave of his pants.

?I was wondering,? he began, gesturing with his free hand to the empty spate of white cloth in front of her, ?if you might like something to eat. An appetizer??

?Thank you, no,? Una said, touching the edge of her rolled napkin absently.

?An ashtray, perhaps?? They both looked to the long ash growing crooked at the end of the cigarette perched in her hand. The ember was almost non-existent, the brand Turkish and aromatic, wrapped in yellow paper. It so happened at that moment the ash lost its grasp upon paper and dropped into a fine powder upon the table. The waiter rolled his lips inward and Una laughed. It was a small, inviting sound.

?Would it make you feel better if I gave you a task??

?I think it would.?

Una considered for a moment, then said, ?Do you have a phone book??

The waiter nodded, held up a finger and dashed off, returning moments later with a phone book and glass ashtray, both of which he sat on the corner of the table.

?Where are you traveling from??

Una angled herself in the man?s direction and gave him the careful study she?d neglected on nights before. He was in his early thirties, a bland state of attractive with mahogany hair and a small, crescent scar just beside the right corner of his mouth. ?Budapest, Naples, Paris. The time gets away from me.?

?I?ve been to Naples,? he said, a touching bit of eagerness in his voice. ?Birthplace of pizza.?

?Indeed.? She laughed again and turned her attention back to the shoreline. She could feel the waiter?s hesitation over his shoulder, his posture slackening and tensing again as he asked, ?Could I get you anything else??

Una began to shake her head, but stopped and twisted around in her chair to meet his eyes. ?What time do you finish here? Perhaps you could give me a tour of the harbor.?

He nodded slowly, the pitcher slipping just a bit in his hand before his grip tightened and righted it. ?It isn?t technically hotel policy to fraternize with guests off grounds but I--?

?You enjoy bending the rules. I can tell.? Una?s smile was conspiratorially curved and winked into existence as quickly as it vanished. ?I?ll hunt you down later,? she said, turning away once more, a belated thank you floating over her shoulder as she resumed her survey of the yachts, watching them drift in one by shining one.


At some point in the search the postcard became unnecessary. Still, he felt the lining of his inner coat pocket to ensure it was still there as he marched down one street to the next, and so on. The harbor in the distance seemed ready to swallow the Baron Inn, in much the same way that place seemed built to engulf the shoreline. He stood on a length of sidewalk opposite the inn and felt his senses stretch away from his body. The first moments of acute awareness felt like quite the opposite. Instead of sounds growing louder, colors popping, the wind biting, it all grew muted. But only for a handful of seconds before a rush of sharp clarity cut through the fog. He heard distant echoes of cars honking, animals mewling and roaring, and people talking and shouting. It took him a moment to shut out the din of the city, the splashing waves, the quiet hum of engines in the harbor muted by the water that surrounded them. A laugh stood out amidst the noise and he seized the familiar sound and, feeling an ineffable draw toward it, stepped off the sidewalk and made his way to the building.

No one so much as glanced his direction when he stepped through the door. It was as though he were a ghost, and so the only shivered due to some inexplicable discomfort they felt at his passing. It was only when he was out on the patio that the veil fell away, and he became visible to the world. He looked to his left, then his right, and went the latter direction.

Owen reached past Una?s shoulder and placed in front of her a crane made of postcard before taking a seat without invitation. He glanced at the harbor, the sunset, and the small gathering of tourists who were watching it all.

?What draws you to places like this?? he asked. ?There?s that one in the night market, where the wall only just stops the spray of seafoam, and now there?s this,? he gestured at the harbor and looked at her.

?Where you a sailor in a past life or something??
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