Once back at his place above Adrian's gallery, Alan took some time to settle in. After all, he had only been there a couple of days before taking this first excursion to make pictures for The List. It seemed like he had been away for ages, and when he dropped his backpack, he suddenly felt very tired. Without another thought, he shed his clothes, climbed into his warm bed (flooded by the late afternoon sun), and slept until the next morning!
At about 7 he woke up quite hungry so he borrowed Adrian's bike and bought some groceries in Hazel. Finally satisfied after downing several eggs, a bowl of cereal, and coffee, he looked around his apartment and thought about how this place is going to be his home for a while. He decided to move his dining table in front of the best window and then laid out his drawing and watercolor supplies. He sat down and pulled out the rough pencil sketch he did of the train stopping at the Sixes station. From that he made a finished drawing, in watercolor, which took him most of the day.
|Alan captured the landscape here pretty well, except for some houses. |
Sixes has a population of about 200.
While working on the drawing, he wondered about that weird energy that buzzed through him up on the Wart. What WAS that? He began to think that there were undercurrents of other forces on this island, and why not? The place has felt a bit strange from the beginning, starting with that whole scene of trying to find the Rudyard Shipping Lines office in Fremantle - why couldn't the cabbie see it? And the quietness of this place, and how there appear to be so few people here; the roads and cafes are nearly empty. He noticed only a few fellow riders on the trains. No one seems to rush to work in the mornings. He also noticed that everything seems old here. The houses and shops in the small towns all seem to huddle in tight clusters - like medieval villages in Tuscany! Ruins thousands of years old seem to be everywhere; even the land itself has a worn-down, ancient look to it.
Life on this island appears to change very slowly here. Is this okay? Is there something going on that keeps it this way?
Late in the afternoon, Alan went downstairs and said hello to Adrian, who surprised Alan with a hug and a cheery "How did it go?"
"Well, do you want the short version or the long?"
"Oh, the long of course! Have a seat and I'll pour us a glass of wine."
"Sure, thanks!" Alan felt better already.
Once settled, Alan told Adrian about The Hook, getting lost out near Paddy, stopping at the inns along the way, the strange rocks at Hoodoo Beach, meeting Chloe and the time they spent together. He mentioned stopping at Hobart and sketching Hobb's Wart but didn't elaborate on his little hike up to its summit, or allude to his recent questioning. Not yet.
Alan wanted to tell Adrian more, but he was tired and just couldn't describe his feelings. Adrian sensed that something was a little off, but he didn't say anything. After they finished the bottle, Alan said goodnight.
Here is where it is, if you want to amend your copy.
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