Welcome To The Island

Wish you were here. The latest passenger boat arrives to deliver Charity's new guests. Note: You are not required to have arrived today. There are a few days flex period earlier or later.

Charity Hotel Entrance, St. Caritas Island




A luscious two-hour and change horizon of unending blue spills away into rising platforms: at first just a couple specks in the distance, then climbing, as if being built before your eyes, to miniature, to small, to the life-sized glory of the fully remodeled, early-era styled, architecture of the main attraction. Welcome to St. Caritas. Motor slowing to a low rumble, the passenger ship angles in towards the hotel's dock, passing into the channel that separates it from the octagonal land-form to the left. On either side: towers. One, closer, a newly painted light-house, dazzlingly white in the glint of sun behind sparse clouds. On the opposite island, brick and mortar rise, pointing with a triangular roof like an arrow into the heavens. Where there might have once been a view to the massive bell inside, now there's patches of concrete blocking the eye.

It fades into the background as a shadow as the boat closes in on the hotel, butting gently up to the crisp white wood docks that allow ample room for loading and unloading. Charity's five stories loom grandly, its entryway resplendent with a wooden arch and stained glass windows while each on the top three stories of guest rooms is fitted with a half or full balcony surrounded by curly iron railings.

"Welcome to the island, Charity guests." Coming down from the main stairs: a whip of a young man, stubble defying his boyish features, his hair parted far to the side and kept tame and flat across his head. He's thick eyebrows that rise low, a bumpy nose, but full lips that smile easily— testament to the decorative red uniform vest he wears over a brilliantly clean white button-down; a tie sticks out over the top as a pinpoint of red and gold just at his collarbone. The name-tag says Ron as he reaches for the closest piece of exiting luggage.

Neatly, the first luggage to depart belongs to the woman first to step onto St. Caritas Island from the latest ride in. It's an easy match: the half-oval of an aquamarine suitcase, patterned with pink, vintage roses boasts the same pattern as her purse.

All much louder than the woman herself, who could not be described so colourfully, nor as boastfully. A subdued pattern of tiny, navy blue anchors speckle her white blouse, embracing the ocean theme in a very quiet manner. Her modest skirt is grey, clinging like a singular stiff sleeve to both of her hips, too business-like for a vacation— and yet. She looks to be in her late thirties, and she's travelled alone. A small camera, for taking a few snaps of the beautiful island and resplendent ocean, no doubt, is just being tucked past the bag's old gold clasp when its owner looks 'Ron' in the eyes, because it's polite to look such a polite person in the eyes: hers are small, yet somehow strike out as large for her narrow face, and are dark, deep brown gleaming with all the excitement of the new journey and everything around her, as if it's almost too much to take in all at once. It is.

She looks down, watching where she's going, safely shrinking her world-view. "Thank you. It's quite lovely."

"That it is." With a warmth of service, as well as honesty, Ron slips a smile as easily as his hand embraces the luggage, nodding once to her for affirmation that it belongs to her. When assured, he checks across his shoulder that further fellows in red vests and ties are arriving to service additional pieces of baggage being hauled off the boat by its crew. A little crease at one corner of his mouth plays with his smile as he aligns himself along the woman's path, crisply jutting out an elbow in dutiful offering.

"Oh," she says, a meek and mild little sound tumbling from her lips in realization before they press together and turn up, a tiny smile, precise as can be. Her gaze barely rises; lift to notice Ron all over again and thank him before taking his elbow in well-mannered, old-fashioned poise. Because it's polite; because he's polite. The visitor's thin hand is soft and demure compared to his crisp professionalism. Her floral purse, clenched tight, sways neatly at her other side, as though she's off to work; certainly not a luxurious vacation on a beautiful island.

Together, they take the dock, a straight-away and then a curve where it transforms from over water to land with a layer of sidewalk and garden bushes. It's a short walk up to the arched front doors, one of which Ron opens for her after excusing himself from her arm, the luggage swinging at his leg.


The front entrance of Charity runs wide, all paneled in rich dark wood selections, with a front desk built as if made out of the stairs that sweep elegantly up several floors behind and over it. Architecture rings with a faint touch of old Parisian opera houses, as well as earlier era sensibilities. Even the lamp curled over the guestbook on the desk gleams in a dated design, its beams projected out through faded stained-glass work.

Though the woman's come first through the door from the boat, she's not the lone occupant of the entryway — just to the left, in a small accompanying lounge, a jacketed man with dusty blond-brown hair paces the Persian carpet with a phone bouncing on and off his ear, "— this year… no, Roger— " as the phone jumps away an inch, he pursues his lips and emits a muffled crackling noise, "Roger— I think I might be…" then abruptly snaps the phone shut with a self-satisfied grimace.

The newcomer takes in the interior of the hotel with wide eyes, even though those wide eyes aren't kept up for long: quick-sweeping glances appreciate the design and take note of the desk, which she begins to approach with small steps on small heels, as well as the other guest. He, she takes slightly longer to peek at: it's good to assess a fellow guest whom may be in the general proximity of for awhile, after all. She doesn't linger enough for a polite greeting, however, not even of the eyes; only enough to have certainly noticed his phone interference rouse. She moves to the front desk, to sign in, or sign her name, distracted then by peering up at the grand circles on the ceiling, chandeliers twinkling in her easily reflective dark irises.

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