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Working Again: Cleaning Up

Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:57 pm

Time: Night of the twenty-eighth of the twelfth month, 215.

Setting: The Myrkentown Meetinghouse, specifically its front room.

Aloisius Treadwell does next to nothing to keep his house cleaned up and tidy, leaving that to the house servants or to his children, but there are at least two places in town that he cares about keeping in proper order: his toy shop and the meetinghouse. This night finds Lord Steward Treadwell alone in the meetinghouse, left alone on purpose as he ordered his butler to drive him here in his carriage and then go home until the morning. Thus, a fire burns in a fireplace; lamps glow warmly on side tables. A cloth rag, lightly slathered in oily polish, works lovingly over the central meeting table, filling in scratches, bringing the surface to a dull glow in the firelight. The work takes time, but what else might Mister Treadwell do tonight?

In truth, there is a list of things he might do. Polishing the table and gently wiping it dry after comes first, and then the wooden surfaces of the chairs follow. After that, with rag discarded into a bowl atop the fireplace, the brown-robed politician (easily mistakable more for a monk, perhaps, than a mayor!) ticks those two items off the top of the list resting by that same bowl. The next thing to do is simple enough: arrange the kitchen and its contents.

Minimal food and drink are kept at the meetinghouse, usually for those moments when Treadwell has work to do, such as taxes to document or census records to update. There is even less than the usual minimum at the moment; peeking into barrels and bottles is easy enough with the help of one of the lamps from the front room.

"But the kitchen needs a good dusting, Aloisius!"

A fluffy feather duster is found, tucked where he'd left it perhaps a couple of months ago by a rack of spices. From one of the cabinets, Treadwell acquires a Treadwell-sized apron and wriggles into it, tying its strings behind him as well as he can manage--which is not terribly well at all. The apron hangs a little loose, billowing and poofing gently as the old man waggles and bobbles through the kitchen, taking his time to dust every surface the short, portly fellow can reach.

Treadwell is only perhaps halfway finished when he finds himself dizzily, breathlessly sinking into a chair (a little too small) brought in when he arrived for just such a purpose. Rest is required, and more than rest so is drink! Out comes a flask from his robe; out comes a cork from his flask, and down his throat guzzles some of the ale within. Then, back into his robe it goes, resealed. He needs a few moments to himself, letting the ale and the heartbeat both settle.

"Too much like work, mmph, this is, but it needs doing!"

And, so, back to his feet and his ever-present cane he goes, careful to finish the job more slowly. Some minutes later?

"Next, Aloisius!"

Back out to the main room, still wearing the apron over his robe, he makes again for where the list and a whittled down piece of coal await for another tick on the list.

"And that, Aloisius, is enough for tonight, mmph mmph, though there's plenty more for another day!"

Lamps are extinguished; fire is dealt with so as not to spread or to burn the building down overnight. It is a short walk from the front room to his adjoining office; into his chair behind his desk Treadwell eases, and from a rack behind him he pulls a blanket for just this purpose: covering himself and getting a night's sleep snoring where he sits.
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