Poster: Raphael O'Keeffe
Post # 62
the Invention a Reality
Inside the warehouse there was hammering going on in this very
large area where two ten foot wheels had been attached to a metal frame.
Frames holding everything in place yet areas open allowing one to work
on the contraption; for certainly that is what ones thought that had
come by to speculate in wonder but didn't disturb the men working.
Earlier it had been Rhett to come by first bringing the steel parts
and skeleton frame. Next Lancely showed up and they built the
wheels and got them onto the metal frame. The slats he had sawed the day
before, getting all the pieces of the puzzle made and ready to be put in
Family obligations had kept Eion away but as soon as he was able, he
headed for the warehouse, dressed for work. He had talked earlier to
Lancely and asked him to let Raphael know he'd be there later in the day
since a patch was needed on the stable roof. And of course, Gran had
insisted he warm up and eat dinner with them. He pushed opened the door
and slipped inside, not letting much cold in. A low whistle escaped as
he was over to examine what had been done so far.
Bare bones but it was impressive already. Raphael came around from
tightening some bolts and fitting in the bottom slats to secure where
the iron balls would be placed. They would be making this around those
too. "Eion, what do you think? Does it look like how you'd envision
it so far?" The wheels alone were impressive but that was his
speciality in doing those up. Once he got started he was like a madman
not being able to let it go. "You missed Rhett and Lancely by an
hour, they finally left to get something to eat and see to a few things
required of them." Which would be different respectively.
"Aye, it's just as I thought though seeing it actually come
together is amazing." He chuckled softly. "Huge." He
looked back at Raphael and nodded, then hefted a basket he was carrying
to show him. "Me Gran fears you aren't getting your meals in so she
sent some food for you. Baked chicken, boiled potatoes with butter and
parsley, corn and an apple pie for you to eat at your leisure. I'm sorry
I wasn't here earlier but that hole in the roof was unexpected. We
had thought all the repairs were done back in the fall but somehow
missed that." He placed the basket on a nearby box and walked
around the contraption. "You're a wonder at getting things from
paper into production, Raphael."
"She's right at least on this night," taking the offered
basket as he sniffed in the aroma. "Mmmmmmm, home cooking,"
muttered under his breath. "You've work ahead of you, "moving
to set the basket on his drafting table before he was back. "I'll
show you how to set in the slats to work up and around the drum then I
can eat while you work." Grin. Taking one from the pile as he was
over and waited him to join him before slipping the slat in place,
tapping it with the hammer to slide it in tight then a couple of nails
to secure it there down along the inside edge spaced just so.
He joined Raphael, watching him carefully before nodding. "Aye,
that should be easy enough." Providing he didn't smack a thumb or
some such. He ran his hand over the slat then grinned. "Go eat
before it gets cold and I'll get started." And with that he was
over to collect the first of the slats. It went smoother than expected
as he focused almost solely on the work.
He might notice the first aid kit out ready, for there had been a few
minor accidents. Something to be expected on such a job as this. Wasn't
hard to convince him to take a much needed break as the growl of his
stomach foretold he'd not eaten in many hours. "If you need help,
just holler." Not that he'd have to really for he would not be that
far away, just over to the drafting table. Once there he started in and
only good sounds were coming from that area.
She had put plenty in there too, so there could be leftovers for later.
And brown bread of course with a jar of her homemade blackberry jam.
"I will." He just grinned when he heard the sounds and kept
working. Once a slat was a bit stubborn but he got it in finally and
went on to the next. He even whistled while he was working.
So in the next half hour he took his time eating, enjoying every morsel
as Eion built on the slats working up the side of the barrel. There were
crates to stand on but the idea was to turn the barrel once both sides
were worked up to the height of the men. A rope to pull around the
barrel to turn it enough to bring the unfinished area within reach.
He was making good progress on one side of the barrel, but of
course, there was also the work finished earlier. For a while, there was
only the sound of the hammer hitting nails, or the slide of wood,
Finally though came a curse and Eion came around to find the first aid
kit, shaking his hand. Luckily he had hit the left and not the right. Or
he'd be working extra hard come morning, once on the field. He gave
Raphael a sheepish grin. "I knew it would happen sooner or later.
And when I wasn't being extra cautious."
"It happens to us all. No matter how long you've been doing
it." Holding up his hand to show where he had cut himself earlier
and now without the bandage to finish healing. He finished off the apple
pie as the last bit, feeling well fed. "I'm definitely coming over
for Christmas dinner," that was when he was invited. Christmas eve
was usually reserved for family gathering, Christmas day for
friends and all. He cleaned up his hands, there was food still left in
the basket for there was enough for three people at least. Once he was
sure his hands were clean he was over to help build up the other side,
the balls were already set on the bottom of the area done earlier.
"Once you get up to eye level, we'll be turning this monster."
"Nearly there." He put on a bit of salve, then wrapped his
thumb to keep if from swelling too much. Once that was done, he was over
to do the final two slats. Then he stepped back. "And you know,
you're welcome to join us anytime. Gran tends to adopt anyone who comes
once.." He motioned toward the barrel. "Whenever you're ready,
"A man without a family would be wise to accept any such adoptions
by one who can cook as good as your Grans can. You can tell her I said
so." He finished up the other side he'd been working on before and
only needed a few more slats in place. He was back around as he hurled
the one end of the thick rope over the top with a, "heads up and
catch," before tossing the rest of the length under the barrel to
the other side. He would make sure the knots were hooked in place so
they had a good grip. "Take hold, and on the count of three, pull
with me." it would take them both to heave the barrel weighed down
with the iron balls inside to where the unfinished area would be
"I certainly will." He knew she'd be pleased to hear it.
Moving forward again, he caught the rope as it came over, then wiped his
hands on his pants to make sure they were dry. He made sure he had a
good hold on the rope before giving his friend a nod and waited for the
"One, two, three, ... heave!" And he heaved as the barrel
first rebelled but as Eion's pull was added, it started to move and once
in motion was easier to bring the few feet around required. Put the hole
of about ten slats needed in reach. They didn't want to pull it too
far... and it moved in place for being up on the frame.
At least when it was being pulled by the Clydesdales, it would move
easily enough for their strength and Raphael's work on the frame. He
nodded with satisfaction then stepped over to grab another of the slats.
Raphael might find that he had company if he intended to work late
"We've another to make of this size and two smaller ones."
Then they would see if they needed any more as the winter progressed.
Giving a grin over his shoulder to Eion as he helped put in the last of
the slats then nailed them in place. "This one will be tried out
first and anything needing to be tweaked will be on the next ones and
fixed on this, if fixable." Most things could be altered or fixed
but he was pretty sure there would not be any complications for it was a
straightforward design. Which, in his opinion, were the best kind.
"Aye, I know." He patted the barrel as the last slat was put
in. "But we'll test it out right after this one is finished,
aye?" He might sound a bit anxious with that question, but seeing
something work after putting on paper was a great feeling!
"Aye, that we will. I figure tomorrow at some point we can. Need to
seal all the cracks then varnish the whole thing which will take time to
dry. Sixteen hours or so." Which he was over to get the tubes of
putty and back, the soft clay like stuff to work into the cracks and
wipe down in so it didn't show.
"I saw some of the lads out cleaning the roads already." This
would take a lot off them though there'd still be a need for smaller
paths and the like to be shoveled clear. He watched what Raphael was
doing before taking another and working it into the other side.
He would go quiet for some time to pass as he searched out every crevice
to fill it closed and secure it. It would keep the snow from getting
inside. There would be small vents in the wheel sides to keep the air
and pressure the same. So the barrel could breathe.
So would Eion it seemed since he wanted to make sure the wheel was as it
should be. Of course, he'd smile slightly from time to time, the one
sign that showed he was please with the progress.
They would need to wait an hour or two until the filler had hardened. He
would fix them some coffee in the meantime that they could enjoy.
"How did you come up with this idea?" Mug in hand as he went
into a lean against the drafting table and struck up conversation.
"Well, it was some time ago, but never had the time to really think
on it." He settled on the floor, back against a post while they
enjoyed the coffee and the talk. "I was watching some children play
in the snow, and one lad took a barrel and started to roll it down a
hill to flatten the snow so they could slide down it on some boards. The
more I thought about it, the more the idea started to grow."
"Just needed a bigger barrel, makes sense. So the lad was the real
inventor." Chuckling as sometimes the simplest things had been done
all along to think of it on a larger scale. "we use to roll down to
flatten out an area if there was no barrel or even a few runs of
boards would gradually make it slicker." As he was off reminiscing
of a time that seemed a few life times ago.
"Aye, he was." He chuckled and nodded. "We did the same
the rare times we got snow. Cold and rain but snow is rare in Ireland.
And any rate, the barrel got bigger in me mind, until I could envision
it and put it on paper. I had to redo it when I came here." And he
didn't really go into why, "but I didn't forget any of it."
"Bigger but worked out more intricately so it could be pulled by
horses or oxen." Finishing the one mug of coffee, he set it away
before he was over to check on the filler. All was hard enough.
"Time to put on coats of varnish." There would be at least
four coats and they would have to wait for each one to dry. A long
process but all in good time. He got out the buckets giving him a brush
as he took up another and would work on the other side. "Rhett put
together the whole skeleton and Lancely helped me make the sides and get
them up then fashioning the slats." So Eion would know he had not
done all this by himself until he got here but how much the other two
had done. Rhett did a lot at his smithy but had to put the pieces
together here where he made a stand to support it while it was worked
"Good, though I knew Lancely was planning on coming here. Rhett
does some amazing work." He took the bucket and brush and set to
work. It was actually a pleasant way to spend the evening.
So he worked and would bring up idle conversation to help pass the time,
biggest thing was not to put so much it dripped. "So you trained
young to use a sword and your brother too? I had since I was old enough
to pick one up and able to swing it."
"Our father trained us as much as he could, and though he could
handle a sword well, when we were older, we each trained under a Laird
who lived near our village. Our youngest brother joined us as well in
time. I found it suited me and stayed with it. Segan went to sea and
Conor became apprentice to a saddle maker. So, we each found our niche.
I think I like what I'm doing now best though." He laughed. "I
mean, training for Heathfield. Not varnishing, though I don't mind it at
"This is a good place to be, ancient magic flows through the whole
of it. From the Druid Prince to far back in time to the core of
creation and magical powers distributed. The training serves well in
discipline but your next step will be to train your mind to even more
wondrous knowledge and skills that can be accomplished." Raphael
just rambled on being he could and didn't think twice on it because he
felt the Sidhe near. "For those who are blinded by something far
reaching and greater doesn't null its existence as you know." Like
Eion knew and accepted all those areas of which would be inherited to
"That feeling wasn't something I welcomed when I first came here.
Though I've seen examples of it elsewhere. I tended to brush them off. I
didn't think I could stay but the King told me of his own experiences
and now I'm not so leery." He shook his head. "I find it hard
to believe I was ready to leave to avoid it."
He was surprised as he came around to stare at Eion a moment. "Your
whole body aura screams of Sidhe. Like you should know this."
Looking at him in another light. Then a chuckle followed. "You've
kicked and fought a lot of things in your life and a lot of them within
you. You're still fighting, many of which you should embrace and allow
to enlighten your mind and soul." Eion should consider the source
this was coming from.
"Aye, Gran has always said we've the blood of the Sidhe in our
veins." He chuckled at Raphael's expression. "And aye, I
probably will leave this life kicking and fighting." He paused,
brush in hand. "How do you start accepting when for most of your
life, you've lived with skepticism, Raphael? Slowly is what I'm doing.
It's not easy for one like me."
"There is a saying that you should question the angels. In a way
you should question such inherited abilities by blood and learn more of
them before accepting. Many come with clauses that you're better off not
trading anything over for. I would offer the suggestion that you take a
week in the least and find a secluded place. One of the cabins up in the
mountains and this time of year is the best time, hardly anyone comes
around. Take the time, sit on a ledge and just watch the sky. Empty your
mind and then let the thoughts to surface when you open up those gates
again. You might be amazed what comes to mind more clearly. Seek
the advice of the ancients and let them guide you from within. Your
brother should do it as well."
"Segan or both brothers?" He wondered if it would possible to
do so though with the holidays coming up. But after the New Year's, he
would attempt to do so. He wasn't sure he could open his mind in that
way but would try.
"It's familial, so both, the sisters too but I think Segan is
headed for more direct butting heads with it. He's attracted the Fae
already. Ever wonder why the two of you attract ladies? Your younger
brother too." Giving a shrug he was back to finish the last few
slats with the sealer so they could dry. He would make sure the top was
back on the bucket tightly enough to keep it from hardening. The brush
would be cleaned in a solution until ready for the next coat so it
didn't harden the bristles.
"I don't attract them." That came out a bit gruffer than he
meant but it couldn't be helped. "Segan has butted heads with
everything since he was a lad." And he looked at him again
after finishing the slats. "How do you mean he's attracting the Fae
"You attract them, you just don't acknowledge them then would be
the point." Flash of a smile that always came off in a boyish
manner like there was nothing wrong with that fact of attraction.
"It's how you handle it that matters, it can be a real pain in the
ass otherwise. Gets you into all kinds of trouble for some unknowingly
want that power they feel in you, to control it." He went
thoughtful with the next with a far away look. "There are Fae in
these lands that keep themselves hidden but some of them are drawn to
men like yourselves and lead them into their magical lands without them
knowing any different."
He frowned, not liking the sound of that one bit. "And that has
happened to Segan? Or might it happen to me?" It seemed to him all
the more reason to avoid unknown females.
"The feel is around you and around him more prominently than the
others probably because you are more in contact with him. There is no
harm to him nor will there be to you. In these lands the Fae are good,
anything else would not survive. The light is too strong for them here.
Some have tried and were either converted, left or withered and died in
"Until they died? Sounds like they have Quinn blood in them being
so stubborn." He joked but it sounded serious. "You've given
me much to think about, Raphael." More to everything else on his
mind. "Thank you."
"Might be what is needed. It is said ones will cross your path as
you need them but to pay heed is left up to you." He surveyed the
work before suggesting, "we've at least two hours before the next
coat can be put on, so how about a trip to the tavern and some more
coffee or drink of the pure. If you plan to stay up to see this done
that we might have it out by tomorrow's eve.."
"Aye, I do. I've been given some time off to see this one
completed. and more coffee and maybe a bite to eat would be
welcome." He clapped a hand to Raphael's shoulder. "Again, I
can't tell you how much I appreciate this."
"No need, I know you are and I am equally so to have this
opportunity," so enough said on such as he grabbed up the basket of
food. "We should make use of this then." Instead of it going
to waste or putting Hazel out this late at night. Better to not be in
the smell of the sealer too long either. Made one see things sometimes.
Cold air was welcome as he grabbed his overcloak and was out, Eion to