Self-winding automaton Lyssa Lopez Wain was one of the many curious inventions of Testimony Albatross. Most of us do not remember the great inventor himself but everyone will have seen his remarkable creations. The church’s fish powered organ was restored some years ago thanks to the efforts of Balthazar Lemon. The giant musical cockroach no longer plays tunes, but waves its legs mournfully upon the hour, while making sad, crunching noises. And of course there’s the automated glass washing machine at The Hand Of Glory – which still operates late at night. There’s a reason no one drinks at the Hand of Glory any more.
Lyssa Lopez Wain was in many ways, his finest creation. Able to self-wind, she continued for many decades after the inventor’s death. Stunningly lifelike and remarkably communicative, she thwarted many attempts to contain and control her. I believe there were five separate exorcisms carried out upon her on the grounds that she was ‘unnatural’. She fended off all kinds of other uncivilized approaches with considerable style, leaving her would-be attackers humiliated but bodily unharmed. She always did have a rare knack for rapidly un-making garments and many the fool found his undergarments exposed for having tried to meddle with her affairs.
The true purpose of Testimony Albatross’s creations is seldom clear. Lyssa has been no exception in this regard, although I wonder if he created her with an eye to search and rescue missions. How many people has she successfully pulled from the sea? I do not know, but she was always there when a shipwreck had been spotted, striding into the waves to find survivors. Her largely inedible status no doubt helped her greatly when venturing into our hungry waters.
It is possible that at some future time, Lyssa may be fixed. At present, there is no one on the island with the skill to restore her to life. Conscious that her immobile form may attract attention from those who harassed her in the past, a few of us have taken her to a safe place where she can stand, unmolested, until such times as we have a genius inventor amongst us again.
There will be no funeral. Partly because death may prove temporary, and partly because Reverend Davies refuses to acknowledge her as having been a living person. It is my understanding that a number of people she rescued from the sea intend to go to the approximate places where they shipwrecked in order to offer tributes to her. Hopefully no one will be eaten by sealife during these rituals, as that would be no tribute to her legacy.
Lyssa is of course another victim of The Hopeless Maine kickstarter. It’s not quite funded yet, so if you’d like to make sure that she did not die in vain, wander this way… https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/countrostov/tales-of-hopeless-maine