Friday, July 02, 2010
By the June Moon (Part 3 of 3)
He stared upward. "That's weird."
"What?" she said.
"I thought I...."
She stared up too, trying to see what caught his attention. "A shooting star?"
"No. No. But it couldn't have been."
He pointed. "Yeah. Damn. It looks like someone is sitting up inside the lighthouse!"
Searing light erupted in the blackness. It illuminated him braced against the wall.
Handsome face. Rugged and serious.
Then the light was gone.
He blinked at the darkness. Not sure what was happening.
Then, the light was back.
He brought up a hand to block it, but it was huge, unstoppable.
Until it disappeared again.
He panted. Heart pounding. The adrenalin had pushed him to the edge of remembering what happened before he found himself sitting in the dark.
Light bathed him again...then was gone.
Yes. Vicious lightning spidered into the sea. The storm-blown waves. Mountains of water ripping through the night.
The dizzying lurch under his feet. Shouts. Orders bellowed but impossible to hear. Hanging on. Desperate to hang on.
Running aground. Splintering wood. Ship listing.
The splash and icy cold. Precipice seas sliding down. Gasping and choking. Twirled in surf, miles upon miles from shore.
Slipping down into the strange silence. Heavy. And the terrible, claustrophobic pain.
He opened his eyes wide.
All of it flooded back into his brain.
Shipwrecked on Diamond Shoals. No one knew to save them.
"Did you see it?" he said.
Her voice was slow. Hesitant. "I...think so."
"It was there, like a man sitting. And now its gone."
"Weird," she said.
The pulse of the surf beat its own kind of time. Stars glittered overhead.
"But it's closed," he said. "No one mans lighthouses anymore. Look. That big iron door at the bottom is closed and probably locked."
She looked at the black ocean as he puzzled. She thought about what it had been like before the lighthouses.
"At least it's here now," she said.
He still was trying to figure out what he'd seen. "What?"
"The lighthouse. It must be a strange kind of comfort to be that far out and see this light just on the horizon," she said.
And she did try to imagine it.
"Like you're no longer lost in the dark," she said.
(Thank you for indulging my little lighthouse ghost story as we're down in Buxton, North Carolina vacationing. Kudos to Szelsofa for finding us using the sparse clues in part 2: shoals, north/south currents meeting, and 1870, the year in which the Hatteras Light was completed. In the next few days, I'll be getting back into the swing of normal blogging. Have a great weekend!)