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.

Light...then dark.

The dizzying lurch under his feet. Shouts. Orders bellowed but impossible to hear. Hanging on. Desperate to hang on.

Light...then dark.

Running aground. Splintering wood. Ship listing.

Light...then dark.

The splash and icy cold. Precipice seas sliding down. Gasping and choking. Twirled in surf, miles upon miles from shore.

Light...then dark.

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!)


highlandwriter said...

i like it. :-)

Oddyoddyo13 said...

That. Was. Awesome! I've always loved lighthouses...I like the thought of a light guiding you along the way. Sad that they're hardly ever used anymore.

Tabitha Bird said...

Light.. then dark. Love that! And I love light houses. There is something so metaphorical about them.

Erratic Thoughts said...

For me light house implies something spooky...and u have maintained that throughout the post...

I liked the way you have mentioned "Light...then dark" now and again...It has created such a nice effect to the narration...

Please do Keep Writing so frequently...I really like the way some ppl think and there is no end to reading... :):):)


Mona said...

Ok, so the answer is here. I guess someone did guess it right in the last post comment box!

I like the expression: lightening spidered in the ocean

SzélsőFa said...

i loved seeing this little story evolving into something weird, perhaps dangerous memore? event?, but i did love that it was all seen from a safe distance from a friendly (perhaps, family) circle.
i too, liked how you expressed the circling of the light.

at the same time i was wondering for a minute whether the story would have been darker had the writer been all alone in that location.
it's not that it would have been any better, but surely different.

also, i wanted to spare what my clues were, but it seems that i found most of the ones you listed clues in part 2: shoals, north/south currents meeting, and 1870

in fact, my clues were the different directions of currents, year 1870, and fourteen miles.

enjoy your family time!

SzélsőFa said...

here's the site i gathered my knowledge and confirmed my guess.

Bernita said...

Really well done, Jason!

Anonymous said...

Highlandwriter, welcome! And thanks!

Oddyoddyo13, I don't know why this scene popped into my head a month ago. It was the light revolving. In one pass, no one is there. In the next, a figure sitting, confused and alone.

Tabitha, this one is so striking. We climbed it the other day! The equivalent of 12 stories of iron stairs.

MD, I do all sorts of experimenting here. You are always welcome.

Mona, the clues were sparse. I'm kind of amazed that Szelsofa got it.

Szelsofa, the way you describe it is how I originally intended to portray it. However, as I sat down to write, I worried that it wouldn't be clear enough. That's why I added the people observing from below. Maybe I didn't need them, but I've been known to make the mistake of not providing enough information for the reader. (And yes, I forgot to mention that 14 miles was a clue too.)

Bernita, many thanks!