The Unlit Light

October 22, 2020


Thunder crackled and lightning split the sky in half, lighting up the night and yet diminishing the stars. The waves roared and crashed upon the rocks with an untold fury, and the world shook because of it. A man raced up the steep and cracked steps, heart in his throat and every breath panting. 

The storm had come without any warning, as if it had been created just the second the skies darkened and thunder deafened you.

"I should have known," cursed the man in a voice immediately carried away by the buffeting wind. "I should have known."

When your job was like his, every second mattered. When your job was like his, a single mistake, a single misstep, cost more than your life was worth. Every storm and every night, he trekked up the precarious steps, knowing that even a minutes delay could be the reason for someone drawing their last. 

In fair or foul, in health good or bad, the light had to be lit. 

The light had to be lit.

The tower swayed and the man missed a step. He grabbed desperately for a handhold or foothold, anything to steady him, but the icy, broken and dripping steps provided none.

A crazy laugh escaped him as his death stood a second away from him. 

The lighthouse tower was his by birthright. It had been in his family for generations, ever since his great grandfather had seen the deadly and cruel rocks and declared something had to be done about it.  Being wealthy and well respected, along with having a talent for persuading people to do his bidding, the lighthouse was built without fuss, and practically the same day he suggested it.

And yet, for all his good qualities, he was stubborn. Perhaps in the right conditions, that wouldn't be so much of a bad quality, maybe even a good one. And yet...

And yet it was his stubbornness that was about to end his descendant's life. 

He'd been warned. 

Oh, how many times had he been warned?

"Do not build the steps on the outside wall," they'd warned him. "Nothing good will come of it."

But he hadn't listened.

In the small town off the coast of Lapis, it was often said that stubbornness was the lighthouse family's curse.

The man laughed as he fell to his death, as the waves swallowed him up and claimed his life, ending the family line and winning the age old fight at last.

The townsfolk had been wrong. Stubbornness wasn't the family curse.

The lighthouse was.

The light hadn't been lit. 

As the hull cracked and people jumped overboard, as the sea had its sweet vengeance, as the waves were painted in blood and rubble, that was the only thought on the captain's mind. 

The light hadn't been lit.

He and his crew were paying for the laziness and lackluster attitude of an arrogant lighthouse keeper. Paying with their lives for his mistake. 

He would never see his family again.

Never see their smiles.

Never bounce his grandchildren on his knee.

All because the of the light.

Because of the light that hadn't been lit.
Just something I was messing around with. By no means my best work.


See History

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

  • Marila

    Thank you so much, Anlee!

    3 months ago
  • Anlee

    dangg this is so good! i can tell that you have so much talent~ loved reading this <33

    3 months ago
  • Marila

    Thank you, Seaomelette! And I certainly shall!

    3 months ago
  • seaomelette

    I absolutely love this piece - the imagery is super vivid and potent, and the storyline was gripping. Keep writing, I'd love to read more from you!

    3 months ago