This is a work of fantasy. It is not about real people, and if it is, it's not what they would do. (not that you are likely to know them anyway). If you are under 18, go away, since I don't like to get in trouble. If you are turned off by perversion, what are you doing at ASSTR? In other words, go away. If none of this applies to you, great! Read on! Have fun! Let me know what you like!
Oh, and I work hard on my writing...so guess what? It's mine. That's right boys and girls...it's copyrighted...so if you want it? Just ask...we'll talk.
I love music, especially ballads. I've been listening to this one pretty incessantly for the past few months, and have really wanted to write the story behind the song. I tried to think the best way to do it; this may not be it, but you can be the judge of that. The song is called "The Lighthouse's Tale" and it is by a bluegrass group called Nickel Creek (take your noses out of the air guys-its excellent music.) I have no permission, but hope if someone does come across this, they will take it as the tribute it is, rather than something underhanded. The italics at the start of each part are the actual lyrics to the song.
"I am a lighthouse
Born by the weather and the waves
And I keep my lamp lit
To warn the sailors on their way. "
I cannot move. I cannot speak. But this does not mean I do not feel.
I sit on a small island off shore. It is a very rocky coastline, one that is rough in good weather, downright treacherous in bad weather. New England weather can shift quickly, hence my building. I keep people safe. I help boys come home to their mothers, young men to their sweethearts, men to their wives.
I remember my building. I could feel the rough hands of the masons as they placed my stone. It was done carefully, arranging each part of me just so as I grew. I could hear the men yell to each other, sing and joke. It was a wonderful birth.
The men lavished me with attention, placing the smooth stones,adding the wrought iron stairs, painting my outside a bright white, so that in good weather I'd shine. Then, they brought my light. Actually, my reflector, my lens and my lamp. They turned me on for the first time. A silent hush fell over the men there. I look out to the sea, and feel the waves crash around me.
"I'll tell a story
Paint you a picture from my past
I was so happy
But joy in this life seldom lasts."
The sunshine plays on the water, breaking up the light as it reflects up to me. In the summer, there are patches of sea grass the whisper in the wind. In the winter, the puffins kept me company, chirupping, and squawking, dancing about in the playground of the ever present snow.
But the sounds of the ocean, ah, there was my constant comfort. Like a wife, it would comfort me with its soft lapping, only turning shrewish on occasion, screaming and beating up a froth. The next morning, it would be shining beautiful, as if making restitution for its fuss.
Those early times were pleasant. I felt the sea air, reveled in the power. I grew in awareness. I had had a few keepers that usually kept to themselves. They took care of me, took care of my light no matter the weather,but they were lonely, quiet men.
"I had a keeper
He helped me warn the ships at sea
We had grown closer
Til his joy meant everything to me."
Then came Joseph. No Joe for him. He was soft spoken; in love with so many things. We were alone much of the time, and he would speak to me. He would whistle, sing, talk to me as though I were his long-lost friend. He wanted me to be their own place, their haven away from the world. He fussed over me, clearing and caulking my cracks, making me radiant.
"We're going to make you shine again, aren't we? Sarah will love you. You'll like her. She was born to the sea, just as you were."
He filled me with soft, precious things, chairs and pillows and a feather bed, making me beautiful on the inside as well. He told me of his love, his Sarah, whom he was going to marry.
"And he was to marry
A girl who shown with beauty and light
And they loved each other
And with me watched the sun set into nights."
Sarah. I remember the first time I saw her. She stood on the prow of a wooden fishing ship leaving the bustling docks then traveled through the bay that lay behind me. Sarah's long skirt floated out behind her, as did her shining, unbound hair. I could feel the wind myself. There was a brightness and pure joy to her smile. The ship slowed as it dropped a dory. A few of the seaman helped her down into it, where she rowed herself to us.
She scrambled to shore, and rushed into Joe's arms. I think if I had had arms, I would have wrapped them around them. It was obvious how much they loved each other. He led her up to me, and I felt her soft fingers caress my doorway.
"Our home." Joseph whispered. Sarah's fingers brushed over the tables, cushions, furnishings; my walls. I was smooth, clean and bright. She twirled towards him and smiled. "I love it," she said. "It's beautiful, Joseph."
They sat and talked, ate and planned. I watched them walk out along the now choppy shoreline, hand in hand. As dusk fell, he pulled her up to my balcony, carrying a blanket. He lit my lamp and curled up with her against my wall.
Their warmth spread against my cool exterior, as they watched the sun set over the bay and how Aurora painted the sky in luscious, romantic colors and how it played over the sails of the ships returning for the night. When the final ray of sun caught the tip of my light, the ship that dropped her off set anchor and awaited her dory. Sarah would snuggle into Joseph with a sigh, and he would lead her down to the shore, where she made her short row back to the ship.
This was their habit for the weekends; her father, who was a fisherman, would drop her in a dory to visit with Joseph, and pick her back up at the sun's last rays. And every evening, before they left, they would watch the sunset on my balcony.
"She'd had to leave us
My keeper he prayed for her safe return
But when the night came
The weather to a raging storm had turned."
One Saturday evening, the weather grew rough. They watched from my balcony as the waves beat against the jagged rocks, the wind twisting Sarah's unbound hair and slapping it against my sides. They watched as ships bounced on the choppy waves and as the sky turned grey and chill, Joseph turned on my light. They saw her father's ship fight to get closer to the island, so the dory wouldn't get swamped.
Joe begged Sarah, "Wave your father off, I'll row you to shore myself in the morning." She kissed him softly. "I want my first night here to be our wedding night. I can wait. It will be soon."
He hugged her tightly, and then led her down the stairs. I watched as he placed her in the dory, kissing her once more. I wished for a voice then, to scream, to let them know this was no ordinary storm. But I have no voice, and I watched in distress as her father's boat was getting pushed by the wind closer and closer to my shore.
"He watched her ship fight
But in vain against the wild and terrible wind
And me so helpless
As dashed against the rocks she met her end."
Joseph stood on the shore, watching her dory pitch and swale in the rough water. Sarah became drenched as the cold rain started to pour down, nearly flooding the small dory. Joseph yelled into the wind, calling her back, but the wind tore his voice away.
Her father's ship started to list, and its bow scraped the rocks on my shore. He shifted his sails and managed to get back off, but further away from the struggling dory. The wind began to twist, and even my solid walls began to quake. Sarah and the dory were flung about like a feather in the breeze. Her small boat, nearly submerged finally pulled along side her father's ship. The ship moved to block the wind, so she might climb on board, the dory lost, when a particularly nasty gust pushed the boat sideways into my shore. It listed under the weight of the wet sails. The port side- the side that Sarah had been climbing- smashed against the rocks. Quickly, the ship sunk beneath the violent waves as it was torn apart and dragged out to sea.
Joseph ran to the shore, screaming.The storm howled around him as he searched frantically along the shore. He sought all night as the storm raged. Then on the next day...
"my keeper found her
washed up on the shore
he kissed her cold face
that they'd be together soon he swore. "
I saw her before he did, her pale, limp body, tossed up on the shore in the first light of dawn. Joseph was still circling the shore. It was a bright morning and the sun glistened in her golden hair. He came upon her and fell to his knees at her side. He brushed the sand from her face. I saw him whisper to her as he leaned over her slight body and kissed her cheek.
He stumbled away, then turned and walked toward me with grim determined steps, his face pale and his eyes red from crying and the wind. He reached the shed and pulled out his shovel before returning to her side.
His tears consecrated the ground to his love as he dug her burial place in the sand. He lifted her gently, kissed her one last time before placing the sand on her final resting place.
He left the shovel on top of her sandy grave and trudged back toward me. He looked up at me, squinting in the now bright sun. He slowly climbed the stairs to my tower. He sat for a moment, in their usual sunset spot. I felt the wet warmth of his back.
He stood then took a few steps forward and opened the safety grate to my railing. I wish I could have closed it. I wish I could have stopped him. He pressed his body against my side one last time, his fingers gently touching my face, as if to say goodbye then he ran off the edge of the balcony to land on the rocks below.
"I saw him crying
Watched as he buried her in the sand
Then climbed my tower
And off the edge of me he ran.
I am a lighthouse
Born by the weather and the waves
And though I am empty
I still warn the sailors on their way."
I am alone now. Some people even say I am haunted. A new-fangled automated system replaced my oil lamps, so no one need stay with me anymore. Majestic sailing ships don't pass by my shore much these days, just motor boats speeding past.
I will not forget the happiness I saw, that I shared. As long as I stand, their love will be remembered.
*thanks to Poison Ivan for the Edits!
© Dryad (firstname.lastname@example.org) 2002