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THE LIGHTHOUSE (EXTRACT)
January 4, 2016
I’m happy to share this extract taken from a short story I’m currently working on. It’s my first serious attempt at creative writing, so I hope you enjoy it! Constructive criticism and feedback would be greatly appreciated! X.
December 26th, 1900
It wasn’t a typical day out at sea. The sky was heavy and the water was dark. The wind was blowing hard and my hair could hardly contain its excitement, moving about my head like dancers at a ballet. We were on our way to Eilean Mor for a resupply. Matthew Sutton, the replacement lighthouse keeper, was aboard with us. After a few hours of wrestling against the agitated sea, Eilean Mor enters our line of sight. The isolated island attempts to fit into the barren environment, but doesn’t quite make it. She rests uneasy; dreaming about the day another island might erupt from the ocean floor to join her.
As we approach the dock, Sutton notices that no one is awaiting our arrival. Furthermore, none of the usual empty crates adorn the bleak dock. No sign of any human activity. Sutton’s uneasiness sets an eerie atmosphere over us; the foul weather only exacerbating the situation. I try to reassure the crew, but the moment I set foot on the island I know there is no point. Something is wrong. Something is here. It enters through my foot and travels up to my core, resonating through my bones.
Leaving the crew on board, Sutton and I make our way to the lighthouse. The howl of the wind forces tears out of my eyes as I look at the black sea below us, and the grey ocean of clouds above us. It hasn’t started raining yet, but it will soon. The lighthouse is just ahead. A stone cylinder rising higher than ever, loosing itself in the sky’s blend. Sutton is ahead of me, already reaching for the door with his right hand, but the wind beats him to it. Sutton jumps back, and looks at me. We both think the same thing.
We rush to the stairs, and I force the door shut behind us. The howling wind is cut short and a wave of silence submerges my ears. I am drowned into darkness as Sutton is already climbing the damp steps navigated by the light of the oil lamp. I reach out on either side and lay my hands against the cold stone. Feeling my way up the corridor, my feet lock into the rhythm of the stairs like a sailor rowing across the sea. I am free, no thoughts cloud my mind any longer. I am lost, my body moves mechanically, hypnotized by the never-ending spiral tending towards the grey ocean above us. I am suddenly woken from this deep reverie by a dagger of light piercing my retinas. My hands reach the end of the corridor, and I sense the change in space around me. The light is stronger now and forces my eyes to open. Sutton is standing in front of me: we are in the lighthouse.