Wednesday August 24th, 2016

The exercise:

Write something which involves: the lighthouse.

Had a short shift (8 to 11) at the bakery this morning, as a new person was being trained to take over the full-time position starting in September (when Mary goes back to school). As a first shift back after vacation, it worked out pretty well for me.

This afternoon I picked corn from the garden and collected some McIntosh apples from the cooler for the lone local customer who put in an order this week. Who then proceeded to arrive late to pick her stuff up.

I'm about done with local orders. You know, in case I haven't mentioned that yet.

Mine:

I watch the storms come.

Black clouds roll in from the horizon, an unstoppable avalanche of Atlantic fury. The waves reach higher, frothing at the mouth as they crash towards my shore. Screaming winds urge them onward. The air is electric and heavy with the promise of that which shall arrive all too soon.

I watch the storms rage.

Rain lashes against my walls and windows, seeking an opening into my sanctuary. Winds wish to topple me to the rocks which surround me. Lightning flashes. Again. And again. And again. Thunder rattles my bones.

I watch the storms go.

My waters, now filled with debris, return to soft rolling sighs, their tantrums quickly forgotten. The air is made new once more. Sunshine parts the clouds and brings with it warmth and the tentative calls of the birds who, like me, call this place home.

I am the keeper.

I keep the light on, burning bright in the deepest darkness. I keep ships and sailors safe, warning them away from my deadly, treacherous rocks. I keep this tower strong, forever reaching for the sky. Forever standing against the storms.

I am eternal.

I must be. For there is no one waiting to take my place.

3 Comments:

morganna said...

Beacon of hope shines
Through the storm, guiding sailors
Home to safe harbor.

Greg said...

@Morganna: That's a lovely haiku and I can completely imagine the relief your sailors are feeling as they catch sight of the light and realise that land isn't too far away now.

@Marc: A new trainee? Didn't your ruthless efficiency scare the last one off though? ;-) It sounds like the bakery shift went more easily than you were expecting, though the late customer in the afternoon sounds frustrating too. Is it nice to be back home and not having to keep piling toddlers into cars?
Great structure in your description here with the short sentences being counterpoint to the longer paragraphs, with the whole thing driving the reader along (a little like your storm) towards your conclusion. I rather liked the paragraph with thunder rattling bones as well -- very evocative and when you realise that the narrator is the lighthouse itself it takes on additional significance.

The lighthouse
The soft knock on the carriage door caused Lady Campion to call out, "Just a moment, please!" and start to struggle back into her elaborate travelling dress. The bustle was laid on the seat, the underskirts had been folded neatly on top of it and the overskirt had slipped off onto the floor already and she'd barely had a chance to see if she'd hurt herself as badly as she imagined when she fell -- so humiliatingly -- on the platform.
"It's Dr. Suture," said a voice on the other side of the door. "I wondered if I might be of service?"
"Derby's man?"
If there was a moment of frosty hesitation in David's reply Lady Campion didn't hear it.
"Yes ma'am."
"Oh. Very well, you may enter, though I should warn you that I am slightly deshabilled." She turned the key in the door, and then turned modestly away.
"I have treated female patients before," said David, making sure the door was locked behind him. "You may be certain of my discretion. I saw you fall as you came to the platform and wanted to help, if you need it."
"You saw that? Oh my, Derby wasn't with you was he?" Lady Campion half-turned, and David noticed that she was wearing an unusual necklace: a silver silhouette of a lighthouse on a rock on a chain around her neck. He considered his response and decided that a white lie was best.
"No ma'am," he said. "He had already boarded the train."
"Oh, well. That's a relief." Lady Campion sank to the seat, her hand reaching for a fan, but then she came abruptly back to her feet, her expression indicating that she was suppressing an unladylike cry of pain.
"Perhaps I might examine you, ma'am?" David took her elbow gently and began his ministrations. To distract her from what he was doing he kept talking.
"That's an unusual necklace," he said. "I feel sure I would have heard it mentioned if you'd worn it before."
"Derby would have," said Lady Campion. "I didn't think doctors had much time for society pages? Does he read them to you?"
"I haven't noticed that he pays much attention to them," said David. He opened his bag to find a cream.
"Oh I'm sure he does, just not in front of the staff. Well, the necklace was a gift from my hus- my late husband." Her voice trembled. "It's a condition of the will that I wear it at the funeral. Oh!"
"The cream will feel cold," said David. "But it will alleviate the pain and speed the healing. Please apply it in the morning when you rise, and in the evening before you go to bed."
"Thank-you."
David closed his bag, smiled politely, and excused himself.

Marc said...

Morganna - that is, indeed, a lovely haiku. Beautifully done.

Greg - yes, I do not miss having to haul our stuff and jam it into the car every few days. Miss all the eager hands to help out with the boys though :)

Thanks for the kind words on mine.

Argh, more fascinating and intriguing details but with few clues (that I can see) as to what's really going on! Argh, I say :P

Also, I shall say: so pleased to see that you've revisited this setting already.