The Lighthouse

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic


James goes out for a walk and Discover's a hidden cave, and what he finds inside has his mind reeling.

Chapter 4 (v.1) - The Siren's song

Submitted: February 11, 2019

Reads: 16

Comments: 2

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Submitted: February 11, 2019

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The Lighthouse

Chapter Four: The Siren’s song

I awoke early; the first light of dawn was creeping through the thin slit window of my room. I moved over to it and looked out. The sky was ablaze in a crimson hue as if it had had been flayed, stripped of its flesh.

I would not have been surprised if the sky bled raindrops of blood on the thick window pane.

I got dressed and made my way downstairs. As I passed by Duncan’s room I could hear his deep resonant snoring. It seemed that his night of whiskey drinking had plunged him into a deep sleep.

I made my way down to the scullery expecting to see Sylvia, as usual, busying herself with her chores, I was surprised to see that she was not there standing by the stove stirring a pan of porridge.

In fact the stove had not been cleaned and re-lit.

I had determined to have a secret word with her, and tell her of my concerns for her welfare at the hands of her Violent and moody husband. I knew it was none of my business to interfere with another person’s marriage, it was not the gentlemanly thing to do, yet I felt it was morally the right course in which to sail, for I feared for her safety and life.

And if I was being truthful to myself, I was more than a little attracted to this beautiful and demure gentle soul.

So I would persuade her to come with me back to the mainland when the next supply boat arrived in a few days’ time.

For surely with not only me, but the crew of the boat to aid her, then she could leave Duncan alone on his precious lighthouse Island and make a decent life for herself, and forget about the unfortunate marriage she had fallen into with him.

 

I did not feel as though I could deal with Duncan this early, especially if he had a hangover! And with the first hunger pangs of the morning growling in my belly, I made do with a chunk of bread and a generous dollop of butter spread over it and then I made my way outside into the crimson dawn of the morning.

As I walked around the Lighthouse, I remembered the stone jetty I had seen which stood at the foot of the cliffs when I was on the small balcony by the Lantern room.

I made my way around the lighthouse until I came to the top of the stairs which led down the cliff face.

They were steep, and the rusted iron railing didn’t seem that secure or safe. I decided that to make my way down was too risky, so I turned and was about to leave when suddenly I heard sound coming from below.

The crashing of the waves which dominated the air suddenly seemed to grow distant as a strange melodic sound floated up through the air.

My ears pricked up and my curiosity sparked into life. Moving to the stairs I took several steps down, and as I did, the sound became more audible, it was haunting and ethereal. I couldn’t decide whether it was just the wind blowing through the rocks or something else?

I took several more steps down, the rusted iron stairs creaked alarmingly, yet if they had collapsed and sent me tumbling down into the sea below I would not have cared, for that all mesmerising sound had enveloped me in its discordant bubble, and as I descended those perilous stairs, the sound intensified, and suddenly my heart felt so heavy as it began to ache with a yearning I could not fathom.

It was as if something inside of me had been awakened by this enthralling call, this phantasmal voice, for I had decided that it was not the wind but someone, or something else, singing.

I was captured by its heart wrenching sadness, the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end and my body began to tingle and crawl. My eyes filled with tears, and I suddenly found myself sobbing as all of the memories of everyone I had ever loved who had died, came flooding back in a tidal wave of grief; my mother, who had been taken from me by pneumonia when I was little more that a snot nosed child, resurfaced, drenching me with its painful memory.

I felt as though my heart would be torn asunder at the painful memory of standing by her grave side, as a five year old child, dropping a red rose onto her cold pine coffin lid, as my father wrapped his loving arm around my shoulder, yet he had no loving arms to comfort him, only his small boy who sniffed and trembled with the terrible loss of his beloved mother.

The loss of Moira and John, which was still raw, sent me into waves of uncontrollable sobbing, yet I was captured by this sound, this mournful plea, which reeled me in like a helpless fish on a hook.

It was harmonious and tragic at the same time, and it had me caught in its cacophonous pandemonium, like a fly trapped in amber.

 

Before realising it, I was half way down the cliff face; it was then that I saw there was a cave opening at the bottom next to the jetty.

That was where this siren song was coming from, as the waves lapped around the mouth of the cave caressing the rocks with their aqueous tongues and covering them in a foaming ejaculate.

I stepped onto the stone jetty. It was as I had surmised been cut from the natural granite. It too had that strange green sheen to it and was ancient in its construction.

The singing had turned to a humming sound, a soft cappella that echoed around the cave.

I crouched down and peered into the cave mouth, I was not prepared for what I saw.

 

*****

The cave was rounded in shape with a few stalactites hanging from the ceiling like wet dripping needles, their saline drool dripped into green lichen pools beneath them.

The jetty had been extended into a narrow walkway which led to a rock ledge. The ledge was covered in old sea worn barrels and chest and all sorts of objects that looked like boat wreckage, covered in barnacles and lichen, there was also piles of netting scattered about.

But what had me seething in sudden anger was a boat moored to a rotting wooden post. It was not a large boat, but it was definitely seaworthy, it was twelve foot long and open topped with four oar mounts and a retractable sail which was neatly folded up and sitting in the bottom of it.

Duncan had lied to me! Well that was no surprise.

 I was no sailor, but I was sure I could have rowed that craft the few miles to the mainland, and I could have taken Moira with me.

I gritted my teeth and clenched my fists in fury at the thought of it.

But all of these things were not what drew my attention as I fleetingly glanced over them, no!

It was Sylvia that my eyes were drawn to, for she sat on a small sandy mound leaning on one arm, she was wearing a long green dress and her luscious auburn hair was loose and cascading over her shoulders like a chestnut coloured waterfall.

Her skin was porcelain white and flawless; her lips had a slight pink tinge to them and were salaciously parted as she hummed her mesmerising tune.

She was not alone! Sitting beside her was, Rocky, the brown seal that had saved me from my drowning death. It lay with its head nestled in her lap as she languidly stroked its head. Its eyes were closed as if it were a child sleeping safe and sound in its mother’s, loving embrace. Then there was a disturbance in the water as two other seals popped their heads up, breaking the surface and made their way towards Sylvia as she hummed her lullaby song.

As the seals emerged from the water, I was astonished to see they were gripping rope lines in their mouths, and then slowly they pulled a net up onto the sand and inside of it was an old crusty looking sea chest covered in barnacles and seaweed.

My mind raced and was threatening to snap as I realised that these creatures were raiding what must have been ship wrecks on the bottom of the ocean and dragging their cargos here in nets!

This was too fantastic to believe, how could such simple creatures be able to accomplish such a complicated feat?

Then Sylvia stood up, and threw a couple of fresh mackerel at the seals, they snatched the tasty morsels up and barked excitedly at the titbits.

Again I was surprised when I realised that the dress, Sylvia was wearing was not made out of fabric, but was woven from sea kelp with colourful shells, and what looked like pearls decorating it. Her dainty bare feet left delicate imprints in the damp sand as she walked over to the waters’ edge, and then she just slipped her gown off her shoulders to stand naked at the water’s edge.

I gasped at her perfection; she was Aphrodite, the Venus de Milo, a sculpture by Michelangelo, she was all of these things of beauty and perfection and more, encapsulated in all of her sensual, naked glory. She was ethereal, otherworldly, she was the Siren of the Sea, and in that moment, I wanted her so badly it hurt.

 Her skin was as white as sea foam, she was slender, yet shapely as she moved in an undulating flowing manner toward the water and dived into that cold sea and disappeared beneath its surface, without even causing a splash. It was as if the sea had parted for her and wrapped itself around her lithe figure like a comforting blanket.

Rocky and the other two seals quickly lumbered into the water and followed their mistress out of the cave.

 

*****

I returned to my room and did not emerge again until I heard Duncan’s rough voice calling me down for lunch.

With reluctance, I made my way down to the scullery.

Sylvia was there, dressed in the same clothes I had seen her wearing the day before, she was spooning out a fish stew for us.

I looked at her and smiled, for a split second her emerald eyes sparkled with bright intellect and then she quickly looked away as if shy and embarrassed.

Could she have seen the longing I had for her in my eyes? Were my lustful feelings for her, so transparent? I felt my cheeks beginning to burn so I just sat uncomfortably at the table.

 

Duncan sat in grim silence throughout the meal, and then as he mopped up the last of the stew with a chunk of bread and wiped some sauce from his wiry beard, he grunted,

‘Well, what is wrong with you today, eh Laddie? For you are as quiet as a ween feeding off the Mither’s teet. Isn’t that right my luv?’ he grinned as he turned to Sylvia, who just quickly glanced up and smiled wanly at his vulgarity.

I tried as best I could to swallow my rising anger at this lying devil of a man. I shook my head, ‘I do not feel very well today!’ I lied, ‘If you will excuse me, I think I need to lie down.’

Duncan raised his bushy eyebrows and nodded, ‘Dinnae beat yourself up over it, Laddie. You have been through a lot these past couple of days. Perhaps a wee nap will set you right again, isn’t that right, my luv?’ Duncan winked at Sylvia.

I left Duncan and Sylvia and returned to my room.

 

*****

I must have eventually drifted off to sleep, as the haunting Siren song played in my head, sending me adrift in a sea of confusion and carnal thoughts.

I was onboard the fishing boat returning from Orkney when I was drawn to the side of the boat, and there in the water was Sylvia naked and beautiful, singing to me and beckoning me to join her.

Oh how I wanted to plunge over the side of the boat and swim to her and hold her in my arms, yet there was something deep in the back of my mind, warning me that if I did, then I would never return home ever again, for I would be lost to the depths of the ocean, dragged down by the chains of the Siren’s song.

*****

My eyes suddenly snapped open. It was dark outside. There was sweat on my brow. I must have been asleep for almost twelve hours. And then I heard a whooshing sound coming from above, and then a moment later the night sky was lit up by an orangey pink flare.

I pressed my face against the small glass window trying to see why Duncan had set off a flare, but alas, all was dark outside.

I left my room and made my way downstairs and ran outside making my way to the top of the iron stairwell and strained to look out to sea.

Was there a boat out there somewhere? I could not see anything at all, and then another flare was fired off. I could see that it was coming from the top of the lighthouse.

I was truly puzzled by this, and then a moment later, I saw a flare explode off in the distance, perhaps it was three miles or so away, it was hard to tell or judge the distance, but whatever or whoever it was, they were signalling back to Duncan and his flare.

My skin crawled and my stomach churned, what was he up to?

I quickly returned to my room, I did think for a moment to confront him and ask what he was doing, but decided against it. There were too many secrets on this Lighthouse Island; secrets that made me feel in fear of my life.

I hoped that playing ignorant and pretending not to notice anything, then perhaps I might make it through to the end of the week and escape this perilous situation I had found myself in.

As I sat alone in the dark with my fears and feelings of dread plaguing my troubled, I heard a scrapping at my door.

I held my breath as drops of sweat trickled down my face. What was lurking outside of my door? What horror had crawled from the sea in search of victims?

My mind was in tatters and my nerves were shattered, I began to whimper like a frightened child, as I curled my legs up tightly underneath my chin, like I had done the first night after my mother’s funeral.

I was that five year old boy again, alone and terrified of the dark, just wanting his mother to come to him and comfort him in her loving embrace.

But she couldn’t! For she was dead and buried, lying cold and stiff under six feet of sodden earth in a graveyard three miles away.

I bit my bottom lip to stop it quivering as the scraping at my door sounded again, and then something was pushed under my door and all fell silent once more.

Wiping the tears from my face, I took several deep breaths and plucked up the courage to move, my muscles ached with the exertion of it after being scrunched up for so long.

There was something on the floor in front of me. I bent down and picked it up.

It was a long heavy iron key!

 

 

 


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