Chapter 12: Storm rages in Portland as tragedy strikes the Devereaux family

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: The Lighthouse Appreciation

Reads: 55

The lighthouse Hotel Chapter 12 - Storm rages in Portland as tragedy strikes the Devereaux family
Tom was left stunned by Isobella's rejection to his amorous advances,he had clearly misread the signals or perhaps she was playing hard to get.

He quickly tidied up the picnic hamper having decided not to chase after her and was now in deep contemplation about the consequences of his actions.

He was convinced that he would now be short staffed for this evening's dinner service and needed to act quickly to try and resolve these short term issues.

He was starting to feel guilty for his previous actions as he made his way back towards the hotel,questioning himself over and over,what was so terrible about what he had done?.
Why had Isobella made such a big deal about a little bit of harmless flirtation?.

As he arrived he noticed that Leo was now training up one of the Spanish employees on reception.

This might be a good sign perhaps Isobella wouldn't carry out her threat to leave or maybe she hadn't managed to speak with her friends.

It was the last night of the murder weekend event and Tom didn't want any further hiccups.If the event proved to be a successful one then perhaps there would be a few more similar events booked in the future.
He quickly turned to Leo and smiled as he walked towards the hotel's kitchen area.


Leo- Hi Dad I thought you were out for the day visiting your country club with Isobella.

Tom- So did I son but there was a slight change of plan,have you seen her lately?.I need to talk to her urgently,I'm afraid your dad might have made a bit of a fool of himself,the less said about that the better.

Leo- Oh lord !!! Not again dad,you promised to mend your ways after that last episode with Lady Jane Harwood.

Anyway it's not my problem,as you can see I'm rather busy training Susanna up here on reception.

Tom- Yes quite,ok I will catch up with you later,where are the rest of your colleagues Susanna?

Susanna- oh they are in their accommodation as far as I am aware and getting changed for tonight's service.Maria had already started her chambermaid duties.

Tom- Right that is good news indeed,ok folks what's the time now?,ok it's 2pm.I'll be in my office should you need to speak to me,please let me know if either of you should see Isobella and send her to my office.

Leo- Will do !!!! I'm almost finished here dad so I might be popping out later for an hour or so as I need to finalise a few details with regard to the local antiques auction on Monday.
It's full steam ahead for my business and I can't wait for it to take off.

Tom was not so concerned with Leo's antiques commitments so long as he avoided all contact with that bounder Lovejoy.

In any case he had more pressing matters to attend to with the possibility of staff shortages should the Spanish recruits leave without warning or notice.

He decided to phone a local hotel agency contact who might provide him with a few members of staff at short notice.

The procedure was that when one hotel was over staffed and another one was short they would try to help one another if it happened during the high season.


Tom- Hi is that Ricky?,it's been a while since we last spoke to one another do you remember me it's Tom Devereaux?.

I used to live in Solentville and moved to Portland quite recently,well I need a favour from you.

Ricky- Hello Tom how's things?,I was sorry to read about your daughter being killed in that awful storm related boating accident,then was Jan she was too young to die,how have you managed to cope?.

Tom- Yes quite !!! thanks for your condolences,to come to point Ricky I might require 6 members of staff in the next few days,depending on my current situation.

I've got a bit of an issue with one member of staff who might try to influence her colleagues to leave their employment at the hotel,it's our busiest weekend so far and the hotel is really taking off.

Ricky- I'm glad to hear that Tom,ok just let me know what positions you need to fill and I will call you back in about an hours time ok?.

Tom-Yes that's great,I might need 4 silver service waitresses,1 fully trained receptionist and a chambermaid,I should know where I stand in an hour or so.

Ricky- Right you are Tom,ok it's just gone 3pm call me back at 4pm ok?.

Tom- Right ok bye.


There was still no sign of Isobella and none of her colleagues had heard from her which was unusual.

Some of the club members of the murder mystery weekend tour were now beginning to prop up the bar and a steady queue was now developing.

Tom immediately realised that there was nobody serving at the bar as he made his way over there.

luckily for him his office was within site of the bar and he acted promptly to resolve the issue by pulling Chef Reppold out of the kitchen and asking him to fill in as a barman temporarily.

Chef Reppold was not very impressed with this request and he made his feelings known to Tom prior to leaving his cushy office in the kitchen.

Tom knew what the chefs got up to when it was quiet,they often played cards,went to smoke a cigarette outside and sometimes they would disappear altogether for a pint of ale down at their local pub.

Chef Reppold- You know I'm not very happy about this new arrangement Mr Devereaux,you might have asked one of the other lads to fill in,I've got loads of preparation to do for tonight's service.

Tom- Yes I'm aware of that chef,I will delegate and find an appropriate member of staff to finish off your duties.

Now here we are,ok chef make mine a double that's a Jameson's whisky with a splash of coke and ice.

Chef Reppold- Right you are sir coming up,ok folks if I could just ask everyone to remain patient and I will try to serve you all as quickly as I can.


Tom couldn't help himself from smirking at Chef Reppold,he had really inconvenienced him as the old chef hadn't a lot of recent bar work experience.

Tom saw it as a bit of revenge for the way he had made Leo's life intolerable during his recent stint in the kitchen and had been very close to sacking the abusive blighter.

Meanwhile his attention was now switched to an impending phone call as he anxiously awaited news about possible staff replacements should he need them.

It was now 5pm and still there was no word on Isobella's whereabouts and the office phone had remained strangely silent.Mr Laithwaite was about to address his group for the final time before his imminent departure.

It was due to unexpected personal business which would mean that he would miss out on tonight's event but it couldn't be helped.

Darkness quickly descended upon the Lighthouse hotel as black clouds began to form in the sky.A bolt of lightning flashed across the sky and struck the roof of the hotel which caused the main fuse to blow.

It might be some time before full power could be restored,this disaster was just what Tom didn't need.

He might have to do the necessary repair work himself,luckily for him the old lighthouse was served with a generator which provide enough electricity for the lights in the short term.

Tom's only real issue was that he would need to climb on to the hotel's roof to connect the lighthouse generator to the hotel's existing source of power.

Given the awful conditions outside with the rain beginning to lash down it wasn't something that Tom was particularly looking forward to doing but needs must.


Tom- Ok folks please all try to remain calm,this temporary loss of power will be resolved,I am going to attempt to link up the lighthouses main generator with the hotel's power supply.

It's not been previously tested and this kind of job would probably break every rule in the modern day health and safety rule book so wish me luck.

Leo- Dad wait up,don't you think that we should call for an experienced electrician to do this kind of job?.

Tom- Son I don't think there is one that lives locally and besides I'm confident that I can sort this out pretty quickly,have you heard from Isobella?.

Leo- No but some of her colleagues have heard about your little indiscretion and are becoming a little uncomfortable with the idea of working here.

Tom- So she must have had contact with them,good !!!!,ok not to worry I've arranged for staff cover should we need it,that is if they end up walking out on us.


Tom quickly began to get organised with his electrical tool kit,yellow rubber boots,heavy plastic rain coat and waterproof trousers.

He also searched for a pair of ladders and there was the small issue of vertigo as he would need to conquer his fear of heights before mounting his charge to the area where the necessary repairs were required.

He was now in the elements as the rain was coming down harder on his position outside the main reception.

He had chosen this area to ascend in order to climb up on to the roof as the wind was not quite as fierce as the other areas of the hotel.

There was no time for a risk assessment,this job needed to be done immediately,he thought to himself.

Slowly but surely he made his way towards the top of the roof,at once he noticed that there was some serious damage as wires had evidently been wrenched from their secure holding place.

The fuse box on the inside of the building had been partly destroyed leaving a huge gaping hole in a smashed window nearby.

His first task was to try and repair the fuse box but after inspection he soon realised that it was well beyond salvaging.

He needed to connect the lighthouse generator to the hotel's main source of power but he was beginning to think this might be impossible and his efforts might be futile.

There was only one course of action open to him now and that was to ask the guests if they minded staying in the lighthouse for tonight.

Power was available here and maybe they would enjoy the novelty value of spending a night in this haunted location given it's reputation.

Tom began to make his descent and was halfway down the ladders when all of a sudden he heard a crack and then he noticed that the ladders were beginning to give way.He still had about another 30 feet to negotiate before he could feel safe and secure.

Suddenly the ladders snapped in two as Tom was thrown in to the night air as his body was crushed against a nearby wall just outside the main reception.

It was quite obvious from the way he had landed crashing down head first that his spine would have been smashed and that he had suffered two broken legs.

There was so much blood splattered on the nearby pavement it looked like a scene out of a mafia movie.Slowly the rain began to wash away the trickles of blood as it flowed down a drain nearby.

There was no sign of life in Tom as he remained motionless and perhaps was only minutes away from certain death.It was just at that precise moment that Isobel?a arrived on the scene.

Submitted: September 13, 2019

© Copyright 2020 Buffershaker. All rights reserved.


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