The Haunted Lighthouse

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Fantasy Realm
This supernatural ghost story is a period drama set in the latter part of the 19th century.
Three lighthouse keepers are assigned the task of maintaining the beam of light on the old Smalls lighthouse which is positioned on The mumbles which is a stretch of rocks just off the port of Barry in South Wales.
Each lighthouse keeper takes it in turns by doing an 8 hour shift whilst the other 2 either sleep or entertain themselves.
During their 3 month spell at the lighthouse they witness strange events unfold.They soon realise that the lighthouse and the seas around it are haunted by past events which act like a stir of echoes.
Will they survive to tell their tale or be driven mad by their terrifying ordeals?.

Submitted: September 22, 2019

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Submitted: September 22, 2019

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The Haunted Lighthouse 
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The year was 1885 and I had just been assigned the task of being one of the new lighthouse keepers at "Smalls lighthouse"

It was positioned on a tiny stretch of rocks just south of "The Mumbles" which were known locally as death island.

It's notorious reputation proceeded it because this stretch of rocks had been blamed for causing the sinking of many ships and fishing boats in the past.

The day started calm with a little sea fret as i set sail by ship along with two other men on board.

I had gathered my supplies from port and would be based in the lighthouse for a three month stint.

The sea was a little choppy after the ship had left port but generally it was like a mill pond with nothing to concern us as we set sale for our destination.

I would do the first watch at the lighthouse then my other two colleagues would cover the other shifts.

Legend has it that my predecessors had experienced unusual events on their watch during their time spent at the lighthouse.

Perhaps induced by over intoxication of rum or maybe it was the idea of being cut off from the world in this very unnatural working environment.

Our job was to maintain the beam of the lighthouse and write down a daily recording any unusual events along with the usual mundane accounts of the weather conditions.

I had heard that two men committed suicide on the same night for reasons that still remain unexplained.

The third man was about to go quietly insane at the thought of having to wait for relief to come whilst he remained alone with the two corpses.

We eventually arrived at our location somewhat weary and at the same time relieved that we had made it in one piece.

I couldn't swim so I was especially relieved to have made land, if that is what you call it.

The three of us got off the ship and brought our provisions to our new base.

These would consist of tinned foods mainly and dried fruit with a few bottles of rum and brandy to keep us warm at night.

I also brought myself some pipe tobacco and a few packets of cigarettes to ease the thought of isolation and discomfort over these next 3 months.

We said our farewells to the ship's captain as he sped slowly away in the distance and began to plan our watch for the first night.

The lighthouse was quite a pleasant location with two bedrooms, a lounge area and kitchen, it was powered by a generator but also used a dynamo light for it's main beam.

It was early afternoon when I began my first watch,the other guys Bob and Dave were two sea hearty sailors.

They had travelled the world in their time aboard commercial ships bringing a variety of cargo from the UK to the West Indies and Africa as well as the Americas.

I had previously worked as a fisherman in making catches around the Pembrokeshire coast and this was a new experience for me.

We began to chat and find our total isolation some what daunting at first, I think by talking about it made us feel a little more at ease with our new surroundings.

"Hey bob have you got family back in port?" I asked, "yeah a wife and 3 kids", he replied.

What's  their names ?", I asked,oh there is Sally my wife she's 23 years of age,then there are my three young scratters Aimee,Jessica and Ally.",he said.

I pondered on his choice of names for his offspring then passed him a bottle of rum, we all sat out on a bench which was placed just outside the front entrance of the lighthouse.

I continued to chat with Dave and asked him a few questions,"Hey Dave what about you?" he looked at me then shook his head, but remained silent,he looked rather withdrawn and sad.

"What's wrong Dave you look a little down mate?",I asked,he began to recollect the day that his fishing boat sank when he lost 4 of his mates and the affect it had on his own mortality.

"I got to tell you Mike I'm not happy to be out here, but I need the dough to feed my folk back at home.

That day was one I will never forget in a hurry,he began to unfold the story behind this tragic loss and we all sat and listened to his account of the time that would change his life forever.

The day had began like any other he set out with his crew en route for "Smally point" which was a stretch of rocks where their catch would await them.

These would consist of crabs,lobsters and shrimp mainly,but something happened that day which would mean that their catch would be the last for the ship known as "Seamstress".

He began to tell us of the final moments before the disastrous sinking which lead to the lives of shipmates being lost.

"I was pulling a line in and suddenly caught something which wouldn't budge, it seemed an eternity before I managed to free the large net from it's catch and then it happened.

There was this horrible crunching sound as the boat began to break in two for no apparent reason.

We started to sink, there were no life preserves on board and I just held on to a piece of drift wood which had broken off the ship's main beam.

The screams from my shipmates will stay with me forever and seeing two of them go down never to resurface again would haunt me forever",he said.

"So what caused it?",I enquired,Dave just shook his head and continued to swig from the bottle of rum we were now sharing.

We then decided to crash the ash and have a cigarette each,"ah that's nice,you can't beat a proper smoke,better than that pipe crap isn't it?", I exclaimed, the others nodded.

I never got to the bottom of the story why it had happened and presumed that the boat had hit a small piece of rock or just broke up due entirely to fatigue.

Perhaps it had simply come to the end of it's days maybe because of a fracture in the hull or stern part of the boat.

It was indeed curious that the main beam had gone for that would point to a designer fault in the craft.

The three of us sat out for a further hour before it started to get cold and the sea waves began whipping up toward the base of the rocks near where we sat.

"Time for some snap!", I enquired to the others, they all agreed and we began to prepare the evening meal.

This would consist of a fish supper provided by tinned sardines,potatoes and tinned mushrooms.

I would peel the potatoes mash them up then spread the cooked mushrooms into the sardines to create this fish pie,this was cooked in a large black pot which sat above the stove.

The lighthouse's kitchen used coal as a fuel and there was plenty of it available not only for cooking but also for heating.

Situated in the main living quarters there were three comfortable chairs,a large table and an assortment of games for our entertainment.

Hanging on the walls were to be found paintings of previous lighthouse keepers who had done their watch here throughout the last 100 years or so.

There was a painting of "The Duke of Wellington" taken from the beginning of the 18th century positioned above a sideboard and next to that there was a Welsh dressing table.

This would contain our clothes and other supplies which we had brought to the rock.

We all sat around the kitchen table and began to eat our first meal together,right now we were strangers in an unnatural  environment.

It would take time for us to feel comfortable around each other,everyone had different habits some annoying,some amusing I guess.

However for the next 3 months we would have to get on with each other and go about our business in a professional and courteous manner with each other.

After the meal I continued my stint,I was 4 hours in to it and thought it rather canny to use the break during my watch.

I quickly checked the log which was to be found in a large red book just under the main stairs which was near to our sleeping quarters.

The last entry date was logged as the 13th of march 1885, nothing much unusual was written in the red book apart from the storm of the previous night which had prevented the keepers from gaining any restful sleep.

There was some sort of an altercation between two of the men which the writer had found unsettling,.

Still it had been their last night on the rock, I guess tiredness and fragility of mind might have created instability due to their lack of sleep and with the men being away from home for so long.

Bob and Dave were sitting around the roaring fire and were playing blackjack which was a game of cards that was very popular in these waters.

The rules of which were that you had to follow suite on the cards either by numbers or hearts,spade,diamonds,clubs etc until the winner has played his last card.

I must have dozed off for a few minutes during my watch from the light tower which was situated on the top floor when I suddenly heard this wretched horn go off.

It startled me at first,I guess the other guys would have heard it too.

 I quickly made my way to the viewing window in front of the main beam and could just make out what I believed to be a ship making it's way towards us,I feared imminent danger and alerted the others.

We began to quickly run towards the base of the lighthouse and I lit a gas lamp to improve the view from this oncoming vessel.

We then waved and shout frantically towards anybody on board the ship as the danger became more apparent.

Then all of a sudden it stopped dead straight ahead of us with out warning,there was complete silence as we looked at each other astonished that disaster had been averted.

The ship just kept it's position for what seemed an eternity until it was close enough for us to reach it.

I looked at Dave and then told him to come aboard,the ship was a 40 footer with a large stern and moderate sized hull.

Nothing seemed to be moving on board as all was eerily quiet then suddenly I looked up at the captains room there was nobody to be seen.

We searched for almost an hour and found nobody on board this eerie ghost ship,not even a sea rat which you might find on board.

I was mystified why and how could a ship steer it's way towards us then stop suddenly stop if there was nobody on board controlling it.

Then we reached the kitchen and found a table with 4 place settings and food for each person with a goblet of wine for the group of sailors.

There was a hot pan boiling in the back on the stove and it was cooking away,it seemed to be some sort of vegetable stock.

I looked at Dave horrified and then exclaimed,"What's going on here Dave?, this is giving me the creeps".

Dave looked at me then told me to get the hell out of there and return to base.

We left the scene confused and bewildered with so many unanswered questions.

It seemed evident that this ship must have steered itself towards our position without any hands on board.

This vessel might have taken our lives if I had not been quick off the mark in alerting the others.

The structure of the lighthouse was only made of wood and any contact would have caused certain peril to all of us had there been contact with it.

We decided to call it a night and would break the golden rule of lighthouse watch by all going to bed at the same time if only for a few brief hours to reflect on our ordeal.

The following morning we were greeted by glorious sunshine and a calm sea air.

The excitement of the previous nights events had helped us to gain restful sleep and all were refreshed as we entered the kitchen and ready for our first meal of the day.

Breakfast consisted of rolled oats with a little water and a dash of salt,it looked disgusting but tasted nice on the tongue when it was as dry as the proverbial Sahara desert.

We all then excitingly made our way to the front of the bench where we hoped to inspect the ship after enjoying a cigarette.

"Where's it gone?" I gasped before turning to the others,we all looked at each other like a light has gone out.The crewless ship had some how disappeared from view we looked from all points but saw nothing.

There weren't even any ships on the horizon,but that wasn't unusual,that's so strange",I exclaimed to Bob and Dave", what do you happened to it?",I asked.

Dave replied, "I think she must have sunk right here", he relied,but if that was the case we would have found some evidence like driftwood,there was none to be found.

Anyway I decided this first exciting event would be logged into the red book and maybe added to the lighthouse's legendary status.

Bob now took control of the watch and me and Dave continued the conversation in the kitchen during a game of blackjack.

We played for a few guineas but knew in all honesty we wouldn't be spending our winnings for a long time to come.

After lunch we all decided to see if there were any books to be found in the mini library as you can't beat a good read to calm the nerves of being so isolated.

I loved ghost stories and sometimes even wrote a few myself but I didn't think it was such a good idea to do so at this particular moment.

After a long hour we gave up and decided that we would have to make our own entertainment by singing a few songs and playing a few word games to keep us amused.

Nothing much exciting happened for the rest of the day and it was time again for my watch to begin.

The darkness descended upon our isolated location with just the friendly lighthouse's bright beam to warn other ships of impending disaster.

The first hour began without incident and I could not hear or see anything unusual,but after a couple of hours I began to feel sleepy and had to keep myself occupied. 

I was beginning to fall asleep and then suddenly in the distance I noticed a small rowing boat making its way towards me and the lighthouse.

The light was very faint and i could distinctly make out the outline of what appeared to be a young lady dressed in white.

She looked unconscious or asleep when finally the boat reached me at the foot of the rock.

She was wearing a white dress and had long dark flowing locks of hair which caressed her shoulders.

I was shocked to see that someone would be out on this cold night and so far away from land.

How had she got this far in her small boat without sinking?,I thought, it was indeed a miracle that she might be still alive with regard to the freezing night air.

I checked for her pulse and there was no sign of life, I looked in to her eyes by pulling down her eyelids but they were dilated.

I decided not to awake my friends and would take her lifeless body to the living room,where I placed her in to a chair near to the roaring fire and poured her a glass of brandy in hope that she might be revived.

It seemed an eternity before finally she came round and opened her eyes, she then spoke softly in a Welsh accent, "where am I,who are you what have you done to me?",

I smiled and told her that she had been found drifting towards the lighthouse in a small rowing boat and that I had taken her in.

She glanced her dark eyes towards me then placed her head on the cushion and fell asleep once again.

Soon after the others joined me in the living room as they made their way to the breakfast table, "Who's she?", how did she get here?",exclaimed a quizzical looking Bob.

"Now listen Bob she is our guest and we will find out later how she got here but for now we need to help her recover and make her feel welcome",I said.

They all agreed but there were concerns for the new sleeping arrangements as there were only two beds but this was soon sorted out,from now on there would be two people 
 on watch and two a sleep at all times.

We found out a few things about our visitor,she was indeed a Welsh lady who resided in Barry which was the port where we had departed for this location.

She had a wedding ring on the second smallest finger of her left hand ,it was a beautiful emerald stone with 8 small diamonds clustered around it.

Our guest spent most of the next two days in bed and seemed to suffer symptoms similar to one you would expect in the tropics, a high temperature, fever and vomiting.

At one point she looked in a bad way and I feared for her short term health.

It was regrettable that there was no emergency boat for us to make it back to land in an event that one of us should need a doctor's assistance,this concerned us all as we would simply have to wait for our relief.

After breakfast I retired to my bedroom and caught up on much needed rest.

It had been an eventful night and my mind was full of anxiety and constant worry, there were so many unanswered questions.

Why had this woman suddenly appeared from nowhere soon after the mysterious boat had come and gone?,I pondered to myself.

I soon fell asleep and my dream seemed to be quite vivid, I could clearly see that we were being tested by someone of a higher authority.

Would we go mad would the fever spread to us all and would she even be there when I awake in the morning?, I thought,all of these questions were circulating around my subconscious mind.

I was rudely awoken only 4 hours in to my sleep by a sharp knock at my door, it was Bob he was standing over me by the time I had opened my eyes.

"What is it bob can't you afford me the luxury of a few hours sleep?" I asked him, he just stood there looking very pale with a shocked expression on his pensive face with his hair standing on end and his eyes filled with fear.

"It's the lady Mike,I went to see if she needed anything to eat or drink and she's gone",he replied.

"What !!!!! where,how?" I looked at him in stunned silence.

I quickly jumped out of bed and entered her room, there was no sign of her or even that she had slept in the bed that we had provided for her.

The bed sheets didn't look like they had been slept in and the window which I had left open was now firmly shut.

I asked Bob and Dave if they had shut the window but both said that they hadn't.

This really was a puzzle where had she gone?, I decided to look for her boat surely that would still be tied up to it's moorings,but when I went to inspect it sure enough it had gone too.

If this woman had been ill surely she would not have been well enough to row her boat away, especially at this time of year with the high tides, she would never make it to land in one piece I thought.

We all decided to go for a smoke and contemplate our findings,"I don't know about you Mike but this gives me the creeps, first the boat then the lady how do you explain it?",said Bob.

I looked at him and nodded my head in agreement as we all started to puff on our cigarettes.

None of us were feeling relaxed but agreed that the topic of conversation would be left closed for now as we had our tasks to perform for the day.

I returned to bed to see if I could grab a few hours of sleep but I just lay awake and I couldn't  sleep so I got up and went for a walk around the lighthouse.

Then I had an idea maybe these events had happened before to other keepers on their watch, I decided to look for the log book and see if there were any similarities in this case.

Indeed my hunch had been proved correct,one year previous in 1884 another lighthouse keeper had written in the log book, that he had witnessed a small rowing boat which seemed to be making for "Smally point".

This boat had not reached the lighthouse,the writer had commented on seeing a small lantern which had been glowing on one side of the little boat.

It would appear that he could just make out the features of a frail looking woman slumped on the floor of the boat wearing a white dress.

He didn't see her hair or face but said that it appeared that the boat was moving unaided which was rather curious.

I quickly informed the others of my exciting discovery and the three of us were indeed puzzled,what kind of a boat drifts against the sea wind unaided and makes it to the lighthouse I thought.

In any case it was time for my watch and I just prayed that it would not be as eventful as the previous two.

Bob decided to stay with me for an hour as we both sat looking out to sea and almost expecting another peculiar event to occur.

However we would be disappointed, it was a filthy night with high winds with the rain lashing down, even the moon was almost unseen with it's tiny crescent just visible with the naked eye.

The rain and high winds seemed to go on for what seemed an eternity whistling through the night air relentlessly.

I decided to make myself a cup of coffee in the kitchen and started to write my blog for the evening.

It would just be a few words describing the conditions for shipping and indeed if I had witnessed any unusual occurrences but alas there were none tonight.

My shift was almost at an end without any incident when I noticed from the corner of my eye a little white glimmer of light behind me.

It seemed to come from the reflection of a small mirror placed over the fireplace.

I thought nothing more of it until I started to place more coal in to the fire and leaned down to warm my hands as they were cold with the night air. 

Then suddenly I began to feel a cold draft come over me as if someone had just walked over my grave. 

It was indeed one of those spine chilling moments for when I turned around there she was the missing lady dressed in her white dress and standing over me with her menacing pose.

Her raven coloured hair matched her two black hollow eyes, I ran out of that room as if my life depended upon it.

However wherever I went she followed and appeared in front of me,it was like a bad dream, surely I would awake from it but no it was real alright.

By now the other two keepers were awake and asking me if I was ok but this spectre was haunting me with every breath I took.

"Can't you see her Bob,Dave?,over there it's that woman she's some sort of spirit manifesting herself".

"No Mike I can't see anything what are you talking about?", Bob replied,"maybe you're not very well and need to lie down,let me take you to your quarters you need to rest",he said.

I laid on my bed and shut my eyes as tightly as I could not daring to open them in view of my experience.

 I even placed my head under the sheets and could still hear Bob and Dave discussing my plight.

"I don't know what's got in to Mike he looks really shaken up", I heard Bob say when he was standing behind my bedroom door.

The next thing I knew it was early morning and there would be no rest for me as I was on duty,but after discussing it with my two colleagues we decided to change the watch rota.

 I would be given more time to recover and undertake the daylight shift so as to spare me the prospect of a repeat performance from the previous nights events.

In the next few days nothing unusual occurred and we would not speak of that night when my experience had almost driven me mad, but more importantly I had made my colleagues think that I was going insane.

It was good to get back to normality and I had wondered whether this spectre had appeared on a previous watch.

I looked in the log book but there was no evidence to prove that this was the case and i would just have to put it down to experience.

Perhaps there was some substance in that old saying that isolation from ones family could really explain ones deluded vision.

The days and weeks were passing quickly and before too long we were entering the final month of our stint on the rock.

 I was pleased to report that we had all managed to stay in good health and were now looking forward to seeing our families once again.

Our rations of food were running down quicker than we had anticipated and we would have to economise in our final few weeks.

We had run out of rum and brandy and there were only 3 tins of sardines left, maybe it might be time to do a spot of fishing I thought,you can't beat the taste of fresh fish I pondered.

There were large fishing nets as well a few fishing rods kept in a store cupboard just beyond the kitchen,we decided it would be quite a novel idea  to do it together whilst smoking the last of our cigarettes.

"That's me done Bob" I exclaimed no more smokes until we hit land in a fortnight",ah but we've still got that disgusting pipe tobacco",he said.

We all laughed spontaneously and then made our first catch of the day which was a large cod, which was franticly trying to evade capture wriggling it's way out of the net.

I gave it a sharp tap on the head and it lay motionless and gave up it's fight for life.

"That's tea sorted", I exclaimed, who's going to prepare it I asked?",Bob reluctantly put his hand up and took the prized fish to be prepared for our meal,he would have to gut it and then make a marine pie out it.

We were all very hungry at this stage and a little fed up of tin food but that was the way of a lighthouse keeper, few luxuries were afforded and you just had to get on with it.

After our meal we all played cards and I decided that it was now ok to bet a few guineas and I might even win.

Then I could celebrate by buying all of us a drink when we were on land at Barry, that first drink of ale would never taste so good awaiting us at "The Jolly Sailor Inn".

Some of us endured several losses that night and I was a few guineas down but it was all good fun.

I left the other two guys and retired to my room, I was counting down the days until we were back on land,It was only a few days away and I would be a happy man to see my family again.

Just before I fell asleep I had a curious thought and wondered if there were any other photos of the people who had stayed in the lighthouse and I decided to search for them.

in the room where I slept there were two photos hanging on the wall and I was just about to look at them when suddenly I opened my Welsh dresser and found a picture.

It looked like it has been tampered with at the back of the lining and I decided to see if there was something concealed behind it.

Just then I looked out at the sea view from my window and noticed there were two little red dots staring at me through a reflection in the window.

I couldn't see the outline of a face just these two bright dots upon my eye line,the shock made me drop the picture I was holding and there placed on the floor amongst the broken frame was a photo of a woman.

I looked and concentrated on the picture it was indeed our guest who had come and gone, the spectre I had witnessed all those nights ago.

Her name was Anne-Marie Mcbriar,nothing else was written about her apart from "in loving memory born 18th day of July 1865 died 13th April 1884".

No reason was given for her cause of death but I am guessing it was the fever that would explain a lot of things.

Unfortunately there were no newspapers available to read on the rock and I would have to discover more details about her at a later date,how she had met her untimely death.

I decided to keep this information to myself if only for my own sanity and not to disturb my colleagues any further with my speculation.

The two red dots had now disappeared and I was ready for sleep which soon followed as I was suffering from nervous exhaustion and in need of rest.

My sleep passed without any illusions or bad dreams as my mind was a complete blank which was welcome as I felt refreshed when I awoke.

The final hours would seem like months as we approached the final hurdle of our stint on the rock, soon we would be welcomed by our relief crew.

The washing facilities were not great on the lighthouse as there was no running hot water, so I was looking forward to having a proper bath.

We were able to wash ourselves down with heated water from the stove but this wasn't like having a proper bath.

I decided, that would be the second thing I would look forward to doing after leaving the inn and tasting a nice jar of ale on our return.

It was time to do a last check on the generator and tidy up our quarters before our impending departure.

Today we would leave this rock which has been our home for these past few months.

We all sat outside with a few of our belongings awaiting the relief crew as we gasped for a proper cigarette, which was a luxury we had not sampled for almost a week now.

Eventually the ship had been spotted just making it's way toward us,it was about 20 minutes away from "Smally Point" but because of it's slow speed it would take a while yet before it got here.

The day was bright, the wind calm and the sun made it feel unseasonably warm for the time of year.

The ship arrived and I met up with the captain to exchange a few words with him,"nice day to be leaving here"? he enquired.

"Yes we are quite happy about going home as it has been quite an eventful time spent here these past few months".

He looked at me and enquired why and what had happened, I didn't answer his queries but just greeted the relief crew and got aboard.

It would remain our secret and we would take it with us until we reached the shoreline.

Perhaps  if I had disclosed the information to the other new crew of lighthouse keepers they might not have not wanted to stay here and we would have been stuck there for another 3 months.

I was looking forward to the next chapter of my life now and our journey home to my wife and family.

It would be 2 hours before we would see land, the journey didn't go without incident.

Suddenly the ship began to slow down and the generator which was it's power source began to cut out until all at once there was dead calm.

We had reached half way distance and were now stranded in-between land and Smally island.

"What's up captain has she run out of juice"?,I enquired,"no sir I can't explain it she was fully serviced before I left port" he replied.

It was now getting very dark and the sun had long since disappeared, the captain was trying his best to get the boat started but it was all in vain.

It  was now 9pm and I was getting quite worried as there was precious little shelter from the biting cold wind.

We might suffer from hypothermia being out here without any protection,at least the lighthouse was warm when we were by the fireplace I thought.

I asked him if we should return back to the lighthouse but he didn't want that and continued his efforts to get us on our way.

There was no way of contacting the outside world and sending out a mayday distress call giving out our position, we were stranded hook line and sinker.

It started to get mirky soon after and the fog was moving in from the west,there was nothing worse than freezing fog I thought,this could kill a man in his sleep.

Nothing much happened for the next few hours as we just sat there waiting for the night to end in hope that we might be spotted by another fishing boat.

There would be one more ordeal which lay ahead of us of unspeakable terror which I would remember until my dying days.

The fog started to descend within a few feet of our ship but it was thicker on our starboard side, reducing visibility to about 3 feet which made our journey almost impossible.

I turned to the captain of the stricken vessel and pleaded with him to turn back, but he just ignored me and continued to make the necessary repairs in order for us to be on our way once again.

Suddenly from nowhere I saw a glowing bright light  which was green in colour, it was coming from just a few feet away from our vessel,I pointed it out to Bob and Dave and we all gathered round to see what it might be.

There was absolute silence and then from nowhere a huge galleon ship appeared in front of us with it's full regalia.

I rubbed my eyes several times in absolute disbelief "what the heck?",I exclaimed.

"Are you seeing what I'm seeing Bob,Dave?", I exclaimed, they looked at me and then Bob replied "sure thing Mike".

It seemed an age before this ugly vessel had passed our ship,we didn't see anyone on board and it had reminded me of the night when we spotted that other little boat which had come towards us at a rate of knots but had avoided us by chance.


Then I noticed there was a flag flying at half mast just on the port side, it was the flag of a pirate ship and had a skull and cross bones embodied on the front of it.

There were cannons also on the first deck,you would not live through a confrontation with these guys I thought nervously to myself.

The fog seemed to surround the boat with it's mysterious glow and then we saw less of the vessel and the glowing fog when it finally disappeared from view.

At last it had gone and with it the threat of something really sinister which might have occurred.

Finally the captain managed to get the ship going and we were on our final leg of the journey, he explained that a bolt had got caught in the piston part of the engine, it was unable to move up and down in order to function properly.

Daylight was almost upon us when I could clearly make out the harbour,we would soon be at home with our families,more importantly that first taste of ale and a real smoke was on my mind I could taste them both in the early morning air.

We had so many memories of our time on the rock and it would indeed take an age to document them, maybe I could publish them in an article with the local press which was "The South Wales Echo".

The others were still sleeping when the ship took anchor and I disembarked,with the help of the captain I tied up the rigging and made my way on to land, it felt good to be back on dry land again.

"Come on fellows we've got some serious drinking to do",I exclaimed in an excited tone to Dave and Bob.

I waved goodbye to Mr.Jones our captain on the boat and thanked him for his help in getting us ashore, he promised to look us up,when we would be enjoying ourselves in the "Jolly sailor Inn" later that day.

It was only a 10 minute walk from the harbour to the inn and we decided to make a run for it as the rain started to fall quite heavily upon us.

The inn was moderate in size and had a snug room which was used for smoking and snuff usage,this tended to smell the place out.

Snuff was a sort of medicinal substance which helped one to overcome symptoms of sinusitis which occurred when one didn't smoke but everyone else did all around you.

I went to the bar and ordered 3 jars of ale and made my way to a table which was vacant, I had left 3 guineas on the bar and asked the barman to bring our ales to our table along with a packet of his finest cigarettes.

The service was prompt and we were soon enjoying our creature comforts which were a pint of ale and a cigarette,"ah that's better", I exclaimed after taking my first sip of beer.

I had decided to only spend a few hours with my keeper friends and then I would make my way home,as my wife and children would no doubt be glad to see me and be excited at hearing the news I would bring them.

The inn was fairly packed but not full and we could move around quite freely.

I didn't notice if there were any familiar faces about and just continued to have a laugh with the lads before I took my leave and left the inn. 

It was a sad moment as these lads had been my family for the past 3 months and it would indeed be a long time before our paths crossed again.

The walk along Watling street took only 5 minutes as I lived in the centre of Barry Port,the streets were mainly dirt tracks for the oncoming coaches from Swansea and Cardiff but there were a few cobbles here and there.

I was approaching home when suddenly I thought maybe I aught to check out the story with Anne-Marie Mcbriar,what would I say to my wife about the mysterious pea soup of a fog the night previous,I pondered.

Just then I looked up and saw that there was a newspaper boy selling his papers on the street just outside my door.

I gave him a farthing and thought nothing of reading the paper that moment as I entered the house,which was a modest cottage with flowers perched on different corners of the windows.

This was a fanciful idea of my wife who was a woman of substance but she also possessed a flair for creativity things like the flower arrangements.

She slowly opened the door a few seconds after I had knocked and gazed in to my eyes in a loving way,holding me so tightly that I thought I would be suffocated for sure,she smiled in her delightful way and we kissed so passionately.

My little bairn Ben was fast asleep,he was only a few months old and wouldn't have any idea what the fuss was all about as he sat in his tiny cot with his little toy dragons to keep him company.

"Darling I've missed you so terribly", she exclaimed before taking me by the hand and guiding me upstairs where we started to undress each other.

I started to kiss her all over stroking her raven coloured hair in the process,she had beautiful locks,her eyes matched the colour of her hair which was dark and sultry.

At last we were both lying naked on the bed,our bodies were now saturated in sweat,the windows had started to steam over with all of the passion from the bedroom's activity.

I've missed you so sweetheart" I exclaimed as we rolled over toward each other again and again.

I looked in to her dark eyes and I could see the genuine love that she had for me, it was so obvious, absence had certainly made her heart grow fonder,I thought to myself.

"More !!!!!!! I want you to make love to me over and over again",she cried.

It was at this point that I was starting to feel tired as my eyes were becoming heavy after my exhausting time on the rock,as well as all that ale which I had now drunk on an empty stomach.

I made an effort to stay awake a little longer not to deny my wife her afternoon of passion and came toward her once again with such pleasure.

The sweat was now pouring down her beautiful lily white breasts and erect rose coloured nipples,she grunted then made a sigh before we both laid down grasping each others hand.

The next thing I knew it was morning again I had spent 16 hours in bed I couldn't believe the time.

It must have taken it's toll on me those nights with all that had happened,should I mention my supernatural experiences to my wife?,surely she would think I was barking mad,I thought to myself.

No I decided to venture out and go to the local maritime museum to find out more about the history of the lighthouse,it's watch and the people that worked there over the years.

The first thing I would have to establish is the identity of one Anne-Marie Mcbriar? what was her connection with the lighthouse?,

I entered the maritime museum and made my way to births,deaths and marriages as everyone who was anyone would have their name listed here

The town was a fishing port and this was the only business in this busy little hub of South Wales.

After a short while I discovered the significant detail and the obituary of who she was,it read,

"Anne-Marie Mcbriar died in a tragic boat accident when attempting to meet  her lover Bob Davies, a local man at "Smally point".

She had broken her neck as the boat had approached the rock with some force, her semi -conscious body had laid undiscovered for 2 days before the 3 men on watch found the corpse.It was evident that she had died a slow,painful and agonising death.

It had a profound effect on them as they knew this woman because she was indeed a lady of the night, a profession which was acceptable in these times though scorned on by many a wealthy country lady.

She was with child and had been engaged to be married to Bob Davies who was a local fisherman.

He had promised to take her off the streets and make an honest woman of her and indeed she was carrying his child.

So that explained her story,but what about the mysterious pirate ship that we all witnessed the night before last?,I thought to myself.

I couldn't find any information about this,maybe it was documented in the "Lighthouse chronicles",which was a local paper which was dedicated to men who took their turn on the watch like myself.

I checked to see if there had been any events in the past which might coincide with the appearance of this galleon.

There had been one other sighting of this vessel in the year 1825,some 60 years previous.

The article stated that whilst the men were on watch at the lighthouse one of them had spotted the vessel coming toward the rocks.

It had looked like it was going to crash and sink there but made it's way to safer waters,the man who spotted the ship exclaimed.

"Look !!!!  it's a pirate ship" those were his final words as he dropped dead on the spot.

When his body was taken to shore a doctor examined it and couldn't establish his cause of death, it would remain an open file.

His heart had just stopped beating at that final moment, he was only 24 years of age and from all accounts in a good state of health.

The other crew members of his team had stated that whoever sees the galleon again will die in a similar fashion but thankfully their words of warning proved to be a false omen,we were all still alive and kicking so they were indeed mistaken.

I would keep my secret of the days spent on the rock until it was time for me to leave this earth after a short illness when a fever took hold of me on the 13th of march 1935.

It was exactly 50 years to the day when I had left these shores for my post at "Smally point" lighthouse, I knew my time on earth was coming to an end.

In these modern times one had the use of a typewriter which helped me to speed up my story,a young lady of no more than 20 years began to write down in shorthand my memoirs before I would lose consciousness for the last time.

I would not outlive my wife and son of 50 years but they knew about my memoirs of those fateful days spent on the rock.

It had only been 20 minutes in to the recording of these events when I felt this sharp pain shooting across my heart and then I was dead but finally at rest.

My funeral was attended my many a country gent and his fair lady, I had gone up in the world and had become a master craftsman building boats at my local yard.

In all there were 26 guests which attended my wake including the two mates that I had shared the experience with Bob and Dave.

Both men had seen better days as they lifted my coffin to the local St.Mary's Roman Catholic Church at my service of remembrance.

One other guest attended who was uninvited to the ceremony,making her way across the graveyard and looked upon the new tombstone which had been freshly laid.

It was the lady in white,her hair was raven coloured and her red eyes were staring menacingly down upon my grave stone.

She appeared to float above it,wearing a white wedding dress which would never be worn for her special day,as like me she had now entered the spirit world.
THE END


© Copyright 2020 Buffershaker. All rights reserved.

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