Watchman Of The Sea

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
An old,past his prime, Australian fisherman usually passes his boring shifts as a lighthouse keep drinking, smoking and sleeping. Until on night he sees something amazing that challenges him to step up and take on his responsibility as the watchman. This was my first attempt at writing and is very sentimental to me.

Submitted: August 03, 2014

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Submitted: August 03, 2014

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Deep below the surface of man's knowledge of this world, and far beyond the reach of his most advanced technologies lies hidden in the murky blackness, awaiting some poor soul to sink into its clutches, is one of God's darker creations. Slithering through the sand and muck, and intently listening for any vibrations in the water, the monster relentlessly feeds of anything in its path. With its food supply dwindling, and the intense sound of a ship treading the liquid above, it goes in search of a larger prey. Perched in a tower afar off, one man beholds the terror as it unfolds. The Watchman of the Sea.

 

Swan's Island, Queenscliff Australia, 1861, October 5, 2:35 AM

 

Gregoryo Myers bent in his chair to light his Victorian cigar. He desperately needed to remain awake, so lighting one up seemed like a good idea. Closing his eyes, he savored the flavor of his favorite pastime. As the puffs of smoke filled the tiny glass compartment, he inhaled deeply of the sweet hickory aroma. Rings of smoke floated to the ceiling, one of which encircled the moon. Most times he liked to use a pipe, but tonight he had regrettably left it at home. A sharp shifting in the dark translucent waters caught his eye. He sat straight up. The sudden movement caused the ashes from his cigar to fall on his bushy red beard. He quickly brushed them off, and snatched up his binoculars. He reached over, and rekindled the flame. Risking his job, he had extinguished the fire so he could catch a few winks. Two hours later, he stirred fearing the worst, but the ship had not yet arrived. He could only hope it wasn't lost at sea on account of his momentary self-indulgence.

 

Through his glass covered nest, he had a front row view of the encroaching storm. Monstrous waves pounded the waters surface again and again until they finally crashed into the mound of earth upon which the lighthouse sat.

Although what he sought was currently no where to be found, he could not resist getting a closer look at the thick, black clouds which had completely enshrouded the stars. It was a if a curtain had been pulled over the night sky, and almost making it impossible to distinguish between the sky and the waters below. Except of course, for the white veins running at various angles, like rips and tears through the fabric of the darkness. Rain battered the glass before him. The wind blew with such intensity that he didn't see one drop hit the ground, but they were rather carried away in whatever direction it decided to go.

 

He groggily scanned the horizon, until the mast came into view. There she is, at last. Gregoryo had manned an another lighthouse on the southern end of this rock for fifteen years, and never had a ship been this off schedule.

He was recently booted out by a younger man eager for military work. In his mind, he was too old to fight. Let them play war. He thought to himself. The construction of the fort, and the sea wall on the eastern side gave many a young man with a strong back, and an aching wallet a job. With all the ships that had mysteriously vanished over the past few months, the last thing they wanted was a tired old drunk watching their lighthouse. The Australian government had assumed it was pirates, so they offered a tremendous reward for any man who managed take them out. As far as he was concerned though, this was enough. The lowly life of a retired fisherman, and soon to be father more than contented him. The only two concerns that he entertained were that he might not be able to provide for his new family, and that he wanted to do something memorable. Something he could tell his child that he did.

 

Becoming a parent so late in life was certainly not the way he and his wife had planned it. At first, they had envisioned a big family. He himself had wanted a son to teach his trade to, but alas fate denied them that possibility. His wife ,whom had been barren, by some miracle had conceived approximately nine months ago and this very night was giving birth. Wilma, their servant had assured him that Maria would be alright. She had already been in labor for seven hours now, and he still hadn't received any word from her. Thus, he was beginning to worry.

 

Through his scope, the ship sailed past his line of vision so quickly that he had to continuously move the binoculars downward to keep up. According to his estimations, they must have been traveling at least 30 knots, and with the shore so close they were in danger of shipwreck. Why don't they drop anchor, or lower their sail? The “SS Dread” was making coarse right toward him, and if they didn't turn soon they would plow into the lighthouse. The ship rocked heavily, obviously being ravished by the hurricane. He could see ant men scurrying about the ship's starboard side pulling at the sail trying to get turned around. Every once and a while the sailors would be washed back by an onslaught of water. It began to curve to the right, but never made to a full 180. The bow exploded into ball of fire, and flames licked at the mast. Dazed and panicking, the sailors ran madly, some even jumping overboard, to extinguish the fire that had engulfed them. What the heck? Where did the fire come from?

 

Gregoryo watched wide-eyed, and with sweat pouring down his face, as a man was snatched by something and yanked backwards. For all the smoke he couldn't see what had pulled him, but he did notice the look of horror upon his face. Still another was holding on to the mast something tugging at him until his grip loosened. Whatever was behind them wasn't an enemy ship. All Gregoryo could make of their pursuer was water being treaded, and the occasional hump rising from the deep. A few of the shipmates were attempting to man the cannons, and they fired a couple of times, but they were mainly just blind shots. What looked like a giant tail rose up, and slammed onto the middle of the ship. Boards flew every which way splinters exploded into the air, and men jumped to either side to avoid being crushed. It had been broken in two. The stern sank mournfully into the ocean, the bow continued a bit then hit the face of a cliff, about 100 yards east of the tower.

 

After crashing into the rocks, the other half of the “SS Dread” slowly descended into the abyss. A giant tail twirled a bit, then vanished without a trace. Gregoryo slid back in his seat, trying to comprehend what had just taken place. What they faced certainly wasn't human. As for what kind of creature it was, or from where it came, he dared not contemplate. The light was starting to dim again, he quickly trimmed back the wick. He knew he must warn the authorities of the threat hiding just below the surface of the Tasman Sea. Then again, who would believe him, especially with his history with alcohol. He was caught drinking on the job during his run as the lighthouse keep for Queenscliff Fort. It was also almost the end of his marriage. His wife's infertility, had led her into a deep depression, a gaping hole that Gregoryo simply couldn't fill. She pushed him away, and he gave in to anger and frustration. He spent most of his lonely nights in bars. The locals had also already heard several rumors from crazed old men, and fantastic stories from a friend of a friend, so anything he said would simply be ignored.

 

Either way, he had determined that he was going to get in his row boat, and try to reach the mainland alive.

He couldn't leave without looking for survivors though, that would be selfish. Surely someone had made it away from the beast in one piece. He hunched over, unlatched the metal door on the floor, and crawled down. The spiral stair case was a stand-alone. Free from the walls, it curled around a pole welded to the ground. Peering over the edge didn't help his already queasy state, but if he stayed here any longer he would probably go insane. Fear crawled in him, and burrowed itself deep in his psyche. He gazed downward, counting the steps to the end, while taking his first. The lantern hung on the wall on the third round, but he wasn't sure he would make it there. He swallowed hard, and pressed on. Each time flashbacks of the wreck stopped him, the memories of his wife, and the thought of his unborn child pushed him forward. The kid would need a father, so he had to survive.

 

On his left, the lamp shook, as it always did when the waves clashed against the lighthouse. The storm must have been growing worse. His right hand clasped the handle, and with a hard squeak it settled at his side. He struck a match, and lit the lamp. Before he could move on, a scratching sound proceeded the tumbling of tiny bits of concrete to the metal steps. Squeezing its fat, ugly body through a small crack in the brick, was a gray rat. Its fur was wet and matted, and its nose was raised curiously sniffing the stagnant air. As soon as it cleared the hole completely, it fell to the ground below, and scurried into another break in the wall. The rodent was actually a welcome distraction from his current dilemma.

 

By the time he reached the bottom, the wind had already blown the wooden door open, and it was banging into the stoop. The tower essentially sat on a rock floating out in the middle of the sea. It was approximately 500 yards from the rest of the island. Everyday he had to row out here, and make sure the light never went out. Right now though, not being able to see was the least of any captain's worries. Lying on the floor beside the exit, was his staff. Ever since his back injury, he had used a staff to support him, but because he made use of the railing on the way up he saw no reason to bring it along with him to the upper compartment, so he left it by the entrance. The pain was also beginning to make the trip over to the island almost unbearable. He picked up the rod, and cautiously left the sanctuary of the lighthouse. Outside, the sea was raging. Savage and fierce, the upturned water slammed the rocks beneath his feet. Granite slabs were scattered about the tiny island. Slime, sand and muck coated everything including the bottoms of his shoes. Stick in one hand, and his lamp in the other, he held out his right hand to light his path.

 

Resting a moment from the descent, he leaned against the lighthouse to regain his balance. Looking up at it stole his breath. It was a formidable sight. The structure was made of brick with a black top, the only one of its kind in the world. Glancing about, he noticed no trace of the beast that wreaked such havoc only minutes ago.

 

Staring out at the enormous expanse of water, and standing under the shadow of the tower, made him feel like an ant ready to be stomped. Many a night, he had spent his long hours on duty gazing into the water. The experience was not unlike that of looking into a mirror. For in the sea of glass more often than not, he saw himself.

He had always loved fishing, the peace and quiet. Also the solitude, being separated from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. No one there, but he and the ocean. At the age of forty though, his back gave out on him, and he could no longer stand the strain of lugging the net in.

 

Tonight, the waves that had once seduced him, and other times lulled him to sleep, now filled him with terror. The moonlight gleamed upon the jagged rocks, and the sky itself seemed to swirl as the dark clouds moved with the wind. Off in the distance the fire was still burning atop the floating bits of wreckage. Gregory found himself wondering what had become of the crew. Did they drown? Were they burned? Or worse? Carefully, he took a few awkwardsteps toward the dock. The last thing he wanted was to slip on the slick ground, and break something. Just in cause he always brought his staff along to help support him. He had to descend a small hill to reach his boat, so he found a sturdy spot between to stones, and dug the stick in deep.

 

On the way down, the final rock he stepped on gave away, and his staff snapped in half as he was trying to dislodge it from the hole. Luckily he didn't hurt anything but his pride. He cleared the rocks, the mud beyond broke his fall. He ended up sliding the rest of the way on his backside, until his feet hit a wooden post. Angrily, he huffed and rolled over onto his hands and knees. Sorely, he managed to stand upright, holding the post for balance. This wind was the worst he had ever felt, almost threatening to blow him backwards. About ten yards ahead of him, sat his ruined tiny boat. A rouge wave had apparently picked it up, and dashed it against the boardwalk. It now lay upside down with a splintered hole in the bottom. The rope was no longer attached.

 

Now how am I going to get home? He thought, trying his best not to panic. He knew now wasn't the time, but he needed something to take the edge off the fear. He pulled a flask of whiskey from his coat pocket, first drinking a little, and pouring the rest on his head. What would Marie say if she knew you were drinking again? An expectant father still a slave to the bottle, what a shame. He rubbed his burning eyes. Once the rain washed the alcohol out of his eyes, he could see his fishing pole bending back and forth wildly. He was surprised it hadn't already broken. Earlier that day he had buried it in the sand, and left it there just to see if he would catch anything, but never really thinking it would. It didn't look as though a fish were pulling it, but more like something drifting with the tide.

 

He hurried over to his right, and tugged hard on the stick, wrapping the line around his hand in the process.

He needed both hands, so he sat the lamp down on the sand beside him. Along with wood and debris, he dragged in a net. Entangled in the webbing was a severed arm, the hand holding a bronze tipped harpoon. Also there was a rope. Gregoryo blanched, he refused to believe what he was seeing. The poor man had attempted to thwart the monster, but was tragically devoured before he could launch his weapon. He went out with his boots on at least. Good for him. He pried the spear from the cold dead fingers. Now he had an instrument with which to defend himself, but he wasn't foolish enough to believe the spear would harm something that large. It made him feel better to be armed nevertheless.

 

Gaping out at the water on the end of the beach, Gregoryo caught sight of another boat slightly bigger than his own, meandering aimlessly riding the waves. Slowly and deliberately, he reeled it in by the rope which was dangling from it. It moved closer and closer. Surprisingly, it was easily pulled. Once it hit the sand at his feet, he climbed inside, and noticed that there was only one oar. That would definitely make it difficult, but not impossible to row out and return. His feet sat in a puddle and the seat was wet, but he was already soaked anyway. He started to head for his home, when in the distance he saw upturned water from splashes made by arms flailing around frantically trying to stay afloat. My God, he's drowning! Gregoryo grunted, quickly dipped the oar in the ocean, and (trust) back. The man was only thirty yards out, but he had to fight the wind, and waves to get to him.

 

Stroke after painful stroke, he inched nearer to the person. When was twenty yards from him, he was dunked under by a giant wave, and Gregoryo temporarily lost sight of him. Startled, he gazed back and forth attempting to locate him again. He saw his head pop out of the water gasping for air. He released a deep sigh of relief. Just ten yards from him, his right arm grew tired and ached, so he switched to his left. By the time he reach the man, he had sunk once more, without a trace. He wiped the rain out of his face, and bent over looking to where he might have gone. No, no, no! He strained to pick up any reflection of him on the surface. When he did, he took a deep breath, but then paused. It occurred to him that he couldn't jump in after him, or he himself might freeze to death. He'd be no use to either the man or his family dead.

 

Taking the oar in his hand, he put the handle in the water. Running it through his suspenders, Gregoryo heaved him upward. As he came within arm's length, he grabbed his clothes. With all the extra weight the water added to the body, lifting him reminded him of his younger years. The good old days of lugging in a net filled with fish. Those days had abruptly ended the time the net had snagged on the boat. He kept pulling until a muscle in his lower back tore. Tears mounted in his eyes. It required every ounce of his strength to haul him aboard, but he was able to roll him over the side. The bloke was pathetic. His face was purple, and gaunt. I'm too late. He hung his head in despair. Just in case, he applied pressure to the man's chest, pumping multiple times. A few seconds after deciding it was pointless, Gregoryo beat him one more time. The guy rolled over, and coughed up water and bile. He began gaging and sputtering. The air he had inhaled apparently burned his lungs, so he forced it back out almost as soon as he sucked it in.

 

They made it back to shore without incident. His new acquaintance had come to, and was staring at him. “Who are you?” he asked. “A friend.” Gregoryo replied, simply. The man slumped. “We can meet formally later, right now we need to get you to safety.” He nodded. Gregoryo lifted the man's arm, and placed it around his neck.

He was a young muscular fellow with slick black hair, and inked skin in the form of a snake running the length of his arm. “I will find some way to repay your kindness,” The man said. “Right now your company is repayment enough.” He smiled as a response. Gregoryo kicked the door to the lighthouse ajar, and laid his friend down against the wall. “You wait here, I'm going to see if there's anyone else out there.” He held out his hand, and the man took it.

 

“Gregoryo Myers, nice to make your acquaintance,” He said with a heavy Irish accent. “Alfred Bane, the same to you.” He left him resting there, and returned to the dock.

 

He started to get back in the boat, when a hand clasping desperately to the edge of the pier caught his attention. The boardwalk in front of which he was crouching was good twenty feet in length, every inch of it was entirely rotten. Right next to the hand was his upturned boat. Suspiciously, he made haste to offer help to whomever was trying to climb up. Why doesn't he move? A gnawing in his gut hampered his pace. Something wasn't right. One creaky step after another, he slowly approached the person. A sudden boom of thunder exploded in his ears, causing him to jolt forward. He quickly bent, and grabbed the hand pulling it up. As he had feared, there was no body attached to it. Gregoryo dropped it immediately and plopped to his backside.

 

That's when he heard it. The chilling call of the beast. The awful growling which had surely plagued the ship's crew not long before their destruction. It was haunting, and unearthly, like claws penetrating deep into your chest, scratching at the heart, causing blind panic. Down in the water, not more than five feet below his shoes, there were two giant, catlike eyes paralyzing him. The creature blinked two different sets of lids, cracked open its mouth exposing a wide rack of horrendously sharp teeth. Each sat there for a moment, examining one another, as if sizing up their opponent. The skin was maroon and scaly, and flaps of skin sprouted from its neck. The ole fisherman's teeth chattered, and his hands shook uncontrollably. As he began backpedaling, bubbles formed in the monster's nostrils, floating up gracefully, and popped the second they cleared the surface. The water took on an orange hue, and he knew what was coming.

 

Gregoryo heaved the broken row boat over his head, and frantically tried to run away with it placed on his back holding it behind him. He heard a huge splash, followed by what sounded like wind bellowing from his pursuer. Intense heat, like unto he had never felt before, hit his back all at once engulfing the vulnerable wooden shield in flames. He pushed the burning boat off him, and tugged his coat off over his head and tossed it away because it too had caught fire.

 

Haphazardly trying to outrun it now, he twisted, and turned narrowly avoiding each snap of its massive jaw. Every few seconds another portion of the boardwalk was bitten off by the failed attempts at swallowing him. Stopping only for a moment to spit out bits of wood, the monster relentlessly followed after him. With each beat his heart almost failed him, and crippling pain flooded his hurt back. Once he hit the beach, he wasted no time climbing the rocks. He decided he would rather run the risk off falling than being eaten alive. Jamming the harpoon in between the middle stones, he launched himself up to the top. The sea serpent seemed to have trouble adjusting from its normal environment of water to that of the jagged rocks of dry land, thus it lagged behind moaning.

 

Once he entered the lighthouse, Gregoryo realized his detrimental mistake. He had left his lantern sitting on the beach. With the flimsy door shut, and locked he could see absolutely nothing. Alfred sat straight up, and asked, “What happened?” Gregoryo placed a finger to his lips. “Shhh.” He could still hear the monster sliding up the hill. “You've seen it haven't you?” asked Alfred. Gregoryo said nothing. “The demon returns to finish me off,” he said solemnly. Quaking with fear himself he said, “That's not going to happen just sit tight, I'm going to finish it off.” He was glad Alfred couldn't see him shaking. Definitely no fan of the dark, especially the pitch black kind, he made his way solemnly to the faint glow of the dying light at the top of the tower. At the second round, the unmistakable clatter of the creature slithering its way around the lighthouse froze him. It's do or die. I can't escape, so I'll just face it. If it wants to eat me, I'll let it try. It donned on him that he had been forewarned about this entity years prior. In a bar on the outskirts of town, an old sailor had shared a round with him. At the time he thought is was just the whiskey talking, or the life of a night owl beginning to prey on the man's mind. The Demon of the Sea, Rehab he had called it. It was certainly real enough.

 

Another unsettling growl weakened his resolve. Sweat built on his hand, and the weapon started to slip from his palm. He changed hands, and proceeded. He could barely see the latch that closed off the glass compartment from the rest of the tower. Suddenly, everything began to quake, and he heard the beast roar. As he popped open the door, and peeked his head in, he paused waiting for the monster to show itself. Flames streaked up into the sky on his right. Once fully inside standing next to his chair, he stared out of the window. He backed up in pure horror of what he was looking at. It licked the glass in front of him, taunting him. He was face to face with what had killed an entire crew, and had successfully broken a ship in half. Making no attempt at hiding, he simply watched as it brooded its mammoth head from side to side like a rattler. Without any warning, it swung its head and knocked the head of the lighthouse clean off. He had fortunately seen it move, and ducked just in time.

 

Lying on metal ground, completely covered with shards of glass, Gregoryo rose to his knees. The monster had now risen to its full height above him, hovering quietly observing its prey. He had to strain his neck to even look all the way up at the monster extended to it's full height. It blotted out the moon, and the only light remaining were the stars, and the fire consuming the broken timbers of the ship. It was quite a dizzying sight to behold. No where to run now. The door to below was stuck, so he only had one option. It widened it jaw to its full extent showing off every needle-like tooth, and then lunged downward with all its might. He lifted the harpoon as high as he could, and knelt on the ashes where the fire had been. He whispered a quiet prayer, and took a deep breath.

 

The next thing he knew, the atmosphere around him had shifted from cold and drafty to hot and humid, but still dared not open his eyes. Something wet hit the top of his head, some kind of fluid ran the length of the spear over his hands. Warm wind graced the back of his neck, and a putrid smell filled his nose. Oh my God! It occurred to him that he must have been eaten, but he felt no pain at all. He let his eye lids crack open a little, and all he saw was red with the occasional bluish sinew. The walls were pulsating. What had touched the back of his head was the tongue, and blood was smeared all over his hands. I stabbed it! He still felt the cold metal beneath him.

 

He had never left the compartment. The creature was jerking upward, trying to move. He heard the scrapping of its teeth against the walls of the lighthouse. It had opened too wide, and had accidentally clamped onto the tower instead of Gregoryo, and now wasn't able to widen its jaw enough to free itself. Just in case he was wrong, he rapidly began fiddling with the latch until he finally managed to open it. Picking up the spear, he pierced it deeply as many times as he could before his back gave out on him. Not wanting to wait to see what happened next, he dropped down through hole. Feeling like he had just escaped hell, he descended the winding staircase skipping steps as he went. Soothing thoughts of his sweet wife waiting for him at home gave the courage to continue on. He picked up a chain which was in the corner thread the harpoon through a few of the links, then looped the chained spear under the railing. Mr. Bane had risen to his feet, eagerly awaiting his orders.

 

“Move, outside now!” He shouted, but the man didn't move. He grabbed his face, and directed his gaze upward. His eyes widened, and his mouth hung open. The dragon had closed his mouth crushing the top of the lighthouse, sending rocks falling to the stair way. Flames came hurling down towards them. Alfred still refused to budge. He slapped his face, and tugged at his collar. Heat bloomed just above them. “Let's go kid!” Gregoryo ran behind him, and rammed into him throwing him out the door just in time. Immediately after crossing the threshold, he hopped to the left, and shoved Alfred to the right. The door was blown clean off, and fire bust through the opening igniting his sleeve. He rapidly beat it until it went out. The monster spotted them. It surged downward, going for a second strike. He saw the uvual looming overhead. Cringing as he did, he slung the harpoon at its throat. It gaged, and choked, only shoving his weapon in further. It retreated a bit, slapping it head about, tossing Gregoryo around in the process. The chain snapped tight, and began sliding out of his hands. Alfred snatched the chain from him, but it jerked to the right smashing him head first into the brick wall, knocking him out.

 

The chain glided quickly up unraveling the pile. He realized that he would not stand a chance in a tug-of-war game with the animal, but if he could find a way to brace it, and distribute the weight evenly it just might hold. He gave himself some slack, and raced around the tower chain pile in hand. He was running out of chain, so he had to think of something in a hurry. Tying both ends to the staircase would have to do.

 

He went back to where his ally had fallen. A pain saturated roar erupted from the belly of the beast. Slinging its head back and forth, it tried in vain to break its bonds. Gregoryo attempted to revive his friend, but he was out cold. In a moment which seemed to pass by in slow motion, he watched as a link leading to single line which held the creature started to bend. Oh no, you're not going anywhere. Without thinking, he seized the chain just ahead of the break with both hands, and prepared himself for the worst. The serpent pulled with all its might, sending him flying forward. He stretched out his legs in front of him and stopped his accent two feet planted on a boulder next to the doorway. His knees buckled under all of the pressure, his shoulders cracked, his arms were almost pulled from their sockets, and his back felt as though there was lava running the course of it. The only two parts of him which remained strong were his grip, and his resolve. He had to do this, the fiend must be stopped.

 

Gregoryo's hold on the rock slipped, and he surged up into the sky. It was reeling him in straight up. Suddenly a hand closed on the back of his pants. He was moving back to earth. His feet touched the solid ground again. He spun his head around. Alfred had woken up, and was now heaving him back grinding his teeth all the way. When they reached the chain that had been wrapped around the lighthouse he glanced to the left and saw the pad lock which had fallen off the door. Over his shoulder, he handed off the link to Alfred, and made a mad dash for it. Gregoryo fiddled with the key, while Alfred began sliding away. The lock popped open, and he removed the broken link replacing it. “That's got it.” He said to Alfred, and he released his grip with a huff. “I guess all those muscles are really worth something after all, thanks kid.” “I told you I would repay you.” “This isn't over yet.” Gregoryo said, looking up. “Let's go get to the boat.” Alfred urged.

 

Alfred had no problem reaching the dock, but Gregoryo couldn't take another step. He fell to his knees. “I'm coming Mr. Myers!” he called out. “No! Stay there, or leave me, but don't come back up here.” Gregoryo demanded.

 

They made off towards it. Rehab wasn't going to let them leave though. It lunged at Gregoryo, lowering it head to his level snarling and blowing smoke through it nostrils. He plopped to his rear, scooting back just out of reach. Alfred was already down at the boat waiting on him. Like a dog on a short leash it hung there foaming at the mouth wishing it could move just an inch closer. With each whip of the behemoth's neck, the lighthouse teetered and tilted the bottom half crumbling away. Gregoryo trembled greatly wondering what to do next. He had strained every muscle in his body wrestling with chain, and he could barely stand let alone run away. Then he looked up and witnessed what was happening. Come on just a little bit more. Unbeknownst to the demon of the sea the watchman had just tricked him. For behind him the lighthouse was being ripped from its foundations. The lighthouse tipped over, and he rolled managing to leap away at last second. The boom was so loud that popped his ears, and the force of the impact slung him up into the air, landing him in the sand below. Alfred came rushing to him, and knelt at his side. “Is it dead sir?” he asked. Gregoryo looked at the extent of the damage. The tail wasn't moving, and the bulk of the structure had hit its head. Blood pooled from underneath the rock. “I believe so.” he confirmed. “Thank God!” Alfred exclaimed.“Yes. Alright now let's go get help.”

 

Early the next morning, Gregoryo brought a rescue team to search for more survivors. People stood in awe of the fantastic spectacle of a dead dragon protruding from a fallen lighthouse. It was presumed that the beast was responsible for the missing ships instead of pirates, so the Australian government awarded him handsomely. He insisted that the money be split with Alfred and the families of the victims. They offered him medical help, but he refused. He had one thing on his mind. It took them weeks to clear the wreckage, and the bodies from the water, while the scientists debated on what to do with the gigantic corpse. Only three men were discovered alive. They had managed to swim to the rocks that the SS. Dread had crashed into. As for Gregoryo,he spent the next several months with his new family, before being offered a job at the fort manning the lighthouse there. He gladly accepted. He never saw the drunk or the bar again. He tried to talk to the men who survived, but they only wanted to left alone.

 

Swan's Island, Queenscliff Australia, 1861, October 5, 11:50 AM

 

The carriage strode up in front of Gregoryo's home. The driver yanked back on the reins, and the horses nayed and stomped in protest, before becoming too interested in munching grass to care. Mr. Bane sat beside him, as they said their goodbyes. He stepped out, and stretched his back and neck. It had been a long night. At last having something he could hold his up about. A story he would pass along to his grandchildren. He was also going to move out of the shack he currently lived in to a nicer home. One big enough for a four. Earlier that day he had smash his flask again the rubble, vowing never to pick it up again. He walked up to his door, and gave it a push. It flung wide open.

 

The house was filled with sound of a baby crying, when he finally returned home the next day.

Their servant came running up, and hugged his neck. “Mister, you're a father! It' a boy.” she said.

Her words warmed his heart, he really felt home. He placed his hands on her shoulders, and smiled. “Thank you so much for taking care of my wife, Wilma.” he said, gratefully. “Just doing my duties sir.” she said, modestly. He nodded, and walked past her to Marie. His gorgeous wife lay on his bed, her face glowing with tears. “Dearest Gregoryo, I thought something terrible had had happened to you.” “I'm sorry to have worried you.” he simply replied. He strolled over, and kissed her head. “Want to hold your son?”she asked. “Of course.”

 

He gently took him in his arms, and cradled him to sleep. “He has your eyes.” she said. They were a deep blue like his. “A full head of red hair. Wow.” he said. “What will we name him?” They hadn't settled on a name yet, because of all the failed attempts at getting pregnant in the past she didn't want to get their hopes up. “Walter, after your late father.”she quietly suggested. “I love it.”he replied as he sat for an hour, staring at his newborn son with his face lit up from pride.

 

Some nights he is still awakened by a nightmare about the demon, but all he has to do is roll over and see his wife's face and he goes right back to sleep.

 


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