A lonely man describes his lighthouse on the island of Little Maid.
The Lighthouse on Little Maid
I used to live. I lived. I once had a life. That's not the case anymore and it doesn't matter that I'm writing about it right no. That life was sad and lonely.
The life I lead now is very much different from that fragile prototype of a life. Who decides what a life is? Who thinks up the definition for what a life should or shouldn't be?
I am Kurt Stracton and I used to live in a lighthouse on a small island far out in the Atlantic Ocean. The lighthouse was my castle, the island- Little Maid- my kingdom.
I had but one subject in my kingdom. He was called Frederick Doppler and was the best man I ever knew. I don't care that my life was lonely because with Fred by my side, I could face the whole of the Atlantic without shaking.
Fred always wore jeans that were crusted with sea salt and a blue t-shirt that was the same. Somehow, he never washed them, but he never smelt bad either. It must have been my aging nose. He had straggly red hair that seemed forever dripping with water from the rain, the sea or the shower. He had these fraying fingerless gloves that he never took off, ever, and his fingernails were always chewed down to the base, his hands callous and as worn as his face.
Fred must have been as old as I was when the storm first began. A ripe old age of forty-four, give or take a few years. Life was slow on Little Maid and we lost count of our birthdays long ago. Seeing as how neither of us had anyone else to remember them for us, we just thought it best to forget trivial things like birthdays as we both shared almost all we had.
I did have one place to myself. The solitary throne room. It lay just below the great all-seeing eye of the lighthouse. The view showed almost as much as if you were standing on the balcony one floor above- just without the insistent onslaught of the wind and rain.
The weather was the worst thing ever on Little Maid. Fred and I had enough land for a small garden and an even smaller vegetable patch. The infinite rain constantly killed any chance we had of growing our own food. That meant one of us had to sail off and get it. Online shopping doesn't really work when your doorbell is closer to Atlantis than Tesco's.
The trek to collect our six months' supply of food usually took around a fortnight if we were lucky with the weather, which we never were.
I never actually went to fetch the food, only Fred did. I stayed and kept watch over my kingdom.
It was at one of these times that the storm hit. Fred had left two days before to restock out pantry and then the clouds descended.
Now, I say clouds, but these weren't like the normal fluffy clouds you get on a calm summer's day or were they the almost black clouds you tremble from in a thunder storm. These clouds made thunder clouds seem insignificant and non-existent. Honestly, I know, as there were already thunder clouds circling the lighthouse. These clouds were thicker than the sky and blacker than the night. Anything that had remained from the thunderstorm to signify daytime was instantly wiped off the surface of the Atlantic.
After the 'night-clouds'; came the waves, crashing down on Little Maid, obliterating our vegetable patch and destroying our table and chairs in the garden.
As I watched the devastation increase outside, from my quiet contemplative throne room, I noticed that it had begun to rain. Slowly, at first, the rain tapped on the glass. The n the wind picked up and started to viciously whip the raindrops into the tough glass lookout.
My kingdom was being invaded by Mother Nature.
The wind and rain circled the lighthouse, drawn to it. The black clouds became only a dark grey as they centred above the swinging beacon of light.
In my room, it was silent. The eye of the storm. I could see everything. Everything except Fred. I remember wondering if I would ever see him again, talk to him. If I could survive this one storm.
Well, I thought about that for the few seconds it took a stray brick from the base of the lighthouse to be grabbed by the wind and shot through the air at my solitary window.
The glass shattered for what seemed like hours on end, although it was only for a second. The shards and I, as well as anything not bolted down in the room, were yanked roughly through the hole in the window and into the raging storm around my kingdom.
I was pulled into the air and spiralled above the lighthouse like a ragdoll in a washing machine before shooting back down to have a friendly reunion with gravity, In fact, gravity was so eager to reacquaint itself with me that I broke every bone in my body on impact. Shattered, like the window, as I said my goodbye to Little Maid for the final, quiet time. The Atlantic then reached out to claim my body and I was pulled under. The underside of the waves was the last thing I saw.
The storm may have killed me, but I have never been more alive.