A flash of lightning crashed, striking the top of the lighthouse and nearly blinding the men on the boat. The rain beat down, making it nearly impossible to tie the boat to the small dock below the cliff that the lighthouse sat upon. Once the men stepped off of the boat they looked up at the imposing beacon.
The light on top of the lighthouse had gone out a week prior, the same night the storm started. There had been several efforts to reach the two keepers stationed on the island but every attempt at communication was met with no response. Those first few days the storm raged so violently that no man would dare row out to see what had happened. It wasn’t until the first of September that any man even tried.
Two men made the trip: the off-duty keeper and a fisherman from town. Neither man was particularly daring, but the keeper had a job to do and the fisherman had a love for money that could motivate him to do just about anything.; when a reward was offered for anyone willing to accompany the off-duty keeper to the lighthouse, he was the first to volunteer.
The off-duty keeper had a nervous look to him as he examined the darkened tower. The fisherman was quick to mock him for it.
“What’s all this, are you scared old man?”
The keeper merely shook his head at the fisherman and started up the steep steps that traversed the cliff. As they ascended the rain began to slow which would have made the journey easier if not for the heavy fog which replaced it. Suddenly, a door appeared.
“Looks like this is our stop old man.” crowed the fisherman.
“I suppose it is.”
Both men stood at the door expectantly. When neither of them had made a move the fisherman looked to the keeper.
“Age before beauty, old man.”
The keeper scowled but started in through the door.
Pitch black is probably the best way to describe the room, but that still wouldn’t have done it justice. The room was the kind of dark that places can only be when they are so far removed from civilization that light does not even bother, the kind of darkness that makes a man think that the sun and stars never existed, and never could.
The fisherman stood outside for a few moments, before finally going in. Just as he had gotten both feet onto the creaky floor, the door slammed shut behind him.
“Old man! Old man, get a candle or something! I can’t see a thing” There was no reply. “This ain’t funny, I didn’t volunteer for this!” the fisherman yelled
He turned around to leave, but as he did, he realized that he could not open the door. The fisherman kicked and screamed but after minutes of exertion, he gave up and fell to the floor.
With nothing else to do the fisherman felt around until he found some stairs and began to ascend. He put one foot in front of the other until after what seemed like hours of climbing he noticed the dimmest of lights illuminating the stairs. With every step, he took the light became brighter and brighter until he came upon the doorway the light came from, and in that doorway was a figure standing tall.
The fisherman laughed. “Old man! You had me scared for a second.”
As the fisherman said this his eyes traveled up the figure until he saw something that was not right. The keeper had no eyes. Blood pooled in the two holes in his head and oozed out leaving two red lines streaming down his face like tears.
The fisherman screamed, and he did not stop until the body of the keeper fell, tumbling down the stairs and out of sight. The fisherman was frozen. He could not go back down, not with the keeper’s body lying in wait, and so he went through the doorway.
Inside an oil lamp glowed bright, it was almost comforting, if not for the smell. On the other side of the room was a body, rotting. It was bloated and purple with skin peeling away in areas.
“That was my partner for many months,” said a voice from behind. “I like it when they don’t see it coming, I think that makes it all much more delicious.”
The fisherman looked behind him to see a young man in a pristine lighthouse keeper’s uniform looking right at him with ravenous eyes.
“I like to watch them decompose before I dispose of them,” He said with a smile, “I find the whole process to be just so rewarding.”
The fisherman began backing away from the figure, but with every step he took, the man just took another step toward him.
“I find that lighthouses are often the best locations for my work, they’re just so isolated, makes for easy work.”
The fisherman was backed into a corner so he lunged at the man, trying to catch him off guard, but the man moved out of the way and tripped the fisherman.
“Oh, I do love it when they try to fight.” He said beaming down. “Don’t worry boy, I’ll leave your eyes in.”
The fisherman shook, “Please” he whispered.
The man simply smiled and shook his head.
When the two men did not return, a larger group was sent to the island after the storm ended. While the group did find a few splatters of blood around, not a single body was found; even stranger, the boat the two men took out with them was gone. In the end, there was nothing to do but call it a mystery, and when, years later the people told stories of the great storm that hit the town, there would always be a mention of the four men who disappeared from the lighthouse without a trace.
Photo Credit: trinitonian.com