The Lighthouse

Story written by SpringOnions on Tuesday 12, March 2019

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Hi I'm back. I didn't stop writing, I just never really finished a story until now (although it is only ~500 words). Hope you enjoy!

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The wind blew heavily, the ocean breeze kicking up the sand in the shadow of the lighthouse where he sat. Usually he hated sand, an itchy, coarse substance that found its way into every crevasse of his body whether he wanted it to or not – but today it wasn’t so bad, today he was content to just watch the water roll back and forth. The lighthouse sat upon a cliff overlooking the shore. Once upon a time it protected sailors and their ships from hurtling into the cliffside or netting themselves in shallow, rocky reefs. Now it looks after the denizens of the beach, its long shadow cast over the pale, yellow sand by the nearly midday sun, dividing the beach into two distinct sections; one where the children played, and one where the adults dully chatted amongst themselves. He sat in the shade of the lighthouse, seeking solace from the combined heat of the scolding sun and the blistering, beratement of socialisation with his family on either side of the shadow. He watched as the combined families went about their activities under omniscient sun. The six girls played in the ocean, splashing cold, foamy water at one another. Three of them were his sisters, the other three his cousins whom his family had decided to spend the week visiting. The four adults talked amongst themselves while preparing lunch for everyone; ham, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, mayonnaise and cheese. He wondered what adults talked about; did they gossip about their friends and co-workers? did they boast about their children’s achievements as if it were their own? or did they simply compare the food that they unveiled from their plastic sheathes. A call was made by the adults and the six girls charged over the border like ravenous fiends unable to control their rage – the adults their prey. He too joined the slaughter, dusting the sand off himself, already knowing that it had made its way to the most irritating corners of his body. The fiends were demons of the sea, the smell of salt pungent as they grabbed the ham and salad sandwiches off the table soaking the bread in their briny water. The adults offered a few complacent words of resistance to no avail, urging them to dry off first. He ate without speaking, watching the chaotic forces meddle with the adults excitedly before running back off to the water from which they came. The grown-ups seized the opportunity to socialize with the reclusive teen and barrage him with a flurry of uninspired questions. “How are you doing in school darling?” “Do you know what your going to do after you’ve finished school?” “What are you going to be when you grow up?” He responded with brief single worded answers and turned to hide in the lighthouse’s protective shadow. But when he turned he saw no safety, the omnipresent midday sun had fully moved above, eliminating any opportunity for solace. He looked around, the children playing happily in the water and the adults looking at him eagerly to begin their second barrage of questions. He looked again to his sister’s and cousin’s having fun in the anarchy of the ocean, and without think he ran to the water’s edge, joining the children, not quite ready to join the grown-up’s world. Why shouldn’t he enjoy the juvenile chaos of childhood while he still can?

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    Well, now, this was completely unexpected. Nice job.