I took some time liberties with the writing prompt specifically the time frame implied by the radio. This is my first writing attempt in a long time and was just a quick attempt. I hope you guys enjoy it somewhat and would love to hear some feedback. As a side note I am not really happy with the title.
The Legend of the Lighthouse
The fire popped as the new log had finally caught. The old man stared at the ocean, but always his eye kept returning to the bulking black shadow along the cliffs. The man drew his flask with a hope to cover the crisp memories with a whisky haze. The old man rubbed his good eye and looked off again in to the night. A piercing cry interrupted his thoughts. The new ranch hand, a boy of 14 or so shot up with a start and reached for his knife. The boy sees the old man looking at him and begins to relax, “What was that he asked?”
“That would be the bicorn that wandered off earlier, we always lose one or two while passing this way.”
“What happened to it?”
“The ghost of the lighthouse”
“You mean that half crumbled tower over there used to be a lighthouse?” the kid replied while squinting off in the distance. “Is it really haunted?”
The old man took another sip and let the silence stretch before speaking again…
Steam trains and railways were replacing ships and harbors for transportation and lighthouses along the coasts were left with skeleton crews. This light house was no exception. Midway between the two big harbor cities the light house received a smaller and smaller stipend from the government each year. Due to the decreasing funds, the family that running the lighthouse had to move away.
A young man from the city had volunteered thinking it would be an easy life in the country. The young man and his new wife moved out to the small house that was the quarters to the lighthouse keeper. The couple relished in the time alone in the country, but things soon grew stale and the couple began to be constantly at odds. The man’s wife was longing for the excitement of the city life and wished for the company of others. She argued that all they did was work. They would wake up eat a cold breakfast, work on the lighthouse, eat a cold lunch, work on the ground and the small house, cook and eat dinner, and then refill the oil basin before going off to bed. The routine was broken by the occasional storm that would set their work even further back.
With a storm rolling in the man was checking the wick and oil one more time. While looking at the clouds, the young man noticed some sails in the bay. The man stopped and looked towards the ships to see what he could see. Seeing nothing the man figured that it was just a ship riding out the storm in the cove. While pausing before going back to work the man thought he could hear some shouting going on. As he turned to check the light once more, he heard the scream that changed his life.
Bounding down the steps two at a time the young man stopped at the landing halfway down to grab his saber from his time as a cavalry man. Running down the second half of the steps the young man heard that sounds of wood hitting wood as the pirates tried the door of the house. As he burst out of the stone shelter of the lighthouse he took stock of the pirates around his house. Four pirates stood around the door trying to break it down to get to his wife. The captain ordered the other three pirates to attack and returned to hacking at the door with an ax. The poorly armed and sickly thin pirates looked skeletal compared to the well fed young man. Standing with saber in one hand, the man sized up the three opponents he was facing a knife, a club, and a set of brass knuckles. The first pirate swung his knife at the young man’s eyes. Quickly parrying the stroke he slashed the pirate’s arm from elbow to shoulder. Another pirate took advantage of the distracted man and aimed a blow at the man’s exposed abdomen. With a quick twist the man avoided the club and brought his saber in smooth arch that cut the pirate in the throat. A sharp blow to his back stunned the man as the third pirate with brass knuckles took advantage of the numbers to get in a quick jab. A wild swing of the sword kept the pirate from pressing his advantage. The pirate to back up and looked to his remaining mate to regroup.
During the brief respite while the two remaining pirates regrouped the man spared a second to look for the captain. The captain was nowhere in sight. The man’s stomach dropped as he saw the door was knocked off the hinges and lying in the doorway. Absorbed in the fight the man must have missed the commotion, but now during the lull he could hear his wife’s screams coming from in the house, but the screams were quickly silences by a thudding blow. Filled with rage the man turned to the door that was now blocked by the two remaining pirates.
The one with the brass knuckles had scavenged the dead pirates club and began the offensive by charging in with a double handed blow. With a desire to end this quickly the man stepped in to the blow causing it to fall harmlessly over his shoulder. A quick thrust on the instep, the man quickly ended the life of the second pirate. The pirate with the knife aimed another blow at the man’s face. Trying to dodge, the man became entangled with the dying pirate and the knife sliced down across his left eye. Dropping to one knee the man covered his eye and brought the sword up in a vicious stroke that left the sword stuck in the third pirate’s rib cage. The pirate fell on to the man and for a while all three bodies were still.
A driving rain and howling wind woke the man. He shoved the now dead pirate off of him with a groan. After trying his sword and finally managing to free it on the third try, the man quickly made his way in to the house. The man explored the main room and found it empty, but in the bed room he found his wife. She had her cloths ripped and her neck as bent at a deadly angle. The rage flowing through his body re invigorated the man as he stormed out of the house. The tears and sadness would wait, but first came his revenge.
…“No one knows if the man got revenge or not” the old man concluded. “All I know is that no one goes up there and every now and then when a bicorn wanders up that way it never comes back. Is it the ghosts of the pirates, the wife, or the lighthouse keeper still looking for his revenge? No one knows.” *edits fixing not and note in my comments at the top.