Grogan yanked the huge oil drum up another step. He was almost to the top of the lighthouse now. Pain lanced his arm, but he ignored it. He had to light a beacon and save the ships headed for the rocks.

Outside the hurricane hammered the old lighthouse. For thirty years he’d been her keeper before they were both declared obsolete. Who needed a lighthouse when everyone had electronic guidance? Now the fancy new phone his granddaughter gave him spewed nonsense. It looked like the ships were fouled up as well.

Good thing they hadn’t forced Grogan to leave when they cut funding and stripped her clean. But now the only way to make the lighthouse shine was to burn her. Tears streamed down his face as he pulled at the drum.

“Sorry, Love. You know it’s the only way.”

Another wave of pain shot through his chest and his foot slipped on the smooth stone steps. He watched with dismay as the barrel clanged to the bottom. Grogan doubled over in pain.

“How can I warn the ships? I need help, Love.”

Suddenly the pain stopped and warm arms pulled him up. Grogan took the last few steps in one stride. He knew what to do now. Fire radiated deep inside him. It burst outward in a blinding light. Almost as one, the storm-tossed ships turned away from the rocks.

“Thanks for your help, Love. You’ve always been there for me. We’ll be together forever now.”

About A. L. Kaplan

I am a writer, artist, and parent.
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