Short Story: Erie

So this is my second short story! with my inspirations coming from Momma Bird who gave me the place of Sandusky, Ohio. I have never been, or in fact even been to america so I hope I haven’t butchered it too much! Please check out her blog over at Momma Bird Blog. 

The smell of whale oil still permeated the old limestone walls of the light house. Rain thudded down around her, bringing the pungent smell out into the air, she could have sworn you could even still smell the lanterns burning away to light the way.

Every ten years they had to come back, one of them. Her mum had been here ten years earlier doing the exact same thing she was doing now, saving his life. She thought maybe one day her children would be out here in the rain, shivering and frightened, knowing what was as stake if they did it wrong. She wished she didn’t have to put it on them, but she knew better, she knew the stories; she knew what was at stake. She knew they watched her. But now, she was on her own, nobody could help but her.

The sunset had glowed over Lake Erie making the water glisten a burning red, she had been sat at the top of the lighthouse for a long time, waiting, needing as much time as possible to settle her nerves, but time had made no difference; she was still shaking, her feet poking through the bars overlooking the water. Behind her, the light house beacon sat, every few seconds a silent flash pushed her shadow over the black water below. She could see Sandusky from her perch, lit up in the dusk, whipped at by the wind, omitting a haunting aura over her. But the lake below made her feel the most nervous.

black-and-white-building-dark-722664The sun stated to fade away leaving the ominous grey of night, the rain and wind picked up and whistled past her ears. Her school hoody was sopping wet through, she felt the cold of the night in her bones. Although the weather was getting worse here, across the bay she could see it had slowed, the waves appeared to be gently lapping the Sandusky coast line. But around her the waves were becoming anything but calm, they were getting violent and angry. Attacking the shoreline below, spiting and hissing at the light house walls. She knew it was time.

She pulled her shaking legs back through the bars and made her way down to the coast line, it wouldn’t take her long to get to the edge of the coast. She could just make out the outline of a small fishing boat, being torn about on the whipping, fierce waves. She could smell the wet damp of the water, it stung as it lashed at her face. She got a head start wading into the dark sprays of the waves. Two men were fighting to keep control but she could tell their efforts were futile. They were getting closer to the rocky outcrops, meter by meter. She could hear the panic in their cries as she ran through the shallows to get closer. Her nose stung, the water and wind slashed against her cheeks and forced tears from her eyes. She could feel her heart beating wildly in her chest, it stung her throat making her feel that she could hardly breathe.

She came to the outcrop, gulping and holding back her nausea, she took a deep breath in and grasp the edge of the hard sharp rock. Slowly edging round grasping tight at what she could, to keep herself from falling into the waves. She could feel herself chocking on the Thick water logged air around her, spray from the waves hitting her hard in the face. Battling against the force she finally got to a small crag where she could stand.

The men’s faces were worn down, wrinkled with worry. She could see the Blind panic in their eyes it had taken them over. Brows furrowed with concentration, there he was. She had to save him. Whipping her head back towards the light house she gasped. There were hundreds of people on the beach, no maybe thousands! Each holding a candle, she could just about make out their earie grey faces, they all looked very similar. They were her ancestors or future relatives bidding her on. With a renewed sense of courage she dived forward into the water just as the boat capsized. She swam down, the rush of the water in her ears was deafening. She could barely see but she could make out a dark figure slowly floating down into the depths, it was him. Powering on further on towards him, she strained, each second was precious. Flapping uselessly against the water her arms were becoming weak, she was losing time. Her breath was giving in she could feel her lungs burning willing her to breathe, her vision was starting to darken, she couldn’t see him, he was gone. She pushed herself up to the surface. Wave after wave hit her hard knocking her down she was swallowing water. Splashing around she tried again but to no avail she couldn’t see him, panic ensued, he was gone! Looking back towards the coast she could see them stood there, as still as statues, now there were half as many. One by one the lights started to fade away. Disappearing almost as if the starts in the heavens were going out. Tears streamed down her face, her eyes red and sore,

“Help!” she screamed, “Help!” but no one replied no one came running. She screamed with frustration and pure fear at what was going to happen next. It was over. She tried to keep afloat thrashing her hands in the water around her, slowly being beaten by the waves. She felt herself become weaker, her vision stared to fade away, she couldn’t move; paralysed, her body was dragged down by the waves. The surface started to disappear from her view as she disappeared into the dark depths below. Her lungs started to fill with water. A cold limp hand brush against her own, with the last effort she could muster she slowly reached out to hold his hand. At least they wouldn’t be alone, she tightened her grip but it was too late.

She had failed, they were all gone, a whole family, a whole group of people wiped from existence because of the death of one man. A whole future changed forever. She closed her eyes as slowly, she faded away.

Thank you for reading, If you want to help me out give me a random phrase on twitter as I like to use these to give me a random starting point. If you do and I chose yours I will give you a mention as a thankyou! 


10 Comments Add yours

  1. annahavens10 says:

    This short story was really exciting! Intriguing!
    You did well for not knowing the area. Sandusky, Ohio is also home to Cedar Point, the world famous amusement park. But Lake Erie is my favorite part of the area!
    And thanks for the shoutout! ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankyou, and your welcome. In the end I went with Lake Erie and marble head lighthouse x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. E. Hormazabal says:

    This story caught me by surprise. it was all suspensful, gloomy, and even sad by the end. I don’t see that very often, but it was a welcome change. You captured that tone really well. Thanks for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankyou so much for reading, and I’m glad you enjoyed it, I’m using these short story’s as kind of a tool to challenge my writing skills and get better as a writer, it’s actually a lot of fun. Everything I’ve written before has been an attempt at a novel and my most comfortable genre to sit in is fantasy. So these new styles are challenging! Xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kate says:

    This was full of suspense but also very intriguing til the very last word. I particularly love the way you set the place, it’s like I’m there and I too have never been to Sandusky 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankyou I’m glad you enjoyed it and though I set the scene well. It’s nice to hear feedback! I wasn’t sure with this one it’s quite difficult writing about a place you haven’t been, however researching Lake Erie made me want to go! X

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kate says:

        I can only imagine stretching your imaginative and creative brain to write about a place you haven’t been! But you’ve done splendidly xx

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Kate says:

    z was full of suspense but also very intriguing til the very last word. I particularly love the way you set the place, it’s like I’m there and I too have never been to Sandusky 😄


  5. Joshua Aaron Crook says:

    I thought it was good. Personally, I felt it relied too heavily on ambiguity for as short of a piece as it is. Compelling, intriguing, all those things, but there were moments of abstraction that were hard to follow. Excellent verb choices. That’s unusual and good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, thankyou so much for the feedback it’s super helpful! I rely on proper constructive feedback heavily, it helps improve my writing. Yes I agree the idea was a little ambitious for a 1000 word story to be honest and keeping the thrill going was tough. Again thankyou so much for your comment xxx


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