Written for #5MinuteFiction
by Lisa McCourt Hollar
The lights blinked out of the fog, stretching across the waters and guiding the boat to shore. Weary and wet, the crew anchored, glad to be out of the water and back on land. It had been a hazardous trip and though they knew not where they were, the man that ran the lighthouse was there to greet them and offer them a warm place to sleep.
“She taint much,” the haggard old man said, showing them into a barn. “I warn ya though, the nights on this Island can bring many terrors. Once I’ve closed the doors, ye need to stay put. No matter what ye hear, do not venture out.”
The men agreed, though a few thought the man a might daft in the head. The storm that had brought them to port, still raged outside and none was too eager to be out in it, when they could be dry inside. Behind him, as he was shutting the doors to the meager shack, a beautiful young girl could be seen. The men knew then that he was only trying to protect his daughter from the sea fairing men that hadn’t seen a woman in many months.
The door hadn’t been shut for more than a few minutes, when Marcus, the youngest of the crew, heard a woman calling for help.
“Do you hear that?” He asked.
“You’re hearing things,” the Captain said. “Have a drink of this mead the old man provided and sit by the fire.”
Still Marcus heard a woman pleading and went to look out the window. He saw the lighthouse keepers daughter down by the water. She appeared to be struggling with something and stuck where she was. Seeing that the rest of his crew was busy drinking and not paying attention, he decided to slip out the door. Marcus knew his Captain was a man of his word and would not abide him leaving, after having promised not to.
“Here, lass,” Marcus said, “Let me help you with that.”
The girl had her back turned and he saw she was bent at an odd angle. Had she broken something?”
“Are you alright?” Marcus touched her arm, turning her around.
“I am now,” she smiled, grinning, showing teeth that were blackened with decay. No longer beautiful, she stank of rot from the sea. Marcus screamed in terror, before her teeth tore into his throat.
“Has anyone seen Marcus,” Joseph asked, looking around.
“He’s here somewhere,” the Captain said.
Joseph looked around the shack, troubled. Outside he heard a woman calling for help.