Here's a short story I wrote.

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shorty
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Here's a short story I wrote.

Postby shorty » Sat Mar 25, 2006 1:59 am

I do my writing in Notepad and as such, when you see _this_ it means that/those word/words are italicized.

The Family

"I wouldn't head up there, were I you," the father said. He knew it was pointless. Anybody who came this close to the lighthouse wasn't going to turn back, anyways. The lighthouse. Anybody passing by considered it completely mundane. Just your standard-issue New England abandoned lighthouse. Totally unremarkable to anyone who didn't know better. Of course, those who _did_ know better would have left well enough alone, anyways. The father thoroughly enjoyed that bit of irony. "Thanks for the advice, stranger." Then the man continued on his way, probably having already forgotten everything about the father. The father watched as the man walked up the forlorn path to the lighthouse. _I've done my part, the forms are upheld,_ the father thought. He turned back down the road, to his own little house, where the family lived.

127 years. 7 months. 2 days. Everyone in the family knew exactly how long they had been fulfilling their obligation. The Binder had come shortly after their house had been built. Placing the family in bondage. "You and yours, you'll watch this road. The seasons will change, and time will pass. You will not. Now, you have only one task: warn the curious and the heroes." "Warn them...of what?" The man grinned. "Of the lighthouse."

So the family warned them. They watched the road. Their bondage was complete. As long as the lighthouse stood, they could not leave. Each of them knew the limits of their prison subconsciously, the way you know how fast you can run, or how often you need to take a breath.

"For how long?" the father asked the Binder. "You'll know. You already know, in fact." And the father turned around, looked at his family, at the fear in their eyes. They all knew. Until the lighthouse fell, they would not change.

It was night, the land covered in thick, picturesque fog. The father knew somebody was coming up the dirt road leading to the lighthouse. Like an itch in one of those awkward places you can never _quite_ reach. He got out of bed, his wife not stirring. She knew. He got dressed and grabbed his lantern.

When the father went outside, the stranger was walking up the path to the house. He wore a backpack, thick peacoat, jeans and leather boots. Black hair. The stranger looked up and smiled when he saw the father. "Hello there. You wouldn't happen to have a spare bed, would you?"

The stranger's name was Jack. They were seated around the house's small table, eating breakfast. Oats, fruit, and water. "I guess I'm what you would call a drifter. Don't much care for jobs; so I walk. Felt like walking up this road. That's pretty much all there is." The father didn't much care. He knew this man was the same as the rest. "Wouldn't go up to the lighthouse, if I were you." "Uh....what lighthouse?" The family stopped eating and looked at him. "The lighthouse on the hill. That's why you're here, isn't it?" "Nope. Like I said, just felt like walking this way." The family looked at each other. None of them knew what to say. Jack shifted his feet under the table. "Did I say something wrong?" Nobody said anything. "Right then. Well, what's so interesting about this old lighthouse, then?" "Nothing," said the father. "Absolutely nothing."

The father didn't bother shaving before he went out to work. That was part of the deal. Nothing changed. Jack started to walk out of the house with the father. "So, I figure I'll give you a hand out there in the field today. Least I can do, right?" "....right. Let's get at it, then." They worked, plowing the family's meager field, preparing the land for the food they didn't need. The family didn't need the food they grew, but they needed something to occupy their lives. So their sweat ran, and at the end of the day, Jack and the father knew the kind of fatigue that comes with making things grow.

The next morning Jack set out of the house. "Might as well take a look at the lighthouse before I go. I came all the way up here, didn't I?" Jack smiled. "I wouldn't," the father said. "I'll just go up and have a look around. It can't hurt, right?" The father nodded. "Do as you will." The father turned back to his family, already forgetting the stranger.

Noon came. Jack was walking back down the road from the lighthouse. The father met him at the path to his house. "See? Told you it couldn't hurt." "wha....what did you do?" "Just like I said. Went up, had a look around, came back down. Wasn't much to look at, really." The father was agape. This had never happened before. Nobody came back from the lighthouse. "Right then. Guess I'll be on my way." The father watched Jack leave. He reached up and scratched his cheek. It felt a little bristly.
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Postby . » Tue Mar 28, 2006 2:20 am

Even with a degree in Literature, I freaking suck at interpreting writing. I'm assuming the man destroyed the lighthouse? I liked where the story was going, but then it ended abruptly to me. The ending relied on implication, I guess.

Like I said, you had me going until then, for whatever that's worth.

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Postby nobody_important » Tue Mar 28, 2006 2:58 am

Was going to post in here on Friday, but then I had the mind explodey death and forgot. I like how the father basically dooms himself and his family by mentioning the lighthouse to the stranger. Or were they actually happy that they weren't in bondage to the lighthouse any more? Like plut said, I'm really hazy about what actually happened up there. Good story, though... open to a lot of interpretations.
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Postby . » Tue Mar 28, 2006 3:33 am

I was thinking they would probably be happy to be out of the lighthouse's grasp, but then I thought maybe they were also frightened of that happening because the lighthouse is all they ever knew. Starting over when you are so deeply entrenched in a way of life has got to be terrifying.

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Postby nobody_important » Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:28 pm

Not to mention the fact that they've started aging again. It would be pretty terrifying, though. The world changed a lot in the hundred plus years they guarded the lighthouse.
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Postby shorty » Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:12 am

I'm glad nobody said something like, "You suck, get another hobby."

Here is my explanation for the story and some general rambling.

[hide]I don't recall exactly what my inspiration was for this story, but I do remember that I wanted to write something about those grizzled old lantern-carrying plot devices you always see in shitty horror and sci-fi flicks. So that's why the story isn't focused on the lighthouse, or Jack's trip up to it. Now, the whole story is awfully vague, and I kind of wanted it to be that way. The same goes for the ending but what I was trying to imply was that the family had been freed.

Uh, I kind of had more to say but I'm feeling really pompous right now so I'm done.[/hide]
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Postby Token » Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:44 am

With a character named Jack and a large phallic building, I just assumed it was a textbook homoerotic fantasy.

I kid, I kid. I really liked the style.
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Postby SporkAndrew » Wed Mar 29, 2006 6:51 am

I liked it.. I think it was a great way to end that just sort of hinted at what could be next. And I'm agreeing with n_i here, what you're subtley hinting at seems more terrifying than if you just spelt it out..

:rotate:

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Postby shorty » Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:08 am

No interest, nevermind.
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