To The Lonely Seas And The Sky -- Part 6
The fictional tale of lighthouse keepers in the 1880's, tending a Lake Michigan lighthouse. The characters in this story are completely fictional, while the lighthouse is quite real and still in use. The details of its function, while not necessarily specific to this exact light, are consistent with the general function of lighthouses in this era.
Liesl was thankful that her sister had reminded her to take the lantern as she moved carefully and quickly down the winding staircase. She often forgot that daylight lingered longer at the top of the 112-foot tower. While the balcony may be illuminated by the final display of sunlight, the house and all below would be cast in shadowy twilight.
At the bottom of the stairs, the connecting hallway lay in darkness. Liesl held up her lantern and rushed through the house to the house stairs. She could hear him as she neared, spurring her feet to move even faster.
Liesl burst into the bedroom, the lantern light illuminating the bed immediately before her.
Samuel lay on his right side, his breathing labored and strained. Arched back, dripping sweat and tensed hands gripping at the sheets brought Liesl to the bedside, setting the lantern down on the table.
"Samuel." Liesl sat in front of her husband, grabbing the medicine bottle and spoon.
"Lis...?" Samuel looked up from the bed, his voice confused and hoarse. "Lis, why is it getting worse?" He whispered.
"Shhh, I have your medicine." Liesl said, immediately giving him three spoonfuls of the medication.
Samuel drank it slowly, his expression unchanged as he swallowed the sour liquid. "Lis, you have to call the doctor..." He whispered.
Liesl's heart raced. "The doctor? Why?"
Samuel shook his head. "I don't know. Something's wrong. It's just that something's wrong..." He said, his eyes pleading up at her.
Liesl picked up the lantern and looked at the wound. "It isn't bleeding anymore, Samuel." Liesl said, excitement in her voice. "I think it's getting better!"
"No, Liesl. It isn't better. Something is wrong. Please, you must believe me. You must send for the doctor, that malevolent little Dutchman..."
"Dr. Van Meier?"
"Yes, Dr. Van Murder. He's the only one who can make this pain stop." Samuel groaned. "Who'd have thought it'd come to this--begging for the painful attention of the town physician. Let it never be said that God cannot weave a tale of the cruelest irony..." Samuel's voice trailed off and his eyes closed tightly against the constant throbbing in his leg.
Liesl couldn't help but smile gently at Samuel's persevering sense of humor, even in the considerable amount of pain he was experiencing. "The doctor cannot come now, Samuel. It's nighttime. A storm approaches. I can send Ellie for him in daytime, but for tonight, the medicine will have to suffice."
Samuel nodded, understanding apparent in his eyes. He lifted an unsteady arm toward her. Liesl moved onto the bed, sitting up against the wall. Samuel wrapped his arm around her waist, resting his head on her lap. Quiet moments passed, only the sound of Samuel's steadying respirations rising in the night. Liesl closed her eyes in helplessness as she realized her husband trembled with pain, unable to calm his overactive nerves.
"Tell me a story, Lis." Samuel whispered.
Liesl looked down in surprise. "What?"
"Tell me a story. Anything." He asked, taking a shaky breath as his grip tightened on her waist. "Take my mind somewhere else until I fall asleep."
Liesl paused, mulling over tales she might tell--and then she thought of one. "Well, I have a story, but it would be most inappropriate." She said, her thinly veiled tease quickly reaping the intended results.
Samuel's eyebrows rose at the idea. "In what way would it be inappropriate?"
"Well," Liesl began, "A woman never tells a gentleman her truest, deepest thoughts."
"I'm no gentleman. I'm your husband." Samuel replied, offering her a pained smile.
"How is it that an open wound increases your humor tenfold?" Liesl laughed.
"You were simply fortunate enough to have married a man whose only defense against pain is levity, I suppose." Samuel grimaced.
Liesl scooted down the wall and moved closer to Samuel, resting her back and head on the pillow. "That I am fortunate is certainly true." She replied, her chin in his hair. She could hear his breath steadying as she simply drew near to him. Perhaps the medication will fully alleviate this burden, she hoped silently.
"Indeed, indeed. And myself likewise. Now, what story of scandal do you have to relay?" Samuel asked, meeting her eyes in the flickering light of the lantern.
Liesl smiled. "Well, I was about seventeen."
....want the rest of this article? SoldierNurse22 is publishing! Look for us soon on .Last edit by SoldierNurse22 on Feb 17, '17
From 'The Great White North'; Joined Mar '10; Posts: 2,233; Likes: 7,047.Oct 20, '13Once again, your story has enchanted me and left me thirsty for more. Keep the installments coming!