To The Lonely Seas And The Sky -- Part 16
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.
Samuel sat on the edge of the bed, gripping his father's cane in his right hand. Willing himself to stand again, he had very nearly succeeded in walking a few minutes prior. If nothing else, he had gained enough mobility to locate and utilize the moonshine behind the bed. He was on the verge of standing once more, confident that with the pain sufficiently numbed, he'd be able to walk when--
"Samuel! Have you gone mad?"
Samuel didn't have to turn his head to know that his wife was rushing through the door, her voice high with anxiety. Moments later, she appeared before him, disbelief in her expression.
"Liesl--well, my! Aren't you looking lovely." Samuel said, looking his wife up and down.
Liesl pulled her chin down and back as she prepared her response, her eyes flashing in warning. "Oh, don't you dare!"
"Now wait, dear--" Samuel raised a finger in protest.
"I most certainly shall not! You were but half-conscious several hours ago and you think this a fitting time to venture out of bed? Alone?" She exclaimed.
"Dear, as you said yourself, it's been several weeks now that I ought to have been out of bed. If nothing else, I might try to make up for lost time now that the pain is tolerable." He said, tensing his right leg as he prepared to stand again.
Liesl took a step forward, looking down on Samuel in disbelief. "You've surely gone quite insane. I cannot fathom why--"
"Darling," Samuel's eyes snapped up to hers as interrupted what was sure to be another tirade, "Look at it this way. You've arrived just in the nick of time. You see, I'm getting out of this bed one way or another. At least now, you will be here to witness the occasion and--if need be--spirit me back to bed with Herculean strength should I find myself ill-prepared the arduous journey I had planned to the window."
Liesl paused, pursed her lips and thought for a moment. She set down the lantern on the bedside table, recognizing the determination in his eyes. "Very well."
"But should you find yourself uncomfortably close to the floorboards, you oughtn't say you weren't properly warned."
"I wouldn't think of it."
With that, Samuel pushed himself off the bed and to his feet. The familiar pain returned, but it was hardly so intense as to compel him back to that despised bed. Samuel took a step toward his wife with his left leg, the cane accompanying the movement.
To his surprise, the pain in his thigh was mild compared to his expectations. The slight discomfort that lingered in his right leg was hardly worth mentioning. Whatever the problem had been, Ellie made quick work of it, Samuel thought with satisfaction, thankful that his sister in law had been present to assist him despite his initial prejudice against such a scenario.
"How is it?" Liesl stood with her hands ready should he waver on his feet.
"Not bad." Samuel said, moving to take another step. As Liesl started to move back, Samuel placed his free hand on her cheek and pulled her into a kiss.
Liesl opened her eyes into his, surprised. "Have you missed me, my love?" She asked with a knowing gleam in her eyes.
Samuel exhaled through a gentle smile. "Oh, very much."
That same spark they had noted on their first kiss so many years ago suddenly reignited, Samuel closing the distance between them yet again. Liesl slid her arms around her husband, happily noting that despite her proximity, Samuel was supporting his weight entirely on his own strength.
Turning his face into her hair, Samuel ran his hand up Liesl's back, remembering the perfect way that his petite wife fit tightly against his chest. He closed his eyes, nearly forgetting about his achy left leg. When he reopened his eyes, he gazed out the window into the darkness, trying to peer through the absolute lack of lightning that kept the night beyond cloaked in mystery.
"Did you see anything out there--you and Ellie?" Samuel asked, certain that he already knew the answer.
"See anything?" The reply to his question was curious.
"I seem to recall you summoning Ellie urgently to the tower earlier this evening. Perhaps I'm not remembering correctly..."
"Or you were more awake than I thought." Surprise was evident in Liesl's tone.
"Probably not, but it's one of the few things that comes to mind."
"Well, on this occasion, your memory serves you well. Though by the time we reached the tower, we saw nothing. A lull in the storm put an end to the lightning, and as you might imagine, there was nothing to be seen in the dark."Last edit by AN Admin Team on Feb 20, '17
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