Thursday, October 31, 2013

Prompt: There shouldn’t be a light there, part 2

Thanks to Martin for permission to use his beautiful image “1_landscape_speedpaint”!

He hadn’t seen a single person since he reached the northernmost Everglades. It wasn’t that surprising. Since southern Florida had been officially abandoned over fifty years ago, the wildlife had really taken over. He’d kept careful watch to keep above the tide and avoid gators. Even sleeping in an old cypress wasn’t much protection from panthers or pythons though. He’d woken the third morning before dawn to find a fat yellow python coiling around his knees. He’d risked a fire during the day to roast the meat.

It wasn’t till he got around the coast at West Palm Beach that he finally saw the gleam of light flashing on the horizon. He watched it sweep around again and again, mesmerized by its mysterious beauty. What could cast a light this far these days? It wasn’t always wise to go poking into other folks’ business. But Artimus figured it couldn’t hurt to walk on down to Miami and see what he could see.

And here he was, standing in the surf. Abandoned skyscrapers lined the shore, home to nesting birds and vines racing each other up the sides. Still no sign of people. Didn’t mean they weren’t around, though. He’d best be on guard.

Flash. There was the light. Going around the top of the tallest building. Artimus looked up at it for a long time. Bright enough to shine even in the day. No, it didn’t do to be too curious. But he still thought he might climb up and take a look…
Dogs in house
Houdini, Brindle

Time writing:

October word count:


  1. ...Continued...

    “A guess then?” Marki strode past Helar to stand at the edge of the retreating waves. The tide had pulled the water out in the time he had stood, staring. She turned to look back at him. “Well?”

    He took advantage of the moments as he walked to meet her to remain silent. He stopped and stabbed his staff at white froth. “What do you know of the towers?”

    Something of his trepidation must have leaked into his tone, for she shifted slightly, her stiff, energetic bearing softening, almost melting. “They’re from before.” Her words were soft now, fading into the fog. Her beads tinkled and she grasped her wrists, silencing them. “Someone is going to have to go see, aren’t they?”

    _Someone_. But how would the other elders react to this? None had believed Marki, their fear clouding their judgement, as Helar’s had tried to do – until his sense of duty and conviction that Marki, his own flesh and blood, even if she did not know it, would not have lied. He could see echoes of history repeating, just as the ever-more distant waves lapped in front of him: denial, squabbling, until it was too late, and disaster was upon them. But ignoring this was a disaster too large.

    “I’ll go,” Marki said, one step ahead of him, as always.


    She smiled, her features now etched in soft shadows as the fog began to dissipate with the dawn. “You shan’t be able to stop me, you know.”

    Oh, he knew. “I can join you.”

    She tilted her head. “That would be nice.” Something in her words belied their blandness, a suppressed excitement. She shook, tinkling, and the sun broke fully through the fog as if her beads had banished its last vestiges.

    Time writing: 30 min

  2. Oh, tricky, making me continue from yesterday! I like your mystery. Who is at the lighthouse?