This story is one of the October Writing Challenge entries chosen to be a featured story.
You might have seen him on the bus, at the store, or in the cemetery. Wandering around and waiting for his turn. You don’t think much of it. Usually no one notices him, almost like if he weren’t even there. You might feel like he is not there because of the emptiness in his eyes. His heart was stolen from him by the dark night, but he is not afraid of the stars. Darkness is an old friend of his; they welcome the lost souls of the ocean together.
The ocean is like a child, beautiful and playful, but she can become cruel and hungry. She wants all the attention. There is no way for you to calm the ocean, and he knows that. He is not angry with the ocean for taking his wife from the top to the bottom. It was his fault for not listening to the child’s cry. So now he is chained to the lighthouse. He listens when everyone is asleep. He keeps an eye on the inscrutable child.
The boats are all her toys, but be careful — because if you give the boat a male name, she will become furious. You might not know that she has a brother also as sensitive as her. He can bring drizzle, but he can also cut a tree in half. They fight like all the siblings on this planet. So that’s why she won’t stand a male boat on her playground. They don’t mean to hurt anyone. They are just a bit oblivious, and he knows that. He knows that, like every child, the ocean and her brother also need to be taken care of. The ocean loves all of her pets, but there seem to be less and less of them. She has become worried and gloomy. He tries to help her, but her health is getting worse. She used to be able to see the sun; now all she sees is oil. She used to play with dolphins; now she plays with bottles. Sadly, he’s old now, unable to do enough. He became lost as much as her.
He sits by the shore and watches the struggling child. He holds a photograph in his hands. The meaning of his life is on that picture. His wife. They used to sail and breath in the salty air. The ocean played with the boat. His wife adopted her, the wild child. She couldn’t leave her side. One day they were preparing for a journey, but the daughter didn’t want them to go. He couldn’t hear her, but she heard her. The wife begged for them to stay but he was restless and that was his downfall. They sailed out into the open and the ocean screamed while pulling her mother down.
Now he’s all alone, drowning slowly in loneliness. He gets up and turns in for the night. The lights in the lighthouse slowly fade away. By the time the golden bridge rose on the surface of the ocean, only a light feather was left on the bed. Maybe your body is buried by man, but your soul is guided by angels.