Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Black Lighthouse

****If you comment on my story, I promise I'll return the favor! Thanks!

Here's another flash fiction challenge from Chuck Wendig's site. We had to pick one of the five titles (or use the words and mix them up to make a new title) and then make up a story based on the title we chose. I picked The Black Lighthouse and made a ghost story up, involving the Blackbeard the pirate. But get this, I actually did research on him! Okay, the whole two seconds on Wikipedia. But still, I researched! Anyway, enjoy the story...........

“Do you know why it’s called the Black Lighthouse?” Max asked his friends at lunch.

“Because it’s African American?” Keith drawled, playing with the gauges in his ears.

“Treasure!” Brittany exclaimed, bouncing in her seat and almost spilling her milk.

“No, Keith. And Brittany, you’re jumping ahead,” Max said impatiently.

“What does the Black Lighthouse have to do with treasure?” Keith asked, curious.

Max put up his hands to stop them from talking. “Okay, bad idea asking you both. I’ll just tell you. They say the Black Lighthouse doesn’t work anymore. That’s why it’s nicknamed, ‘Black.’ But its real name is Blackbeard Lighthouse. As in, the famous pirate.”

“I’m bored. Can we skip the history lesson, Mr. Max?” Keith snapped, biting into his greasy pizza.

“But, pirates have treasure!” Brittany protested. “That’s what he’s getting at!”

“He just said the lighthouse doesn’t work anymore, stupid.”

“Don’t call me stupid!”

“Shut up both of you!” Max yelled, exasperated. Keith crossed his arms defiantly and Brittany pouted, hurt.

“Holy shit, you two are impossible. Let me finish.” Max continued, “Blackbeard once raided along this coast here in South Carolina, so in later years, they called it Blackbeard Lighthouse.” Max held up his hand again before Keith could say anything. “But others say they call it Blackbeard Lighthouse because it shines a black light onto the water during the new moon at midnight. When it does, Blackbeard’s ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, appears to reveal where his treasure is.”

“What bunch of bullshit.” Keith rolled his eyes. “If it’s true, why hasn’t anyone found the treasure?”

“Because everyone thinks it’s bullshit,” Max shot back with a smile.

“Okay, so why are you all about this all of a sudden?” Keith asked while Brittany continued pouting over her peas.

“Because tonight is a new moon.”

Keith and Brittany both perked up.

“You’re not thinking about going out to the Black Lighthouse tonight, are you?” Brittany asked with wide eyes.

“Well, I want both of you to come, too,” Max replied hopefully.

“Why?” Brittany asked, slightly confused.

“Oh, so you don’t want treasure?” Max teased.

“How do we even know there is treasure?” Keith challenged.

“We won’t know unless we try.”

They decided to met up at eleven-thirty at the Black Lighthouse.

“This better be worth it,” Keith declared as he arrived. “I just got in a shit ton of trouble. I got caught sneaking out.”

“How did you get caught?” Brittany inquired as she parked her bike.

“I stepped on our cat’s tail. She screeched like a banshee and woke everyone up.”

“Your black cat?” Brittany asked nervously.

“It’s just a superstition, Brittany,” Max said, trying to calm her.

“Just like we’re here because of a ghost story?” Keith sarcastically asked.

Max glared at him.

“So, what are we suppose to do?” Brittany asked, peering into the darkness. “Do we have to go in the lighthouse?”

“No, we wait to see the ship,” Max said.

“I thought you said that it has to shine a black light over the water. How’s it going to do that without turning that on?”

Max tapped his chin, thinking. “Good point.”

“Okay, then,” Keith sighed. “So we need to get in.”
Keith found the aged wooden door leading into the lighthouse. He pulled at the handle. When nothing happened, he began frantically tugging at it for a few minutes before he gave up.

“It’s locked,” he panted.

Brittany stared at it for a moment and then gently gave it a push.

“What the fuck, Brittany? Do you really think that did anything?” Keith shouted but stopped when the door slowly opened with a sleepy groan.

Keith and Max both stared astonished at Brittany with open mouths.

She shrugged. “You were opening it the wrong way.”

Shaking their heads in disbelief, Max and Keith entered with Brittany at their heels.

“Hold on,” Max called in the darkness. He grabbed his phone and turned on his flashlight app. Instantly, the room was flooded with light. Everything was covered in dust and to their right, a stairway twisted up to the top. With Max leading with the flashlight, they all ascended to the top of the lighthouse.

The huge light in the center took up most of the room. They circled around it.

“How do you turn this thing on?” Keith asked, looking for a button.

Max moved his light around until he spotted a switch. He flipped it and waited.

“That didn’t do anything,” Keith stated pointlessly.

“Wait, you guys! I think I see something out in the water!” Brittany gasped.

“Is it a ship?” Max asked eagerly.

“I think!”

Max was already running down the stairs when he shouted, “Let’s go, then!”

They both hurried after him.

Once outside again, they peered out over the lake. A huge prow was emerging, poking a hole in the darkness as the whole ship gradually came into view. Its sails were flapping in an invisible wind as it shimmered a hazy white light. Closer and closer it came, until it banked on the shore.

Max, Keith, and Brittany watched breathlessly, captivated by what they were witnessing.

A plank came down and the ghost of Blackbeard himself appeared.

“I don’t believe it,” Keith whispered.

Blackbeard beckoned them to come aboard.

“I don’t know about this, guys,” Brittany whimpered.

“He’s going to show us the treasure,” Max said. “What is he going to do to us? He’s a ghost. He can’t hurt us!” And with that, Max walked up the plank. Keith and Brittany looked at each other.

“He’s got a point,” Keith shrugged and followed Max. Brittany could only watch as Keith joined Max.

Brittany wanted to go with her friends, but she couldn’t move. Her feet were rooted in place. So, there she stood as the ship drifted back into the night, and there she stayed until the sun’s rays spread across the sky and the water lapped at her feet.

She waited for her friends to return but they never did.


  1. Good story, captures the banter well between the friends, and their different personalities.
    BTW - I had to use Wiki too - to confirm what I thought the gauges were. I was pretty sure he wasn't sitting there with a tire pressure gauge in each ear ;-)

  2. Thanks for commenting! I had fun with the interplay between the characters. Also, they are ear gauges, not tire gauges... just google image it :)