The Lighthouse

Tall pines danced as the evening light painted the scene with a warm orange hue.

I took a deep breath in, smelling the salt sea aroma mix with the crisp scent of the pine needles. A squirrel scurried up a nearby tree as I ran past him. Even though it had been years since my last visit, not much had changed. Chirps of woodland birds created a sweet melody with the distant sounds of seagulls. The air felt heavy, ripe with the dew of the sea and heat. I carefully followed a deer’s thin and bumpy path. No formal paths or benches for rest appeared on the way as the border for the park had ended about a quarter mile back. But I knew my way through like the back of my hand.

The trees thinned as my climb became steeper. The ground cut off, leaving an edge of a cliff just feet away from me. Through a haze of mist, the town spreads out below me. Dull gray and black roofing with splashes of reds, greens, and blues from the aging buildings dot the ground. I could just make out the park’s signature fountain. We had been awestruck at the larger than life stone siren emerging from her pebbled pool when it had been installed; we gaped at how it loomed so far above our heads. Yet up here it was a mere speck. The lightly jewel-crusted tail scattered varying rays of pinks and blues which was about the only way I could identify it.

Just a few blocks over, or inches of sight now, stood the city hall, enriched in marble. Our town had been established by wealthy settlers who had crafted elaborate buildings. They stood the test of time, but the town hadn’t faired quite as well. While the residential areas appeared to have a decent amount of homes, many were abandoned. Though you couldn’t make out those details from up here, that’s what I loved about it.

I could hear the crashing of the waves as the trees disappeared from around me, surrounding me in tall grass. I saw a strip of ivory sand act as a barrier between the town and the wilderness. The ocean stretched so far into the horizon that it began to merge with the sky with the only telling difference being the movement of the waves. The water animated the colors of the sky as if throwing a small goodbye party for the sun. That’s when I spotted it.

A glare from the glass forced me to me shade my eyes to see it clearer. A short, red lighthouse stood yards away from the cliff’s overhang. The paint had chipped away, leaving behind patches of cement gray. Vines creeped up its body toward the white stripe at the top, stopping just short. Their leaves rippled in the wind and the chorus of birds quieted down.

This was where I died.

Inspired by the scenery in Life is Strange and was written while listening to an extended version of the game’s menu melody. Song link

Featured Image Credit:
Patrick Baum


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