Chapter 7

And so it came to be the day before New Years Eve and the festival, and the lighthouse man was anxious of what would await for him in town. Yet thoughts rushed to his head, would they know of who I am? Do they still think a cursed man works the wonders of the lighthouse? But he had to perish those thoughts, for the sun was soon to set and the woman that ached his heart was to be his this coming night. All of her splendor beauty to be in his arms, and nothing else mattered. A knock was heard from the door downstairs, usually it would be around the time a town’s person would hand in the food for the lighthouse man. A gesture of kindness for the sinned the town’s preacher announced once long ago. Walking down the stairs with a feeling that the woman would not show, he almost thought that one night did not happen at all. As if it were a fool’s dream, nothing more.

Upon looking through the slit in the door, he saw a cloaked figure with a food sack at the waist. The man never really paid much attention to who comes with the food, and so no questions were ever asked. The sound of a key being turned in the keyhole was sound and the door was pushed open with the cloaked figure rushing inside. Confused about this stranger, he put his hand on its shoulder to see who it was. With a smile and raised eyebrows, the woman handed him the food sack. Disbelieving what occurred, he asked “How did you come here without anyone noticing?”

“A simple answer for a simple man,” the woman laughed as she took off the cloak, “I dressed up as a man and took the responsibility from the old drunk who normally gives you the food. Give him a couple beers and he is out in his dreams!” She spun around showing off her new dress, a golden yellow that matched her strawberry blonde hair. The woman turned towards the man with an innocent look, “Do you like it? It matches my hair so perfectly!” But all he could do was staring blankly, too lost for words or for a thought to stay in its place. She noticed that her partner was dazzled and in awe, so taking the opportunity her hand reached out for his. “Come; let me help clear your thoughts,” whispering in his ear as she brought him closer to her, “Why do you stand in silence?”

“Tis your beauty that has stilled my lips, and throws my mind into a whirlpool of thoughts,” he replied, “No other woman have I seen compares to you.” The woman laughed as she let go of his hands while remembering of her family. “I have two other sisters,” she said as the sun began to dip once again into the ocean, “Dana and Victoria, both gone to distant lands to fulfill their dreams. As for me, I chose to stay… Well, I should correct that to what my parents wanted.” The man can relate to what she said, for his brothers all left to distant lands but for either greed or desires. Before he could say a word, the woman was already opening the door leading upstairs.

“Come, I wish to see the stars dance once more before the coming of a new year,” turning her head and meeting eye to eye with the man, “and perhaps we can get a good view of the moon tonight.” As she held out her hand the man felt that something was amiss, a responsibility about to be forgotten. He dismissed the thought, for he knew that the White Pearl would be visible on the horizon by the morning. For this night that was meant for him…

Stars sprinkled throughout the night sky, never alone and always dancing with another. Patterns of some zodiacs could be seen, Leo, Scorpio, Gemini and Virgo. As each star danced and watched the earth turn, there was their sister, the moon. Glowing with smooth radiance, she rested the seas below as she watched on with the stars. Each night, a new place to ponder and allow her followers to rest or hunt during her stay. As the two walked up the stairs and reached the top, the land around them seemed so much vaster. They could see the far off mountains to the east, Laughingwood Forest to the west, and the next town to the south. Yet it was to the north that held much beauty and wonder. The moon took the stage and captivated their eyes. Like a pearl in the depths of black waters it did shine.

“So amazing” said the woman with awe and marveled at the majestic night scenery. The man took hold of her hand and led her to the center; where on the ground was diagrams and drawings of the stars and zodiacs.

“This is where I often come” the man whispered into her ear, “When I am off from my duties and all is calm.”

Trying to focus her eyes on what was ahead of her and not on the moon, she noticed the man near the railing, looking down at the sea. He seemed as if his mind was wondering off from reality and his eyes not captivated on the moon, but rather the black ocean. He sighed and took hold of his bearings, realizing once again that he has company. Turning to her, he smiled and held out his hand. She gently placed hers on his and accompanied him near the railing, viewing the beauty of the black ocean below and vast. Calm and soothing the waves did sound, and its’ gentle pushing against the rocks were too light for distraction.

Finally, she thought, a night for me. She brought her hand towards his cheek, turned his face and kissed. He felt not to let this moment go and to keep hold of this kiss, forever. A rush of emotions flooded his heart, mix messages of letting go and keeping. Nothing could have made this night more romantic than to be under the blissful full moon and above the swirling black oceans. No time go anywhere else, no time for words, not for this moment. He laid her down on the ground, still locked together in a form of love. She helped him with the dress, pulling the strings on the back, loosening it. Like a snake getting rid of old skin, the dress came off smoothly and slowly.

She shivered as a cold breeze passed by, but that made her move closer to him. His shirt unbuttoned with each kiss. He could feel her shivering, wondering if she was nervous of this moment. Placing her hand on his back, she pushed him down towards her stomach more. Every minute, some clothing came off. Every minute a cool breeze would pass, but with a few drops of rain. That didn’t matter now, for they were both in each others’ heat. Clutched together, not wanting to let go. He went in slowly and eased when she breathed harder, but she told him to not mind her breathing.

Three hours passed as they went on, until they could no longer go on. The man turned to his side, still facing her. He eyed her beautiful body with every passing moment. Placing his hand on her left breast, he turned her so they could both be facing each other. She smiled as she toyed with his chest. A cold breeze passed by again, but it swirled around for a few seconds and then back towards the sea. The man thought he heard a gasp from the wind itself.

“Something is not right”, he said, “I feel as if I’m being tugged towards the sea. To search for… I don’t know.”

He got up and walked towards the edge, looking out and beyond the black oceans. Waves moving with and against each other, unsettling it was. Cold shivers crawled up his back. A unnamed thought, cruel and foreboding. It would take twenty steps to reach the crystal, but only five back to her. Yet, the thought lingered. Still masked in mystery, but pointing to the answer. Far off and beyond the horizon, a ship was at sea and now beneath.

It hit him hard, and the realization left him in complete darkness. No humble answers shown in light, the black oceans swallowed them whole. One night with a woman from the town turned bliss into a nightmare. No guide for the ship in the night, no one to feed the dying light. The moon had turned red, the sign that so much blood had been spilt. My life is truly destroyed the man fearfully thought.

While this story is the property of Eric McVinney, the title and references from any Sonata Arctica song belongs to Sonata Arctica. Distribution to any unauthorized persons are prohibited.

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