Lauren was in the lighthouse again. She never knew how she got there. She would just come out of a trance, standing in the lantern room, gazing out at the sea, a half-empty bottle of whiskey grasped tightly in her right hand. It had been the same thing every night for the past week. Lauren felt the mud between her bare toes and the cuts from the seaside rocks beginning to bloom with pain. Then came the voice.
“He’s out there, I know it! He’ll come back for me tonight!”
The sound of the shrill, hysterical notes echoed in Lauren’s head and throughout the room. “And when he comes, I’ll kill him!”
Lauren was shocked when she realized that the screaming voice was her own. She threw a hand over her mouth as her eyes bulged. She downed a slug of whiskey to steady her nerves. “I’ll kill him!” She shrieked, not willing the words but instead witnessing their birth.
“Did you hear that?” Another voice asked a woman, close by.
“Yeah, I totally did! And the EVP recorder picked it up too!” A male companion replied.
“Sounded like it was a whisper in the wind,” the woman said.
“Yeah,” the man said absently as he twirled a knob on the portable digital recorder. “The Lady of the Lighthouse spoke to us. She’s real!”
“And this is the night it happened,” the woman said.
“Yeah,” the man added. “She met her lover here, in the lantern room. He broke the news to her that he was heading out to sea.”
“But he’d promised her that he would stay with her.”
“And he broke his promise,” the woman said, her eyes growing pale, a grimace curling her lips.
“Yeah, he did,” the man said, focused intently on the recorder, his eyes on the small screen.
The man was almost too shocked to feel the pain when his companion brought the discarded whiskey bottle crashing across the back of his head. The second blow registered with a bright, piercing pain. The man dropped the recorder and staggered toward the windows. The lantern’s light washed over him as he dropped to his knees.
“Lauren! What are you doing?” He screamed.
“You said you’d never leave me, Donovan!” Lauren shrieked. She brought the heavy bottle down again. It came down on the man’s forearm as he tried to defend himself.
“Lauren, it’s me, it’s Douglas!”
The bottle came down again. It glanced off Douglas’s shoulder, hit the floor, and broke, forming a deadly knife of thick glass.
“How could you, Donovan?” Lauren wailed.
“I’m not him! He’s the man in the story!” Douglas cried.
And then she was on top of him, swinging the glass weapon, cutting, stabbing, screaming, crying. Too horrified and meek, Douglas didn’t last long. When she was finished, Lauren left the broken bottle plunged into his neck. Then, the night called to her. The sea was singing against the rocks on the craggy shore. She needed to be close to it, to feel the air on her blood-soaked skin. And it was the last thing Lauren felt before she leaped from the catwalk and the waves crashing on the rocks where she fell, washed the blood away.
Ten Years Later
Brad smiled maniacally. He said, “It happens every year during the last week of summer. A couple comes up here hoping to see the Lady of the Lighthouse-”
“That’s the ghost, right?” Brad’s girlfriend interrupted. “And her name was Lauren, just like me, just like all the girls, supposedly?” She rolled her eyes in disbelief.
“Uh, yeah,” Brad said, his train of thought broken. He glanced around the lantern room. His eyes lit up and he pointed to an object on the floor. “Look! There’s even a whiskey bottle here, just like in the stories!”
“Cool! Let’s get wasted!”
“It’s empty.” He sighed. “Probably left here by some other kids.”
“Ugh, this sucks, Donovan, I wanna go,” Lauren huffed.
Brad turned to her with a wrinkled brow. “Did you just call me Donovan?”
He didn’t even notice that Lauren already held the bottle tight in her hand.