Bleak Rock

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A single boat, tossed like jetsam in the huge waves, fought against the sea. Within it was a man possessed. A desire to find the irretrievable lured him to the lighthouse. It had taken months to locate someone who could be bribed to swear to secrecy and navigate him through these waters.

The boatman approached the craggy rocks upon which the lighthouse was perched. Anchoring them to land, he struggled against the wind. Once secured, the man lunged onto the rocks.

“Stay here.” he called imperiously.

“Yes, Mr Leighton,” the boatman returned.

The weather worn door hung loose on weakened hinges. Mr Leighton advanced into the hollow shell of the lighthouse. With little light, he could just detect the outline of spiral stairs. Unwavering, he climbed to the top.

For decades, many had tried to locate the plundered contents of the shipwrecked ‘Carcassonne’, but none had returned. Only the boatman had been privy to their ventures. All five of them had gone there with the same purpose as Mr Leighton.

Reaching the top, he smiled at the vastness of the chest. The rumours were true. Stepping forward, he heard a crack under his foot. Hesitantly, he stepped back and heard another. He gasped in mortified horror. Scattered around the room were human bones - devoid of their clothing of muscle and flesh. Skulls stared at him in recognition of his folly.

Greed had brought him here, but the chest no longer held any value. He descended hastily, yelling to the boatman. But when he reached the doorway, the boatman wasn’t there. All that greeted him was the inky midnight sky.

He was alone.

Smiling to himself, the boatman rowed away. With the payment for the journey safe, he would wait again until someone wanted to voyage secretly to Bleak Rock.

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Image of Little_Emma81
Little_Emma81 · ago
Katla...thanks for reading my story. Have just read yours and it’s a great tale - it moves along quickly and the subject matter is one probably most readers can relate to. Well done. :)
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Image of Katla Ignis
Katla Ignis · ago
I love how you turned a story of greed into one of betrayal. The ending was unexpected and well-written.
I think you’ll like my story, “Do You See Me?”. The link to it is here: https://short-edition.com/en/story/3-min/do-you-see-me

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Image of Little_Emma81
Little_Emma81 · ago
Thank you for your kind words. :)
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Image of Aliyah
Aliyah · ago
What I really liked about the story was how the story started almost like poetry, and it seemed that Mr. Leighton was about to get lucky. The ending was such a good twist, just like the cherry on the cake. I loved the description, the mystery, and the storyline you subtly wove, keeping it engaging.
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