Digest>Archives> March 2009

Ghost Point

By Carl Hose


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Artwork By Marcee Dalaba

Charlie Peterson was ninety and would soon be leaving Ghost Point. Not by choice, of course. No man would leave Ghost Point by choice. The lighthouse at Ghost Point had stood proud for well over a hundred years now, and sixty of Charlie’s years had been spent with her, but now his time was at hand. Unlike the swell of an ocean tide, Charlie was not timeless.

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Artwork By Marcee Dalaba

His life had been good. He’d spent a great deal of his early years fishing the high seas and bringing home a living for his wife and their three daughters. His daughters were grown now, off to their own lives, and his dear wife Annabelle had passed on nearly twenty years ago.

Ghost Point had kept Charlie company since then. He’d tended her grounds and her light faithfully. He’d seen many a freighter through stormy weather. He’d sat in the top of the lighthouse and read many books.

The books were mostly about the sea, with the occasional romance novel thrown in for good measure. He didn’t take much of a shine to the mushy romance stuff, but Annabelle had quite enjoyed them, so he read one for her every now and then.

Charlie climbed to the top of the lighthouse. There were too many stairs these days. Too many for an old man like him, but he had to climb them one last time.

A storm was coming in from the east. A real humdinger. The moon rode high tonight, shrouded by storm clouds but still casting milky light over the ocean.

Charlie fired up the light. She cut through the liquid black, providing safe passage to any ocean-going vessels unlucky enough to be caught in the storm. That was all that needed to be done tonight.

Charlie made his way downstairs and crossed from the lighthouse to the cottage, alone again as always. Ghost Point was so named because she was said to be haunted, but as far as Charlie knew, there was nary a ghost to be found. In all his years here, he’d waited patiently to make the acquaintance of one. There had been many nights, in fact, he’d prayed for the company-would have welcomed a spirit with open arms, in fact.

But there were no ghosts here. And tonight there was only the sound of the wind crying through the night as rain lashed the point with Mother Nature’s fury.

Charlie tended the fireplace, had his daily shot of scotch, and went to bed. He pulled the covers up to his neck. Thick blankets that helped fight off the chill of these eastern nights.

He lay in bed and thought about leaving Ghost Point. It made his heart ache in a way no one who’d never spent time in a lighthouse could imagine. It made him sad to know that he would no longer be her keeper, and he could only say a silent prayer that the next keeper would love her and respect her as Charlie had.

He closed his eyes and listened.

He heard the wind and rain. He would miss those sounds as sure as he missed Annabelle, and as sure as he would miss Ghost Point . . .

. . . and he drifted like a lost boat on a restless current . . .

. . . until he found himself free and floating above himself . . .

Charlie smiled.

Ghost Point had finally gotten its ghost . . .

This story appeared in the March 2009 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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