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Rebecca S McKeehan

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The Jewel and Other Stories
by Stan Law (aka Stanislaw Kapuscinski)

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The Beacon Light
by Rebecca S McKeehan
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Rated "PG" by the Author.
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She watches the fogbank
Creep in upon the shore
And wrap itself around
The beacon light
With unnerving purpose,
Holding the bright light close
And muffling the deep sound
Of the foghorn
That would warn mariners
Away from the rocks below.
Her small hands
Clench and unclench
And her skirts rustle
As she rushes from window
To window,
Searching frantically
For a glimpse of her husband,
Making mewling noises
As her fragile mind 
Imagines all manner
Of danger.
Too long has she been marooned
On this tiny, windswept isle
With nary a soul
To share her burdens,
Save the cold husband
Who would dismiss her fears
As the workings of a soft, female mind,
But at least he 
Stands between her
And madness,
And so she clings to him
As if she were drowning.
Her emerald eyes,
Which once sparkled 
With gay abandon,
Now are sunken
And wretched,
And the flaming red hair
That once threatened to bleed
Now hangs dull and streaked
With gray.
The fog spreads,
Inching toward the house
Where she watches frantically
As it passes the two small graves
Where stillborn infants
Were laid to rest,
Each on nights
When the fog came
Thick and relentless
To the house.
Now it was coming for her
And she backs away
From the window in terror.
Where was her husband?
Heart pounding,
Breathing labored,
She dashes drunkenly from the room,
Careening through the house,
Crashing into furniture,
Her fear-filled eyes
Staring backward
Over her shoulder.
And still the fog creeps ever nearer
Until it reaches the front windows
And with a cry she exits the back door
Stumbling across the damp grass,
Her mouth open in a soundless scream
As madness finally overtakes her.
Seeing only the fog
As it encircles the house,
She does not hear her husband's frantic call to stop,
But runs ever faster
Until the ground falls out from beneath her
And she plummets
To the rocks many feet below.
High atop the cliff, 
The fog retreats once more
To the sea,
Unnoticed by the man
Who kneels, staggered,
By shock and mourning
For the young wife
He had neglected.
His eyes fixed
Upon her broken body
As the waves 
Crash about it.



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Reviewed by Marcus Tolbert 10/10/2009
It is odd that we do not miss much untill it is no longer there.
Reviewed by Georg Mateos 10/8/2009
The madness caused by solitude can't be avoided by searching for a beacon, but escaped by going to a welcoming port.
An extraordinary little story!


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