It snowed that night. A light dusting but still enough gnaw my bones raw, but duty commanded I be on the rail inclement weather or no, so I stood there, wrapped in my rain coat, grinding my pipe between my teeth with all my frustration.
The Marlow postman delivered a letter that day stating the inspector had been delivered to a hospital in Boston. I implored the postman to forward any word from the District Office post haste, trying to make him understand how I fretted but received only a noncommittal shrug. Were the people of this town truly this ignorant? The inspector should have known the step was faulty, it was ultimately his lighthouse after all. I knew it was faulty after a few short days, but how many times had the man walked the floors in his blind stupidity?
And where was that idiot Jack?
I paced the railing, muttering and lamenting my choices, cursing the town and its people. My stomach roiled. I had half a mind to abandon the lighthouse, go into the town, and sink my teeth into a steak to deliver me from these dreadful cravings, when a distant howl, lifted by the sea wind, rose into the air, grabbed me by the heart. Fearing to find the beast that made the awful noise, I glanced up and was struck blind by the lighthouse’s white eye. I shielded my own eyes, the hot flash branded into my soul, and collapsed to the railing, squinting against the pain. When I opened them again, I saw only red.
The eye was right. I mustn’t abandon my post.
Constant and faithful attention.