The Lighthouse

It was windy that morning as they pushed the car along the cliff road towards the beach. Somebody had been sensible and laid out planks so the car would roll smoothly out over the wet sand.

The wind had started to pick up, grit getting in the three men’s eyes. They would rather stay out here for as long as possible rather than be in there.

Up on the cliff, taking its position as guardian and warning, the lighthouse loomed. It was a view that made the locals shudder.

The majority of time the lighthouse was a holiday rental. It had so many positive reviews that people booked months in advance and everyone ignored the occasional oddity.

The first had been a writer. He needed a place to finish his novel in peace. The lighthouse had been perfect. He finished the manuscript then according to the reports committed suicide.

It had taken Mrs Franklin, the postmistress, a week to retype his words onto clean paper.

The second, five and a half years later, a couple who were working on their marriage. They were last seen smiling and full of love leaving the local village. They had the accident on the treacherous roads after they left. Daniel Phillips lost his heavy goods licence after his tractor into their car. Bodies charred to cinders. The family had to have a closed casket.

Six years after that incident it was the young family. Police report details that the mother had had a psychotic episode, murdered her entire family then thrown herself from the top of the cliff. That made people think and wonder. If they wondered too much and aloud they were reminded it was better them and not us.

Time marched on.

They had arrived yesterday. A group of students. Everyone knew it was going to happen; it was in the air that day.

The weather had turned and the sea swelled. The creeping cold turned breath to ice and made the local residents dig under their duvets and try to think of other things.

In the morning there was blood, bone and flesh.

It was their occupation to create the story and diversion.  A beach party with a tragic ending, too drunk to notice the tide and too late to get back to the safety of the shore.

When the car was placed on the beach they left it there, doors open. Nature to scrub away all evidence.

The picked up the planks as they returned to the safety of the dry sand. Onwards to the next job, Dennis had gotten very handy with a mop and Andy could get blood out of anything these days, he’d had a lot of practice.

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