Estimated reading time — 6 minutes
My partner and I were called out as part of an investigative team, regarding a cruise liner that had struck rocks and capsized the night before.
The people that did make it to the life rafts had abandoned the ship too early out of fear, and the sea tossed the ship into them. Crushing those unfortunate souls between a rock and a sixty-thousand-ton, hard place. Search and rescue were doing their thing, but so far, they hadn’t found anything but bodies and wreckage.
My partner and I were tasked with making sure the lighthouse had been operational 14 hours prior, when the accident had taken place. It was supposed to be pretty mundane, go in, talk to the keeper, get his story, cross reference that with his log book, and if everything checked out, we could be back on shore in time for lunch.
We were shuttled to the dock of the lighthouse by an old police boat. The warm morning sun that had been warming my skin was abruptly cut off by the cold shadow of the massive spiraling tower. I said a short prayer before I stepped onto the dock, asking god to protect my partner and I as we did our investigation. I used to pray a lot back then.
Anyway, we made our way up the old broken concrete steps to the where the main lighthouse stood, we knocked and waited a moment, but no answer. We knocked again but still no answer.
We decided the keeper must still be at home in bed. We took a note of his absence from his workstation, and continued to the keeper’s quarters. We knocked, and knocked but again we were greeted only by silence.
I tried the handle and found it was unlocked. We drew our weapons, made our presence known, and cleared every room of the house, but there was no one. Although, it definitely looked like someone did live there. There were clothes in the closet, fresh food in the fridge, clean dishes on the drainer, even the weather channel was still playing on TV, all the things you’d expect and, not one thing out of place.
We decided to search the rest of the small island, to see if perhaps he was out doing his morning chores or clearing wreckage away from the north landing, as that’s where the current would have taken most of it.
We walked the 30 yards from the keeper’s house, down to the north landing. There were boulders that had been tossed from sea level all along the path, and turf torn up nearly up to the lighthouse itself. It had been one hell of a storm the night before.
I looked out at the water and thought of all those people, all those lives, extinguished in an instant. I shook the thought from my head, as we made our way onto the landing itself.
There was a small rocky beach that extended out on either side of the landing, for about 10 feet.
There, neatly stacked up, in vertical rows like, sandbags. Were bodies, young and old, their pale washed out eyes sung of the terror they had died in. I lit a cigarette before jumping on the radio, and called in that we’ve got a large number of bodies for recovery. While, I was talking with dispatch, my partner quietly headed back up the hill towards the lighthouse.
I get off the radio with dispatch, after about 2 minutes and, took another minute or two to finish my cigarette. I turned around didn’t see my partner at the top of the hill. I yelled for him, expecting to see his head pop over the crest of the hill any minute, but he didn’t reappear. I called again, and again, but still got no reply.
I still have no idea where the keeper was or what exactly the situation was, and with these bodies on top of that I was getting anxious. I drew my weapon again and, made my way back up the hill.
When I got to the top of the hill, I was immediately hit with a pungent rotten smell and the realization that the door to the lighthouse was now open. The interior was gloomily lit, as if illuminated by candle light. I approached slowly letting my eyes adjust to the interior, I leaned in the door way and nearly lost my breakfast.
The heavy metallic scent like copper, made me think I was having a nose bleed.
I took a couple of steps inside the doorway, and scanned the scene before me, but I couldn’t wrap my head around it. All around the walls of the stone lighthouse were lit candles, and in the center of the room was an ancient looking stone altar. When I say it was a stone altar, I don’t mean it was a collection of stones constructed into an altar, I mean the entire thing was, perfectly cut into an altar with one solid block of stone. I approached it, and saw that it was covered in blood, both old and new. “What the-” I muttered to myself, but that was all I got out before I was cut off by a thumping sound, I was sure it was footsteps coming down the stairs.
I took cover behind the staircase itself and waited, weapon ready, for whatever was thudding its way towards me. I had sweat running down my temple and my back, was just thinking about wiping my brow when, it rolled off the last set of stairs, my partner’s head tumbled and bounced from the foot of the stairs. It landed facing me across the room, his lifeless eyes, and gaping mouth still screaming in terror.
My mind jumped to my radio, but I didn’t want to give my position away. I started to turn the volume knob down, when there was a deep gravely laugh from up the stairs, then another round of thumps and thuds. Something else was on its way down the staircase. It was definitely footsteps this time, but they sounded, off. It sounded like someone was walking down the stairs but also pushing something heavier.
A thump and then 3 steps, a thump and then 3 steps.
‘Okay, as soon as I see whatever he’s pushing I’ll know 3 more steps and then bang.’
I steadied my breath as the steps grew closer and closer. Thump, step, step, step.
Thump, step, step, step. Thump, step, step, step. Thump, and with this thump I saw what they had been pushing. My partner’s headless, naked, body lay mangled at the foot of the stairs. A pool of blood immediately began to form around his stump of a neck.
My blood ran cold and I thought I might pass out. I had seen a lot of things up until then, but I had never seen anything like that, he had what looked like runes or something carved into his abdomen.
The keeper stepped into view, and I froze. He was old, older than the sea by the looks of it. He had runes similar to those carved into my partner, etched into every inch of his exposed skin. They were poorly done, as if, he’d done them himself and without a mirror. His teeth shown a dirty, bloody, smile as he cast his eyes upon my hiding spot.
His dark, beady, maniacal eyes pierced mine and I saw in them the cruelness and utter malice he possessed.
I raised my weapon and said the only thing I could think to say “Why?” I trembled.
“Why?!” He laughed. “Why what, boy?” He spat.
“Do you think this is a fucking game?” I shouted in disbelief
At this he narrowed his eyes at me, he began to walk slowly between myself and the still open door. His eyes never left mine as he made his way to the door and closed it.
“Why?” He repeated mockingly as he made his way back across the room towards my partner’s body.
He picked him up and began to drag him to the altar in the center of the room. My partner’s lifeless body made a sickening crunch as he was unceremoniously tossed onto the stone. “STOP!” I yelled with everything I had left.
He opened his eyes wide at me. “I did it because I wanted to kill as many people as quickly as possible. I did it because I hate. Because I AM HATE! That is why I sent that ship and all its passengers to the bottom of the bay, and that it why when a little girl washed ashore, I watched the gulls pick at her while I had my morning coffee.” His eyes danced wildly with flames of madness at the conclusion of his sentence.
I raised my weapon again and stared into his vile demented eyes. One tear streamed down my right cheek as I put three rounds into him center mass.
He stumbled, took a couple of wheezing breaths, and looked at his wounds. Then he looked up at me again, fell to his knees and slumped over on the floor, dead.
I ran from the lighthouse and down toward the north landing, other officer’s having heard my shots hurried towards me, they asked me what happened but all I could get out was “Lighthouse.”
After I got back to the station, I put in my two weeks, and haven’t worked an official police case in years. Losing a partner is never easy, but, what he did, and planned to do. That was true evil.
Senseless, directionless, evil.
Credit : Asvalder
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