Monday, November 28, 2011

THE RAVAGES OF TIME....a FREE short story by L.J. Holmes

by L.J.Holmes

An angry sea, crashing waves, breakers touch the sky, and there she stands, a lone sentinel, on a distant finger of land, illuminating the way through the moisture-laden fog. She has a purpose, an important purpose to bring the travel weary sailors safely through the night...yet again.

Upon seeing her flash, the sailor is ecstatic, and sings her praises for all to hear. She is proof that life, especially his, has not come to an end, yet, in the watery morass and dark denizens of the angry sea waiting to snatch the unsuspecting down into its grave of snarling whitecaps.

Ah, but once the ships have docked and the sailors safely moved from the misty fogs of night, they quickly forget her, the deserted beacon of life, still standing out there, upon that finger of land, to await the needs of the next generation of sailors lost.

But time does not stand still, even if the lone lighthouse does. With the passage of month, day, year, she begins to fade, oblivion waiting to claim her. How long can a light shine, when it is not replenished, not attended to, not cared for? A goddess of safety so quickly forgotten?

Each passing sailor has claimed just a bit of the finite luminescence that nourishes her battered strength, keeping the beacon glowing, and calling out to those disoriented and frightened men of the sea.

As with all things, there comes a time, when the beacon, that bright beam of loving sanctity, encased in the shell of a landmark, taller than life, cannot spread her light far enough for the next era of lost seafarer to see.

A beacon, like love itself, needs to be nourished, tended to, or it fades from wretched neglect. Each wailing sailor took from her internal heartbeat as relentlessly as the waves took from her frame.

After time, there is nothing left but a smoldering wisp, buried deeply beneath the ashes of the ages. A mere glimmer of the beacon she used to be.

It grows harder and harder, as she stands out there all alone, to transmute the pain of her isolation and neglect into fodder for yet another twinkle of light. The waves crash, the sea grows angry, and mists enshroud the endless blanket of night while she shrinks before them.

The battles she has conquered have left her spirit in withering tatters. The erosion of the cresting waves of love gone amiss, have diminished the foundation upon which she rests.

None come forward, sad thing to tell, to save the beacon and shore up her abrading foundation. Where is the love? Where is the commitment? We need not be told what transpires when foundations weaken, but wrathful waves continue their relentless thrashings.

And all she has ever needed...was love.


lionmother said...

Beautiful story, Lin. I felt so sorry for the poor lighthouse abandoned and neglected.

Adriana Ryan said...

Love the symbolism. Very nice.

Sylvia Ney said...

Stopping by from Author Central. Wonderful job! Best of luck with this short story challenge.