The Light in the Tower


They lower their sails and drop anchor, knowing they will not catch the evening sun bright on the kitchen hearth. Oars creak and echo in the deep green of the peninsular waters, splash and scrape as the dingy is hauled up the pebbled strand.

Trudging up a stony path to the lighthouse, they enter a cheerless kitchen. No fire in the hearth, no welcoming scent of fresh bread and hearty stew, no smile and contralto trill to mark their return.  Just a smudged bottle and tired, market-bought bread.

Preparing a warm meal, like catching the sunset, is no longer worth the energy. The small purse from the day’s catch is tossed into the center of the kitchen table, next to last week’s purse, and the ones from the weeks before.

Ridiculous to have worried about the size of the catch, when what mattered most was the light in the tower.

© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2016)

Prompt: Write a story, in 150 words or less, about the picture above. Where is the boat going (or where has it been), and use the word ridiculous

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