November 14, 2012

The Curse

It was midnight in the lighthouse. Frank hadn’t slept for many nights, so feverish was he in his efforts to act upon the message that he’d received in the dream.

At his feet, bottles that were empty made no pattern on the floor. Their distribution suggested only haste in the consumption of their contents.

With its every sweep around the chamber and the dispatch of its beam out onto the sea and rocks outside, the rotating light flashed off the mirror on the table. Lying on the mirror were a razor blade, a rolled-up banknote and traces of a white powder.

Frank knew someone had ruined his life, perhaps by the use of spell or invocation. He knew that he was cursed. The voice in the dream had told him how he might identify the fiend who had misdirected him at every junction of his existence.

The task was almost finished. Following the instructions of the voice, he’d located in the cupboard in the cellar the thousand-piece jigsaw. He’d worked on nothing else for days. Now the image was nearing its completion.

Realization had arrived at a pace that was sedate. First he had discerned that the picture was set at night, a landscape lit by moonlight. Then he’d understood that a sea that was turbulent was a key component of the picture. With a sense of dread he’d recognized the building in the center of the image to be a lighthouse. He had only to add a handful of pieces to depict the face of the one who had destroyed his life. And then at last he’d have the chance to seek revenge.

His hands shook and sweated to such an extent that he had trouble placing the final pieces… and then it was done. He stood up and looked at the face of his tormentor, the one who had led his life onto the rocks of fate.

Frank threw aside his chair and walked towards the window. The light washed over the mask of mirth and madness that his face had become. He opened the window, squeezed himself through the aperture, then rolled himself over the handrail. The sound of wind and rain hid any sound his body might have made as it hit the sea and rocks below.

The light continued its tour around the lantern room. It rolled across the image Frank had put together. The jigsaw showed a picture of the sea around a lighthouse, and looking out the window of the lantern room was a picture of Frank, a smile playing across his features.


  1. Ah, yes. And aren’t we all usually at the source of our own misery? Point made.

    Comment by John L. Campbell — November 15, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

  2. Great little story, very atmospheric!

    Comment by Shaun Avery — November 18, 2012 @ 7:34 am

  3. Terrific imagery.

    Comment by paul chown — November 22, 2012 @ 10:00 am

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