General Fiction posted September 21, 2017

This work has reached the exceptional level
Two brothers visit an old lighthouse


by oliver818

His shadow rolled over the green on the rocks, darkening it as he moved forward. Meanwhile, I tried to only step in the damp holes left by his shoes. Ripples rolled against the sharp edges of rock pools when drops of water fell from his shorts, shaken loose by his sudden leaps.

"Keep up, slow poke," he said, his long, dark hair waving in the breeze.

I hated being a little kid.

A sail boat disappeared behind him as his muscles tensed, his body rose, and then he was gone. Just under a metre away, his fingers curled into small crevices, and his right foot slapped down on the jagged rock opposite me.

"David, I can't do it." I especially hated the way I still cried when I was scared.

"Yes you can. I'll help you. Just grab my hand, and you'll be fine."

Fine, blond hairs, soaked in sea spray, stuck to his arm as his hand reached out. My body swung forward as his hand tightened around mine. His laughter filled the air as my legs disappeared in a wave of white foam that smashed up between us.

"You're alright, buddy," he said, his arm sweeping around my waist, pulling my body up onto the rocks.

"I'm all wet," I said, watching the thick, black kelp leaves reappear in the gap between the rocks as the foamy wave heaved back out again.

"Come on, Tommy, it's not far now." I lost sight of David's face as he entered the old lighthouse. My shoes squelched as I ran after him. I shivered in the cold, stale air of the lighthouse, and the metal stairs creaked under my weight.

"Up here, Tommy. The view is great."

Light flooded in as I turned around the last curl of the staircase. The room echoed with the howl of the wind against the red painted metal walls. David stood looking out to sea. All of a sudden, his head twisted and his eyes were set on mine.

"Tommy, I need to tell you something." I stared as David's hands twisted around the corner of his t-shirt.

"What is it?" I wondered if he might finally tell me where he had been the last three days.

"I'm in trouble, Tommy. I did something terrible. Something unforgivable."

"What did you do, David?"

"I hurt someone. Seriously. I didn't mean to, it just kind of happened. But the police know it was me. I'm going to go away for a long time."

"To prison, you mean?" My arms slipped around his waist.

"Yeah. Mum and Dad know. I asked them to let me tell you." His hand moved away from my head for a moment, and when it came back his fingers were wet.

"I don't want you to go, David." I didn't hate my tears anymore as my head leaned against my big brother's chest.

"Let's go home, buddy." His hand ran through my hair one last time.

In the distance, at the top of the cliff path we had come down, I could just make out the shape of my parents.

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Artwork by Paul G. at

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