The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

26 November 2013


I just yelled through my front window at a couple of Lake Town's fine firefighters. They were here to follow up on a smoke detector with Mr. and Mrs. van Landlord (they are Dutch), but Mr. and Mrs. v L are down south enjoying warmer climes for several weeks.  Lake Town's finest kept knocking on the door, and as my window is right next to their door, I cranked it open and yelled at them. 

By yelling I mean nicely, of course. Merely to raise my voice and impart the important information. We had a brief but awkward conversation as I leaned over my desk, very conscious that my hair was askew and there I was in my oldest hoodie. All of which hardly mattered as it was pitch dark out and I couldn't see them anyway, so they might actually have been a figment of my imagination, called forth out of desperation as I sit and struggle to find something worth writing about.

I used to have interesting neighbours. There was the Crazy Car Couple who kept moving their car from curb to driveway to garage to just in front of the front door, to just a little further back, in between going into the house, coming back out and moving the car all over again.  There was the Hootin' and Hollerin' guy next door when I lived in New Town and his dog Harley.  Now I have very nice, very normal neighbours, which makes for a very nice, very normal life, don't provide much by way of writing fodder.

I used to live with the Peanuts - the five cutest and funniest and most dramatic boys you ever did see. They fill page after page of this blog (CTKS is the tag - check them out) but as I don't see them as often, I miss out on the daily insights and developments and drama. I visited ever so briefly last week, and Number Five Nephew said something funny, which I then promptly forgot by the time I got home again. So my life is calmer, quieter and a great deal neater than it used to be, but again, sadly lacking in writing fodder.

Just as the firemen were pulling out of the driveway, I decided to light a candle. (Was that subliminal?)  As I blew out the match, I watched an ember float effortlessly, gracefully down to the plush carpet. It started to burn.

In my mind, I could see the whole scene... the carpet smoulders, and soon enough, flames grow bigger, licking along the floor to the wall, where the curtains catch light. As the truck begins to drive away, they see in their rear-view mirror a crimson glow as now the walls are limned in fire. What plays better? Should I be bravely battling the flames myself when they break down the door, or curled helpless and frightened with arms wrapped around my head as they come to my rescue?

Germanic practicality set in. It would be so inefficient to have to replace the carpet. As I stepped on the ember, I could see all the ink of my imagined story disappearing off the page, leaving me with a blank white space once again.


  1. Where's your imagination? Call up the fire department and tell them you need help with a smoke detector, too. If you already have one, hide it. If I was a fireman, I'd be more than happy to make sure a cute young lady was safe and secure. The worst that could happen is you have to change your genre from horror story to romance...

  2. Rats. What a missed opportunity!