Nina's Mistake: Journey Into Terror

A small waning gibbous moon shone almost directly over the aging lighthouse. Frustrated screaming, muffled by the thick walls, startled a gull into flight. Then the building went dark, illuminated only by the meager moonlight.

The next day, a young woman stood in front of Al's Boat Rentals. "Yes, I'll need the dory for the whole day. I'm going to watch the sunset from the top of Brennan's Lighthouse."

Looking pointedly at her out of state license plates, Al frowned before he locked eyes with her. "Have you ever operated a boat, Miss?"

She looked down at her tennis-shoe clad feet. Then she straightened her shoulders, and met his gaze. "It's Nina. I've always hated being called Miss. And I've never set foot on a boat before, but I'm a quick learner."

"My boats are pretty easy to use, but I try to encourage people to avoid the lighthouse. More than a few of my boats ended up wrecked off of Brennan's Spit."

She looked towards the distant lighthouse. "Are there a lot of hidden rocks over there?"

"No. But if you saw those boats, you'd think twice. And the way their occupants refused to talk about what happened... weird.

She laughed, then seemed to remember her manners. "Why is it weird? Nobody wants to admit they're incompetent."

"It would have saved them from having to pay for the damages if insurance could have covered it. But they just shook their heads, and pulled out a wallet..."

She frowned, then looked up at the cloudless sky. "I don't know, maybe they were rich enough that they didn't care? Anyway, I promise to be careful."

Al not only told her how to operate the boat, he went with her for a quick tour of the bay.

"Thank you for your help," she said with a genuine smile as they parted ways on the dock.

Nina spent hours exploring little coves, and enjoying picturesque beaches. "How I wish I could live in such a wonderful place forever," she thought more than once.

When the sun was noticeably lower, she headed towards Brennan's Lighthouse.

The young woman pulled the dory up as far as possible, then dropped the anchor on the sand. To be safe, she tied the vessel with a long rope to the only living tree in sight, a scraggly old thing hugging the lighthouse.

"I hope the place is open, or someone lives here. I forgot to ask... but Al would have said something if there wasn't any access?"

Nina knocked on the door, then waited. " Guess nobody's here," she said, grasping the handle.

It was unlocked. She pushed, and it swung open to reveal a dusty, sparse living area. Confident that the place was vacant, she strode to the middle of the room.

Then she yelped in surprise. A tall thin man, in his forties perhaps, was walking down the stairs. He looked at her, and smiled. He seemed very pleased to see her.

After he reached the base of the stairs, he stopped and straightened his neat but old-fashioned black jacket. "Hello, my name is Carl Janson. I'm the wickie."

"Uh, what?" she asked, confused.

He stared at her for a few seconds, still as a statue. Then he blinked. "I keep the light going."

Nina shivered. "I was just curious what it looked like in here," she lied.

"You should check out the view from the top. It's nearly sunset, and there's no more glorious place to witness it."

Looking into his black eyes, she took a step backwards - toward the door. "I really need to get back, I'm meeting friends. Maybe another time?"

Quickly he closed the distance between them, and passed her. He didn't stop until he reached the door, and closed it.

Carl leaned casually on the door frame. "It'll only take a few minutes, Nina. You've come all the way out here to see the lighthouse. You shouldn't leave without seeing the best part of it."

"H-how do you know my name? Have we met?"

An irritated expression flashed across his face, then was gone. "You told me your name, don't you remember?"

Suddenly wanting to put distance between herself and this stranger, she started up the steps. "I think I will see the sunset before I go."

He smiled, and his eyes became even blacker. "Good, take all the time you want," he whispered, without attempting to follow her.

Nina rushed to the top, and found that she could latch the door from the outside. "I'm safe for now, but I need to get out of here..."

She paced back and forth, expecting to hear pounding on the door any second. It never came.

The magnificent view of the fiery sunset was a small distraction, helping her to relax enough to control her racing heart.

"I should go down. Maybe I'm overreacting. And if not, it's better that I try to get away before dark. I don't want to try to run the boat at night..."

Reluctantly she unlatched the door, halfway expecting him to burst through. Nothing happened.

Nina slowly opened the door, and crept down the stairs. When she reached the bottom, she saw Carl still waiting by her only hope for escape.

She forced a bright smile onto her face, and cleared her throat. "You were right, it was spectacular. Thank you for allowing me to watch the sunset from up there. Unfortunately, I really must go now, I'm already late. My friends will be worried."

He attempted a charming smile. "You'll need to wait until low tide to leave, my lady. That will be after midnight. The spit is an island at this time of the day."

She resolutely walked up to Carl, and put her hand on the door handle.

His face flashed with anger, but he didn't try to reach for her.

Nina opened it without breaking eye contact with Carl. "That's not a problem, I came in a dory."

She stepped backwards out into the rapidly dimming light, only to find that the rope was gone - and so was the dory!

Carl didn't try to follow her. His pleased expression made Nina shiver.

The frightened young woman walked out to the edge of the surf. "Please Lord, let me get out of here," she whispered. A single tear ran down her right cheek, and landed in the frothy water.

As if in reply, a sleek white motorboat headed towards the beach. It was moving so rapidly that she prepared to jump aside should it try to hit her.

It slowed in plenty of time, to reveal a young man at the wheel. He was dressed in an impeccable suit. It was blindingly white, and made his light blonde hair look almost dark.

He smiled, and it seemed to bring even more life into his brilliant blue eyes. "Need a ride?"

"Yes!" Nina exclaimed, jumping in without hesitation. Immediately the boat sped away. Its name, the Flaming Sword, somehow seemed appropriate for the situation.

"Thanks so much, I was getting a little creeped out back there. And I was stranded, I lost the dory I rented from Al's."

"I saw it. It had a nasty hole in the side, and was taking on water fast."

"I'm really grateful for the ride. My name's Nina, by the way. I think there's something really wrong with that lighthouse keeper. He has to be the one who wrecked my boat."

"You can call me Michael. And yes, you're right. Stay away from him. Whatever you do, never be on that spit at the stroke of midnight. The consequences would be dire..."

"Don't worry, Michael. I'm never going back there again!"

He smiled happily. "We're almost at the dock."

Impulsively she hugged him. "How can I ever thank you?"

"No thanks needed. Just stay away from that place, and don't try to tell anyone what happened. Nobody ever believes these things unless they experience them."

Nina laughed. "Now what Al said makes sense..."

The Flaming Sword sped away, leaving Nina to make her way to Al's parking lot to find her car.

Image source by @tattoodjay and edited on Canva Pro


Your story really got me. The dark and suspenseful scenario you gave him. The strange man of the lighthouse, I was left with the feeling that Carl was a paranormal entity. He he he.
As always, a pleasure to read your stories.
Thanks for sharing.
Good day.

I'm glad it got you hooked, that was the plan 🙌


I thought there's a plot twistttt, however the story is very creative, it gives me chill that there would something will happen. I want more talent like this, I also write stories but not good as this, keep up the good work madam. I am still wondering if michael would be the culprit HAHAHA that would be a big twist.

Some stories don't need a big twist... I'm glad you enjoyed it 🙌


Riveting! Perfectly descriptive fiction.

You carry us away on a voyage of anticipation, only to lead us to a perfectly ordinary light house and keeper, or is he? The uncertainty is for us to discern. Well paced and beautifully written.

Thanks so much for your kind words, I'm glad you enjoyed it 🙌

Your content has been voted as a part of Encouragement program. Keep up the good work!

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Thanks so much 💙

heheheheeh i love allegories like this!!!! You had my eyes glued to the screen!!! you do spooky so well!!! hehehe

Thanks so much :)


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So interesting story that I enjoyed reading too. Thank God nothing happened to Nina. While reading, I was suspicious of Carl. He must have a sinister purpose.
Glad there was Michael who came at the right time to rescue her. What would have happened to her?

I popped in through #dreemport

What would have happened to her?

I left hints throughout her encounter, but in order to keep it fairly short, that was left for the reader to decide. I just told the story :)


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The uncertainty in this piece is just overwhelming. The light house keeper seems pretty normal in an abnormal way. It's still a mystery as to how the dory got a hole.

The light house keeper seems pretty normal in an abnormal way.

He's definitely not the type for a young lady to visit alone 😲


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Exactly. He may end up pursuing her with the creepyness.