The Lighthouse: a short story

Rated 4.00/5 based on 6 reviews
A young girl trapped in a flooding Lighthouse begins to wonder why her parents left...

A short story originally published in the collection: It's Dark Inside.
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About Karen Heard

Karen Heard lives in London (UK) and writes dark fiction in a range of genres, including Gothic, ghost and mystery stories. Whatever genre she writes in, all her stories have one thing in common: they are all dark. Don't expect many happy endings or pleasant characters from her, for there is something dark lurking in the shadows of her imagination that makes itself known in each tale that escapes her mind.

Karen had a degree in Creative Writing and has worked for the past ten years in the magazine publishing industry.

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: norainwonderland on Jan. 11, 2014 :
Unsure how this falls under apocalyptic. It never shows any indication of it being the end of the world. Just isolated.
(review of free book)

Review by: D.A. Cairns on March 27, 2013 :
I recently read The Lighthouse and I enjoyed it, in a dark and despressing way. It was very atmospheric with a terrific sense of isolation. This story will stay with me.
(review of free book)

Review by: Haneen Ibrahim on Feb. 25, 2013 :
Right from the beginning this beautifully solemn story captured me, whether Kristen Stewart or Emma Watson plays the role the protagonist -who we don’t know her name- is very interesting, she’s strong in a very realistic way, the way a young girl used to a life of isolation should be, not every day do I get to read about a protagonist so young yet real and wise.
I’m a fan of Lighthouses and I loved that the writer really knows what she’s doing and how the big machine operates,I so loved the heart wrenching way the Lighthouse rang it’s horn (that by the way -to me- was the best sentence in the whole story, I simply couldn’t get it out of my head, I even translated it to Arabic to feel how it again differently), the way she cared for her only home till the end, her relationship with it, & how it was represented as a being on it’s own, the one she shares her sad and strong feelings of loneliness with.
Her relationship with her parents was neatly done too, and finally the best part; the way she pieces things together to solve the mystery, I was surprised because I expected a different mystery! The question the writer answers at the end is so not what one would suspect, and then she gives us that thought provoking ending.
Magical, spooky and cinematic description, solid impressive writing, I loved the heroine, her choices and her chain of thoughts are interesting and she deserves a novel of her own, I have to thank the Author because nothing tops a good story to teach an aspiring writer like me her craft.
(review of free book)

Review by: Aderyn Wood on Feb. 17, 2013 :
Recently I read the short story 'The Lighthouse' by Karen Heard.

I was in the mood for something quick, dark and mysterious - and that's exactly what I got.

The Lighthouse tells the story of a young girl, the lighthouse keeper's daughter, who has been left by her parents to fend for herself while maintaining the light -

"... our lighthouse [the] only guide past the treacherous reefs and hidden rocks that guard the passageway."
The lighthouse had offered protection for the many sea vessels that passed the dangerous waters of ocean, but over time, the boats stopped coming. Then the girl's mother left. Followed by her father.

We read the story through the young girl's narrative. She begins by relaying her responsibility to maintain the light. We also learn at the beginning that it has been forty days since her father left her, ostensibly to search for her mother who had left earlier. However, there are hints weaved throughout the narrative that makes us wonder about the world outside the lighthouse, and if it still exists.

As the story progresses we learn more about the girl's mother and we imagine her reasons for leaving the island. Moreover, we come to understand more about her father as his actions are recalled by the girl.

The writing is excellent. Dark imagery is weaved throughout and adds to the maddening sense of isolation experienced by the protagonist. The experience of fear and loneliness is portrayed so convincingly, and reminds me a little of Poe's style.

As we read, the mystery builds and we realise, with the girl (who remains nameless throughout), what might be happening 'out there', and between her parents.

My only complaint is the ending - I wanted more.

I considered this story a great find. It's a nice read for those of us who enjoy dark mysteries.
(review of free book)

Review by: Simon Pressinger on Feb. 12, 2013 :
'The Lighthouse' is a wonderful journey through the eyes of a lighthouse keepers daughter, stranded in (would you have guessed it) a lighthouse. She (our protagonist) is touching madness for the lack of people; that sense of isolation is strong and poignant. She is almost catastrophizing the idea of a lost parent. I liked the way her father deals with the exit of her mother; that family back-story is strong in her flash-backs. A great short-story. Highly recommended.
(review of free book)

Review by: Christine Bridson-Jones on Jan. 18, 2013 : (no rating)
This enjoyable story is well-written, with good grammar and has a great atmosphere. Hope the author does well.
(review of free book)

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