Thirteen days. Thirteen nights. Our days are spent in fear and our nights are spent in horror. The rats, squeaking and clawing like the furry beasts they are haunt us. How much longer until we can escape this cylinder shaped prison? How much longer? Or, how much longer till death?
We have been marking the days by crossing out a days on the calendar we keep in the kitchen. We have plenty of food because the supply boat had gone barely a month ago. It would be coming back two weeks later. The supply boat! Perhaps they could help us.
“ The supply boat,” I said in a raspy voice. The fact that I had screamed nights away had grated my vocal cords away until they could not manage sound.
“ Forget it,” Itchoua replied in a hopeless voice. “ People won’t help us. Those people managing the boats are cowards.”
Le Gleo was silent. More than any of us he hated being cooped up. Even in heavy rain, Le Gleo used to spend at least half of his time outside. Itchoua and I had watched his bright eyes falter and his skin shrink back closer and closer to his bones.
We felt extremely sorry for him. The man we had spent many days and nights with was gone. One only had to look at the over bright face and the senseless words he muttered. The only thing he remembered were the story of the three skeletons.
“ They are over there,” Le Gleo said with misty eyes. “ They are waiting for me. I can feel it.” he said as if he had discovered the meaning of life. Then, he went up to the window and stared at the glossy fur coat of the rats, glinting like obsidian.
I awoke to the sound of cracking plaster. The wall behind the couch was cracking. The wall was not cracking fast, but the rats were relentless because they knew the wall was going to give some day. The rats were hungry. Very hungry. Itchoua would count the number of rats that fell off the lighthouse for amusement. As a show of how much they cared for their fellow rats, the rats never ate the dead rats.
Itchoua is gone. His physical body is in the lighthouse with us, but his mind has abandoned him. I only had to look at him in the stream of moonlight and I knew. Le Gleo and Itchoua were conversing to moonlight outside of the window.
“ So that is what dying feels like Mr. Sailor,” Le Gleo mumbled happily. “ I want to join you.”
“ Please don’t go Mr. Sailor. I want to talk to you a little longer,” Itchoua cried out as the sun was rising. “ No. No. I can’t see them anymore. Moonlight sailors are gone,” he mumbled as he cried bitterly like a baby.
I turned away and screamed as loud as I could. This had to end. My fellow friends were gone and in their places were half dead, half living men.
A giant sound awoke me. In my befuddled mind full of sleep, thought it was the sound of my own mind cracking. Rising out of bed I went to the window and I stared. The light! The magnificent light! It had cracked and it had fallen on the shore. I stared at the reflection of the lighthouse on the water. It looked like a tin can with...