This is part of Sue Vincent‘s Thursday photo prompt. Sue said :”Use the image of the unlit beacon against the stormy sky to create a post on your own blog… poetry, prose, humour… light or dark, whatever you choose, by noon (GMT) Wednesday 28th September ” full rules and pingback here
No one remembers now why the beacons are always lit at dusk. No one even questions the reasoning behind the daily task of building the beacons only for them to be set a light just before dark.
It was a fair system, one person from each household was chosen to be a beacon builder and the leader of each village, town or city would light the beacon every night.
There was no argument about the system it just worked. Years turned into centuries,centuries into millennia and the system stayed and the beacons lit the nights and could even be seen from transplanet shuttles. Yes just like the water on the planet the light from the beacons shone out into space.
Yes even now in this modern age of enlightenment, space travel, planet wide peace,computors and universal translators the beacons are lit . No one knows why, no one knows who started this tradition? Why does no one care,am I the only inquiring mind on the planet.
So I did enquire, I searched the uninet. I spent hours in Libraries of Antiquity I even asked those in charge, the politicians, the leaders even the old ones ….. no one could or would answer.
Then about three nights ago my phone rang, no one there, a wrong number I thought. So I went to bed. It was about 1am when they came, the men in grey suits and white faces. They smashed down the doors and thumped up the stairs they woke my wife and my children. I heard their screams. The last thing I remember as I was being dragged from the house was my wife’s voice and the sight of all our phones and uninet equipment being packed up.
They kept me in a dark room for two days, I think, as I became unsure of the time passage. At regular intervals they brought me out for questioning. They used force, kindness and rationality and finally drugs .
I told them I just wanted to know about the beacons, no I was not working with anybody else. I had found out nothing at all. After a while I realised they knew nothing either! They were disappointed that I had learned nothing.
At some point today they brought out from room and gave me some clothes and a watch. We went by private transport to a military base I was escorted on to a transplanet shuttle. We landed at five in the evening. They brought me to a becon on a deserted hill. Miles from anywhere. By 6pm I knew my fate. I was chained up inside the beacon. I am sad that I never found out ‘why the beacons’, I am devastated that I shall never be able to tell my family I love them. I am afraid to burn.
Dusk is here now and I am all bloodied from struggling, hoarse from shouting. The flames have started I can feel the heat. I look up and see the most glorious sunset. The flames bite and I give in to death…
6am, an hour before the becon builder would arrive for work a man in grey raked through the ashes of the beacon untill he found the watche’s capsule.He took it to the unmarked car he had arrived in and put the capsule into the player. After listening to the man’s account of his search and his end he sighed deeply.
Later at the meeting with his supervisor he said”No sir he new nothing either” He took a sip of his coffee but it tasted bitter.