The Sentinel

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Sentinel 123119” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Throughout the night the cold North wind howled has the rain battered the glass in vain. The caretaker sat in his spot as he did every night making sure that all the machinery was running to keep the light on. In his modern lighthouse the duties are simple. If the main power goes out he flips the switch on the generator to restore power. He listens to radios in case of a distress call. That’s about it. To pass the time he tosses cards into a hat or plays solitaire. Sometimes he reads or works that Rubik’s cube that he’s never figured out. But tonight was different. Tonight one of the radios crackled to life. “Hello” was all the small voice said. There caretaker sat his coffee down with a thud that slashed a little coffee onto the 3 of diamonds. He paused and gave a disgusted grimace as he saw the stain form on the edge of card. He lifted the microphone from it’s bracket mounted on the side of the radio and gave his identification numbers along with asking what emergency was taking place. “Can’t sleep” was the only reply. The caretaker realized that the disembodied voice emanating from the overhead speaker in his office was that of child. The caretaker keyed the microphone and said ” well, you’re going to need to find some other way to deal with it. This is an emergency frequency and you can’t play on it. Go back to bed and you’ll be asleep in no time. ” After a few moments of silence the caretaker returned the microphone to it’s place. He was frustratingly trying to clean up the coffee from the edges of the cards when the radio crackled again. “I think it might be a emergency” the small voice said. The caretaker retrieved the microphone and spoke again. “Why do you think it’s an emergency?” We was dubious but his job requires him to respond. “Because I’m scared and that means it’s an emergency.” The child on the other said. “Obviously” the caretaker muttered under his breath. He keyed the microphone again. “Okay. What are scared of?” There was another long pause. “The storm. I can’t see the light of the lighthouse from here.” The child said. The caretaker thought for a moment. The lighthouse was on a hill but there was taller hills around. With the storm even the powerful beacon on his tower might be obscured by clouds and heavy rain. He transmitted his reply. “I am at the lighthouse and I promise you that the light is shining. Go back to bed and you’ll be okay.” He smiled at the cleverness of how he handled the call. But then the radio lit up again. “Yes but I can’t see it.” The caretaker knew he should have thought of that. He also knew that he couldn’t keep the frequency tied up in case a real emergency occurred. He could send a first responder to check on the child but he doubted that the child could even give the address. Then an inspiration hit. “Well then, there’s only one thing left to do. I’ll need to commission a deputy lighthouse and a deputy caretaker to be in charge.” The caretaker asked if the child had a flashlight and a roll of paper towels. The child found the items the caretaker radioed the instructions to let the roll of paper serve as a tower and to shove the flashlight into cardboard tube so that light could shine out in all directions. When the child finally stopped transmitting the caretaker looked out to see that the storm had passed long before the conversation ended. All the child needed was for someone to talk him through the darkest parts of the night. As the caretaker was locking up for the day he realized that that it wasn’t really light from the lighthouse that was needed. It was the light from inside that needed to be reveied.

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