Flash Fiction: Beacon

Grandmother always told me that our light shop was a beacon that would one day lead all our loved ones back to us. The elderly and children were all who were left in the communities after the ships came and needed people to work for them. People left as their names were called one by one and one by one the lights in the shop were left to burn night and day.

I once asked what it meant when a bulb bursts. Grandma only said “be quiet” because we were with other people and you didn’t talk about the lights in public. It was our secret, she said.

Yesterday they called grandmother’s name.

Grandmother had shown me where the extra bulbs were kept in case I needed one and she wasn’t around. So I lit a new bulb for her this morning and stayed to stare at the lights; waiting for those who had been called away to return.

By Carin Marais

Bibliophile, writer of speculative fiction, non-fiction, and maybe-fiction, language practitioner, doer of stuff.

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