Light on the Water

light
Chelsea was lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of the houseboat when she heard her brother whisper.

“Can you get the lights for me? I forgot to change them like mom asked.”
Chelsea sighed. Her brother was afraid of the dark and out in the middle of the Caspian Sea this late at night, it was everywhere. During the day, they kept red and green lights on the starboard side. At night, they turned on a top light to make sure approaching boats would see them.

Even Chelsea felt nervous at night on the water, although she couldn’t figure out why. They’d rented the houseboat a week ago and spent their days stopping at various ports. It was their parent’s dream vacation, funded by a very lucky lottery ticket.

“I’ll get it. But you owe me one.” She threw the covers back and jumped down from the top bunk. Her brother stared at her as if he might never see her again. Before it creeped her out too much, she opened the door of their cabin and headed topside.

A slight breeze greeted her as she walked out on the deck. It was incredibly quiet on the water tonight. During the day, there were other boats buzzing by or fishing boats looking for a catch, but at night, the sea was theirs. No one anchored in this area. Chelsea wondered why.

Chelsea was in the cabin when she noticed an odd light in the distance. It looked like something was hovering over the water. It wasn’t a plane because it just stayed in one place. Maybe a helicopter? But, it wasn’t more than 5 miles away, she should hear something other than complete silence. She grabbed the binoculars her dad bought on shore a couple of days ago and focused. It was still a little hard to make out, but there was something moving in the water. Entranced, she watched as a greenish glow flickered beneath the surface of the water.

She forgot about turning on the top light and stared into the distance. The light in the sky flickered several times and the glow in the water dimmed and brightened as if the two were conversing with one another. Chelsea increased the intensity of the binoculars. She wanted to see what was in the water. At first, all she could see was the movement and dark shapes beneath the surface. The light in the sky was too bright to determine anything other than a vague outline. Her hands shook as Chelsea thought about what it might be.

The light moved toward the surface of the water until it appeared to be resting upon it. The radiance rocked slightly, the movement of the water rocking it back and forth. From the water, a figure emerged and appeared to be walking on top of the water. Several more emerged as Chelsea watched, terrified of what she was seeing. The creatures had a smooth head with the large mouth of a fish and yet, they were standing while their arms dangled at their sides. She wondered if this was a crazy joke, some weird meeting out on the water. She hoped that was the answer, because if this was real, it felt like a nightmare.

She wasn’t sure how long she watched, but suddenly the figures dove back into the water with a perfect dive. The light rose from the water, moving high into the sky until it disappeared into the distance. The glow in the water began to move. It was moving toward their ship.

Chelsea dropped the binoculars. What should she do? They were going to be here in minutes. There was no time. She looked around the cabin, frantically trying to come up with something. But, what do you when a terrifying water creature is heading your way?

Her eyes settled upon the controls. The top light. If she lit the boat up, would they stay away or would they attack? She looked up and glow was getting closer. She could hear a humming sound outside, the splash of the water as the creatures moved through it and the skittery thump of her heart. She didn’t have any options. She slapped the control for the light and the world around her was filled with the radiant light.

The humming paused. The splashing stopped. She didn’t dare to look, but she had to see. Outside, the creatures veered away from the luminous ship. They were moving away.


This was written for the YeahWrite Weekly challege. Prompts were “Can you get the light for me?” and one of the seven seas (Caspian). To check out all of the stories click the link and vote for your favorites!

5 thoughts on “Light on the Water

  1. You nailed the boat setting. The details with the lights and the sailing jargon helped me into the setting. I wondered why the reader needed to know when the binoculars were bought and by whom. The text repeats the phrase “the water” quite a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You truly know how to capture your audience and keep them reading. I can’t wait for a story we’re the outcome isn’t as favorable for a character. I’m sure it will cause nightmares.

    Liked by 1 person

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