Here is this week's entry inspired by:
The sea bulges, a mound many times larger than the placid swells surrounding it, rising from the depths. It splits along the leviathan's ridged back. Silent as the gentle breeze, Ceirean surfaces. Its giant eyes, adapted for life in the abyss, squint in the moonlight.
A generation has passed since Ceirean last returned here to claim its tribute. It blinks in confusion as the lighthouse beam scans the channel to the north.
The old tower is freshly painted and large new buildings flank it. The sea monster, myth to all but a chosen few, sinks again under the waves to wait. With senses on high alert, it muses how it will punish the landers if their contract is not fulfilled.
Stephen feels the slightest twinge of regret as he takes Natalie's hand. She came to the Lighthouse Inn from nowhere to work as a chambermaid. According to her background check, literally from nowhere. Stephen could find out nothing of her past, which made her perfect for his purposes.
Stephen led her out onto the breakwater, the slippery stones the perfect accomplice for his plan. When they reached the end, Natalie pulled him up short.
"You know," she says as she steps within arm's reach, "my family owned the old lighthouse. For generations."
Stephen momentarily wonders why his check hadn't revealed that fact.
"Then your parents bought the place from my grandma." She braces one foot against a large rock. "But no one told them the real price."
Stephen's confusion gives way to shock when Natalie shoves him with all her strength.
His cry is lost among the breaking surf, and the only disturbance in the water is a brief thrashing followed by Ceirean raising its head. With a blink of its searchlight eyes in acknowlegement, it disappears.
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