Friday, June 24, 2011

The Lower Lights - Part 1

Good Morning Faithful Friday Fiction Fans,
I hope you have had a wonderful week so far. Mine has been busy. (That is why this is late again. Sorry.) I'm glad to be home again and I hope I can stay home and get some things done now.:) I really want to get more writing done. I have so many ideas and no time to get them from my brain to NEO. I also have stacks of books I want to read. :} And there are other things I need to do. Life has been rather crazy and busy for some strange reason.

I wrote this story after seeing a picture a friend took. I'd been hoping she would post a picture I could write a story about and she did. I gave her the story earlier this week and she really liked it. If you like the picture, you should go visit her blog and take a look.:)
All I had for this story was the picture. Come back next week for the last of the story. (Unless I write a 4th of July story and post that instead.:))

The Lower Lights
Rebekah M.

Mr. Perry Randall tied his black necktie in a looping bow, kissed his little wife good-bye and headed off to work. Striding briskly down the street in the early dawn of a new day, straightening his cap, glancing up at the sky to see what the day would be like, nodding to a policeman walking his beat, he whistled. It was a lovely morning to be alive. Spring had always been his favorite season. Arriving at the shed, he met the conductor of his trolley car.
“Morning, Oscar.”
“Good Morning, Perry.”
“How’s the missus?”
“Doin’ just fine, thank you. And Carol?”
Mr. Randall smiled. “She was planning on doing some baking this morning. Said she just might stop by your place later on for a visit if your wife felt up to it.”
Oscar nodded as he straightened his jacket. “I’m sure she would be. It always perks her up to have a visit from Carol.”
The two men, both with white hair, had been friends since childhood. Now, at the age when most men wanted to retire, they continued on day after day, collecting the fares, and driving their trolley. To them it wasn’t work, but a real joy.
Perry Randall returned to his whistling as he checked the controls. Soon he broke into song, his deep bass filling the car with music.
“Let the low--er lights be bur--ning,
Send the be--am acro--ss the wave.”
Oscar, who couldn’t resist a tune, took up the song in his clear tenor.
“Some poor fain--ting, struggling sea--man,
You may rescue, yo--u may save.”
The song ended with an accompanying toot of the trolley’s whistle as Perry backed it out of the shed.
The sun was climbing up out of his bed in the east and everywhere birds were greeting the new day with song. The man in the yard switched the track and, after a quick okay signal from his conductor, Mr. Randall slowly started the trolley on its way, humming the song over again to himself as they moved along.
“But to us He gives the keeping of the lights along the shore,” he mused.
“What’s that, Perry?”
“The lights along the shore, Oscar,” replied Perry without taking his eyes off the gauges before him. “He takes care of the big light, but we’ve got to keep our lights lit. We never know when they might help some fainting seaman get safely to shore.”
“That’s so.”
The clang of the trolley’s bell rang out sharply in the morning air as Mr. Randall braked before their first stop. Oscar took his place and began to collect fares as the passengers came aboard. Mr. Perry had a smile and greeting for each one as they passed him. Most of them were regulars to his trolley line.
“Good morning, Mrs. Simpson. Watch your step there,” and he held out his hand to steady a little old woman with silvery white hair. “I hope that grandson of yours is doing better.”
“He is, thank you. He’ll be back to the baseball diamond in no time.” The little woman moved on.
“Mr. Smits, fine day isn’t it?”
“Well, its starting out fine, Mr. Randall, but I don’t know how things in the office will be.” The man frowned as though the thought of that office nearly ruined his day.
“How are you Miss Kelly and Miss Lilly? Had a busy night at the hospital?”
The two young nurses smiled and one of them replied, “Not so very busy, Mr. Randall, but it is nice to be going home.”
“And just think of going Home forever, how glorious that will be.” There was no mistaking the trolley car driver’s meaning.
The two nurses moved on to take their seats; Miss Lilly looked thoughtful. Those words had struck her heart.

The bell clanged and the trolley moved slowly away towards its next stop.
“So many folks in this world, Father,” Mr. Perry murmured, “so many with heavy loads. They need someone to help them carry them and others are struggling to keep above the tempest that is raging all about them. Let some be guided today through the channel to you by us poor, feeble lights along the shore.”
Clang, clang. The bell rang, and Mr. Randall pulled the cord to the whistle as he brought the trolley to a stop. The crowd was larger this time as the sun was steadily climbing its way up the spherical dome of the heavens. Scarcely a word was able to be said to the passengers crowding and shoving their way onto the trolley. Mr. Randall, though he was jostled, kept a smile on his face for, “who knows,” he thought, “this might be the only smile they see all day.”

The morning wore on with crowds pushing on and off the car until late morning. With the crowds, both Perry and Oscar had been kept busy collecting fares, the latter at the front of the trolley and the former at the rear. Now, however, the crowds had thinned and only a few persons waited at the trolley’s stops and at last they reached a stop which was empty.
“Perry, shall we just go on to the next stop?” Oscar had made his way up the aisle and was looking out at the empty station.
For a moment Perry Randall thought. At last he spoke, “No, I don’t think we should, Oscar, at least not until we normally would leave.”
“Sounds good to me. You know, Perry, seems as though all these years of you driving this trolley and me collecting the fares, I always ask you that question about once a day and you always give the same reply. In a way, its kind of comforting knowing that some things haven’t changed in all these years.”
Mr. Randall smiled as his old friend sat down on one of the empty seats. “I suppose it’s rather like a lighthouse.”
“They keep doing the same things day after day, lighting a rocky shoal or marking a way to the harbor. I just pray that our lights have been lit every day. You know, we have the lights along the shore to think about.”

Do you like it so far?