• Grace A. Johnson

BTIS--Chapter 8

Updated: Aug 22, 2020

Chapter 8

October 1857

Somewhere in the middle

of the Atlantic Ocean

The waves slapped the side of the Adela as the wooden boat rocked in the vast ocean. The storm seemed to be getting worse and Peter Myers wondered if he had chosen the best time for his journey. What was he thinking? Of course he chose the best time. Any time before he found himself lying on his deathbed was a good time.

He trudged back into his cabin where he changed out of his soaked clothing. He fastened a button on his undershirt then held his head upward. “Vater, I know you have sent me on this journey, but I pray I live to see the end of it” he prayed to the Lord.

He sat down in a chair and opened his Bible to Deuteronomy, chapter thirty-one. The first verse that Peter saw comforted him. It read, “And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.”

Peter smiled at the words. It always amazed him at how one verse, God’s words, could comfort one so deeply.

He flipped through the book to Psalms, where the twenty-ninth verse of the hundred and seventh chapter caught his eye. “He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.”

The pitter-patter of rain was the only sound Peter could hear with his ears, but deep inside his heart, he heard God’s voice speaking to him. He had no reason to worry, God was with him and He would calm the storm. Both the one outside and the one inside his body as he fought his disease.

Disease, ugh. The word itself made Peter feel sick. The thought of dying at any moment from the illness he had been diagnosed with during the spring only gave him all the more reason to find his granddaughter.

That was his mission, finding his little sonnenschein.

***

“Ow!” Forrest exclaimed. “That hurts. Do you really know how to take out stitches from a gash like this?” He lifted his arm as though he were about to swat her hand away, but she pulled back, which in turn poked the needle into his skin. Right where it didn’t need to be. At the pain, he winced.

Arielle carefully pulled the needle out of Forrest’s skin. “Normally, my patients are less, shall we say, active,” she replied, dabbing at the blood that trickled from Forrest’s forehead. “Don’t move.” Arielle finished removing the last stitch and wrapped a bandage around his head. “There, all done. Now, how does the splint feel?” Arielle looked down at the wooden contraption that held Forrest’s bone in place.

“You don’t want to know,” he answered through gritted teeth. Forrest shifted ever-so-slightly before closing his eyes and releasing a deep breath. “I should’ve gone to a hospital,” he stated.

Arielle gave him a hard, disapprove stare. “I’ll have you know I’m just as good as any hospital doctor you could ever meet. It would help to have some laudanum though.” Then she could put this aggravating man to sleep.

“Ugh.” Forrest sighed. “Can I have another pillow? Maybe a copy of today’s paper?”

Arielle frowned with a huff. Did the ever man learn? “Oh toll. No. And where do you think I would get a newspaper?”

“Oh, yeah. I’m laying in a lighthouse off the shore of Lake Huron. They don’t have newspapers by the lakes,” he said sarcastically, rolling his eyes.

Arielle didn’t bother to give Forrest a retort, but left the room so she didn’t have to listen to his whiny blabber. She bounded down the attic stairs and to the dining room. Cade sat at the table, soaked and a smile a mile wide forming on his lips. He pushed his chair back and started towards her. “Guess what.” The mysterious glint in his eyes and mystifying tone of voice only confused her more.

“What?” Arielle said, puzzled. She had absolutely no idea what would have him so excited. It wasn’t like his sister was coming for a visit.

Cade wrapped his arms around her waist, picked her up, and spun her around until her head felt light and her vision blurred. “Go look outside,” he told her, placing her back on the ground.

Arielle stood motionless. Cade’s hands rested on her waist and she couldn’t get her mind to focus on walking out like Cade had instructed, but could only think about how near he was. His smile didn’t waver and his breath came shockingly close to her face.

Her gaze meet his light brown eyes and stayed, until Cade dropped his sights on to her lips. Arielle couldn’t help but do the same. His lips were slightly parted and if she didn’t know better, she’d think he was about to kiss her.

Instead he pulled back and jammed a hand in his wet, wavy hair. “I...uh...you wanna see what I was talking about?” he asked, stumbling over his words.

“Um, yeah.” Arielle hurried past Cade, embarrassment coming over her. What was she thinking?

She opened the door only to get sprayed by the drizzling rain. Surprisingly, it didn’t seem quite dark out. It wasn’t until she turned her head to the right, where the lighthouse sat that she realized why. At the top of the lighthouse shined a bright light. Arielle smiled. Now that there was a light, Cade was officially the light-keeper.

“That’s awesome!” she cheered, turning to face Cade. “Congratulations, Mr. Darren.”

“Thank you, Ms. Myers.” Cade looked towards the tower. “It is awesome, isn’t it?”

“Ahh... It’s wonderful.”

***

Cade sat in the dining room late that night.

If only he could get to sleep. His mind was racing with a million things. His sister, the light, and Arielle. So, not really a million, but it sure felt like it.

The thought of being finished with all the painting and repairs on the lighthouse was great, but that meant late nights and early morning running the light itself.

And adding to his job was his sister Kerri. He loved her and didn’t want any harm to befall her, but if something happened, there wouldn’t be anything he could do. And she had already suffered terribly.

Then there was Arielle. Cade wasn’t sure what to do. He needed her at the lighthouse and she needed to be there too, but now that the light was in, the board would come to make sure all was going well, and it was, but living with an unmarried woman and him being unmarried himself was not good for their reputations. Arielle had told him no one knew she even existed, so he didn’t have to worry much about her, but he worried about himself. Nothing had happened between them, but they didn’t have any proof. Unless, of course, Blessing could actually testify to that. Too bad dogs couldn’t talk

Fortunately, he never had deal with the temptation, but his unexpected sleep walking was a problem.

Cade leaned back in his chair at the table, causing it to squeak.

He pushed aside his worries and grabbed the leather Bible that sat in front of him. He flipped to a random page and started reading.

The Bible had been a gift from his mother before she died and gave him comfort knowing his mother was safe with the Lord, unlike his father.

His father had died three years ago, and Cade knew that unless he accepted Christ before he took his last drink, which Cade doubted, he was forever separated from the Father. Before her death, Mom had tried to share the Gospel, but her husband wouldn’t hear of it. Cade had prayed every day for Dad’s salvation, but after receiving the letter from his grandparents telling of his death, that he’d died of over-drinking, he figured his father’s heart was that of stone.

Cade slowly studied the words on the thin page of his Bible, wishing he had Kerri’s ability to just glance at the paper and have the words practically memorized. He continued to read until his eyelids finally started to droop. Cade closed the book and trudged out of the dining room to his bedroom.

He collapsed on his bed and the moment his head hit the pillow, he was fast asleep.

***

Five days had past since Arielle and Cade found Forrest Billingham washed up on the shore.

The gash in his head had healed so well, even his scar had begun to fade, and his leg was almost back to normal; Forrest was now able to walk with the crutch Arielle had made for him.

She was about ready for him to be completely healed and ready to leave, not that she was complaining, but he sure was, and two men was one too many for her.

Arielle sat at the table early that morning, paintbrush in one hand, paint pallet in the other. She smeared a muted yellow color on her canvas as she tried to remember exactly how the shining of the lighthouse looked the previous night when she caught a glimpse of it through the pouring rain.

For the past couple days, rain endlessly poured, making everything dreary, and Cade’s job of turning the light on and off harder. But it sure made for a pretty painting.

Cade came bursting through the door, drenched as usual. He ripped off his coat, revealing his just as sopped shirt. He held the door open slightly behind him and squeezed his coat out, sending the water back outside where it belonged. After laying the coat on the table, Cade slipped his shoes off then shook the water out of his brown hair.

“You’d think God’s tryin’ to flood the earth again,” he commented, shoving his unruly waves off his forehead.

“Is it really that rainy out there?” Arielle questioned, brushing a wisp of hair behind her ear.

Cade headed to his bedroom for a change of clothes. “Yep. And living by the lake doesn’t help,” he replied, his voice bitter.

“Well, you sure don’t like the rain.” Arielle swiped her paintbrush across her canvas, adding blue to her drawing of the lake.

“You wouldn’t like it either if you had to venture out into twice a day,” Cade stated as he closed his bedroom door behind him.

Arielle would have given a reply had Cade not left to don dry clothes, so instead, she pushed her painting aside and started on breakfast.

She was flipping a pancake up in the air when Cade exited his room, Forrest hopping off the stairs behind him, leaning on his crutch.

“Sure smells good,” Forrest said, hopping up beside her. He leaned over the stove to inspect the contents of the pan. “I’m hungry already.”

“That’s good, ‘cause I’m afraid I made a little too much batter.” Arielle placed the cooked pancake on a plate, then turned toward Cade. “Can you get the maple syrup out of the pantry?”

Cade nodded and did as she’d requested. He laid the syrup on the table, then took a plate stacked tall with pancakes and laid it beside the bottle of syrup.

“You know, it’s your good cookin’ that’s keepin’ you here, Ari,” Cade said.

“Good thing I can cook.”



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