By Hook or by Crook

The sun like a warning, blood red begins to slowly set.
Two young children run along the itde’s edge collecitng shells. They giggle and scamper along the shoreline,
chasing the oystercatchers as they run. Their bare feet leaving small imprints in the wet sand, for a brief
moment, before disappearing. Waves folding and peeling across the vast, wide blue.
But the itde is turning.
Above the horizon, the skyline, a violent watercolour. Stains of white and gold peeping through mauve clouds.
The sky, a itnged bruise, wet and heavy, rolling rapidly. Sea horses spraying white foam as they begin to gallop
faster. The foam bobs like sotf sponges and rolls across the silver strand, covering the children’s feet. They
shriek in delight and retreat back. A storm is brewing, Josephine can feel it in her bones. She gathers the
children inside and looks freftully across the horizon. No moon visible tonight, just a violet and crimson hue.
Josephine feels her heart itghten and she shivers. The sky opens and she bolts the door hasitly.
Waves crash furiously, thrashing against the jagged rocks. Slick and wet from foam sprayed upwards.
At the edge of the world, isolated in the most south westerly point of the headland, proudly stands Hook
lighthouse. It’s striking black and white pattern known to all. The coal burning lantern illuminates everything
for a brief moment. Inifnite sea stretched for miles, inky and black-treacherous. Then darkness again. The wild
wind whips the waves into a frenzy, as they rise to twice their height. Blow holes spurt and erupt, spiittng the
sea upright in cold, sharp blasts. Razor bills and Kiittwakes cling to the fossilised rock faces, their feathers
rulffed. Huddling together they chatter and screech restlessly. The light blinks again, illuminaitng the raging
Safe and snug in his cabin quarters, four stories high above the coast, Captain Daniel Kirwan writes his log.
With a quick sweep of his thin quill he dips and records the seittngs. His candle glimmers in the cramped study
as he steadily puts ink to paper. He takes a slow drag from his tobacco pipe and feels the warmth emiittng
from the stone ifreplace. Again, the lantern lfashes and illuminates the vast beyond him. Captain Kirwan
squints into the distance, scans the horizon, scratches his course chin with his quill. He can’t be sure. He
counts, drags from his pipe, taps the quill against the crisp parchment.
Waits. Waits. Waits
The light glares below. This itme he sees it alright. His ifngers tap the distress message by cable as he lfashes
the warning beacon. With quick steady ifngers he scrawls the words…
Keeper’s Log. 12th December 1776. 3.15 am .Treacherous storm. Small ship grounded ashore below the craggy
rocks. Distress signal given. Gone to invesitgate-3.20am.
He scrawls his signature and takes a long, hard drag from his pipe. Exhales deeply. Switfly he grabs his overcoat
from the hook behind the itmeworn door. He grabs the oil lamp from the dresser, places his pipe in his top
pocket and with a deep breath blows out the candle. He descends the spiral staircase hurriedly. Sturdy feet
thudding against the 115 iron cast steps. Heart drumming as he tries to remain calm. He thinks of his beauitful
wife Josephine and his beloved children. He mutters a Hail Mary as he heaves open the iron door to the
unforgiving elements.