The Signal – Short Story – September 12, 2015


I was walking along the river under the harvest moon one evening, kicking stones that seemed to be hidden under snow, when I saw a signal from up in the old tower.  It was a lady for sure, for it seemed that she was waving her skirt from the window.

I ran to the bridge, gritting my teeth as a cramp caught me in my side.  I’ve no marathon blood cells for sure in my poor body, just a weak blend of sedentary  DNA.  I came to the pond, just below the tower and was surprised to see my friends Jan and Dale.

“I’d bet you good money that that is Mary O’Rourke a waving her skirt!” Dale whispered lowly to me.

“And just how would you be knowing that and who is Mary O’Rourke anyway?” came a low rumbling reply from Jan.

Jan and Dale had been dating steady from the first day they’s begun taking organ lessons at the Academy of Music – about 5 years all told.

“Don’t you worry about who’s Mary O’Rourke, but believe me, she comes sometimes and waves her skirt from the tower, when it’s not her knickers.” Came Dale’s hoarse reply.

About that time we heard someone scurrying through the bushes not far from where we were huddling.  For some reason, we decided to hide.

He ran out into the open court not far from the pond, he was tall willowy man. He looked as though he’d seen better days, though he was handsome in his own way, with long fair hair that glinted like gold in the moonlight.

He gave a jaunty call: “Hey, you in the tower, who are you signalling?”

A girlish voice answered: “It’d be you if you’ve got the nerve to carry me away.”

He scrambled up the broken stairs that led to the tower and soon descended carrying a slim girl in his arms going off towards the river. She was cuddling him and kissing his neck and face, it must have been hard for him to walk at that point.

“Slow now lass, slow … I’ve a boat on the river, and there I’ll make love to you as you’ve never been made love to before!”

Soon there was silence again and we looked at one another.

“I told you it was Mary O’Rourke,” whispered Dale “And that’s the last anyone will see of that man.”

“Whatever do you mea….”

The cry of the banshee lilted up from the water as a dark cloud covered the harvest moon plunging us into complete darkness. Then came the blood curdling yell of a man in great pain.

© G.s.k. ‘15


8 thoughts on “The Signal – Short Story – September 12, 2015

in shadows light - walking under weeping pines - spring rain

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