The Phantoms of the Lighthouse
Author's Note: Beaver Head Lighthouse is a real building that has been out of use for some time, but for the purpose of this story I'm going to make it a fully operational place again with keepers. I have never been to Beaver Island, Michigan. I'm sure it is a great and beautiful place, but in this story its going to become "supernaturalized". (Insert evil laughter here)
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural or Sam and Dean, (though I fantasize about them often). Please don't sue me.
Sam leaned against the railing of the ferry that was taking them and their car across part of Lake Michigan to Beaver Island. The sky over head was a dull gray and the blowing wind whipped his hair about wildly.
The water was choppy and murky looking from the lack of sun light. Seagulls flew over head screeching loudly hoping for passengers on the ferry to toss them some popcorn or a potato chip.
He could go sit in the car, or even inside the ferry's café, but he felt drawn to this spot. He was content to stand there and listen to the gulls and the motor cutting through the water. He stuffed his hands deeper into his pockets and was grateful for the warmth of his new parka. It had been cold in New York, but if it got any colder here it would snow.
"Here, thought you might like this." Dean appeared at his side holding two steaming cups of hot chocolate.
"Oh, yes," Sam said taking his cup from Dean.
"Dude, it's freezing out here. Come inside before you catch a cold."
"Maybe in a bit," Sam replied. Dean was still in a bit of mother hen mode even though Sam was healing really well from his last supernatural encounter. "We spend so much time cooped up in the car that it feels good to just stand in the fresh air."
"Yeah, but at least my car has a heater!"
"You can go back in if you want," Sam told him. "I'm not forcing you to stay."
Dean sighed. "Well, on the bright side you won't have to spend too much time in the car for the next couple of weeks. We'll actually be living at the light house while we work there."
"That'll be nice." Sam was actually looking forward to being settle in one spot, evenif it was only for a few weeks.
"It'll be different, that's for sure," Dean said.
"I never realized how big the Great Lakes were. All you see is water. It almost feels like being on the ocean."
The two stood in silence and sipped their cocoa. A few minutes later Beaver Island came into view. Sam noticed the island had a thin layer of fog surrounding it, giving it a mysterious feel.
Rain drops began to fall softly and Sam followed Dean inside to the small café and had a seat in one of the booths. In a matter of minutes the rain was coming down hard.
"Great," Dean complained. "Talk about making a gloomy day even gloomier."
"Just be glad it isn't snow. It's definitely cold enough for snow."
"After this job is over I'll be sure to find us one in Florida."
Sam laughed and actually spit out some of his cocoa. "Sorry."
"We may as well go below and get in the car," Dean suggested. "It shouldn't be too much longer."
The two went back out side in the pouring rain and hurried down the stairs to the floor below, which was sheltered from the rain.
As soon as Dean got in the car he started the engine and turned on the heater. "I have a feeling that by tonight this will be snow." Sam nodded in agreement.
About fifteen minutes later Dean was driving off of the ferry and heading into town. As usual, it wasn't much of a town. It looked to have all of twenty streets in it before it turned into rugged forest.
They went to the Nautical Museum on Willow Road. That was where they were supposed to meet their new employer.
Dean parked in front of the building and they went inside. The building was decorated inside to resemble a ship. The windows were shaped like portholes, steering wheels were mounted to the walls, and numerous pictures of boats and sailing ships were plastered on the walls.
A friendly looking old man approached them. He looked to be no more that five and a half feet tall. He had a weathered face with many wrinkles and a tuft of snow white hair on his head.
"Hello, there. You two must be Sam and Dean Hart." He stuck out a hand towards Sam.
"Yes sir, we are," Sam replied. "It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm Sam."
"My you are a tall fella aren't you?"
"Yes sir," Sam laughed. He was used to people commenting on his height.
"Hello," Dean said and shook the old man's hand.
"My name is George Masters."
"Thank you for giving us this job, Mr. Masters."
"Oh, call me George. Let me find my glasses and I'll drive out to the light house with you two and show you what to do."
"Sir, your glasses are on your head," Dean told him.
"Oh yes. So they are." He pulled his glasses down and then walked over to the door where a long black slicker was hanging. He slipped on his coat and pulled on a pair of goulashes.
"At the lighthouse there will be proper gear for you two. You can't live on this island without rain coats and boots and the like. Winter starts very early this far north."
They all walked outside. George told them to follow him. He climbed into an old Ford pickup and drove off.
Dean actually had a hard time keeping up with the old guy. The roads were wet and slick and they twisted this way and that. Several times he worried about skidding off the road.
"Man, this little old fella sure likes to floor it."
"He's lived here his whole life probably," Sam said. "I'm guessing he could drive these roads blind folded."
They drove all the way to the other side of the island, which took over half an hour because of the curved roads. The road was paved but there were no houses or people anywhere that they could see. Every now and then they would see something that might have been a driveway, but if a house was there it was way back in the trees.
"Now this is what you call the boonies," Sam said.
Finally George turned into a driveway and they started to drive down hill. Over the tops of the trees they could see the top of the light house. As they drove farther down the gentle slope of lake side cliff they arrived at a piece of jutting land that was about thirty feet above the lake. Everywhere as far as the eye could see was trees.
Sam bet it would have been beautiful if they had been here two weeks ago when everything was in full color. Now the leaves were all fallen and the trees resembled wooden skeletal fingers reaching up to the sky.
They parked their vehicles in front of the main door and climbed out. George walked up to them and hurried them inside to the living quarters to get out of the rain.
Dean and Sam removed the wet parkas and hung them on the hooks next to the door. George flipped the switch and an over head light lit up the entry way.
"Your job while you're here is to maintain the house and the light house. Much of the furniture here is antique. The building itself is over a hundred years old and in original condition."
They entered the main room and saw over stuffed furniture, pine wood rustic tables and a rocking chair. Thick quilts in rich reds and blues lay on the backs of the sofas and there was a nautical feel to the place that was similar to the museum they just left. Model ships lined the mantle of the fire place along with other wooden carving. The place felt timeless, like a lodge in the Adirondacks.
George led them through the house. The dinning room had a long, aged, wood table and brass candlesticks. A stack of white linens were placed in a closet in the corner. The kitchen resembled an old farm house with a six burner stove and large sink basic. The floor was a gray stone tile.
'Living here was going to be really nice,' Sam thought. He especially liked that every room seemed to have a fireplace.
"The pantry is through there, the back porch is there and the bedrooms are upstairs."
"This place is awesome," Dean said.
"A few years back the historical society did preservation work on the place, spruced it up real nice. During the summer months we get a lot of tourists out here, brings a lot of money to the island. This time of year the island goes to sleep and hibernates till spring."
"How many people live on the island year round?" Sam asked.
"About five hundred total. The general meeting places are church on Sunday, the General Store on Main Street, or Clara's Diner on Willow Road. You boys are going to need to go to the supermarket and stock up on food. Here's a voucher to use at the market. It's for $300 to get you started. Be sure to buy a lot of non-perishables. When the snow comes you two will be snowed in for a while. There's only one plow for the entire island and because you are so far out of the way you'll get you road plowed last."
"Are you serious?" Sam asked. "What if there's an emergency?"
"You have a radio to call the sheriff for help. If the roads aren't plowed then a Sno-Cat will come out to get you. My advice is for you two to be careful and look after each other. This place is really isolated once the snows come."
Dean and Sam looked at each other. Suddenly this idea didn't seem as appealing as it had just a few minutes ago but it was too late to back out now.
"Follow me to the lighthouse and I'll show you your duties there."
George led them to the back of the house and opened a large wooden door. Before them was a tall spiral staircase that seemed to go up forever. George started climbing with Dean and Sam following.
"Now it's very important that the windows up here get washed once a week. The light itself needs to be tested every single night whether it is to be used or not. On clear nights with a good moon you don't need to run the light. If there's no moonlight then you run it. Obviously during times of rain, fog, or snow you will have the light running even during daylight hours. In the main house is a radio and occasionally a ship may call in and report something to you or ask a question. It doesn't happen too often cause the coast guard is out there, but some of the old timers like to still call in."
George kept talking all the while climbing the stairs. Dean and Sam were panting heavily by the time they made it to the top.
"Don't worry, every time you climb these things it gets easier and easier," George said with a chuckle. "Now, the switches are over here. This one is for the light, this one is for rotation, and this one is for the fog horn. To change the bulb you simply remove this glass panel, very carefully I might add. They are very expensive to replace. Pop the burnt bulb out and insert the new one. Spare bulbs are in the closet over there. Put the glass panel back and run a second check."
"Now, should the electricity go out there is a back up generator for the light house. It's located right outside at the base of the tower. You'll need to keep it free from snow or it will become a fire hazard and not work. There is also a generator for the house, too. The gasoline reserve is out back in a giant tank."
"How often does the power go out?" Dean asked.
"Truthfully, not that often. The power lines are under ground so they're safe from the winds. Now follow me back down the stairs."
George was like a machine. Dean and Sam were trying to remember all his instructions.
"In the shed outside there is two snowmobiles for you to use. They are not toys to go joyriding on. They are your main transportation once you're snowed in."
"Got it," Dean said.
"Maintaining the snowmobiles is also part of your job. Change the oil if need be and so forth."
"Just how bad are the snow storms around here? I mean, this isn't going to be like Stephen King's The Shining is it?" Sam asked.
"That all depends on how easily spooked you two are. For years people have claimed this place is haunted, but I've never seen anything to make me believe that."
"Never?" Dean asked.
"No, never. There are no such things as ghosts."
"Then what do you think happened to the last care taker?" Sam questioned.
"I think he couldn't take the loneliness and he split. I won't lie to you boys. It's not easy being out here. It's definitely not a job for a single person. Personally, I prefer to have men with families stay here during the winter. A wife and kids are good things when you're cut off from the world."
"Then why did you hire us?" Dean asked.
"Because you two are the only ones who applied for the job," George answered. "After John vanished a couple of weeks ago the stories of this place being haunted started up again and no one wants to work here now. My advice to you two is to keep busy. Make sure you have plenty of books to read. There is a television upstairs along with a large assortment of DVD's. There's no cable, but you do have an antenna.
"What about internet service?" Sam asked.
"You can use the phone lines unless they go out. There's a pool table upstairs along with other games and stuff to do during your down time. Well boys, I really need to get going."
Sam and Dean followed George to the front door where he put his slicker back on.
"You each get paid $300 a week, which is good money since you don't have to pay for room and board or utilities. Fred, the mailman, will bring your checks to you when the road is clear. If the road is impassable he'll leave them at the General Store for you to pick up when you next get to town. Any questions?"
Sam and Dean looked at each other and then looked to George and shook their heads.
"Okay then, I'll see you two around." He handed them the keys and went out into the storm.
Dean closed the door behind him.
"Wow." Sam ran a hand through his hair. "For an old guy he sure has a lot of energy."
"Definitely," Dean agreed. "I'm going to run out to the car and grab our things."
"I'll come too," Sam offered.
They each grabbed a slicker hanging next to the door and ran to the car. As fast as they could they grabbed their bags with their personal belonging and carried them to the house. Then they made a second trip and grabbed items from the trunk; salt, shot guns with rock salt, dream catchers, and Dean's EMP detector.
Once back in side Dean spoke up, "Well, we may as well move in."
They went upstairs with their bags and checked out the bedrooms. There were two rooms with one full size canopy bed, and then there were two rooms that had two full size sleigh beds in each one. All four rooms had fireplaces. They were tastefully decorated with simple linens and handmade quilts. The furniture was fashionable carved and simple white lace curtains hung from the windows.
"So do you want your own room, or do we share a room?" Dean asked.
"We might as well have our own bedroom," Sam replied. "We're about to be stuck together every minute of the day. We'll probably want a little privacy in the evening."
"Okay, well I'm going to go ahead and take this room," Dean said, going into a blue room that had two beds in it. The walls weren't painted as much as they had been washed in a pale blue color allowing for some of the natural wood to show through.
Sam picked the green room that was right next to Dean's. It only had one bed in it. Sam didn't understand why Dean picked a room with two beds but whatever he wanted was fine by him.
They unpacked their belongings and Sam plugged in his laptop and logged on to the internet. He figured he should do some research as soon as possible in case the phone line went down suddenly from the storm that was currently raging outside.
"I'm going to go and get the light house up and running," Dean said.
"Okay, I'll be here when you get back."
"All right. I'll also rummage through the pantry and see if I can find some food for us to eat tonight."
"Great," Sam replied as he tapped on the keys.
Suddenly a loud thunder rolled across the sky and a flash of lightning lit everything up. A loud crackling noise could be heard coming from the back of the house and then the lights flickered several times.
"What the hell?" Sam gasped.
"That came from the light house," Dean replied and started running with Sam right behind him.