Read an Excerpt
The storm had started to move inland from the Atlantic Ocean. It had been South and then rapidly moved Northeast, staying just off of the coast. Until now. A Northern weather front had come down and helped push the storm inland. With the storm came gray-green and dark black billowing storm clouds, a purplish-black sky, strong winds, heavy rain, thunder and lightning. It wasn't going to be the worst storm to hit the coast, but it was still going to be severe. By no means was it going to be as bad as a Nor'easter but it was still going to be a pretty nasty one. Especially for summer. The early August afternoon looked as if it was evening.
For once it seemed like the weathermen had been right on the storm's direction. This allowed the coastline inhabitants a little time to brace themselves and prepare for the storm's onslaught. People could tell it was going to be bad by the sudden dead calmness of the air that was followed by gusting winds. There were still a few, like there is in every storm who weren't prepared or even ready and had to rush for shelter.
The lightning flashed in a spiderweb-like design as the thunder had an explosive loudness that caused some small buildings to shake. The clouds rolled with great rapidity as the storm headed towards the shore. The ten-foot high white-capped waves brought on by the wind crashed against the shore. The once calm and relatively peaceful ocean had become a black churning and restless mass that was almost attacking the shoreline. The waves crashed against the docks and piers almost totally submerging them. The wind swept across the large oak, pine and maple trees as if some large invisible comb was brushing through them. The storm had not yet reached its zenith. The loud rumbling thunder caused some shaking within the lighthouse and its living quarters. The forecasters thought this storm would do some damage.
And then some...
Whether or not it was the storm, in either case it had not been a good sleep for Andre LaSalle. With the waves crashing against Hockomock Island where the lighthouse stood, it just seemed to add to the terror of his nightmares. Even though he didn't toss and turn, his sleep was far from restful. Instead, Andre's sleep had been deep and hard, like the kind one endures around traumatic events like funerals.
If anything Andre felt more tired and fatigued than before. His body ached and was sore. His joints hurt even as he turned in his sleep. This was a totally different Andre LaSalle than the one who arrived barely a month ago. As his dreams worsened he began to sweat profusely. The dreams had been recurring nightly for almost a month.
In them, she appeared to Andre. A women in black. He had come to regard as the "Dark Women" who was a kind of fantasy to him.
The dreams were pleasant at first. She, the Dark Woman from what he could tell was beautiful. She was a ghostly pale, with jet black hair, shapely. So beautiful, Andre thought, like a fantasy one dreams of but never attains. Andre was more than mesmerized by her beauty, he was obsessed. He was obsessed almost to the point of being possessed.
The dreams had started off slowly. At first, they seemed pleasant and innocent enough, then they became more erotic in nature. She would somehow tantalize Andre to the point of arousal without even touching him. He would see her beautiful, pale naked body and then she would be gone. The dreams quickly went from that to strange and now were quite horrifying.
The last dream had Andre tied up and being beaten, then stoned, and urinated on by his three co-workers who were dressed in some kind of pilgrim-like garb. He was charged, tried, convicted and sentenced to die. Each time he dreamed the beatings and the torture became worse. He had grown to hate and despise the others. Somehow, this dark woman would be his savior, his rescuer that would spare him from the others.
The dreams had only been a part of it though. Andre had started seeing his "Dark Woman" during his waking hours. Seeing her briefly, and then she would be gone. At times, he would hear a woman's voice call his name when he was alone. After which an eerie feeling would set in. He knew he was not alone or crazy, even if the others thought he had been acting that way.
Andre did not mention this to the others, for fear of being thought of as some kind of nut. Since his dreams had started he had distanced himself from the others who were staying and taking care of the lighthouse. At best his relations with the others had become strained after the dreams went from bad to worse.
When he first arrived, Andre overheard a few whispers from the townspeople about the place. At first he paid little attention to them. Later, he listened to a few. He thought it made for interesting listening.
The tales had told of how a woman who was in love and possibly married was accused and tried as a witch. She was, it was told, drowned off of the island by the town minister and the church elders. It was said she was innocent.
From what Andre had heard, the spirit of the woman was said to still reside on the island and in town. On occasion, she could actually be seen and sometimes heard.
At first, Andre had just passed these off as old wives tales. Area legends that had grown and been exaggerated throughout the years. This made for great Halloween fare or something you would find in a Stephen King book. That is, until Andre had seen her himself. Then he became a believer.
What Andre didn't know was that the others had also seen her as well. Only they didn't see her as much and it was in varying