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Conversing With The Light
by John Brooke

Nicholas, keeper of the Longships Lighthouse, was long overdue for shore leave. Heavy storms had raged for weeks and the relief boat couldn’t navigate the two miles to relive him.

His wife, Liza, waited at their house up on the rocky cliffs overlooking the North Atlantic. Nicholas used a short-wave transmitter to radio his wife at precisely 3 o’clock every afternoon. 

She stood anxiously by the radio receiver at the scheduled hour. Her husband asked about her health and inquired about their friends and family. She couldn’t answer him by radio, because they couldn’t afford an expensive transmitter.

Instead she opened the window, cranked up the volume on the radio, and ran outside carrying two semaphore signal flags. She heard him through the open window. When he stopped talking, she waved her flags in reply.

As she answered him, he could see her with his binoculars, whirling those flags, and decoded her messages.

They had conversed successfully using this method for years. 

Sometimes Liza would ask one of those impossible female questions, the kind deemed unanswerable by most males.

“What are you thinking?” She signaled.

He hesitated a moment “Of course, I’m always thinking of you, dearest Liza.”

“What would you do if I died?” 

“Why, dear, I’d be totally upset,” he said. “Are you sick?” 

“Fit as a fiddle. I just wondered.”

“What a question to ask.”

“Would you remarry?” 

“No, of course not, dear” 

“Don’t like marriage?” 

“Yes, I do!”

“Wouldn’t you marry again?”

“Okay, I’d marry again.”

“Would you?” 


“Sleep with her in our bed?” 

“I suppose I could.” 

“Would she wear my clothes?

“No! Definitely not, dear,” responded Nicholas, “your dress size is 15, and she’s a size 6--”