One Last Shot

“Race you to the lighthouse,” Kael challenged, taking off before his sentence was finished. 

“Cheater!” Dania called after him, picking up the pace, making sure to hold onto the cap she’d added as an afterthought.

By the time she arrived at the lighthouse, Kael was nowhere in sight.

Hesitantly she entered the old building, which functioned more as a tourist attraction these days; it was off limits to the public. Growing up, she’d heard the scary tales of hauntings and long dead lighthouse keepers refusing to find eternal rest. Tonight, thanks to the moonlight, the interior seemed more spooky and a loud panting came from somewhere close. The dogs.
“Kael, where are you?” she shouted.

Heart pounding, Dania started up the spiral staircase. Why did she have the feeling he was luring her in?

A hot breath fanned the back of her calf, followed by a swipe of a wet tongue. Dania almost jumped out of her skin. Her hand clutched her chest.  It took her a second or two to figure out faithful Bob had successfully shaken the horny chihuahua and come back to find her.

“Kael?” Dania shouted again. “Where are you? I’m coming up.”

Bob took the lead, bounding ahead. Dania felt grateful for her reassuring presence. Although, if the Boogie man jumped out of the dark, Dania would be the one saving her dog. A whimper from up above gave away Kael’s whereabouts. Dania took the stairs two at a time. Kael would get what for when she found him. The normally closed entrance to the lantern room, was carelessly left open probably by the watchman. Bob dug in her heels.  A high-pitched yelp came from inside and Bob cowered against her.

“Kael I know you’re in there,” Dania called, storming into the moonlight flooded room. She spotted him by the glass paneled windows. “What kind of stunt was that baiting me to enter an off- limits building?” 

Marley, the stud, threw himself at Bob. Exasperated, her bulldog plunked down and gave up.

“Just look at that view,” Kael said, an arm around her shoulders.  “Ignore the beasts. They’ve got it handled.”

Vague childhood memories came flooding back. Dania remembered standing here grumbling as day trippers got off the ferry and invaded the town.  By day, the turquoise water had been a breathtaking sight. At night, it was an awesome spun gold, better than any picture from a fairytale world.

Kael spun her around, the moon providing a glowing orb in the background. He began taking selfies and Dania’s anxiety rose.
What did you do that for?” she asked, pulling away. “You’re not going to post those on Instagram, are you?”

While Kael might think of these as fun photos, to Dania they posed a threat.  There was always the possibility that despite the pink hair, nose ring, and tats, someone might recognize her.  She couldn’t risk that kind of exposure, not until Dania Browne was no longer mainstream gossip.