Submitted to NPR's 3-Minute Fiction
by Jack Reeves
She closed the book, put it on the table, and finally decided to walk through the door at 10 PM, the determined time. The book was chosen for its title: "To the Lighthouse." The lighthouse was her destination and destiny.
She rehearsed the walk--approximately a quarter of a mile, 650 steps. The stones were selected for size and weight and piled together at the rock jetty at the lighthouse.
Date, time and tide were factored: a moon for light, 10 o'clock for high tide.
Calculated time from walking through the door: 14 minutes.
She meditated for weeks on the required resoluteness. Every action, every thought had to be impervious.
As she walked she focused on the lighthouse and its repetitive light--six seconds of six beams followed by six of dark. She counted steps for further focus. At 600 she knew three minutes remained.
She came to the stones in the path and without hesitation put them in the pockets of her overcoat. She sensed their critical weight. She walked immediately to the water's edge and strode into rushing waves and the descending ocean floor.
As the water enveloped her head, she was seized by agony and horror. Inhalation was inevitable.
It was as she imagined.