Good evening everyone! I’m super excited to introduce Foxcroft as a new, fictional series that’ll be released exclusively on the Lighthouse in the weeks and months to come! It’ll be different than the posts (although it will be released alongside them), and hopefully will be both meaningful and enjoyable! So go ahead, read it in your own time, and make sure to follow the Lighthouse so that you don’t miss anything!
Now, I realize this is a fairly new idea, so I’m still ironing out wrinkles, but I love the characters, story, and premise so much–I hope that you all will too. 😁 It’s my hope that not only will we all have fun with the story, but that seeing the characters grow up alongside us in a way will end up being one of the best parts. Thanks for stopping by!
The ladder to the attic was pulled down in a flurry, much nervous foot-tapping and short, fearful gasps for breath filling in the background noise. Sixteen-year-old Kit shared a glance devoid of hope with his cousin and best friend, Beren. The two helped Kit’s little sisters, Tahlia and Stella, into the attic as best and fast they could. After Beren, Kit dashed up the rungs of the ladder, minding to watch his own back. That was when he heard its echo—the gunfire from just down the Edenshire, Scotland road.
“They’re getting close—really close,” he whispered to Beren and fourteen-year-old Tahlia. “Where did Mum and Dad go?”
Tahlia closed her eyes and took a deep breath before saying through clenched teeth, “I don’t know, Kit. They told me they had to close up the lab, and that was last night! They’re safe, I’ve got to believe that, but I don’t know where they are or when we’ll see them next. I mean, do you think they’re gone?”
Beren piped in with a meek, gentle tone in his teddy bear sort of way, “They’re much too bright for that, wouldn’t you say?”
The voice of reason, as always, Kit replied dejectedly, “It’s the Infantry, what do you think? They’ve been tearing up the whole town looking for them, and our house is next. They want them for something. It’s not likely that—I don’t know. Maybe they got out, maybe they didn’t, but they’d want us to be safe either way.” With that, the brown-haired lad stooped and quietly collapsed the drop down ladder back into the ceiling, everyone for the moment safe inside the dimly lit attic.
A tear slid down small, dear Stella’s face, but Kit knelt down to wipe it away with a caring smile. “It’s gonna be okay, Stella. Everything’s going to be alright, I promise. Someday there won’t be anymore of this, the war,” Looking away from her kind, freckled face, Kit didn’t know if he could muster the strength to actually hope again.
Several tense minutes followed, and though they were hidden, that fact did next to nothing to console them. Each second of silence and dread was only cause for their hearts to beat yet faster. Their hearts began to beat louder and faster until it sounded almost deafening. It was then that they realized it wasn’t their collective heartbeats: it was some sort of aircraft outside.
“They’re here,” Kit mouthed, sick to the stomach.
Each one of them cowered into the corner across from the window, slinking back behind Kit and Beren. Kit grabbed a taser out of his back pocket, preparing himself to go down fighting. He steadied it at the door in the same instant that a catastrophic crash signaled the house was finally breached. The Infantry was not to be trifled with, yet somehow they’d attracted its attention.
Somewhat familiar with the Infantry’s tactics, Beren counted the seconds one by one. “First floor,” he said after 9 seconds. “Second floor, breached,” was uttered at 17 seconds. At 22 seconds after the first breach at the front door, Beren’s gaze bolted to the hatch nearby.
“Get ready,” Kit said as he gave a squeeze to Stella’s little hand. The opening rattled, and Kit gripped the taser with white knuckles. Tahlia snatched a pipe wrench, and Beren grabbed a broom leaning against the wall. The curtains flutter a little from a crack in the window, and Stella inched ever so slightly closer to the solitary window. The floor creaked, and the ladder was yanked down towards the second floor. Beren and Kit stood up and rushed at the two assailants attempting to scale the ladder. Kit tased the first agent, and Beren beat the second back down to the ground with his broom.
Stella pulled the curtains to the side, minding the situation behind her, and looked outside the window. “Kit, it’s a really big plane, or hovering aircraft-type thing!”
Kit briskly wandered over to Stella and gave Beren a stunned look. “The Infantry doesn’t use those planes. That’s someone else.”
“They’re the rescue,” Beren said with a hint of excitement. Tahlia re-closed the hatch and Kit slid the windows open, helping Stella through.
“Stella, you be careful, okay? I’ll be right behind you. Stay as far away from the ledge as you can,” Kit stated, protective as always of his little sisters.
Sweet little Stella eased her way out the window onto the roof first, then Tahlia. Beren was next to follow, only after making sure that Kit was alright. Everyone had left, and Kit was securing the hatch below in an effort to buy them enough time to get to whatever rescue may have been outside.
The trapdoor shook as a small squad of Infantry soldiers laid siege to the attic. Reality quickly sinking in, Kit jabbed another rod of iron across the entryway and rushed for the window. That was when he froze.
A small object flickered, a lost ray of sunlight bouncing off the glass of Kit’s compass. Not many objects were more important to Kit. Everyone had their keepsakes, and that was his. Sitting on the windowsill, he looked outside, then the hatch, and back to the compass before making a dash for it. The hatch rattled and was being battered to pieces as the Infantry attempted once more to storm the attic, but Kit was faster than them. Closing the window behind himself, he clutched the compass in his hand and balanced his weight on the slanted roof.
Although nervous that the wood shingles might not hold him, it was Kit’s only option. That—or walk straight back into the Lion’s Den. Peering over the edge of the house, he spotted the perimeter set up by the Infantry, which had taken notice of the plane yet helpless to stop it from the ground. A rope with large knots in it dropped down from the back cargo door in the plane. Beren and Tahlia poked their heads down urging them to hurry up, but Stella wasn’t there. She was at the bottom of the rope, unable to move any further. Fear had paralyzed her.
“Stella? Stella, look, it’s gonna be okay, just go up slowly, and I’ll be right behind you. Don’t look down, okay?” Time was ticking, the danger increasing steadily on either side of Kit. Grabbing the bottom of the rope, Kit attempted to climb slowly upwards upon the knots, watching Stella inch her way further up. Her arms were shaking, but she was almost within reach of Beren and Tahlia. Barely.
As the strain in his arms became overwhelming, Kit managed to come just within reach of the ledge, behind only Stella. The soldiers opened the window and the plane began to propel away from its stationary location. But that was the moment Stella lost her grip and let go.
To be continued…