Secrets of the Lighthouse
Frank met Reid’s angry glare with a steady gaze of his own, ready for the next move. The rain had not let up at all, continuing to pour down on the three men. The rain, however, was providing a help by aiding in resuscitating Joe enough for him to pull himself to his feet. Sheer determination drew him over to stand shoulder to shoulder with his brother. He wanted to make sure he was going to help and not end up being a distraction to Frank, who would be worried about him.
Lunging at Joe, who was closest to the railing, and with speed that was hard to imagine, Reid toppled them over the side in an instant. Frank leaped forward to stop their descent. He grabbed hold of Joe’s leg near his right ankle and halted them right at the edge of the railing. Frank’s muscles strained from the combined weight of Joe and the killer. He would have had no trouble lifting his brother back to safety, but the added difficulty of Reid, as well as the rain, made it an even more terrifying situation.
The killer had twisted around after he had pulled Joe over the rail, and was now holding onto Joe’s forearms, while facing the tower. Joe in turn had his hands clasped around the killer’s forearms. Joe was upside down while the killer was not. Facing outward, with his brother’s strong hands clasped just above his ankle, Joe tried to gather his bearings. He felt the iron railing right behind his ankle as Frank began pulling him up. Joe rested his foot on the railing, and using leverage, tried to help pull them up. He then swung his other foot over and did the same with that one.
Frank gasped when he saw that Reid was starting to yank on Joe’s arms, not to pull himself up to safety, but to cause both Joe and Frank to plunge to their deaths. Rain dripping down onto his face from the sky and from his hair made visibility extremely difficult for Frank. They were thankful it was lessening some and was no longer the torrential downpour it had been.
“Joe, he’s trying to pull you down!” Frank yelled in terror, his heart constricting with fear. Sweat mingled with the rain and ran down his face.
Frank struggled to counteract the killer’s purposeful attempts at causing them all to fall. He braced one of his strong legs against one of the supports in the railing. The top rail dug into his waist. There was no way he was going to let go of his brother. “Joe!”
Joe knew that if he were to let go of Reid and push his arms off of him, Frank would more than likely be able to pull him up, despite the rain and precarious footing. Joe didn’t want to endanger Frank, and feared that his brother might go over the railing and fall trying to save his baby brother.
Right then, Frank’s grasp on Joe’s ankles tightened and he began to pull him up again, very slowly. Joe’s grip on Reid didn’t let up as the arduous task began of returning to the gallery deck from where they now swayed over the edge of the railing. Once more Joe felt the railing behind his ankles and began to help. Joe tried to concentrate on his brother, rather than the rocks and sure death far below him. Hanging upside down, he didn’t want to look at the killer or the ground and rocks. He wished he could see his brother’s comforting face. He leaned his head up, trying to see Frank.
Frank had closed his eyes for a moment, as he anchored his brother. The rain was mercifully letting up, aiding Frank and Joe. Opening his eyes back up, Frank could see his little brother’s face, and his large blue eyes watching him. Frank nodded and again pulled, this time with even more success than his last attempt.
Joe had his feet together and Frank was holding on to both of his legs now while pulling him. His feet planted firmly on the walkway, Frank worked to get his brother to safety. A one man anchor, he was glad when Joe was able to latch onto the railing and begin to scooch up. With the added weight of Reid it was agonizing work, particularly because he not only wasn’t helping, but was also trying to thwart their efforts to reclaim their footing. Frank felt like it was an eternity before his brother would be standing once again beside him, safe and sound.
Joe’s heart was pounding double hard, mostly worried about his brother falling, because he knew Frank would never let go. Even as he was there, hanging by his feet off the tower, with a killer doing his best to kill them all, his heart sent up thanks that he had a brother whom he could always count on. One who would do whatever he could for him, just as Joe would for him. Joe prayed that his brother’s faithfulness wouldn’t cause Frank to get killed.
Frank’s jaw was set, water drops continued to run over his high cheekbones. He was glad for the roughness of Joe’s jeans to have a hold of, it was helping to keep his hands from slipping, even though they were soaked. Frank was already thinking ahead, worried what would happen once they were all back on the walkway. There was no way he was going to take his eyes off Reid, who obviously had no qualms about killing himself in order to take out Frank and Joe. There was no reason for Reid to do anything other than help save his own life, but apparently he had no respect for his own, let alone anyone else’s. That kind of attitude scared both Frank and Joe, unable to truly fathom anyone thinking like that. Even though they didn’t understand it, they knew to be wary and recognize an agenda that was about death.
Joe felt the railing against the back of his knees. Now he could really help with his legs, and take some of the pressure off of his brother.
“You’re doing good,” Frank encouraged him. “Keep going. Hook your feet onto the middle rail.” Joe complied and was able to do that, so now both brothers were able to add to their security and grounding. Frank was still very cautious, but was starting to feel better with each moment Joe was closer to being safe. He wasn’t sure what to do about Reid, who obviously couldn’t be trusted.
As Joe was being helped by Frank, now almost all the way back to the railing and his brother, Reid wrenched his arms free and grabbed hold of the lower iron rail. Swinging over, he was soon safely on the gallery. Gasping for breath, he made his plans in order to bring about his solution to what his mind saw as a problem.
Joe swung upward with the grace of a gymnast and with a mighty pull Frank hauled him the rest of the way up . Frank kept a steady hand on Joe as he climbed over the railing, giving him support until he was standing on the sturdy walkway.
Reid watched as the two brothers helped each other and he sneered derisively. They had risked their own lives to save his, which he found to be very weak. What he saw as weakness, he didn’t recognize for what it truly was, which was strength and power. The brothers cared about each other, with love in their hearts, an emotion the serial murderer wanted nothing to do with. Despite his numerous attempts to kill them, they still found compassion in their souls for him. Compassion that was combined with intelligence, reality, and sense in knowing not to trust Reid.