Lighthouse Keeper III

Lighthouse Keeper III – Legacy

“Heroes are not created but forged out of necessity.”

Legacy of greatness is not always determined by notations of honor.  Legacy is not in the battle bu tin the uncharted course of choice.

Dan was talking to Rosie in the kitchen. Shanon walked outside to catch Jack and Madeline embroiled in a battle with squirt guns. The squirt guns looked real from a distance, seeing it in Jack’s hand brought back memories of old. Nanny Megan was helping Madeline refill her gun. Jack was standing in the middle of the yard patiently waiting for the next round. He tucked his gun into the back of his jeans as he did often with the real thing.

Breaking the music of her daughter’s laughter, Shanon heard male voices yelling. Her mind sought to process the source of such anger. Time slowed, surrealism blanketed the property. Looking to the driveway, Shanon saw four men in suits, guns blazing..

“Jack Smith! Do not move!” The voice commanded.

Adrenalin, shock and desperation exploded in Shanon’s mind and body. Her eyes locked on Jack. He looked into her face in paralyzing regret. Shanon looked back at the men. Jack slowly raised his arms in the air. Turning quickly Shanon searched for her daughter. Megan wrapped her arms around Madeline, shielding her.

The sound of a crash thundered over the male voice of authority. A black sedan crashed through their gate. The driver exited the car with his gun focused upon Jack’s head. The agent in charge, Agent Johnson from Maine. Shanon’s mind exploded in panic. “No! No! No!” Turning back to Jack, he made the gesture of surrender with hands in the air shaking his head in agreement. The squirt gun still nestled in the back of his jeans.

“I have a squirt gun in the back of my jeans! Dropping my hand to discard.” Jack yelled above the car engine.

Shanon screamed, “NO Jack!” She rushed into the open yard racing to Jack knowing these men did not need an excuse to kill him. Shanon did not believe they would fire upon her. Pressing her body into flight all was a blur except his panic filled eyes at her fight to protect him.

Jack yelled, “DO NOT SHOOT SHE IS NOT ARMED!” Jack turned to Shanon. Seized panic filled his eyes, as the water gun began to slowly tumble to the ground. Jack’s feet were glued to the ground as his arms remained in the air knowing one wrong move Shanon would perish under the rain of bullets.

Shanon heard, “GUN!” She was inches from Jack when her body catapulted, slamming into Jack’s arms. A burning sensation exploded from her back to her chest. Jack’s agile, strong arms pulled her into his body as they tumbled to the ground.

A child’s hysterical screams pierced the Malibu hills. Madeline was kicking, fighting Megan trying to run to her parents. Rosie ran from the house, fell on her knees pulling Madeline into her breasts.

Calm and quiet surrounded Shanon. Blood flooded from her mouth. Jack held her desperately to his chest. Shanon looked up into his eyes, a soft smile dressed her lips.

“Shanon, I will help you, hold on my love.”

“DAN!” Jack screamed.

Shanon began to choke on the blood rushing into her lungs. Jack laid her tenderly on the ground, he placed his lips upon hers forcing air into her lungs. Shanon reach up with the last grasp of strength to touch his perfect face.

Shanon moved his lips from hers. “Jack…this… is where I want to be.” She whispered as all color drained from her face and breath from her body. Her eyes closed and body released in his arms.

“Shanon, no! Stay with me! Shanon, Shanon! SHANON!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Jack lifted her to his chest, rocking her gently, kissing her face. His tortured scream echoed from the sky.

Megan picked up Madeline and ran her into the house. Madeline beat her head upon Megan’s chest as she wailed in hysteria. Dan ran to Jack, gently lifting Shanon from his arms. He placed her on the ground and began vigorous CPR.

“Come back Shanon, come on Shanon you can do this.” Dan said as he continued CPR. Jack clutched Shanon’s hand in desperation as his body shook uncontrollably. The men in suits looked on surrounding Jack and Shanon.

“Get me a pen Jack! Now! Find a pen.” Jack stood up running into the house. Ripping the drawer from the frame dumping the contents on the counter top. He grabbed a pen and ran to Dr. Dan Givens.

“Jack removed the ink cartridge.”

Jack pulled the cartridge dropping it on the ground. Dan ripped her shirt open plunging the pen into her lung, blood pumped from the pen. “Jack, continue CPR while I hold the pen. We need to drain blood from her lungs.”

Agent McLaughlin used his radio to summons an ambulance. Tom raced to Agent Johnson. Johnson looked stunned. Tom grabbed him by the neck, took his gun. “You stupid bastard, you fired your weapon on man with a squirt gun, with innocents in the area. If she dies, you will be in prison. I will make sure of it.” Tom looked at the other three agents. “Arrest him now. I will deal with the rest of you later.” Tom raced back to Jack. He watched as Jack and Dan worked in desperation to bring Shanon back.

Megan and Rosie tried to comfort and calm Madeline. “Madeline, child, pray honey, let us pray for your mother.” Rosie said taking her hand looking into Madeline’s red tear stained face.

Jack continued pressing Shanon’s chest, breathing into her mouth. Rosie looked out the window at Shanon’s lifeless body. She looked to the heavens and quietly prayed. “Mother Mary, these children need their mother, free her, please in God’s name bring her back.”

The ambulance raced across the lawn. Two paramedics with heart defibrillator rushed to Dan’s side. “How long has see been down?”

“Five to seven minutes.” Dan replied removing the stethoscope from the first paramedic’s neck. He checked Shanon’s heart it was silent. Dr. Givens felt this was a battle he would not win. A pool of blood formed on the grass. The paramedic injected her with epinephrine.

“Give me the paddles I am a doctor give me the paddles! Charge to 300, clear.”

Shanon’s body jolted and dropped. Dan listened for a heart beat. “Charge to 350, do it, now, charge to 350.” Dan said in irrational determination.

Shanon’s body again, lifted then dropped. Dan searched for a heartbeat that would not come.

“Doctor, you need to pronounce her. Doctor do you hear me?”

The other paramedic left for the truck pulling out the stretcher. Jack grabbed Dan’s arm.
“Do something more Dan.” He pleaded with eyes stung in black desperation.

Dan placed Shanon’s lifeless hand on her chest. He reached over and placed his hand on Jack’s shoulder. “I’m sorry Jack.”

“NO!” Jack’s voice hoarse. He took Shanon’s left hand tenderly raising it to his face. He bent down, placing his lips on hers. With the gentleness and love of a lifetime, lifting her to his chest then onto the stretcher. Jack tenderly covered her body.

Dan lifted the back of the stretcher. Jack carried the front of as they placed her in the back of the ambulance. Agent McLaughlin followed, watching a man who was the strongest warrior crumble into the wasteland of sorrow’s dark abyss.

Rosie placed Madeline into Megan’s arms rushing to the back of the ambulance. She looked into Jack’s broken face. She reached to the back of her neck, removed her cross, a gift from her mother. She placed it in Shanon’s left hand. She placed her lips on Shanon’s head.

“My missy, our sweetest angel, do not worry I will help Mr. Jack care for your babies.” She said looking at Jack. He held his wife’s hand, staring at her perfect face as tears pumped from his eyes.

Jack looked up. He saw the shoulder holster and gun nestled against Agent Tom’s ribs. He kissed Shanon’s hand, placed it on her chest. In one swift movement, Jack pulled the gun from the holster, knocking Tom to the ground. He jumped from the back of the ambulance, pointed it directly at Agent Johnson’s head.

“You will be the first to die.” Jack’s eyes red in hate and revenge. Tom jumped to his feet. Jack shoved him to the ground again.

“Mr. Jack, Mr. Jack, do not leave your children without a father. They lost their mother; do not take their father away!” Rosie yelled moving to him.


Jack walked into the ICU and to Shanon’s room. Shanon connected to numerous monitors, I V’s tubes, and oxygen. She looked at her husband, eyes imbued in eternal relief.

Jack was breathless as he struggled to feel his legs rushing to her bedside. Shanon outstretched her arms. He bent down taking her hands in his. Dropping his face next to hers, the beaten warrior wept in silence.

Shanon softly spoke. “The truth…I did not want…to…wait for you. Heaven…is in your eyes, Lighthouse Keeper.”

“Shanon, I lost you.” He whispered as the words stuck in his throat. He could still smell her blood saturating his shirt. Never in all battles, he and Shanon faced, nor in his career as a CIA agent, had he experienced fear and desperation as in the moment he watched the bullet penetrated his wife’s chest.

“You cannot lose me so easily.” She whispered trying to breath through shortness of breath.

Jack stroked her head as she dropped off to sleep. For an hour, he watched over her with the taste of guilt and anger burning his tongue. An out of control FBI agent on a personal vendetta in one deliberate moment fired a bullet into the chest of his beautiful, wife.

From Seabrook

To The United Nations

It was mid-morning when the phone rang. Shanon looked at Jack, both raced to the library.


“Shanon, this is Rodney.”

“Hello Rodney.”

“I phoned Friday but you were out of town.”

“Yes my husband and I went away for the weekend.”

“A short holiday is good. I am calling because your emails were profound. As a citizen of the United States, your insight and perspective sparked curiosity.”

“Thank you Rodney.” Shanon looked at Jack he nodded she knew it was time. “Pandora’s Box.” Shanon said clearly, deliberately.

“What did you say Shanon?”

“Pandora’s Box.” Shanon replied void of emotion.

“Pandora’s Box. How do you know Pandora’s Box?” He asked sounding visibly shaken.

Shanon depressed the speaker.

“Rodney, this Jack Smith.”

“Jack, ole mate, I thought you were dead.”

Jack laughed. “Almost a few times. I am still breathing.”

“Jack, is Shanon one of your agents?”

Jack broke into laughter. “You can call her that but she is my wife. Shanon found you on her own.”

“She must be one hell of a lass to be able to put up with the likes of you.”

“Rodney she is better than any agent I have worked with and yes, she puts up with me.”

“We need to get together soon, right Jack.”

“Yes, but we cannot be on line much longer. Where are you calling from?”

“A secure line, my friend.”

“Are you still in touch with Phillip?”

“Yes Jack, Phillip and I are still mates but do not see him much.”

“Do you remember my associate Paul?”

“Paul, he’s a good one.”

“Can I send him to bring you about?”

“Not you Jack?”

Jack looked at Shanon. She knew he was asking without speaking a word. As fond of Paul Rodney was he trusted Jack most. Shanon smiled and shook her head yes.

“I can pick you up Rodney. Phillip is still in Oxfordshire?”

“Yes the lower flat.”

“Rodney it is June 1, I will be in Oxfordshire on June 11. Will that work?”

“Yes my friend. I will be on top.”

“Do not send emails from here on out. I will contact you. If there is a problem contact Paul at 207-525-5225 he will reach me immediately.”

“Got it Jack. Shanon it will be a pleasure to meet you.”

“I am looking forward to it Rodney. Take care and be safe.”

Shanon looked at Jack with confidence and purpose. “We should leave by Sunday Jack. That will give us a few days to spend in Seabrook before you make the trip to England.”

“I will get on the phone with Captain Randall and make arrangements. Are you ready to begin the fight again?” Jack asked pulling his wife into his wings.

“I am Jack. It is time to complete what you began all those years ago.”

“We are walking into the fire again Shanon.”

“We are walking together Jack. We have faced many fires.”

The rest of week was spent packing. Paul would meet them at the airport with a rented truck to carry their belongings home. Mike would close his antique shop for the day and drive them from Bangor to Seabrook.

On Friday, Shanon and Jack invited their friends, for a day and evening of good food, laughter and love. Jack had lunch and dinner catered so no one had to spend time in the kitchen.

Maggie, Gary, Ryan, Lisa, Sean and Haley filled the back yard with joy and laughter. Dr. Dan and Meleah arrived after lunch. Everyone with the exception of Rosie was in the pool. Shanon and Maggie moved from the pool to the patio.

“I cannot believe you are leaving already Shanon.”

“I know neither can I. The hardest part about leaving paradise is leaving you behind again.”

“You will be back and we always have the phone and email.” Maggie smiled.

“I know, but it was nice to be so close. I could walk over and visit at will. We convince you to move here and now we’re going back to Maine. Not very fair Maggie.”

“Shanon, we have never regretted a moment moving here. The kids are happy, the school is great and this view is breath taking. So what is the weather like in Seabrook?”

“It is a balm seventy degrees there today. I hate going back to the cold. It is cold there on the warmest day compared to here in January.” Shanon smiled, shaking her head.

“It is beautiful there too Shanon. You will have the perfect view of your lighthouse again.”

“Yes I will. That lighthouse will always be the place I came home. It is the place where Jack first kissed me and our lives were forever changed. It is the home we welcomed Madeline to, it is where our son was created.”

“You know what Shanon? One day I will tell my grandchildren, I knew and loved the two people who saved our world.” Her eyes glistened as tears moistened the corners of her eyes.

“No, you will say because I guided, supported loved my friend, she was able to help make this world a safer place.” Shanon said kissing her pink cheek.

“You are going into battle with the devil.” Maggie said squeezing Shanon’s hand.

“The one thing I have learned living in Jack’s world, not all the good guys wear white. Heroes are not created but forged out of necessity and victories do not necessarily mean triumph over enemies. Many of value and great respect will fall because of us. Countless lives will be ruined by our findings but millions more will live better, healthier lives.”

“You understand the philosophy Shanon. Still many refuse to look at the truth.”

“They refuse because the truth either frightens them or is inconvenient. Many have become unwilling victims under false security. Families are losing the battle every day, working two and three jobs just to make it from paycheck to paycheck. It is hard to summons the energy to fight when the cost of basic survival is so depleting. How does anyone fight when there is no way to win against the corporations which now governs this nation?

The diversity, which once gave this country its rich roots, is gone. The diversity now is a glaring line between wealthy, and working poor. This nation has become a fast paced world of empty promises, health crisis, and mindless consumption. The toys our children play with are toxic. The vehicles we purchase to save on gas are made in foreign countries, or in our country, in non-union environments. Our mills have closed we buy Levis’ made in China. Our foods are filled with toxic chemicals they label under “natural flavors”. The education system is broken.

It only takes one voice Maggie. One voice to make a difference, this time there will be two voices. I will not hide in the back streets while Jack makes all the sacrifices. Jack and I will crawl or walk into the U.N. together.”

“You and Jack have to be careful Shanon. I know you are right. This world is not the one we grew up in. But this will be a battle like no other.”

“Maggie, Jack and I are use to hiding, in plain sight and in tunnels. If our voices resonate above the infotainment, pharmaceutical propaganda and media, manufactured fear then we win. We do not have to be heroes Maggie we only have to be persistent. If we have to hide until the world hears our voice, then we will Maggie. This time we will not quit.”

“I know you will not quit, that is not your nature. That is what scares me the most. I do not want to lose you. I guess I am a selfish American.” Maggie batted away tears from her baby blue eyes as one defiant tear rested on her long eyelashes.

“You will never lose me Maggie. We are protected by those like you who are dear to us and those whose powers are unseen but real.”

“Shanon, your parents, grandmother and Eliza would be proud of you. I know I am. I wish I had the fight inside as you have.”

“Maggie, where do you think I learned to fight? I learned by watching you. My parents died, your parents’ lives were complicated. You learned how to survive on your own while they sorted out their own direction. Did you not know you have always been my hero, my inspiration?”

“Walk tall Shanon you do best when you look up.”

“Maggie when I look up, I see you.”

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