C.H.I.M.P.S.: The Case Of The Lighthouse Spectre
Story and characters © October 25, 2019 by Joshua J. Weremonkey
This episode is dedicated to the memory of my husband Johnny’s childhood friend Jody, who was taken from this world when he was way too young. The secret agents take a road trip and help a fellow secret agent with a ghostly problem but find out that time is not always on their side.
Characters in this story:
Jake Walker 20, secret agent
Jimmy Wolfe 20, secret agent
Lucas Edward Wilder 18, secret agent, genius, scientist
Peter and Sally Wilson 18, young newlyweds from 1938
It had been a stormy night with crashing thunder, lightning and steadily increasing rain. Eighteen-year-old newlyweds Peter and Sally had spent the earlier evening of their honeymoon making love for their first time in their rented cottage near Watch Hill, Rhode Island on the Atlantic coast. The storms only added to the electricity of their new bond. It had been a perfect night for intimacy and cuddling each other as they drifted off to sleep.
It was nearing dawn on September 21, 1938, when Peter climbed out of their love nest to survey the new day. He gazed out the window and said to his lovely, new wife.
“The storm is not letting up at all Sally. Let me turn on the radio to hear if there are any weather reports.”
Pete turned on the heavy wood floor model Philco tube radio. He pressed the push button labeled WPRO 630 AM Providence, Rhode Island. The weather bulletin came on over the radio speakers.
“The Washington office has issued northeast storm warnings from north of Atlantic City and south of Block Island, Rhode Island, and southeast storm warnings from Block Island to Eastport, Maine. It will be a gully washer folks but we should be spared a direct hit from the hurricane.”
“Well, it looks like a rainy day, my love. Hope you do not mind sleeping in,” Pete said with a wink.
“That would be perfect, my love,” Sally replied.
The couple laid in bed and kissed passionately while the creaky, old cottage shutters banged loudly in the heavy wind. The weather advisory Pete and Sally had heard, however, underestimated the storm’s intensity. They said the mighty hurricane was farther south than it actually was. The Washington office had yet to forward any information about the hurricane to the New York City office. At 10:00 am EDT, the bureau downgraded the hurricane to a tropical storm. The 11:30 am advisory mentioned gale-force winds but nothing about a tropical storm or hurricane. That afternoon all hell was about to break loose.
The hurricane of September 21, 1938 was a category 5 roaring over the Atlantic. It quickly tracked across Long Island and Long Island Sound before making a second and final landfall near New Haven, Connecticut as a slightly weaker hurricane with winds of 115 mph (185 km/h), making it one of only three recorded tropical cyclones to hit Connecticut as a major hurricane. It made a direct hit over Watch Hill, Rhode Island as a category 3 hurricane. Right on top of the cottage where Pete and Sally were.
The cyclone punched a hole in the roof of the small cottage startling Pete and Sally wide awake. They scrambled to get dressed as the heavy wind and rain was now inside the safety of their dwelling.
Pete and Sally ran towards the nearby Watch Hill lighthouse. It did not feel like they were running at all with the wild winds pushing back at them. It felt like they were attempting to run while in a dream. The salty, ocean waters were creeping closer to them with the storm surge. There was a bolt of lightning hitting what was left of their cottage. It became an inferno burning in the afternoon darkness.
“Dear Lord God, please protect my Sally,” Pete prayed.
Pete and Sally managed to make it to the lighthouse which was also being battered by the storm. The thick concrete walls of the lighthouse that they hoped would protect them would soon become a tomb.
“We need to get to the control room near the light at the top. These rooms are built to withstand the strongest of storms,” Pete said to Sally.
Pete and Sally both climbed the steel, spiral stairs to the control room. They both hunkered down inside as the hurricane wailed outside. They curled up on the concrete floor together in a loving embrace.
“This is not quite the honeymoon we had imagined, my love?”
Sally smiled at Pete’s attempt to comfort her with humor and kissed him on his lips.
Suddenly, a thunderous crash came from the bottom of the lighthouse. Pete stepped out of the door to the control room. When he did, his eyes grew wide in terror as he saw the storm surge had brought the waters of the Atlantic inside. The tube shape of the lighthouse had made the floodwaters form into a deadly whirlpool.
Pete scampered down the spiral stairs to close the heavy, metal hatch to stop the rising waters. His left boot slipped and ended up wedged into a rust hole in the stairs.
“No, Pete!” Sally screamed as she reached out his hand.
“Sally, get back in the control room. I love you forever,” Pete said as he slammed the hatch closed above his head as he slipped into the swirling water.
Approximately 600 people died in the September 1938 hurricane in New England, most in Rhode Island, and up to 100 people elsewhere in the path of the storm. An additional 708 people were reported injured. Sixteen-year-old Pete Wilson was one of the casualties.
The storm had finally let up. Pete found himself on the rocky shoreline of Watch Hill. The water must have dragged him out with the tide. He thought about how it was a wonder that he had not drown.
Everything around looked oddly different. The lighthouse had already been repaired. Pete thoughts raced, “How can this be? Have I been passed out for days? Oh my. I must find out if Sally is okay.”
Suddenly, Pete found himself not near the lighthouse anymore but near an unfamiliar house. Through the window, he saw his beautiful wife Sally sitting inside in a rocking chair cradling a baby. He went up to open the door but as he reached for the knob his hand went right through the door handle.
“What is happening to me?”
A chill rose up in Pete as a stray piece of newspaper landed at his feet. He saw the date which read September 21, 1939. Shockingly, a year had passed. When hard reality hit Pete, a brilliant beam of white light appeared above his head.
“Pete, it is your time to rise into the light,” a welcoming voice said. “This all must mean I have passed on. Who is the child with my Sally?” Pete asked.
“Yes, you have lived a good life and it is time for your reward. The child is yours and will carry on for you. Please pass into the light.”
“Oh spirit, I cannot just yet. I must watch over them.”
“They have their own lives to live. It is your free will to go or stay but it is most unlikely they will even see or hear you. It is a lonely especially when all you have ever known have also passed on.”
“I will take that chance. I need to make sure Sally and my son are going to be okay.”
“As you will it. Do remember, since you do choose to stay, we cannot promise the passageway of light will appear for you ever again.”
As quickly as it appeared the beam of light was gone. Pete smiled as he watched his wife Sally and their son.
In a flash, one year went by then the next. Time was different in the afterlife. He watched as his wife then son passed on from life. Pete soon found himself back at the Watch Hill lighthouse. He was totally alone now with a bitter sadness that was slowly turning into rage.
It was a beautiful autumn evening on Friday, October 25, 2019. Twenty-year-old secret agent couple Jimmy Wolfe and Jake Walker were planning a road trip.
“It’s probably going to be one of the last nice Fall weekends. We should take advantage of it and take a road trip somewhere to check out the colors, Jake, that’s if I can get you off twitter.”
“Ha Ha, funny, Jimmy, I’m always up for a road trip. How about going to the ocean and check out some old lighthouses too. How does the Connecticut and Rhode Island coastline sound?”
“Sounds awesome, Jake. Let’s pack tonight then hit the road early tomorrow morning.”
Jimmy and Jake packed their gear into the land rover then headed off early to sleep. Jimmy had a rough night sleeping. He had a dream about his best friend Jody when they were both nine. Jody died in a car accident that year but still came to Jimmy in his dreams at times. Jimmy dreamt that they were both at a Fall fun fair. There were all sorts of delicious foods and crafts for sale. Jimmy grabbed a fresh peach and started munching on it as the sticky, sweet fluid dripped down his chin. Jody and Jimmy saw the entrance to a spook house in a circus tent. One of the scare actors popped out and scared both of the boys from going inside. They decided to go into the corn maze instead. They saw two creepy scarecrows in cornfield. One moved and began to follow Jody and him. Suddenly, the scarecrow dragged Jody and Jimmy into a holding cell.
The scarecrow screamed, “You are illegal kids. You must be deported!” “No!” Both boys yelled as they ran back out into the cornfield.
Jimmy’s dream then morphed as dreams often do. He saw Jody propped up on a fence post like a scarecrow. Next to him was a wrecked car half of which was sticking out of a stream.
Jody spoke to Jimmy with a warning, “For both our sakes, do not try to change what happened in the past no matter how much you are tempted to do so. Please, promise me, Jimmy!”
“I promise Jody. I miss you so much.”
Jody smiled then disappeared as Jimmy awoke.
“Hey Jimmy, wake up lazybones. We gotta hit the road.”
“Whoa, it’s morning already?”
“Yup, it’s six am. Did you have another nightmare?”
“Yeah, about Jody again.”
“Awww, I’m sorry love,” Jake sympathized as he kissed Jimmy on the lips.
Jimmy and Jake jumped out of bed then showered together to save time. They grabbed some smores pop tarts and an orange for breakfast then jumped into the land rover at seven am. Jake drove so that Jimmy could get some much-needed sleep. He looked over at Jimmy while he was sleeping. He seemed to look much more peaceful so hopefully, he was getting some rest, Jake thought to himself for he knew this all too well having bad nightmares of his own.
Jake had a good five-hour drive to get to the Connecticut coast. It was tough with no music but he wanted Jimmy to sleep. Jake made good time as he took I90 into Springfield, Massachusetts where Jimmy was finally coming back to life.
“Hey, there sleepy head.”
“Wow, we are in Massachusetts already? I don’t want to even know how fast you were going.”
“Well, I don’t monkey around,” Jake laughed.
“Oh sure, you do. Another reason why I love you.”
“Aww, love you too Jimmy,” Jake smiled. “Hey, there’s the exit for the basketball hall of fame. Do you want to check it out?”
“Sure! We got time, it’s only ten-thirty. We can grab some lunch too. I’m starved.”
Jimmy and Jake parked at the complex. They paid the admission and checked out all of the museum sports artifacts. There was a bit of construction going on but it was still fun shooting baskets on the giant basketball court. They had a quick lunch at the on-site Subway restaurant. They both ate some yummy pit-smoked brisket subs. The plan was to spend only a couple of hours there so that they could get back on the road and they did a little bit past noon.
Jimmy and Jake took I91 south. Soon they were in Hartford, Connecticut. They were now only a couple of hours away from their overnight destination, Camp Mystic KOA.
“Downtown Hartford looks cool Jimmy. Reminds me a lot of our hometown Syracuse.”
“Yeah, it looks cool. We are way ahead of schedule so why don’t we get off the interstate highway for a bit, Jake. Veer left onto I84 east over the Bulkeley bridge then we can take route 2 into Colchester. There we can take route I85 south onto I95 east near New London.”
“Sounds like a plan map man!”
It was now 1:15 pm. Jimmy and Jake saw a sign for Salem, Connecticut. “Whoa, how did we get to Salem, Massachusetts map man?”
“Ha Ha Ha. There is a Salem in Connecticut too, monkey boy.”
“Check out that road sign, Jimmy, Witch Meadow Road.”
“Wanna take a side trip? We got loads of time.”
“I’m up for it. I never worried about getting lost at all. You are the best navigator ever, Jimmy.”
“Unless a witch puts a spell on me. Ha Ha Ha.”
“Check out that sign, Witch Meadow Lake campground. Maybe we should have booked a stay here instead,” Jake said as did a wicked witch laugh.
“It looks like a cool campground. It even has a nice little lake. Nice until Jason Voorhees comes out of it. ChChChAhAhAh!”
“Funny Jimmy. We should make a note of this place to camp sometime in the future. Let’s drive a little further down this road then turn around to get back on track.”
“Look, Jake, there is a sign that says Devil’s Hopyard State Park up ahead.”
“Wow, they sure out do themselves with the spooky theme in these parts.” Jimmy and Jake checked out the beautiful sixty-foot high waterfall at Devil’s Hopyard State Park then drove back into Salem.
In no time they were in New London where they drove down US 1 into Mystic. They stopped at the Sea Swirl restaurant to get their first glimpse of the seaside and shared an order of fried clams.
Soon, Jimmy and Jake exited Connecticut and were in Westerly, Rhode Island.
“I thought that we were driving east why is this place called Westerly?”
“Oh, Jake you and your puns.”
Jake made a monkey face at Jimmy as he turned onto route 2 north then took a right onto route 49 and they soon arrived at their campground, the Mystic KOA. They checked in and set up camp quickly since they wanted to go to Watch Hill that evening.
Jimmy and Jake drove back into Westerly then took route 1a south into Watch Hill. It was a shame that the merry go round with flying horses, one of the things they wanted to check out was closed but they happily romped around on the beach in Watch Hill.
“It is so nice here, Jake.”
“Nice and romantic my love.”
“Hey Jake, look over there, coming out of the sea. Is that a merboy?”
“No Jimmy, I think it is a mermonkey!” Jake giggled as he wrestled Jimmy onto the sand where they passionately made out.
It was starting to get dark. Jimmy and Jake decided it was time to drive to the lighthouse. When they got there, they were surprised to find fellow secret agent and friend Lucas Wilder.
“Lucas! Didn’t expect to find you here. Jimmy and I are taking a road trip and camping up north of here.”
“Cool to see you guys! I was called here to help the lighthouse owners. There were reports of hauntings and a malicious spectre that was bothering tourists. I did make contact with the ghost and discovered what he wants. He needs to go back in time where he will be able to cross over into the light to be with his family. I brought my dad’s time machine here from Boston to help him.”
“Great Scott, Lucas, I hope you remembered to fix the flux capacitor in that crazy contraption,” Jake said with a laugh.
“This is not the movies, Jake, this is real life,” Lucas said sternly.
“C’mon, it was a joke, geek squad. Why so serious?”
“Someone has to be, punny boy.”
“Alright, I deserved that. Proceed Einstein.”
Soon, it was becoming dark. Lucas began to conjure up the spectre which appeared before the secret agents. It stood before them as a see-through white mist.
“Welcome back. We have come to help you, Pete Wilson,” Lucas said.
“It is good to meet you, Pete. I am Jake Walker and this is my husband Jimmy Wolfe.”
“Guys can get married? Things sure have changed in a good way that is. Good to meet you both too.”
“Okay Pete, are you ready to get back to the moment in time when you were asked to cross over into the light?” Lucas says as he fired up the time machine.
“Yes, I sure am. It has been like a neverending nightmare for me. Thanks so very much.”
“Glad to help, Pete.”
Lucas set the date to when Pete was able to cross over, September 21, 1939. He aimed the time machine at the spectre of Pete. Pete raised his hand to wave goodbye as he disappeared into a brilliant flash of light.
After Pete had been sent back in time, Jimmy began to mess with the knobs on the time machine. He set a date into the time machine and stood in front of it to be transported.
“I need to take care of something from my past Jake. I have to find a way to save my friend Jody from the car accident which killed him. Please forgive me.”
“Wait, Jimmy, NO!” Jake and Lucas screamed in unison as Jimmy disappeared into a vortex of light.
“Jimmy had a dream last night about Jody. It looks like he thinks he can make things better by going into the past and saving his friend.”
“No, Jake, terrible things can happen if the timeline is messed with,” Lucas warned. “We must go back and try to stop him.”
“Okay, Lucas, I am ready if you are.”
“I don’t think either of us is ready but secret agents stick together. Let me put on my TimeX time machine watch so we can get back. Hold on tight Jakey boy, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!”
The time machine roared back to life and a brilliant light filled the cool, misty air.
"Tell me, doctor Where are we going this time? Is this the fifties? Or nineteen-ninety-nine?
All I wanted to do, was play my guitar and sing.
So take me away, I don’t mind. But you’d better promise me, I’ll be back in time!
I gotta get back in time.
Don’t bet your future on the roll of a dice. Better remember, lightning never strikes twice.
Please don’t drive in it don’t want to be late again
So take me away, I don’t mind. But you’d better promise me I’ll be back in time
Gotta get back in time! (repeat)
Get me back in time!
Gotta get back in time! (repeat 4x)
Get back in time!"
Back In Time – Huey Lewis and The News
Jimmy had arrived back in time just before his friend Jody's fatal accident. He yelled at Jody to not get in the car. Jody could not hear him. Jimmy even stood in front of the car to try and stop him but the car drove right through him as if he were a ghost. Jimmy figured that he was not allowed to help in any way and was now stuck in some sort of time limbo.
Jimmy could not bear to watch the accident and do nothing so he wandered off into the woods all alone. The woods always reminded him of the time he was attacked and bitten by a werewolf. That bite combined with the dna left over from a circus monkey bite when Jimmy was a young boy had turned him into a weremonkey. He felt like a freak sometimes but it did come in quite handy as a secret agent superpower.
Jimmy sat down on a large boulder and thought to himself, "How will I ever get back home. Oh, poor Jake. What have I done?"
Jimmy was starting to get an uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach. It was as if he was being watched. Jimmy's gut feeling was right on target. In fact, an old nemesis of the secret agents, the demon Krampus was lurking behind a pine tree. It had been tracking Jimmy since he entered time limbo.
Suddenly, just before Krampus was ready to strike Jimmy, Jake and Lucas appeared in a brilliant flash of light with the time machine. Krampus was blinded by the intense light. It growled and then ran off deep into the forest.
"Oh wow, was that our ugly, old pal Krampus?" Jake said. "Looks like we got here just in a nick of time."
"Jake!" Jimmy exclaimed as he jumped up and hugged Jake like there was no tomorrow.
"You know that I was gonna come find you. I will follow you to the end of the world, my love."
"I know but I would have never forgiven myself if you were hurt because of my actions. I hope you can forgive me."
"Of course I forgive you, Jimmy."
I really wish that I could have saved Jody but there was nothing that I could do. Something would not allow it."
Should've stayed, were there signs, I ignored?
Can I help you, not to hurt, anymore?
We saw brilliance, when the world, was asleep
There are things that we can have, but can't keep
If they say
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone's time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
We're quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do
The reminders pull the floor from your feet
In the kitchen, one more chair than you need oh
And you're angry, and you should be, it's not fair
Just 'cause you can't see it, doesn't mean it, isn't there
If they say
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone's time runs out?
One More Light by Linkin Park
Since Jimmy was still in time limbo, Jody was allowed to appear through the veil to comfort his friend.
"Jimmy, please do not feel bad. I felt no pain because my soul was pulled away just before the crash." Jody explained.
"Still, it's not fair you didn't get to live your life. You missed out on so much," replied Jimmy.
"I know it seems that way but the mission my soul signed on for was was complete. As souls we still get to see anything we wish on the Earthly plane. I even watched our Steelers beat the Cardinals 27-23 in that Super Bowl in 2009 after I passed. I even floated above the field over the stadium in Tampa, Florida to watch for a bit then I snapped my fingers and I was in your living room watching with you. Oh, your Mom says hi."
Jimmy's late Mom appeared from beyond the veil as well and said, "Jimmy, I have been watching over you and Jake. You take such good care of each other. I am so happy you got married. Even though I could not be there, I was with you in spirit on that wonderful day. I have to go but remember that I am always with you. I am so proud of you son and you too Jake. I love you both very much."
"I love you too, Mom. I love you, Jody."
Jimmy and Jake got teary eyed, smiled and waved goodbye as Jimmy's mom and Jody were engulfed in a beautiful white light. Lucas then called his fellow secret agents to gather close as he set the time machine for the trip back.
The trusty time machine returned Jimmy, Jake, and Lucas back to their own time. Amazingly, it was still Saturday night as if no time passed at all.
Well guys, it's been real but I better drive back home to Boston and quick. My dad expects me home and gets worried since he knows I am on a mission with his time machine."
"Okay, Lucas. Thank you so very much. Have a safe trip back."
"We really need to invent a teleport so I can avoid all the Saturday night traffic. Ha. Ha. Later!"
Jimmy and Jake waved to Lucas as he drove off. Needing sleep very badly, Jimmy and Jake drove back to their campsite for the night.
The next morning, Jake and Jimmy took down their tent and loaded their gear into the land rover for the trip back home. They stopped in Groton, Connecticut at Great Brook sports driving range. They got a quick snack then drove a bucket of golf balls. As Jake and Jimmy were heading back to the land rover to leave, they noticed a man writing in a notebook while sitting on a bench. They smiled because they enjoyed writing too. They got to talking with the man. He introduced himself as Mr. K. Writer. He gave Jake and Jimmy the website links to his stories along with those of his friends Phoenix and Flash. They said their goodbyes to each other then Jake and Jimmy walked to the parking lot where they saw a man who was wearing a Mr. Belvedere rules t-shirt and ripped blue jeans. He bumped his head on his car hatch door while loading his golf clubs. He smiled and said, "I'm okay. I'm okay." Jake and Jimmy giggled as they hopped into the land rover for the long drive back home.