Critique Archive 0002:
Thus sing I to cragg’d clifts and hills,
To sighing winds, to murmuring rills,
To wasteful woods, to empty groves,
Such things as my dear mind most loves.
(Sonnet XVIII, Henry More)
Liza swung around, searching for the source of the woman’s voice. It was familiar now, commanding her to do things at odd times. Seeing no one, she shivered and pulled the wool coat tighter around her slight frame, wondering if she had imagined it. Again. Turning to face the sea, she realized she was two steps from the edge of the cliff.
Ignoring the treacherous drop-off, Liza closed her eyes against the incoming storm as streaks of rain pelted her face. Waves crashed below, sending vibrations through her body. The seagulls had long since abandoned their screeching cries and found shelter among the jutted rocks.
Liza opened her eyes and stared at the furious foam against the dark rocks. “Who are you?” she yelled into the wind. No response came. Feeling a sudden dizziness, she stepped away from the edge, squinting through the sea spray. The menacing clouds descended, and the wind picked up its pace, as a force outside her body seemed to urge her forward.
“Now I’m talking to myself,” she muttered. Aunt Maeve had said the New England coast was not for the faint-hearted. And now Liza understood why. Not only was September the most active month for hurricanes, but apparently the ghost stories she’d heard had just proved themselves credible.
She hurried to the lighthouse, bent against the gathering wind. She’d told her aunt that she’d only wanted to see the incoming storm for a moment. By the time she reached the decayed building, she was panting, shivering, and thoroughly soaked.
The door swung wide, and the wind slammed it into the wall. Liza started at the sound, then looked to see Maeve at the base of the stairs, lantern in hand.
“’Bout time you came back.” Maeve glared at her niece. “I thought you had decided to take a swim.” The woman’s white-streaked auburn hair had come loose from its customary bun. It cascaded across her shoulders, looking almost pretty.