The Lamplighter – Lisa Carreiro Guest Post

Today I’m lending my blog to Rhonda Parrish and Lisa Carreiro to help spread the word about Saltwater Sorrows, Rhonda’s latest anthology release.

Saltwater Sorrows

Deep, mysterious, beautiful… dangerous…

Women and the sea have been tied together in myth and story from the beginning of time. Tales of women being drawn to the sea or being left on the shore, waiting for their men’s return, have been passed down through the ages.

But what mysteries lie beneath the sparkling placid waters? What power drives the wind and waves crashing against the shore? There is transformation and exaltation—magic—in the ocean and women alike. And both know that while the sea gives, the sea also takes.

Sink into the icy depths of the ocean with these stories by: E.E. King; Natalie Cannon; Morgan Melhuish; Paul A. Hamilton; Laura VanArendonk Baugh; Sarah Van Goethem; Adria Laycraft; Dino Parenti; B. Zelkovich; Lisa Carreiro; Lea Storry; Nikoline Kaiser; Elin Olausson; Chandra Fisher; Hayley Stone; V.F. LeSann; Catherine MacLeod; and Jennifer R. Donohue.


A dark box with the word "Lamplighter" on it, fog in the background.

“Even the boy who lit the lamps had gone to next street.”

The Lamplighter

I used to love that house. I used to wish I lived in that house. The old widow there, she’d smile at me when I whistled my way up the street. She was always tidy and proper, always wearing a nice grey dress, always talked in a quiet voice.

Well, something ain’t right at that house now. I don’t want to go near it. But if I skip lighting a lamp, I lose my job. This has been my job since when I used to help my father light these lamps. I went with him as he whistled down each street carrying his ladder and his pole — both now mine — back and forth across the streets along the same route, evening and morning. People say hello or maybe ask us to catch a moth for them if it flies near a flame. We always tip our hats or sometimes catch a moth, but we never stop working. Never. After my father caught the fever and died last year, it’s up to me. I’ve done this since I was a boy. I can manage on my own. I’m fifteen and strong.

I light all the lamps every evening and then put them out every morning. I keep streets safe.

I can’t keep houses safe.

Not that one. Not the old widow’s beautiful house up the road from the rocky beach. I climbed from my ladder just across the street from her house after checking a lamp. Once it was fixed and lit, I pulled down my ladder and hefted it over my shoulder to cross the street to light the lamp just past her house.

Then, no word of a lie, I saw fog roll up the street on that clear night. A ball of fog, I vow this. It rolled to the widow’s house and up her walkway. I thought at first, “Good thing I’m lighting the lamps cause the fog’s coming in so fast,” but in the pit of my stomach I felt — I knew — something was wrong.

That wasn’t fog.

I hurried to the end of the street after, but by the week’s end, I figured I’d imagined something.

Since that night though, I see wrong things at the widow’s house: I see unnatural figures in the windows, I hear the widow calling out the front door late at night, I see the fully lit kitchen in early summer mornings before the sun is up. I almost never see the widow herself anymore, but when she looks out her door or stares out her window, she is wrong looking: tired, untidy, and fretful.

Something’s wrong at the widow’s house. That house has ghosts. That house has many, many ghosts.

Stephanie again. And now I need to read this book ASAP! Because I’m a Patreon supporter of Rhonda’s I got my copy there, but you can also purchase it many ways:






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