Most people serve a god they love. But not Joseph. What sleeps within must never leave.
All days held the same routine. Sweep. Stack wood in the sacred fire required to burn eternal. Read from the incantations in otherspeak at dusk lest it wake. Sweep. Check the doors to the spirit prison are still bound in ship chains, and barred by grub-eaten railway sleepers. Sweep.
If there was a life lonelier than a lighthouse keeper, this was it. He swept the temple walkway clear of snow in the low first light. More would always fall again, and so again would he sweep. That was the lesson.
But this morning footsteps streaked across the fresh snow. He looked closer and saw that they did not walk towards the temple, but away. With fingers numb from cold, he lifted a heavy fragment of shattered mooring chain.