The story Three Skeleton Key by George G. Toudouze is about 3 men who work in a lighthouse and the worst thing that they can imagine happening to them happens! Rat's are everywhere! And not just small rats, these rats were huge, wise creatures, born on the sea, and there is no escape from the lighthouse that they dominate. The Narrator, Itchoua, and Le Gleo all have to work through the pain and stay alive for as long as possible, but can they use their skills to save them in the end? Will they be rescued? Will their worst nightmare haunt them for the rest of their lives (and will that be for much longer)? Read my take on the second quarter of the book in my Three Skeleton Key storyboard to find out.
Thunder!... She's going to pile up! She's gone!
No, these were ships’ rats, huge, wise creatures... The rats of the sea are fierce, bold animals. And they are brave, these rats, and vengeful. If you so much as harm one, his sharp cry will bring hordes of his fellows to swarm over you, tear you, and not cease until your flesh has been stripped from the bones.
I can't bear the smell
Ah! Where did the sun go!
Hey! We need to seal the windows and doors and make sure those beasts don't get in!
"There was nothing we could do but watch...one of the most beautiful sights in the world—but this time I could feel the tears stinging in my eyes as I saw this fine ship headed for her doom." After the ship had crashed, we knew why the ship had been abandoned... the hordes of rats.
I really hope we can solve this rat situation
Well, that night, Three Skeleton Light was dark, and all the men were alive. At the risk of causing ships to crash on our reefs, we left it unlit, for we were worn out—going mad...and then...
As the rats started scurrying out of the boat, they saw me, Itchoua, and Le Gleo as fresh meat, as they probably hadn't eaten in days, maybe even weeks. With no hesitation, they piled on top of each other and formed a blanket over the lighthouse. The crew was trapped.
Their teeth grated as they pressed against the glass of the lantern room, where they could plainly see us, though they could not reach us. Their odor filled the tower, poisoned our lungs, and rasped our nostrils with a pestilential, nauseating smell. We had to make a plan to beat these rats.
Hee! Hee! The Three Skeletons! Hee! Hee! The Three Skeletons are now six skeletons! Six skeletons!
We first teased the rats but then we learned how serious our position was. It was hard to breath and the only way to let fresh air in, was to also let in the rats. The following couple of days were mini battles. I had noticed some of the wooden framework for the window was caving in, and I called my comrades to help me seal it with a sheet of tin.
“Well—the supply boat came thirteen days ago, and she won’t be back for twenty-nine.” ... “If that gives way”...“they can change the name of this place to Six Skeleton Key.”
At two in the morning, the sheet of metal sealing his window gave in. The three of us battled with the horde of maddened rats. They bit, we struck them down with our knives—and retreated up the stairs, fighting off the rats that leaped on us from the knee-deep swarm.
After debating a on the ninth day, we decided not to light the lantern that night... the light is something sacred, warning ships of danger in the night.
Our darkened light had been noticed from the mainland, and the patrol was there to investigate. Those on the ship decided that we had perished and were about to leave when Itchoua, regaining his senses, thought of using the light as a signal. He lit it and formed the dots and dashes, quickly sent out our story to those on the vessel. Our reply came quickly.