Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters

Free Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters by James Swallow, David Annandale, James Lovegrove, Larry Correia, Peter Clines, C.L Werner, Timothy W. Long, J.C. Koch, Natania Barron

Book: Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters by James Swallow, David Annandale, James Lovegrove, Larry Correia, Peter Clines, C.L Werner, Timothy W. Long, J.C. Koch, Natania Barron Read Free Book Online
Authors: James Swallow, David Annandale, James Lovegrove, Larry Correia, Peter Clines, C.L Werner, Timothy W. Long, J.C. Koch, Natania Barron
the white lighthouse was visible overhead. Their path, keeping so close to the shore as it did, kept the rest of the island hidden from Shinobi’s view, even as the fog began to lift. What little he could see was dark brown and black rock, most of it volcanic, and fitting with his initial assumptions about the geology of the island. Shinobi was not fond of math at school, but when Earth sciences came into things, he paid strict attention.
    With the base of the lighthouse just thirty feet overhead now, their path narrowed, and they needed to rely on the artificial railings made of thick heavy chains. They had been bolted into the side of the rock and painted in so many layers of heavy black paint, that even when Shinobi could see the outer layers had chipped, all he could see in the remaining holes on the links were more and more layers underneath.
    Shinobi watched where his father stepped, and how the man moved his hands along the chains, as if they were the railing on the freighter— one hand for the ship —and he did the same. They were nearly to the top of the path, which would bring them right to the door of the lighthouse, when his father spoke.
    “When did you plan on telling me? Or did you think you should keep it to yourself forever?”
    The man didn’t pause in his ascent, nor did he look back at his son.
    Shinobi knew what his father was talking about, of course. There was just the one thing he had kept from his father in his whole thirteen years.
    His father was talking about the monsters .
    Shinobi could see them, and no one else could.
    He stayed quiet, thinking how best to answer the question, as his father made it to the top of the climb and lowered his pack to the ground, just outside the door to the lighthouse. Finally, as Shinobi neared his father and the pack, he spoke, while removing his own heavy pack.
    “Have I done something wrong, Father?” Shinobi hung his head as he spoke.
    His father reached down and tenderly lifted Shinobi’s chin, so he was looking his father in the eyes. “You have done nothing wrong, Shino .”
    “How could you have known?” the boy asked, his eyes beginning to water.
    His father quickly turned, allowing him to save face, as a tear sprang from the corner of his young eye and ran down his round cheek. The man worked a large brass key into the lock on the lighthouse door, and entered. Shinobi followed.
    “The haunted look in your eyes, son. I had the same look, when I first saw the creatures.”
    That his father knew about the monsters was a surprise to Shinobi. That his father had seen them, as well, filled the boy with a relief he hadn’t known he needed. He followed his father up the twisting iron staircase. The lighthouse was close to a hundred feet in height—Shinobi could tell by counting the stairs as they ascended in silence. He wanted to ask his father more, but he knew the man would tell him when he was ready. Probably at the top of the tower, since speaking while ascending the steep steps would require an excess of oxygen, and Jiro Yashida was a practical man of economy. Shinobi hoped to be as sensible when he was an adult.
    As his father came close to the lantern section of the tower, a good twenty steps ahead of Shinobi on the cast iron stairs, he began speaking again, but softly. “Every first-born child between the ages of thirteen and eighteen has the sight, Shino . But only first-borns. Your brother, Naro, will never be able to see the beasts, as you do. Unless you were to die, before he grows to adulthood. Most teens lose their vision as adulthood approaches, but in our family, we are unusual. We retain the sight as adults. I still see the creatures today, son.”
    The man stepped up off the stairs and into the service room of the lantern. Then he ascended a straight ladder to the optic section of the tower. Shinobi hurried after him, as the man stepped off the ladder and opened the door from the optic room to the gallery around the tower’s top.

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