Beacons and Warnings
Canada had an easy time of it. An economic program had kept the majority of their lighthouses staffed. Over twenty-seven lighthouses were operated by full-time, live-on-site keepers just on the west coast. As soon as the pattern was established, they were all contacted via radio or e-mail, and told to shut off their lights.
Other developed nations had a bit more trouble. The bulk of lighthouses in the US and UK were automated, and centuries of engineering had gone into making them really difficult to take offline. Structurally, lots of solid stone, lead mortar, hydraulic concrete, designed to set underwater, massive pile-screws designed to take hold and stabilize even in silt or sand. Sturdy, towering things. Having been switched over the years from fires, to oil lamps, to gas, and finally to electric lights, the benefits of progress had become a huge disadvantage. There was no longer fuel to just run out. Backup power supplies, independent of the main grid to prevent accident or tampering, kept the towers shining at night.
They were beacons, drawing what was in the water up and on to the shores.
Many of the lighthouses were in remote areas, with no real habitation around. Some small towns going offline weren’t a huge concern. A dropped phone cable, a severed power line, any of these could explain a day of silence.
Now we keep the lights off at night. They’re like moths. Wet moths, drawn to the light. The paste and salt are smeared all over the walls if someone leaves a light on. The bones lie on the ground.
Most of us have moved inland.