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16+ Mature Content

Bearers of the Light

by alpacaboss


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for mature content.

Important note: One of the story’s major themes revolve around suicide. Take it as a trigger warning to hop off this story and find another one if you need to. Not saying that I don’t want you to read it, but if the topic makes you feel severely uncomfortable or brings up traumatic experiences of any sort, I would advise you not to read it for your own good. Alright, now the disclaimer is done, on to the story!

Other trigger warnings: Minor verbal abuse

There was a town who was infamous for a certain cliff. They called it “The Gulf of Death”. It overlooked the wild waves crashing against the rocky shore. Life thrived on the cliff’s head with lush grass and bees occasionally kissing its flowers. It was a stark contrast to what the gulf was known for. Every now and then, a lone figure stands on the gulf and stares at the horizon, usually a glorious sunset. Some would stand straight and tall, others would fall to their knees and weep. But the ending was mostly the same. They stood at the edge and took a breath.

Then leaped to their deaths.

All of them died. They were either pierced by the jagged rocks below or trampled by the crashing violent waves of the sea. This did not do well for the town. People came to associate it as a place of sorrow, bad luck, and loss. That all changed when the Lighthouse was built near the gulf. A family named the Farias moved to the town and took charge of the lighthouse, making sure the ships that crossed came safely to the nearby port. But they also assumed another role. Whenever someone looked over the dismaying height of the cliff, one of the Farias would come and talk them out of it. Most of the time, it was always a success. If they weren’t able to persuade the person, they would try to drag them away from danger’s harm where they can regain their sense of reality. Even if that didn’t mean everyone was saved, it decreased the number of deaths associated with the gulf. People came to know who these saviors were and praised them for their compassion and sympathy.

From then on, the people looked up to the Farias as the guardians of the sea and the Gulf of Death.

Claire Faria wanted to punch someone. But if she did that, she could already hear her mother’s scolding in her head.

“That is not how a lady, much less a Faria, should act!”

The “punchable” person in particular was none other than Jasper Hyde, the very embodiment of evil. At least in their school. He was the school bully, picking on others no matter their batch. Whether it was through verbal insults, physical fights, or framing students for his mistakes, he was notorious for being a troublemaker. It was a wonder why he didn’t get expelled yet, but it was possibly because his parents had a ton of influence on the town.

Everyone hated him and the people who followed him did it out of fear. The teachers called him “He who shall not be named” because of all the atrocities he has done. Other people would call him “Junky Jasper” because of how much they hated him. For some reason, Jasper chose to pick on her today. Thankfully, he was throwing insults at her and not physically fighting her. He better not.

“Claire has a big head! Too big, she's caught up in her own world!” he called out. Claire intentionally walked faster. She needed to get out before she found her fists in his face. Then, the worst thing happened. He ran in front of her and blocked her.

“Who do you think you are? Not responding to me?” he seethed, tiptoeing and making himself appear larger than he was. Claire instinctively stepped back in silence. Unfortunately, it only encouraged Jasper to taunt her more.

“Big head!” he yelled in her face. “You think your good grades will get you that far, huh? You think your family name will protect you? You idiot! Worthless little piece of sh-”

“That’s enough, Jasper!”

It was satisfying seeing his pudgy face turn pale. Claire almost smiled. Someone called a teacher and now this bully was in big trouble with the principal. The problem was that she had to be sent to the guidance office to make sure she was “okay”.

“Are you sure you’re okay? He’s bullying you more frequently.”

Claire scoffed as she dried a plate. “Mom, that guy is nothing but a bully. He’ll be expelled in no time with the number of people he is picking on.” Her voice undeniably had a hint of glee.

Her mom was unexpectedly silent, as if she was ruminating about something. Claire uncomfortably continued drying the plates. Did she say something wrong? After all the dishes were clean, her mom finally spoke.

“Sometimes, the most horrible people are the most hurt beings.”

She fixed a stray brunette strand from Claire's hair, then left her in silence.

—-

Two weeks later…

Claire hasn’t heard a word from Jasper. He ignored her now, while still continuing his daily taunts at others. However, she noticed something strange. His insults were less loud and hurtful. Actually, he didn’t speak at all yesterday. Was he actually going to change? Claire wasn’t even sure at this point.

A loud burst through the door interrupted Claire’s thoughts. Her parents walked in with a disheveled man with telltale scars around his wrists. It was the third time today Claire’s parents rushed to prevent someone from jumping over the gulf. They just stepped into April, known to have the most suicide attempts. According to her dad, the number of attempts this month reaches up to twice of the Christmas suicide rate. And December was already bad enough.

“We can’t leave the gulf out of our sight,” her dad whispered to her when the man they brought in was out of sight. “Keep watch, Claire. Your mom and I need to talk with this man. His situation is too great to ignore.”

Claire protested. “What if someone else comes up? I never saved someone on my own.”

“Remember what I taught you,” he said with wise gray eyes boring into her own. “You can do it. I know you can.”

With a slight pout, Claire grudgingly stared outside the window while her father placed a quick peck on her head. She could hear his footsteps fade and the waves roar louder. The sun shone annoyingly on the cliff as it was some hallowed site. What an irony. She enjoyed the scenery though, secretly hoping no one went near the cliff. After a while, she was about to get a glass of water when the worst thing happened. Someone was approaching the cliff.

Panic set in as her legs went as fast as they could. Halfway there, her lungs were gasping for air. Clearly, she was not in shape. Fortunately, the lighthouse wasn’t that far from the cliff, so she eventually arrived at the gulf. To her surprise, it was the person she least expected.

The last person she wanted to speak to.

“Jasper?”

He turned to her with contempt in his eyes. But there was something more that she couldn’t explain. A certain sadness and perhaps a tinge of regret.

“Go away, Big Head,” he said, but Claire felt it was half-meant.

“What are you doing here?”

With a sigh, he looked at the scenery. For a moment, he looked so vulnerable as if he was going to break into pieces any second. He seemed like a totally different person. Yet it was temporary and he put up his shield again.

“I’m seeking freedom.” He looked down with a sad smile at the wild waves crashing at the rocky shore.

Claire shook her head, understanding what he meant. “No, not like this.”

“It’s the only way I can be free of all this pain.”

“What pain?”

Jasper scoffed, but not at Claire.

“The pain of not being good enough. The pain of not getting love or attention from my father. The pain of thinking I’m just some trophy my father wants to display somewhere. The pain of knowing that it is true, because my father wants me dead.”

After a brief moment of silence, Claire said, “Death is not the solution to temporal pain. You only die once. But you’ve got years ahead of you. We’re both seventeen, Jasper, for goodness sake. Our lives are ahead of us! The pain you feel is only a short part of the long life you could live.”

“You don’t know the pain I have been through!” Jasper shouted. “I’ve been spat upon, compared to, and hurt all because I’m not the son my father wants me to be. It would be better if I was dead! You have it all. An amazing family, great friends, a good life…” His voice trailed off.

“If only my mom were still here,” he said near tears, “I would have someone to root for me. But no. No one is there. No one would support me, because they think I’m just some monster who intentionally hurts others. My brother just went to a prestigious college a few weeks ago and my dad is threatening to disown me if I don’t do better than him. So why live?”

For a short moment, Claire was silent. She didn’t know what to say and Jasper was getting precariously closer to the edge. The summer wind blew harshly on their faces. Racking her brain for ideas, an unlikely thought surfaced. She realized she only had one last resort, sharing a story only her family knew.

“Do you know what’s the reason we came here to this town?”

She clearly had Jasper’s attention. “What?” he said.

“I had a brother,” Claire started. “He was…the best. I looked up to him. I respected him. I loved him. He was kind and caring to everyone. Everyone loved him in return. He was in college and had a bright future ahead of him. But destiny was not kind.”

Tears tickled her eyes as she sniffed. “One day, my dad and he were driving to his university. They got into a car accident. Only my dad got out alive. He felt responsible and his world slowly started to crumble. He became one of the worst people you would ever meet. People called him horrible things. It came to a point he went to this very cliff and nearly jumped.”

Jasper clenched his jaw. Claire took it as a sign he was listening and continued.

“Just when he was about to jump, someone stopped him. A dying pastor. You know, the one that died a year ago.” Jasper nodded somberly.

“He was walking around when he saw my dad. That’s when my dad, and eventually me and my mom, came to know Christ. My dad wanted to share the Light he discovered that day. As a maritime professional, he decided to keep a lighthouse here in this town. This gulf became a conduit of his love and passion to keep others from making the same mistake.”

Claire stared squarely at him. “Your life is too precious to lose. No matter how worthless you think you are. Because no one is unimportant. Each life is priceless. Even if everything is downright bad, we must focus on the only thing we can change, our attitude towards it. I know deep down inside you. A small voice crying to stay alive. Listen to it.” She held his shoulder as a desperate plea. “Please, Jasper.”

He looked at her with sorrowful eyes, devoid of hope. “But no one’s here for me. Not my parents, my brother, or even my so-called friends. At least your father has a purpose. As young as I am, I don’t.”

“Then let me be here for you,” Claire pleaded in desperation. “You still have a life ahead of…”

“Why do you want to save me?” Jasper questioned. “After all I’ve done to you? Do you want to save me because of your family’s name? So you can be praised?”

“Because your life is precious,” she said. “And I believe there are tons of people who want you to live, including me.”

His glare softened as he turned his head to the horizon. With a smile she never saw before, he said, “Thank you, Claire.” He hugged her and it was the strangest feeling. It seemed as if she finally saved him, but something was off.

“I’m sorry.”

He forcefully pushed her away from their embrace, falling down the cliff. She couldn’t reach him in time. Claire’s cries overshadowed the sickening thud his body made with the cruel jagged rocks.

Jasper

was

dead.

—-

“We have to move out.”

Claire was an emotional wreck the past few days. Aside from seeing someone die in front of her own eyes and not being able to save him, Jasper’s father blamed the family for not saving his son. He threatened to do all sorts of horrible things to them. They had to leave the town, much to their dismay…and the townspeople’s. And it all seemed like it was her fault.

It was too much.

“Claire? Are you listening?”

Her father’s benevolent voice snapped her back to reality, breaking through her muddled thoughts. With teary eyes, she looked upon her father who wasn’t mad nor kind. He was deeply concerned.

“I know how hard this is for you, Claire. But you can’t save everyone.”

“Dad, it’s my fault we are getting kicked out.”

Her mother, who listened to the conversation, embraced her tightly. “Jasper’s father is simply trying to blame someone for his son’s death. But you’ve done all you could.”

“I could have…”

“Enough, Claire,” her father said firmly. “What’s done is done. And it is clearly not your fault. We need to move on. Perhaps that’s what’s best for our family right now.”

“Our reputation is ruined, Dad,” Claire mourned. “I’m no Faria. I can’t even save someone.”

Claire’s father relaxed his face and knelt down to his daughter. He looked her straight in the eye and said, “Our reputation is not ruined and Jasper’s death is not your fault. He pushed away all kinds of help. Don’t let a single tragedy define you or affect your future. We may not always be the guardians of the sea and the Gulf of Death. But, no matter where we go, the Farias will continue to be bearers of the Light. Both literally and figuratively.”

Tears stopped flowing Claire’s cheeks. Her dad was right. They may never see the beautiful lighthouse, nor the dreaded gulf again. She may never even get to see people from her town. She may take time to recover from Jasper’s suicide. But one thing was for sure. The Farias have pledged to be bearers of the Light. No matter the cost, no matter the mountain or valley ahead of them, they will always continue to shine and share the Light.

“Okay, Dad,” Claire said as she heaved a deep breath. “Where would you like me to start packing up?”

Smiling proudly at her, he said, “You can start with your bedroom. We’ll take care of the rest.”

With a nod, she headed up the stairs. From the window of her bedroom, Claire looked at the gulf and whispered a silent prayer.

May no poor soul fall over again.


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Sun Jun 11, 2023 5:25 pm
AkuRashomon says...



nice book cover too c:




alpacaboss says...


hehe thank you :D



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240 Reviews

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Sun Jun 11, 2023 5:24 pm
AkuRashomon wrote a review...



Hey there! This is Ina aka loveissourgrapes and I finally gave time to read this wonderful story with a message with a great impact. The title is very fitting for it. It may seem long but I think the length was worth reading for. It would be nice if this had more chapters or something to know more about how the story goes. But you do you and it is still good. Your disclaimer is good because I know there are a lot of young readers that will not handle the plot of this story.

Also, I am sorry if there will be a lot of errors because I am writing this review on my phone because someone was using the PC.

The first paragraph told your readers that there was a cliff where a lot of people have thrown their bodies off. I don't know it reminds me of those places in Japan where people hang themselves on like trees. Or the Han River in Korea where people kill themselves often. The descriptions and the writing style are very nice for an introduction. It seems poetic in a way, especially the lines, "Life thrived on the cliff's head with lush grass and bees occasionally kissing its flowers." Good job on that one. It is good that this introduction would want to make people read more about it because the topic is interesting. They may be intimidated by the length but the topic is nice.

In the second part, I do love how you have perfectly described your main character, Clarie Faira. Saying that she was being bullied by Jasper Hyde. Very pretty names by the way. I don't know if it's just me but I kinda ship these two. Enemies to lovers?? So, he bullies her in school and then gets sent to the principal's office. The next day, he doesn't mind Claire but her parents arrived at her school. They tell her about how the suicide rating of the place they live around. This, I believe, a seventeen-year-old girl trying to make her family's reputation of saving lives perfect or something like that.

She becomes an emotional wreck, right after her friend/boyfriend (aka Jasper hihi) because she wanted to save his life. But before that, they talked about a pastor who died at that cliff too. He believed in Christ and taught about Him but the pastor ended his life there. It is good at her father has reassured her that the death of Jasper is not her fault. It is the Faria family's duty to be the bearers of the Light. This family's purpose is to share the Light so that the Light saves these people's lives.

Overall, this beautiful story gave a good message. Writing-wise, the message was clear. The descriptions and how your characters were introduced were nice. Keep it up! Have a good morning, afternoon, noon, or evening too!




alpacaboss says...


Thanks for your review! It means a lot :> I'm glad you find it worth the read despite its length.

Oh and the pastor didn't die because of suicide. He saved Claire's dad from jumping off the cliff. I put "dying" pastor there since only had few years to live, implying he may have been sick already.

I personally put that detail to show that even if we are in an unhealthy state, we can continue to bearers of the Light :D

That's all. Thanks for reading it and reviewing :)



AkuRashomon says...


Oh, I see. The pastor is the one that saved her dad from jumping off the cliff. And you're welcome and I am sorry for commenting on someone else's review. It's embarrassing.



alpacaboss says...


No no it's okay and totally fine hehe :D



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Sat Jun 10, 2023 12:21 am
SkyVibes wrote a review...



Hi! Mercedes Blue here to read and review!

First, before I start I want to thank you for adding a disclaimer to what is in the story. The age tags are there for warning other readers but I think adding a disclaimer or what exactly (without spoiling anything) is a very good decision, so thank you for putting that there :)

I love how in the first paragraph there is such a description of the Gulf of Death. It isn't a long description but it's enough to get you a good idea about this place which is exactly what we want.(Also I love how you wrote "Life thrived on the cliff’s head with lush grass and bees occasionally kissing its flowers." )

"Then leaped to their deaths." This right here adds so much of a writing flavor to this story already. It's a bold in your face sentence that not only stands alone but impacts the readers thought process.

Btw I'm writing this as I read so here's my thought process of this story AS I am reading ;)

I love this family the Farias. They seem already incredibly important to this story. I like how they wanted to change the bad name this place had and also very much wanted to help the people so much that besides looking out for oncoming ships, they were looking at the people. The ones who desperately needed help and someone to talk to before they quit on life.

Claire Faria seems like a person who is nice but it just tired of being scolded for little things that seem to have no worth of being punished or scolded for. She's kinda like a "victim" in the story.

Jasper Hyde seems like an interesting character who really stirs the pot. By reading what he does I'm thinking his personal life isn't so great so as a way to vent he is reenacting what he gets at home. And maybe he's also tired of being a top name in the town and this is his way to rebel. But now I'm also thinking that maybe he and Claire will have a love interest (??) It's a long shot but maybe.

I like how you give a good idea of Jasper's bullying by writing about what happens by what happens to Claire. I like how she stands her ground but also knows not to push it by throwing fists and calling back names. I'm imagining her to be smaller or maybe the same size as Jasper but she's definitely more mature than him.

Ooh a talk with the mother. I'm glad she's still not on Claire's mistake she had made earlier. Maybe I'm right about Jasper about him being hurt! Okay, that sounded wrong but I think you know what I'm getting at here.

I'm thinking maybe Jasper's parents gave him the last straw warning. But by reading this I'm also learning that even in this place Christmas suicide is very prominent. It's so sad that during the seasons where we celebrate others just can't take the loss of members who aren't there anymore...

I like how Claire is old enough which means maybe she is 12-19. I also like how she has a small lack of confidence but isn't afraid to see how people are. It wasn't surprising to her about the suicidal man's thoughts.
I like how you mentioned the father's eyes being grey which to me means he's probably on the older side.

Also before I go further I also want to mention your character description. I really like how you don't lay it all out there but slowly drop little bits here and there to still keep the descriptions alive.

Anyway, back to reading lol

I WAS RIGHT! Poor Jasper!
Please don't die!
OH MY GOSH I WAS RIGHT TWICE! They are within 12-19!!

Quick criticism thought. So when this was first being read I was thinking it was probably spring and then when the suicidal man was brought up and Claire was next on watch I was thinking it was not winter but now it's summer. I'm just wondering if maybe I missed something seasonal-wise because I got kinda lost here lol.

Oh my gosh. I LOVE the story to Claire's family. It fits in so well to this story and their family name. It makes me so sad too. Like I immediately went from hopeful for Jasper to a shocking sympathy for Claire's family and still hoping that maybe Jasper will turn around.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. JASPER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And now they are being kicked out of town! No!

I like how they are Christians. And how it's such a lovely prayer from Claire for how this ends. It's beautiful.

Overall I had a river of emotions while reading this. Curiosity, a shared frustration with Claire, a sadness when it came to Jasper, a hope that Jasper wouldn't die, a shared sadness and shock with Claire when he died, and a sadness when they were leaving but now a beautiful happiness that Claire prayed that no one else would die.

This is so beautifully written! You're obviously spent a long time writing this and put so much effort into it. This is probably one of my favorite stories here on YWS. Thank you so much for sharing your book for others to read! I for one really LOVED it!

Have a wonderful day\night!
-Mercedes Blue




alpacaboss says...


Thank you so much for your review, kind comments, and constructive criticisms! This really helps a lot. Yes, I actually did spent a bit (a lot) more time on this compared to my other works. I am so touched to know that this story spoke to you hehe

P.S. I actually did not want to kill Jasper at first, but I think that plot twist drove the point home. It showed how even the most despicable person can have hope of living a better life and that suicide is never the answer even though it looks like the most tempting decision.

Thank you once again for your review! I truly appreciate it %u263A%uFE0F



alpacaboss says...


:D



AkuRashomon says...


You're welcome! It would be fun though if it had a separate part and explain more how the sotry revolves around Clarie with further explanation of Jasper's death too hehe.



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Fri Jun 09, 2023 11:27 pm
foxmaster wrote a review...



Hey, this is Foxmaster here!!!
I have to say that this story was pretty sad. People dying because they jumped off a cliff. I have to say that the other side of Jasper was pretty unexpected. I didn't think he'd have so much pressure on him, though, because I thought that he'd just be a jerk naturally. He wouldn't have a reason for killing himself. Although, to be honest, if he weren't such a terrible person, he WOULDN'T BE THAT WAY! Come on Jasper, think here a bit.
From the beginning when we heard about how Claire wanted to punch the bully, and the backstory about the cliffs of death, I thought, "Looks like someone's gonna jump off of those." Great Foreshadowing here. This story was short but sweet. I thought it was sad and interesting.
-Foxmaster!!! :)




alpacaboss says...


Thank you so much for your review! Glad you enjoyed the story even if it is a tad longer than the works I write :)



foxmaster says...


yup!




Pigeon poop is the best way to solve problems.
— Pompadour