I do my writing in Notepad and therefore when you see _this_, it means that word(s) is italicized.
"I wouldn't head up there, were I you," the father said. He knew it was pointless. Anybody who came this close to the lighthouse wasn't going to turn back, anyways. The lighthouse. Anybody passing by considered it completely mundane. Just your standard-issue New England abandoned lighthouse. Totally unremarkable to anyone who didn't know better. Of course, those who _did_ know better would have left well enough alone, anyways. The father thoroughly enjoyed that bit of irony. "Thanks for the advice, stranger." Then the man continued on his way, probably having already forgotten everything about the father. The father watched as the man walked up the forlorn path to the lighthouse. _I've done my part, the forms are upheld,_ the father thought. He turned back down the road, to his own little house, where the family lived.
127 years. 7 months. 2 days. Everyone in the family knew exactly how long they had been fulfilling their obligation. The Binder had come shortly after their house had been built. Placing the family in bondage. "You and yours, you'll watch this road. The seasons will change, and time will pass. You will not. Now, you have only one task: warn the curious and the heroes." "Warn them...of what?" The man grinned. "Of the lighthouse."
So the family warned them. They watched the road. Their bondage was complete. As long as the lighthouse stood, they could not leave. Each of them knew the limits of their prison subconsciously, the way you know how fast you can run, or how often you need to take a breath.
"For how long?" the father asked the Binder. "You'll know. You already know, in fact." And the father turned around, looked at his family, at the fear in their eyes. They all knew. Until the lighthouse fell, they would not change.
It was night, the land covered in thick, picturesque fog. The father knew somebody was coming up the dirt road leading to the lighthouse. Like an itch in one of those awkward places you can never _quite_ reach. He got out of bed, his wife not stirring. She knew. He got dressed and grabbed his lantern.
When the father went outside, the stranger was walking up the path to the house. He wore a backpack, thick peacoat, jeans and leather boots. Black hair. The stranger looked up and smiled when he saw the father. "Hello there. You wouldn't happen to have a spare bed, would you?"
The stranger's name was Jack. They were seated around the house's small table, eating breakfast. Oats, fruit, and water. "I guess I'm what you would call a drifter. Don't much care for jobs; so I walk. Felt like walking up this road. That's pretty much all there is." The father didn't much care. He knew this man was the same as the rest. "Wouldn't go up to the lighthouse, if I were you." "Uh....what lighthouse?" The family stopped eating and looked at him. "The lighthouse on the hill. That's why you're here, isn't it?" "Nope. Like I said, just felt like walking this way." The family looked at each other. None of them knew what to say. Jack shifted his feet under the table. "Did I say something wrong?" Nobody said anything. "Right then. Well, what's so interesting about this old lighthouse, then?" "Nothing," said the father. "Absolutely nothing."
The father didn't bother shaving before he went out to work. That was part of the deal. Nothing changed. Jack started to walk out of the house with the father. "So, I figure I'll give you a hand out there in the field today. Least I can do, right?" "....right. Let's get at it, then." They worked, plowing the family's meager field, preparing the land for the food they didn't need. The family didn't need the food they grew, but they needed something to occupy their lives. So their sweat ran, and at the end of the day, Jack and the father knew the kind of fatigue that comes with making things grow.
The next morning Jack set out of the house. "Might as well take a look at the lighthouse before I go. I came all the way up here, didn't I?" Jack smiled. "I wouldn't," the father said. "I'll just go up and have a look around. It can't hurt, right?" The father nodded. "Do as you will." The father turned back to his family, already forgetting the stranger.
Noon came. Jack was walking back down the road from the lighthouse. The father met him at the path to his house. "See? Told you it couldn't hurt." "wha....what did you do?" "Just like I said. Went up, had a look around, came back down. Wasn't much to look at, really." The father was agape. This had never happened before. Nobody came back from the lighthouse. "Right then. Guess I'll be on my way." The father watched Jack leave. He reached up and scratched his cheek. It felt a little bristly.