Dedicated to Sólyom (Falcon)
What am I doing behind words? Maybe not even I know. Something accumulated in me and this is the only way it can reach the surface. I’m not a writer, I’m not looking for the best expressions. It doesn’t matter to me if I’m an all knowing narrator or one who talks in first person. I decide who I want to be; important is what the narrator can tell us. How? That’s his business. He wants to write about events that pressure him than let him write if he has something to write about. 1 o’clock and 41 minutes after midnight and this is the time when the best thoughts come to life, no one bothers him maybe he doesn’t bother himself either. Well start your story already don’t let us wait so long!
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…They took the mold, then the small thread of wire, afterwards they poured the wax. It covered the strand, but still a small end of it remained uncovered so he could sniff the air outside. It cooled. It was ready. A new candle – said the workers throwing him amongst the others. A long road still lay ahead of our tiny candle. From here he got into a dark something that made strange noises, it huffed and puffed an eventually started moving. The candle had still a lot to learn. He wondered …hmm. Maybe I’ll know what this is called. He looked around and felt that he was surrounded by similar tiny candles. They didn’t even say a word, but how could they since they’re just candles.
A sudden and long break and the vehicle stopped. Our small hero was taken in a box and in short time found itself in the shop window. He looked here, he looked there. Strange – he thought. What is actually my role? He felt that something was not right, because he was thinking. But wait a minute. Candles don’t think, or do they? Something was peculiar about this one, since he wasn’t your common lighting utensil. Let’s just see what will happen to him, because he seems more interesting than the others.
Bystanders (he found out their names), tall and short, came staring at him; here and there an overweight lady dragged along his child who wasn’t really interested in shopping. Tall, old gentlemen with moustaches, gentle and delicate ladies, freckle faced lads. Everyone bought something but the candle still stood there quietly. An ugly old “battle ax” came. I wonder who this is. – he was asking himself. She’s not a nice creature. I wouldn’t like to live with her. He didn’t even say the words properly when the frightening old bag grabbed him with her long and skinny fingers and shoved the small product into her pocket. Two pennies. This is how much he cost.
He set quietly in the tight, dark pocket, didn’t even dare to move. Who knows what would’ve she done to him. A screeching door and the sound that it closed. Not long after he could see a small beam of light filtered by a gray window. Wouu, I only now realize that I’m already outside. What is my duty again? He looked around and saw another candle. It was taller than him, majestic and with a red flame lit up the entire room. He was astonished….So this is my task; but he is just a small candle, he will never be able to light up the room like that. But wait, how do you light?
Something was strange, but what was so special in him? He was just a small piece of wax with a string inside. Oops! Look! The string burst into flame. How did you do this you tiny candle? I don’t know – he replied. My string suddenly started burning.
And boy did it flame, he lit up the small chamber, dwarfing the other one’s fading light. The witch came back. …Just look how the small shameless candle is lighting my home. Come here you!
So she took him, liked her fingers and wanted to extinguish his flame, but the candle burned her dry old claws and started burning more brightly than ever. Okay you rascal. Just leave it to me. You’ll see. She took him from one chamber to the other but wherever they went he lit up the rooms and however much she struggled he would flame brighter than before. She just looked at him and had a sudden flash. I know. I’ll just put you under water. And that’s what she did…Our small candle couldn’t fight it and his flame quietly fainted away. The old hag threw him in a box where dozens of candles laid silently. Just like him, small pieces of wax with a black string. He smiled at them. These are still young – he said to himself- probably they just arrived from the factory. He looked at them. They all seamed the same. I wonder if they can light. Hmm… maybe. But wait for a second. I still can! Let’s see candle, can you? Just look at him. He burst into flame and how easily did the flame jump on the end of his string. See. I’m going to teach you this. We don’t need matches. The others stared at him amazed. Where does his light come from? Com’on, I’ll teach you. Follow me! I’ll show you another world.
A thin piece of wire was hanging near the box. You could descend on this candle. I know – he said – I was just thinking about it. And slowly they got down. They moved on, a long journey awaited them until they could get out of the house. Silently, on the tips of their toes so the witch wouldn’t here them, they crawled under the carpet, jumped over the huge crevasses in the floor. They set down, rested and he even taught them a few songs. Tiny wondering candle songs that he heard in the shop window, but somehow felt that the songs belonged to him. They continued their journey towards the giant doorstep. It was a huge challenge. Not only was it high, but slippery too. With great effort the small Flamer climbed up first and helped the one behind him. And this is how it went on. Some of them got up easier, for some of them it took more time and effort. If someone didn’t help the other, he told them that helping the other is the first step for the fire to burn in us.
A long road lay ahead of them. Danger was lurking in every corner of the house. He just grabbed them before the huge feet of the witch squashed them. Thanks God she didn’t see them. The other candles in the box just looked at them. They envied them. Why did he choose those candles, why those two dozens and not us? He saw something in them that was worth putting your faith into.
They crawled under the chair, passed the sink. The water was watching there every step but they safely succeeded to get around it. They were just starting to realize what a flame needed. Not a matchstick but something deeper. Here and there a small spark started to show. Oh, com’on. Maybe, maybe. We only have a little bit left and will reach the door and you’ll burst into flames.
They hurried, ran towards the door not looking out for each other. Just reach the door as soon as possible. Just him, the others can come afterwards. The small Flamer watched in horror. HE was frightened, he got scared. What happened to them? I don’t recognize them, or were they like this all along?
A rattle and the witch was already there. What’s going on here? You think that you can just leave like that? Turn back immediately! They stopped in front of the door. Our small candle felt the strength again and said. Let’s show her. Let me see how we blind the witch! Burst into flame! But nothing happened. He was standing there by himself, the others just looking at him but the light was nowhere to be found. Even that small sparkle was fading away. Come on! You can do it. But they lost their faith or were hurrying too much towards the door? The small Flamer looked in front of him with a broken heart. Why did you bight into stone with milk-teeth? He felt a bitter taste. It’s not possible. Everything, the doorstep, the adventures near the tap, the songs, helping each other. All in vane? Where is your flame? Light up! Nothing.
He pulled himself together again but not with the same enthusiasm. He looked at the witch and blinded her for a moment then opened the door. He looked around. A deep silence and white light formed a vale around him. He felt that something was disturbing his side. Wings started growing with soft feathers, strong muscles pointing to the sky. He couldn’t believe his eyes, jumped and in a second was flying towards the Unknown. Faster than the wind he was leaving everything behind him. He felt something heavy and reached to his pocket. Two stones. A black and a white one. HE looked at them carefully and threw the black one in the deep and looking at the white one hope came back to him once again….
Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca) The summer of 2005