He sat down at the table with a single candle at its center, casting a dim glow in the darkened room. The light danced and flickered as the candle spoke.
”I love you, you know. I always have.” She told him, in a voice not unlike multiple women speaking in unison.
”I know. And I’ve always loved you. I loved you yesterday, and I love you now, and I won’t stop. Not tomorrow, not ever.” He said gently.
”No, you haven’t always.” came the vaguely pouty reply. “that, before, was a different candle.” He realized, only then, that this was a single voice, subtly different than that which had begun the exchange.
”But it’s the same fire.” he answered, somewhat defensively.
”Not even.” came another voice, and he was sure it was the flame itself this time. He was getting dizzy, but was sure it was just the dim and flickering light.
“Wicks, candles, matches- all different, all unique. Doesn’t each deserve your full attention, and to stand separate in your mind and heart?” Came again the crowd-like voice. “The same is true of each striking, each lighting. Every flame, every fire, is again it’s own wonderful singularity.” they continued.
”I’m sorry, I feel as though I’m somehow on trial- am I not doing good, then, with each lighting? Am I not creating something wonderful, or at the very least, enriching life?”
“For awhile,” they conceded. “but then, you blow out the light, extinguish it, so you can move on to another lantern, another flint.”
”Well…when I find the right light, I’ll..I won’t have to keep on with all that.”
”No, you won’t.” they said,chiding slightly.
”You’re lighting candles and matches and lanterns and stoves.” Came a new voice. “You’ll keep it up, too, until you light a bonfire. There you can camp, there is a light you can read and see clearly by, there you’ll be warm.” He turned, and behind him he saw an open window from which came the voice, and beyond, the rain that had driven him inside he saw to have passed. He stood up, and turned, regarding the candle. Was the fitful sputtering of the flame a kind of fit, or was it winking at him, a playful jig to usher him away? He nodded and gave a small salute. He needed to gather sufficient firewood, dig a pit…work must be done, he knew, before he would be ready for his fire.