Of Smoke and Mirrors

This is a short story that is about 18 pages. It's centered around the dream the main character Abby, a teenage girl, has been having lately. The dream is loosely based off of The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland.


4. The Candle


Chapter 4: The Candle


We soon saw a small brick hut surrounded by a decaying garden. It seemed dead and lifeless, and all of the plants were either dried out or decomposing.


Adam craned his head forwards and pointed to a small open window, “Hey, what’s that? Is that a light?”


I shook my head, “No way. The place looks abandoned, there can’t be anyone still there.”


Curiosity got the best of Adam and he ventured into the hut without a word. “Hey, wait for me!” I ran in after him.


The house was dark except for an ornate oil lamp siting on a table by one of the windows. The wooden furniture was all either broken or covered in a thick layer of dust. It’s clear nobody’s been here in some time. I walked over to where Adam stood in front of the lamp. “Hey Abby, look there’s someone in there,” he half-whispered.


True to his word, I actually saw a little person sitting inside the lamp. Upon closer inspection, the person seemed to be a tiny blue elf covered in a flimsy haze of glow like they were covered in fire. Where their hair should’ve been was an eerie blue flame. The flame looked like any other normal candle and it calmly flickered back and forth. They were dressed in rags and seemed unresponsive at first. Adam gently tapped the glass, “Hello? Can you hear me?”


At that, the person’s head quickly snapped up and it saw us for the first time. Its eyes widened and its mouth formed into an ‘O’. “Are you guys real?” it asked us in a tiny fragile voice.


I turned my head to the side and gave a questioning look at Adam. He seemed equally puzzled. That was sorta a weird question. “Of course we’re real,” I answered.


It gave a little gasp, “Oh thank goodness! There hasn’t been a living soul in here for so long! I thought nobody would ever come in here again.” It stood up and pressed its palms to the glass, facing us. “I would like to ask you for a favor, please.” Its soft smoldering blue eyes glanced up hopefully.


“Of course,”  “Anything you need,” Adam and I responded at the same time.


The candle person smiled warmly at us. “Oh thank you so very much!” It clasped its little hands together in gratitude. “My lamp was supposed to have been blown out ages ago,” it explained. “But no one has! I’m so very tired. It’s long past time for me to go. Would you please blow out my flame?”


Stunned, neither Adam nor I said anything immediately. We didn’t think they would ask for this.


Hesitatingly, Adam asked, “But… wouldn’t that kill you?”


They merely nodded brightly. “Yes! But that’s quite alright since it’s meant to happen. All candles must be put out eventually,” they rationalized. “I am very, very old. I want to finally be able to go to rest.”


Adam and I looked at each other helplessly. I shook my head, “No way. I can’t do it!”


Adam swallowed stiffly. “It’s alright, I’ll do it.” He clenched his hands and straightened his back.


The candle nodded sadly, “You have my deepest gratitude.”


As Adam stepped and leaned over the lamp, the candle closed it eyes and smiled. He slowly inhaled, and quickly blew out the candle. It disappeared into smoke without a sound. As the smoke evaporated, I could faintly hear a “Thank you…” Then there was silence.


We looked around the hut gloomily. There was nothing for us here anymore. I nudged Adam’s shoulder. “Let’s go.” He nodded and followed me out. We left the abandoned hut and the decaying garden behind. 


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