October 25, 2015

“I stood alone in the basement. Little sounds came from within the walls. I could not hear them clearly, just as I could not hear the murmuring of the family upstairs. The basement was dark except for one corner in which the candles burned. There were hundreds of candles, most older than others, most melted down so that the foundation of the mound was made of the melted, then hardened, wax. Buried within that wax were pictures of the favorite relatives: the great-grandmother who always baked, the son who died too quickly, the niece who hanged herself in the closet. If I picked at the wax for long enough, edges of those photographs would be unearthed. Each day, the candles were lit and left to burn. When there were no more viable wicks, then grandmother would come and set new candles, then light them.”

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