The Inextinguishable Candle
The following story includes the same basic background as Rapunzel, only the plot is slightly different.
My long, blond hair circled the perimeter of the small, vacant room I had been exiled to remain imprisoned in. Each day, I had no choice but to rest by the window awaiting my rescuer. From outside, all I could see was small flowers erupting from the flourishing green grass. For miles, not one single piece of evidence of human existence was to been seen other than myself and my nearly deserted tower. I rested my head on the windowsill and allowed the blistering sun to burn my flawlessly porcelain,untouched skin. I sang a simple melody to myself as each minute passed, as I usually did. I often spent time wondering how or who had caused my unfortunate fate, and I question whether I truly will encounter one who is willing to rescue me from the darkness that surrounded my invisible shadow. So many times had I tried to escape with the little strength I had in me, but I never truly did find the courage. I was often times, however, also quite thankful that I didn’t have to face unknown dwellings outside the comfort of my imprisoning habitat. As I gazed out the window, Blair, one of the few beings that comforted me in solitude, came fluttering towards my window at the usual hour-just before the sun astrayed my presence to wake up what lay atop the mountains. Her beautifully blue tipped feathers glowed in what little light the sun left for me to see. In her talons, she held a round, beige object. It’s unfamiliarity made me uneasy as I took a step back from the window. When she perched herself upon the window, she excitedly chirped and fluttered her wings just slightly.
“What is this, Blaire?” her melodic chirp echoed in a much higher, more beautiful chirp in response. As she spoke, she used her small beak to gesture the object in my direction.
Carefully, I used the tips of my fingers to touch the rim of the cylinder. The beige, clay-like substance was clothed in a purple hue the same color as the dress Blair had brought me when I outgrew the last one. It’s layered protection felt like paper, but only slightly stiffer. My delicate fingers ran atop the object to the wax that was just barely crept out of the top. After exploring the object long after Blair left, I grew more comfortable with it.
While exploring each detail it portrayed, I realized it must have been made man. It’s unusual, strange, and unknown purpose made it impossible to have been from the gardens below me.
But why had Blair brought it to me? She was a keen bird, and she never brought me unnecessary goods.It had to have a purpose. I knew it did.
I spend that starless night rolling it across the dusty floor, and carving doodles into the wax. When the sun had nearly made its time behind the mountains again, I had created a mural of the garden around its narrow, peculiar shape. Shavings of wax were spread along my dress, and the object no longer had the same flawlessly crafted round shape to it. By this time, Blair arrived with a set of matches. Unlike the wax-like object, I was familiar with this gift. They were described as ‘flame lighters’ in a book that Blair brought me when I was young. But how did you start a flame with such thin, small shaped sticks? Blair patiently fluttered around the room and sang a melody to herself as I compared the black thin anatomy of the match to the stick atop the wax of the original object she gave me.
They each portrayed a thick, stick like-figure. I spend hours examining how the matches and the wick within the wax were similar. I began drawing the tip of the match along the walls hoping a spark might ignite. As it grew dark, and I flipped the match to the other tip, a small, sunset-orange flame finally ignited. It made faint crackling noises as it flourished upon the match. I was careful not to let it get to close to my fingers, for I had read that it’s unbearably high heat would burn anything it touched in a heartbeat.
Now, what was I to do with the flame? Was there a purpose to the material Blair had provided me with? I waved the match around the wax object that I had learned was known as a candle, but I received no useful response. I spent a few minutes trying to light the wax on fire, and sticking the flame within the wax. Each time I tried something new, the same result always came out of it-the flame was extinguished. I had ignited the flame only once more when Blair alarmingly showed up in the early hours of the morning. After traveling so often, she had been stressfully pulling out her feathers. I had not noticed her presence until a loud, reckless tweet erupted from her beak. Immediately, I whipped my body in her
direction. I slightly jumped, and my heart began racing rapidl/
“Oh, it’s only you, Blair! Why are you here so early?”
In response, she gestured her head towards the candle she had given me three days ago. My eyes wandered towards the candle beside me. The match within my hand was hovering over the wick. Almost immediately, another flame ignited upon the candle.
A subtle, but passionate smile quickly spread upon my face. I stood up and danced my feet among the stone floors.
“Blaire, you’re a genius!” I called. I nearly grabbed her from excitement, but she flew away as I neared too close. The candle must have been like a flame holder! But why? What did I need a flame for?
All day, I gazed at the blistering flame. It faded from a vibrant blue to a bright sun-colored yellow. It was quite extraordinary to watch as it shook from side to side in the motionless air. The wax began melting down the sides of the candle as it continued burning.
The melted wax brought a feminine, floral aroma to my room. It extinguished each memorable memory I had of growing up in the tower alone with Blaire. I stayed awake for days gazing at the flame. Expressionlessly, I questioned it’s beauty. I found it’s beautiful array of warm colors so soothing-it eased the tension within my muscles and calmed my mind.
But eventually, my eyes could not longer stay open. The dark shadows around me became blurry arrays of colors. It was nearly impossible to move my muscles any longer. I crept over the candle to snuff it out, but the flame only got larger. Sparks nearly touched my flameless skin. This time, I blame harder so that I could fall asleep within the darkness-erasing my thoughts, but the flame was unextinguishable.
Strange. I thought. Was this normal for such a candle? I simply put the candle in an empty corner. I shielded my eyes from the brightness with a thick blanket. Its soft sewn wool softened my duty skin. The blanket may have strayed my eyes from the brightness, but the floral smell began to make it more difficult to breathe. The fumes erupting from the candle began to make the air taste bitter, but thrilling.
The next morning I awoke the a large, human-like figure perched on top of my lap. She too had long hair nearly twice the length of herself. In fact, her complexion and appearance was nearly identical to me, only younger.
“Get up, Lauren!” she called
I immediately from up from where I lay on my pile of pillows. My hands thrust forward to push the figure off of my chest.
“I’m not Lauren! I-I-I’m Rapunzel!”
Suddenly I experienced a series of emotions I could not comprehend. The girl faded into the air once my hands struck her chest.
It was only a dream. It had to have been. No one can reach my tower. Noone. However, I found myself crying anyways. I hadn’t seen another human figure since I was young. Seeing the reflection of a body identical to mine made me wonder what it would be like to see a real human again.
However, the delusions were nothing like the real thing. She portrayed faded, nearly translucent skin, and had an echoing/ringing tone to her voice. At the same time, however, the dream felt so real. I wiped the sweat off my face and the tears from my eyes. Then, I noticed the candle consistently sizzling from where it stood. I carefully crawled to where it burned in all it’s malice and peculiarity.
There was more melted wax surrounding the cylinder than comprising on the candle, but it still kept it’s flawless shape. The wax seeping off the edges didn’t cause it to lose any of the weight supporting itself.
Strange. I would’ve thought that the candle would have eventually destroyed itself in the process. How else was I to rid the candle of it’s blistering flame?
The flames erupting from the wick were beginning to make my mind incapable of comprehending the world around me, and I could taste it’s evil scent corrupting my heart.
If I threw outside of my home, it would burn the gardens, and I couldn’t risk destroying the only beautiful scene nature had provided me with.
I tried several more times that day to extinguish the candle of it’s neverending malice, but my mind was too crowded with thoughts with the same floral, thrilling scent spewing from the candle. Everything my life was composed of now included the same malicious scent that comes from the candle. My entire life was dedicated to the monster that destroyed me from where it sat motionlessly.
The same young girl was the only thing close to living that visited me throughout the scheme of grey days I struggled to thrive through. Other dreams visited me while I was awake rather than just R (I identified younger reflection of myself as R) in my darkest, most frightening moments. He didn’t say much other than, “Let’s play, Rapunzel.” Unlike R, he knew my real name.
He was the only thing I could see composed of color now. Everyone and everything else was an array of shades of black and grey.
I feasted on my own bed sheets without Blair’s help for food. I was on the edge of death without her comfort and positivity. She could probably detect my insanity from outside the castle window.
Sometimes, random voices whisper warnings about trusting R and the others. However I did my best to avoid those ones. They tried to take away the only positive thing remaining in my life any longer.
It was Chrome and R (I had chosen Chrome as the name for my other friend due to the bright amount of color glowing along his clothing and skin) that brought me comfort to me when I feasted alone on the most eatable object I could find from what Blair had brought me in the past.
As R gently combed through my long, knotted hair, Sparks and I gazed at the flame from where it burned upon the wax surrounded the floor beneath the candle. As it grew older, it made spewing sounds when the sparks erupted from the bright sunset orange flame.
My eyes, however, could barely see the once vibrant colors of the flame’s beauty. Whispers from the other delusions spoke soft, incomprehensible words into my ear.
I turned around to find another figure before me. R caught sight of the figure and called, “Lauren!”
She smiled and grabbed R within her arms, “Rapunzel!”The woman looked similar to me with golden blond hair, emerald eyes, olive skin, and long luscious eyelashes. Only, she and R both had much happier and healthier than me now, and her hair was quite a bit shorter than R and I’s.
Immediately, the woman’s eyes allowed me to ponder back to a new, faint memory of my past. It was nearly exactly like what I had just witnessed between Lauren and R. They each ran into one another’s arms within the flourishing gardens below the tower. Only, now I remembered that R was myself as a young girl, and Lauren was what I had identified my mother as! My delusions must have been memories of the past! I couldn’t believe what I had just discovered. I felt a deep, aching feeling at the bottom of my chest, and I wanted to go to my mother and hug her tightly? I wanted to explore my mother’s beautiful features, but they quickly faded from my mind once they touched my arms.
I turned around to find that Chrome had gone too. As I prepared for bed, I wondered whether he had a significant place in my childhood as well. Where had I come up with such a beautiful, vibrant being?
I asked myself several questions that night as I rested beneath the covers of my half-eaten blanket. Due to the lack of thread within it, I spend that night shivering and bundling my unbearably cold hands together as I fell asleep. This was the first time my mind was capable of erasing thoughts in what felt like months.
Only a few hours later, I woke up to uncomfortably hot rays burning my porcelain skin. Surrounding me were much larger, much more frightening flames from the candle that had spread after the candle toppled over onto my curtain. Now, each last peirce of flammable furniture surrounding me quickly devoured into ashes. My lungs felt strained together, and my throat was aching from the fumes clouding both my vision and immune system. Carefully, I tried to escape the flames that were following me towards the corner of the room. Sweat rapidly crept down the sides of my face, and my body was shivering with fright. Carefully, I crept around the corners of the tower I had been trapped into. By each second, my hands moved slightly closer to the window. As I neared only inches away, my ankle hit the tip of the burning flame. Excruciating pain struck my leg, and I agonizingly hollered in pain, I was exiled to weakly line up to the window awaiting my immediate assistance. Throbbing pain within my left leg continued sizzling as a combination sweat and tears glided down my soft cheeks. Quickly, I used my wet hands to stop the fire from cremating my entire body. Finally, as my fingers touched the tip of the window, I hoised myself upon the edge. I took a long, deep breath in as I prepared to risk death.
When i jumped from the tower, immediately, the gravitational pull in the atmosphere caused air to blow in my face. Uncontrollably, my long blond hair quickly dragged my fragile body to the ground as it wandered in several directions. I hit the ground almost immediately, and the frightening emotions racing through my body quickly disappeared.
When I hit the ground, my heart stopped for a moment in shock. My chest felt as though thirty additional pounds were pushing my lungs out of my body, so it was nearly impossible to take breaths in and out. My head immediately experienced throbbing pain. I could feel the blood as it dryed around my once wonderfully clean hair. My surroundings were no longer black and white, but the objects I could faintly see appeared to be spinning around my head. I could not think correctly, or understand any of the piercing feelings I was going through, but my heart felt still much clearer now, and the evilness clouding my body was no longer there. I felt clean. I quickly lost consciousness once the piercing pain began to affect my fresh body
I woke up in agonizing pain once more all over my body. My nerves will still shocked from the severe fall I took from the tower.
A voice spoke, “Rapunzel, are you alright?”
Slowly, my vision cleared to see a magnificent world of vibrant flourishing colors again. I was now capable of breathing without inhaling malicious, musty fumes.
The figure hovering over me that spoke had the same neatly styled brown hair, handsome smile, and wonderfully pale blue eyes as an old friend from my last few days in the tower.
“Chrome?” I asked.
The figure laughed, “Oh, no, Rapunzel! I’m not Chrome! My name is Jollin, don’t you remember me from when we were young?”
I shook my head, “I don’t remember much beyond my lengthy years in my imprisoning tower.” Carefully, I gestured my tired arm in the direction of where the tower would have been, but there was now only a patch of dull green pine leaves decorated in the snow.
He had the same quiet, genuinely innocent laugh, “Oh, I’ve taken you farther into the woods, for the fire began spreading throughout the gardens where you landed.”
“M-m-my garden burned down?” my voice was hoarse, and rough from the damage the fall had done to my lungs.
“I’m afraid so…but you can begin a new one in Growel, the vacant city not far from here.
“What?” I mumbled.
Immediately, a smile stretched across Jollin’s dirt-covered face. He began describing the days we spent playing in the gardens together by a deserted tower when we were young. When a witch and her followers destroyed our families and their fortunes, she locked me away in a tower to keep me from telling others about her wrongdoings. She hoped to use me as support and help with finding resources and such, but she was found and killed before she could do such a thing. Because Jollin had been fortunate enough not to get caught while the witch was still alive, he planned on going back home to get help, but the witch cast a spell on the Black Bark Forest so that anyone within its floors would lose all sense of direction. By the time he found his home, the villagers had migrated to another location rid of witches and other dangerous, mystical creatures, so he build a home by the tower. While he settled, he thrived in the forest to try to think of ways to rescue me. Until then, he trained a bird to bring me goods of his choice to keep me alive. After 17 years of practice, he discovered an unextinguishable candle with magic from a witch he recently encountered. It’s fumes were supposedly produced toxic gases that made the anyone in it’s presence go insane. Knowing it was his only option left, he had Blair provide me with it. He knew that with enough insanity, I would have the strength and courage to escape the tower if I needed to.The intensity of my fall and lack of the candle’s presence would erase all of the toxic fumes I had inhaled from my body, and, in fact, it did.
“S-so you knew I would survive the fall?” I asked.
“Why yes. WIth the magic within you, you may have felt weak, but it gave you more strength within for when you needed it. However, there was a high possibility of horrifying delusions and lack of seeing color.”
“S-so, you are Chrome! You’re the figure that was locked in my mind, and remembering your beautiful details gave me inspiration to meet one of my imaginary friends, Chrome!
“Oh, so you had several delusions, then?”
“Yes, but they were my friends.”
He nodded, trying to hide the concerned, but humored expression on his face.
After he explained his mission to rescue me, he had me describe how agonizingly frightening it was within the tower.
We spoke for hours of the lengthy years we spent alone as he eased the pain within my wounds with healing water. I described each delusion I had made strong friendships with in the past few months of madness. As he did so, I stared into his aquamarine eyes and felt an anxious twist within my chest. The gentle motion within his hands felt quite soothing, and rather comforting. Even though I had just met him, I wanted him to hold me within his wet hands, and softly stroke my hair. The thought of being close to Jollin nearly caused me to softly kiss his dry lips from where I rested. However, I didn’t move, for being in a human’s presence was quite comforting as it was.
I suppose that I had been rescued in the end. Although I had imagined something far more romantic and clever-like climbing up the tower with my long hair, Jollin’s methods for helping me survive rather made me quite stronger in the end. It only took a little courage and help for me to save myself from the blistering enemy that could not be extinguished.