It was time to light the candle again. The old man lay in his chair, covered by layers of blankets. He stared at the candle, his eyes, almost milky white, willing it to light. However there was no sudden burst of light or even a feeble splutter. Sighing, he moved forward, his body creaking with age.
The light reluctantly slanted through his open window. His shadow grew. His feeble hands grasped at the matches. A crippling weakness overcame him and try as he did he could not light the candle. There was an eerie, shortness of breath. If only he could light it. He knew there would be a sea of warmth and light would rush over him.
A burst of laughter echoed in his ears. He son would be back now and his wife would be cooking. But that would mean he was still at the bank. He could smell the fresh notes. The smell of money. He could hear the laughter again. The old man frantically scrabbled at the candle. It swayed and fell off the table. There was a loud crack, not unlike a whip, and then silence. No laughter. No odors. Just darkness. The old man bent down, knees groaning, and picked up the pieces of the candle. He put one half away and lit the other. The room was lit up in an instant. Yet the shadows seemed darker. The man drew his blankets around him, and like a child hid his face under them. The laughter continued. It got louder and louder, until it seemed crazed. He joined in the laughter, maniacally. His chair creaked at the sudden movement of his rocking body.Suddenly, there was silence.
The sun rose and the shadows fled their domain. They fled until the only one that remained was the shadow of a laugh on the mans cold, stiffening face.
Posted by Joseph Thomas