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And so I sit, all alone.  A crack of lightning shreds the night sky with its crooked, razor-sharp fingers. The hungry growl of a distant thunderclap follows, vibrating the window panes, and little drops of water seep round the edges, where I had neglected to shut them sound. The rain thumps hard at the glass, like thousands of tiny fists, trailing dejectedly earthward after impact, etching clear strips in the accumulated filth of weeks.   Strange, not even people seem that eager to be a part of my life.  My little candle dances in its makshift holder, casting upon the little room shadows seemingly tuned to an identical, soundless rhythm.  A cheery little pop, the flame staggers, and the shadows dance once more.

I sit and stare, at the lonely little dancing candle, shrinking under the weight of its bright yellow hat, at the grosteque patterns carved out of the tropical dust on the window by the raindrops, and at the pinpoints of light brought about by candlelight on the beads of water stuck to the glass, a king's ransom in diamonds, hopelessly trapped outside my confined world.

I shift a little, and my chair groans, as if resenting my adjustment.  An unseen opening admits a draft, dancing the shadows and rustling some papers on my desk, one of which curls lazily off the table and into a darkened corner, just conveniently out of reach.  I do not care.

Another thunderclap, this time more distant.  The raindrops assail my window with a fraction of their former fury, as if giving up hope.  Some manage to sneak through the tiny crack around the edges, dripping with a constant rhythm to the floor, where they vanish like magic into the gnarled floorboards.  The flame beckons, and the assault begins again with whiplashing fury.  Vitality renewed, the howling wind returns for an encore, hissing noisily through the hidden opening, scattering the remaining papers, and squeezing the life out of the candleflame, till it is no more than a blue speck, clinging valiantly to the blackened wick, like a poor creature struggling to stay alive.  I reach out to shield it with my hands, to give it a chance at a new life, something that I know through a lack of to be the most precious gift of all.  The flame, which once had danced at the edge of death, now stood proud again within my cupped palms.  I shared its joy, and I knew it shared mine too.

The runaway papers stirred a moth, which took flight hastily, and now flitted in tight little circles around the flame, casting on the bare walls an exciting shadowplay of wings and antennae.  It tries to get closer, but is singed by the flame.  It does another lap then tries again, but finds nothing has changed.  It settles finally on the table, wings spread neatly by its side.

That's me... the flame when it was struggling to survive, the raindrops which, try as they might, cannot breach what seems so deceptively non-existent as a pane of glass.  That's me...  being absorbed into the woodwork after a long fall;  Me, being blown around all my life, to end up in the dankest of corners;  Me, finally settling down to a long rest...

I look through teary eyes at the candle, now represented in my awareness as a keleidoscopic spread of brilliant, flickering lights.  Something I loved, but  would never become.  Filled with a sudden loathing, I killed the flame.

The shadows gave a final leap, and then became One.

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