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Burned

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I sit, huddled with all the other candles on the shelf in darkness. Some weep softly, crying invisible wax tears. All of us know that each pounding footstep could be the bringer of our doom.

I was given as a gift to the family a few months ago by an elderly aunt. I can remember her picking me off the shelf, a knowing look on her weathered, wizened face.

“Oh, you’ll do,” she said in a wavering voice, as old as the Earth herself. “My Maggie loves the summer.”

I am surprised that I have not been Burned yet.

Each time the door opens, a quick flash of blinding golden light proves that I am much different from the other candles in the closet. I have a delicate glass shell, stained with the purest blues and greens, colors of the ocean glinting in the bright sunlight. My scent is a gentle reminder of summer, of fields strewn with wildflowers and rivers trickling lazily over thick stones and logs.

Perhaps that is the reason the other candles that are so generic and ordinary, filled with petty scorn for my differences, shun me. I am aware of my uniqueness and beauty, yet they resent me for it. I can feel their hateful glares on my shell, burning gaping holes even in the dark.

Shuddering, I shut my eyes. The loneliness is almost too much to bear. I wish I was gone from this miserable place, where sneers and smirks are all I am given. I would rather be Burned and gone than stay on this malicious closet shelf one more day.

I hear a muted footstep and my eyes fly open. And then, the flash of golden light tells me the closet door is opening. A golden shower of light falls upon us, nearly blinding me with its brilliance.

A woman’s silhouette appears in the hazy brightness and her hand reaches up slowly.

“Hmm. Which of you should I Burn?” she mutters, talking more to herself than to any of us. She hums absentmindedly, the tune full of the rich sweetness of spring on the cusp of summer.

A ripple of fear runs through the candles and their whispers become a frenzied stream of cries and shouts. No one knows what happens to a candle after it has been Burned. And yet, I am suddenly thirsting to find out. Pick me! I cry silently. Burn me!

Oblivious to the panic, the woman moves her hand slowly from side to side like a tree swaying in the warm breeze.

She reaches up, her hand coming directly at me. Leaping and soaring like a bird in the breeze, my heart suddenly plunges as she gently takes the candle to my left.

“What about you?” she murmurs, bringing the quaking candle to her nose and inhaling deeply.

She shakes her head and a slight crease appears between her delicate eyebrows.

“No.” She puts the candle back, and after a moment’s hesitation, picks me up.

Her hand is cool like a water lily petal in the shade, and I am cradled in her as she inhales. Her face flows into a smile, a glorious sunrise breaking upon the horizon.

“This is exactly what I’ve been looking for.” Checking the tiny gift tag attached to my neck, Maggie shakes her head and smiles. “Thank you, Aunt Martha. You always did know that I love summer best.”

She brings me into the golden light. Colors surround me, colors I haven’t seen in what feels like forever. Taking me to a low table, she sets me down gently and takes a lighter out of her pocket.

“Perfect,” she says softly to herself. “What a gorgeous case.”

My pulse is quick. Everything seems full of life as the flaring strip of orange bursts into being. Maggie brings the lighter towards me, the glowing flame radiating heat. She puts the flame to me, and I feel warmth rush through me. A summer field filled with flowers escapes into the air as my scent grows. I sigh, completely content.

For the first time in my life, I am free.




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This article has 27 comments. Post your own!

WSwilliamsThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jul. 17, 2012 at 4:39 pm:
It amazing how you tell a story from an object's point of view. Since you write some poetry, i assume you used some personification. Try being a bit more descriptive (like using colours). This will give you strong imagery - trust me.
 
WSwilliamsThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Jul. 17, 2012 at 4:47 pm :
Oh yeah. Please stop by my forum "The Writer's Spot" if you want anything looked at in the future. i'm always available.
 
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Meaghan_EliseThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Dec. 8, 2011 at 7:20 am:
Your writing is absolutely flawless<3 You're a very talented writer, I love your creative ideas and alluring details, keep writing!:D
 
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ohmakemeover This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 28, 2011 at 12:01 am:
Haha, wow!  Your work continues to surprise me, in a good way!  Your point of views are so inventive.  Good work!
 
ritabelle511 replied...
Jul. 29, 2011 at 11:24 am :
Thank you!
 
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Medina D. said...
Jul. 18, 2011 at 11:30 am:

You had better get an A+ on this :) 

Its so original, i dont think i would've ever thought of it. 

And the way you write it, from a candle's perspective (a candle I've come to like) really proves that sometimes the inanimate objects have the biggest stories to tell

 
ritabelle511 replied...
Jul. 29, 2011 at 11:24 am :
Thanks so much! I really appreciate the feedback!
 
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Eno-BladzThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jun. 29, 2011 at 12:01 pm:
i love how this is from the candles pint of veiw.
 
ritabelle511 replied...
Jul. 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm :
Thanks, it was one of my more creative moments :)
 
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JustAnotherOwl said...
Jun. 28, 2011 at 7:21 pm:
This was really great and very creative! (: The details were good.
 
ritabelle511 replied...
Jul. 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm :
Thanks very much!
 
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TwasBrilling said...
Jun. 23, 2011 at 10:04 pm:
I LOVE this!! It was sooo creative to write something in the perspective of a candle. You are an extremely talented writer!
 
ritabelle511 replied...
Jun. 24, 2011 at 9:01 am :
Thank you very much! :) I read your story and you are a talented writer as well :)
 
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CarrieAnn13This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jun. 22, 2011 at 7:34 pm:
This was a very creative short story!  I love the descriptions you give too.  The perspective is very unique; good job!
 
ritabelle511 replied...
Jun. 23, 2011 at 1:59 pm :
Thank you very much for reading and commenting! :)
 
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NinjaGirl This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 16, 2011 at 8:59 pm:
Very original and full od details! I love it!
 
ritabelle511 replied...
Jun. 23, 2011 at 1:59 pm :
Thank you for reading! :)
 
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WritingSpasms said...
Jun. 16, 2011 at 8:58 pm:
I love this, because it's so original. I don't think anyone's ever thought of using a candle's point of view for a story --- heaven knows I felt stupid for not thinking of it first. :D So good job! You truly are a brilliant writer!
 
ritabelle511 replied...
Jun. 23, 2011 at 1:58 pm :
Haha thanks very much for your comment and for reading! :)
 
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Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 16, 2011 at 6:19 pm:
This was amazing! I love the way you showed the candle's point of view. Definitely original. I love it. :)
 
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