Revell wondered if his mind was a grave.
It seemed dead. Cold. There was a barreness within his mind that made him think of wind and grit and stone walls. The living room was warm pleasantly so with the fire in the corner, its orange flames lazily strolling to and fro the well-stocked grate, and the well-worn red felt recliner chair near to it. The lighting was dim, glowing against walls of mahogany and picture frames and the hardwood floor; the soft orchestration coming from the television was mellow, like the lights, and accompanied with a piano for liltiness. It was really quiteromantic. But whispers of the haunted sung inside the room. Aye, and Revell knew that it was the time, the time of year when he condemned to let his soul live not in this worldbut in theirs.
One time a year, when comes the weakening weather and the stormy winds and the leafless trees not yet choked with fluffy snow, his soul departed. One time of year, one time, Revell was all but dead, but not to those who already were. Behind his eyes was ice. In his lungs, wind rolled along at its own whim. His tongue was tasteless and wordless, his limbs were stiff like grey steel. His skin was like the creamy wax of the single candle that perched on the windows sill, alone. The candle on ths sill was left unlit.
One time a year, and the mans soul was taken. Where it went would not be told. He spoke nothing of his experiences, if he even remembered them. Why he let his soul wander so far astray was a mystery.
Only the how was readily known.
It is said, that once the man named Revell closed himself inside the house come the unclasping of night, he pulled out his recliner chair from its corner perch, placed it near the window, as if to practise to observe the night from inside. There were those who saw him, so it is said, who caught a glimpse of his horrific yet placid features, his grotesque yet appeased appearance. The man Revell looked menacing, somehow; and somehow, too, he looked benign. It was a paradox that left many disbelieving any furtherance of the tale, while it left even more believing in it.
The man Revell sat there, a leg warmer hung over his thighs and chair like a shroud. Slippers both frayed and fluffy remained slightly unstill on the floor, as if the toes within each were twitching. A coat of rich blue with gold trimming and embroidery wore wearily on his shoulders like a fallen comrade determined to see it through to the end with its friend. The man had a single ring on his hand it was very much like a wedding band, though no wife alive bore its twin any more. The candle and its holder had been there for time knows how long, but the wick stayed always unlighted, always silent. That is, until the one time of year, when it lit itself on its own.
When the candle sprung its flame, the man seemed to freeze. Ugly yet content features sharpened, his hand would stray off its rest, as if the fingers were suddenly reaching for something dear. Reaching, or contorting in tortured semi-paralysis, it is not clear. The twitching of the mans toes quit. The rest of the lights in the room, unaccountably, had grown darker, nearly covered with their own shadow. Solemn. Almost romantic.
How long the man Rivell remains in his state varies year to year. Those who have come across the sight of him in the window, with nought but the glare of the single candle against the dull background of the room lighting his figure, his disturbed and restful face staring, staring staring, his form sitting and sitting in the armchair while still staring to the night, had no means to measure. Any spectators only come along to see the man in the window by chance, and then they are not concerned for time. Regardless, when the time does pass and the lights in the background raise again to their normal wattage, the man is suddenly sprung from his internal entrapment. His features soften and become gloomy, his shoulders sag in the coat. He waits a moment to rest and recover. Then, with a gravest gesture, the man named Revell stands, steps forward, and blows the still-lit candle out. The fire in its grate is strong once more. A wind blows into existence outside through the barren trees, and then is gone as suddenly as it had approached. Then the man Revell is dragging back his chair, its legs scratching the floor. He puts it near the fire, where he watches the many flames like an avid spectator of the ballet. He pays no heed to the noises of the television, which is presumed to have decreased its volume during its masters vigil and had since raised itself again as the lights had. The room is cheerful now.
Some say the mans soul is in that candles flame, which burns only half in this one world, half in the next. Others claim that the man is cursed…
S. R. Christian was born in 1991 and resides in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. He is an emerging writer of poetry and short fiction, and currently studies at the University of Regina.