It is dark outside and the village is sleeping. The sun has long since given up on man and has retired. The house is pitch black, as most huts are, but memory serves me well as I search for a candle in the dark. Candles are expensive, but the joy of reading is worth the price.
My hands can’t seem to find the candle that I placed in the drawer the previous night. I frantically search in the far back, thinking perhaps it might have rolled while being opened. It is not there. The very feel of the night changes and a claustrophobic grip takes hold of me. Something begins to burn in my chest and I look around desperate for an answer.
I pant for breath and scurry to find my book, the only book I have ever owned. I sit by the open hut door, allowing as much of the moonlight above to bath the pages. It provides just enough of a glow to show me what I am missing, paper worn thin by continuous reading. My hands caress the binding with love, much as I imagine the soft hand of the damsel caressing the cheek of the story’s heroic knight. The feel of a book seems to sooth my soul, I feel the bands around my chest loosen and I am able to breathe again.
Tomorrow I will venture out to the market. But for tonight I content myself with sitting here simply holding my book in the company of the night. Comforted by the presence of the story within and laying to rest forgotten thoughts about a missing candle.