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The Flame and the Match
Soft as light, but as searing and torturous as love can be, the still yellow flame stumbled quietly upon her wick.

And taking note, a small matchstick leapt from his box, with no particular understanding as to why. Instead he only felt the warmth and the beauty of the small creature, of some long-sought potential that had welled up inside him, so brilliant piece of himself he had never felt before.

"Love, my dearest, we've never met," said the match, "but I must say, you are nothing if you are not gorgeous."

And the timid flame blushed, and crawled lower upon her small pedestal. "Thank you. Oh, thank you! I've wanted to hear that for so long. For though I have lived for such a small time, I have known no joy such as this. I have wanted only to burn bright, to be recognized, and to warm and adore those very souls that should ever behold my beauty. And yet, that has not happened, for I was not beautiful. Surely, if I was, they would have noticed.

"That is not true," responded her companion. "You see, I am but a match. I am nothing but a head filled with chemicals, the empty shell of what I could be. I am a twig, long lost in a box, with no hope of being noticed until I am used. And being used would be fine; I would pay no mind. To be seen in my brightest for a day, to be something more than I am---to be as you are---would fill me with nothing but bliss. You are lucky, my lovely one. You are all that I need."

And once again, the flame blushed, stumbled against the side of her candle walls, and the tell-tale sign of wax crept below her, and she blushed yet again.

"Oh, how I have needed you! I want nothing else! As I am but a flame perched upon such a twig, so are you such a splinter in want of my flame. We have always been connected, and we are neither one nor the other. In our dreams, we are all the same. Please...please come closer."

And the dumbstruck matchstick did. He teetered over the edge of the compartment in which she was housed, and flung himself at her with such a force that he had never known. Sparks flew at that very instant, and he felt an innocence and a beauty he had never known before her. And together, they burned brighter than they had ever even hoped to have burned.

"Oh darling, you are wonderful to me," said the flame.

"And you to me," breathed the match in a whisper.

"I need you, and always have."

"And I, too!"

While their flames continued to rise, each one curling around the other, not one flick of light dancing more on one lover than their new equal.

But, as the flames reached their peak, so did the poor match. He gasped his final goodbyes as quickly as his new greeting. "I love you, my dear. And though I leave, there will always be boxes upon boxes just like me."

"But none will burn the same!" cried the flame, and she wept and shivered in all directions, until the whisper of one mere word would extinguish her.

"" responded the match. "No chemical compound can burn quite the same. We are always an interesting mix. But as long as light is willing, please burn. Y-you have given me so much; please keep you are. The world deserves to s-see a soul pretty. "

And the last bit of life of the match was lost with his words. Embers engulfed him a short while longer, the essence of what he had...but they, too, were finally gone at last.

Of course, one can hardly expect such a tragic loss to be taken well. And to live for any time without her love was a heresy to our gentle flame. She flicked and shuddered in rapid, fleeting motions, gripped the side of her wick for support, and filled her waxen sanctuary with tears, until a pool was formed beneath her.  Still she cried, and in her dimming moments, watched her lover's sweet body engulfed in her misery, until he disappeared far beneath her.

"My sweet one, please wait for me. Please...please don't leave me like this! Oh, please, please don't. For although I have met you for only an instant, and I have known nothing sweeter, I know of no joy that could since compare to our brightest fleeting moment, our gentle embrace! Love, I will be there. I'll never enjoy the shortest of lives without you! Oh, dearest, please wait."

And the soft pool of wax formed around her frantic gestures, until she could no longer cling to the blackened wick for support. She thrust herself into the white pool about her, and extinguished herself with one last, calm whisper:

"Love, my love, I am here."

For whatever beauty we find, we find in ourselves. No beauty is hollow...only ill-pursued.
This work is copyright- and royalty-free.
Copyright and related rights waived via CC0



Actually deleted this today after posting it yesterday, because I wasn't too pleased with it. I wrote it while drunk at four in the morning, and it doesn't quite fit in with the contest, but I'm pressed for time and will work on a better version later. I'm actually a bit embarassed by the piece right now, but still have this lingering feeling I can't shake--a desire for people to read it.

Writing while intoxicated is a very cathartic process for me. My only concern is the same a little child may have observing fireflies. I sat next to my computer in the dark save for a small candle flickering next to me, and my only concern was to create something beautiful--something so pretty, it could make me cry. And it did. I know I talk of this a lot, but I've had a number of hapless years pass me by, and now that I'm feeling a bit better, every source of joy and comfort, as well as every piece of sadness or despair, causes really strong emotions within me. I'm so thankful I can feel joy and pain again, and express it through my writing. That's still a new feeling, and I love it.

So while this isn't a very good piece in its current form right now, it still means something to me, so I'm posting it anyway.


By the way, here are the Artist's Comments before I deleted it earlier this morning. I wrote these comments right after writing the piece itself:

This is a piece I wrote in response to my lovely girlfriend's piece "The Rat and the Doll," found here:
:iconorphicfiddler: She's on Deviantart, and I am just as in love with her work as I am with her.

Anyway, the final moral of her piece, at least at five in the morning with a few drinks in me, was essentially that beauty means nothing until it is analyzed, and that sustanance [may have meant "substance," but both apply--ed.] should form beauty, or at the very least accentuate it. I won't spoil the piece, because it's absolutely worth reading, but I have a much different take. Perhaps it's a bit more narcissistic, but I find that it's hard to hold on to anything we don't completely treasure, and for that very reason, we guard and protect what we hold most dear. And to treasure anything like we do, it must mean something. And how can it do that if we cannot relate? If we cannot understand it, how can it have any value? Which, of course, is my lover's point, but in valuing anything, we find the value therein. No beauty exists in our minds if we cannot relate to it, and that concept alone deems it a far worthy cause should we be lucky enough to seek and find such beauty. Of course, looking back on her piece, I completely misunderstood her point, but I must stress that an altered mind will natural lead to altered interpretations.

Obviously, her piece inspired mine, and I wrote it mere minutes after reading it. She's entering it into a contest, and while I know nothing about said contest, I'd like to see if I have time to enter. I've never considered myself a very gifted writer compared to her, and it would be nice if now that I feel more equal, if we could compete with each other on friendly terms. That would be absolutely wonderful to me. Just looked it up, and this is the obligatory contest link I'm required to give: :iconfllnthblnk:'s
"Fable Me This!"…
Should be fun.

As for my piece, I'm not sure how much my final moral relates to the story, at least not from an emotional perspective, but it leaves the reader something to think about, and there may be several iterations of this later on down the road. Until then, I hope that you enjoy, and thanks for reading my work.
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sugarfreak-Liriana Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2010
I see where you might feel it was a little rough, but I like it a lot. The whole idea of the match loving the flame so much he was willing to burn for her is soo freakin' cute! I guess all of us helpless romantics meet bitter ends.
niedec Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
No! Don't say that! I'm currently one of those romantics!
~puts on fire-retardent vest and padded helmet.~

But yes, rough as this is, I like it, and hope to improve it a bit,
because it deserves it.
x-xXNevermoreXx-x Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2010
This is so sad!!! But it's really sweet, I love it! :heart:
niedec Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Eh. It could easily be better, and there are sadder, sweeter things I could post right now, but I'm saving them until they're perfect.

Still, it would be nice to win something on a DA contest. The last contest I entered, the judge left DA shortly after without announcing
a winner.

Also, the person giving the contest is the person that awarded me
my Daily Deviation for "Destroy This Poem." I didn't even realize
it until after, but that's kinda cool. :)
x-xXNevermoreXx-x Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2010
Oh, don't bash it. I thought it was really good.

That sucks... They should've left like, right after they announced the winner... Maybe the pressure was too much for them? =P

Oh, that's lucky. =) I hope you do well. ^^
niedec Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, it's really good...but it could be better. And it's such a beautiful piece, that I will make it so. :)

I've no idea why they left, but it was sad. I've entered two contests. The first, I lost, and a few people agreed I should have won, and the second contest was never judged. First was a contest for "Worst Haiku Ever" by the way. This was mine:

Burning pink suns
glisten in the noonday heat--
grandmother's nipples.

I lost to:
You have left me.
Now I am sad AND bleeding.
Sakura blossom.

Anyway, hope I do well, too. A few more days until the third contest is judged.
x-xXNevermoreXx-x Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2010
lol Yeah, you should have won. ^^

Good luck! =)
mnemonic-devices Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2010
This is definitely something I wouldn't expect from you, but at the same time it has a dark connotation to it. Or something. Sad, and amazing, sir.
niedec Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
A late comment, but thank you, good madame.

I'm just now noticing how dark a lot of what I do is,
whether it's photography, music, or writing.

Ah well. I balance it out with my humorous pieces, and I like it.
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May 31, 2010
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