The Little Flamebearer

There once was a town where everyone held a flame in the palm of their hand. They all carried them around wherever they went all throughout their day. Don’t be alarmed for them, for these flames never hurt them. They rested, cradled, in their palms. Some held their flame proudly as they walked past others. Most people, however, hid their flame; they would hold their flame behind their backs when others passed them on the street or hide it under their coats. Often these hidden flames burned so dimly that they were no threat of harming the clothing that they were hidden under. Some even found ways to separate themselves from their flames entirely and hid them away in secret places.

It was perfectly normal for a person to hide their flame. This wasn’t necessarily good for that person, but it was fairly common. Why hold your flame out for all to see when they could say, “My flame is quite a bit better than yours don’t you think?” or “You’re looking a bit dim today”? No, it was much safer to hide the flame where it could not be judged or jabbed. Better to distract others from the fact that your flame was hidden. Some wore flashy clothes or bought big houses. The people of the town would marvel at such things, and never stop to wonder where the flame had got to.

Those with less wealth and resources weren’t able to cover their dim flames quite as well. When you happened to glance across the street and see someone with a barely-flickering flame out in the open, you may scoff or chuckle, reassuring yourself that surely your flame was better than that pathetic, little thing. And they went on their way. Rumors of a man that relit lights traveled amongst the poor people of the town. The rich and haughty laughed at these rumors. They were just desperate attempts at hope. Why would you need a bright light if you could have things?