10-31-2000

Title: Candles

Notes: Umm…I dunno…this is something that I felt like writing. Here in Canada this holiday is not really celebrated the way it was in Poland…soooooo…I kinda miss the way that All saint's day was done there. Halloween is OK too…BUT… Well anyway, I realize that this is not REALLY halloweeeny, but I hope it will do!

Contact me at:
sun_sunday@yahoo.com or at all_in_leather@yahoo.com

Candles
By: Sunday

"Guys…I'm ummm…going to church, and will probably be gone till later. So don't wait up…ok?" He glances at us worriedly, his giant violet eyes catching the rays of the rising sun. As violet as the sky that gives birth to the fiery orb. Of course, as usual, no one bothers to notice…well except for…

"Oh, alright Duo….*yawn*….just…" Quatre runs his hand through his golden hair, before blinking sleepily at the braided boy "…yah….don't do anything…" seeing that this seems to fit his criteria for keeping Duo out of trouble, the young Arabian falls back asleep on the kitchen table, ignoring his cereal. Not that anyone can blame him…after all, last night Duo was a sugar high annoying baka. He had driven everyone in the house to insanity, and then beyond….and the costumes had not helped either. I sigh lightly, the traces of last nights headache still lingering behind my eyes and the back of my head…he had insisted that I ate at least half the candy that the idiot had forced me to get. Not that I did not enjoy it…I did, it was the first time that I had been able to act like a child, to have fun. And thanks to my small stature I managed to pass off as a twelve year old quite agreeably…not that I am EVER going to touch another sweet in my life…oh God no, my stomach turns at the thought of more candy. Although this is the first time in a long time that I had more then a couple hours of sleep…tonight I had been next to unconscious.

"Oh…alright…well then I will see you all later…" He turns on his heel, about to leave the room `…oh by the way, if there is a power outage, we are out of candles." He swings a bag that had been lying on the floor, over his shoulder, before stepping outside into the morning fog. I watch him disappear into the blanket of white, satisfied with the amount of head start that he had been given I quickly follow suite.

"Quatre, I'm going to keep Duo out of trouble." The only response I get is a light snore.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I step quietly into the almost surreal environment, surrounded on all sides by age…the sheer mammoth size of the inside of the chapel making me seem so much smaller, dwarfing me both in stature and years. All around me statues extend their hands, eyes raised to the heavens, as the warm filtered light falls upon the red marble floors, tinting everything in hues of rouge. From the warm tinted walls flow the sounds of music, of a voice…I follow it, to find myself staring in a hall filled with people, banners flow from the walls, rippling in the invisible currents of air that run through the hollow expanses of hallways, passages, and rooms.

I see him standing near the back, along with many others, all of them filling the seemingly endless hall to the brink, others spilling into the halls…the only place that has any openings in it, is that of the middle passage leading from the marble adorned altar to the back of the church. A ripple moves through the crowd, as the priest walks down that aisle, and behind him, the rows upon rows of people follow. I watch as Duo moves to the end of the line. His long braid swings with every movement, catching the rich hues of the stained glass, and reflecting them countless times more magnificently.

He looks up seeing me, and smiles, before looking back down onto his pale hands, clenched tightly to his chest, and he follows.

I move behind him…and that is when I hear it…or rather don't. These people, the ones that we had all seen walking through the small Slavic town, shouting, bantering, laughing…all of them are silent, the only sound permeating the air is the constant tenor of the priest's voice, wrapping the crowd in the same warmth as the light that brightens the quiet walk ways.

The procession walks through the small town, stores closed, quiet running through the streets, and the many that had not attended mass join the group. Still others wave to those walking, before running forward, somewhere else. It is not long before we reach our destination…the iron gates of the cemetery open without a sound, revealing the many graves spread over the green field, shadowed by the many trees, decorated by flowers.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I glance after Duo as the next mass, again in a foreign language, ends…he is standing close to many graves that had not been taken care of in quite a while…gently placing flowers in front of each, before removing a candle from his bag and lighting it.

"Duo?" He looks up from the candle he had been praying over. Every movement suggesting that I may have interrupted something of infinite importance. Never the less, a grin spreads over his face on seeing me.

"Oi, Heero, what are you doing here…?"

"What are you doing?" Suddenly I feel stupid for asking such a thing in this place…the seriousness of whatever the mass had been still hanging in the air. I try again a bit more quietly "why are you here…?"

He laughs "I'm honoring my dead…well not my per say…but the dead, non the less."

"nani?"

Laughter erupts from somewhere near, as a group of people come together in front of a grave. Some holding children close to them. Each rise in the laughs tinted with sorrow, but mostly overwhelmed by a joy, a feeling of life, and the appreciation for that gift.

"Today is November the first….the day of the dead…all saint's day…I guess you would not be familiar with it."

I frown, attempting to bring back all of my teachings on the subject, only to return to the conclusion that this is merely some religious tradition. The actions insignificant…and yet…this seems wrong. If this is merely a pointless tradition, why does it bring about a feeling of security?

Somewhere the sound of guns being fired draws my attention to it, I whip around, only to be held back by Duo, laughter spilling from his lips. "Don't worry about it Hee-chan, those are in honor of the unknown soldier…" I turn to stare at him…all around us the trees stretch their bare branches to the bright blue sky. And beneath it shine the colours of thousands of flowers, and nestled between the sweet smelling petals burn candles. Tinting the air with warmth…somewhere a woman cries, her child clutched to her chest…elsewhere laughter. Then in other places still…absolute quiet…stillness. He smiles at me again.

"I guess even when we die, we will be remembered…ne?"

"Do you know them?" I point to the gravestones.

"Nope…but I figure that everyone deserves a bit of remembering today, even those that have no one to recall who they were anymore. Look at these plots, they have not been cared for in years…by placing some flowers here I guess I am honoring them. And in honoring them, I honor my own dead as well…"

I glance down at the graves…catching a distinctly female name. A girl…she had died at age five. I feel an all too familiar twinge at my heart, a familiar emptiness. I turn to look at Duo, but he is already elsewhere placing more candles, more flowers…praying. To remember. I wonder why he wants to remember, when all I want to do is forget…

I place a hand on the old grave stone…she had died so long ago…I wonder, I wonder if that other little girl has a little gravestone. Maybe…I wonder what she would have grown into, if she would have someone, like her grand children, to sit at the stone now, and light a candle for her. I frown, staring at the weeds that had grown over the earth, threatening to swallow the stone whole.

~~~~~~~~~~

"That was very nice of you Heero…" I glance up, straight at Duo's heart shaped face, his pale skin ethereal in the dying light… beneath my hands sits a small wreath of flowers, upon the now cleared little plot of a young girls grave. He leans down, placing a single candle in the middle of the wreath, allowing me to light it. I don't know how, but for just a moment, I can lay my demon's to rest. To bury her in a way that I was unable to so long before.

"Come on Heero, there is something I want to show you…" he grabs my hand, and pulls me away from the cemetery, away from the thinning crowds of people…away from the tears and the laughter…towards the solitude of a hill…he is laughing, pointing out to the sunset that I can see more clearly in his eyes then in the sky.

The blues melting into purples, and those into deep reds and pinks and fuchsias…so many colors, all captured by his laughter as he tells me something that he thought was funny…and yet.

"Ne, Heero why did you pick that grave?"

I look out into the sky, watching it turning from the warmth to the darkness, melting into the dark oblivion that I am all too familiar with. He looks at me once more before turning back to the sky, he does not ask again….I guess that he knows when to leave some things alone…I'm not ready to talk to anyone about this, not yet. Although, Duo…when I am ready, you will be the first to know.

"Heero look…"

I turn away from the now black horizon, and to the town from which we came…but it is not the town that shines so brightly, rather it is what appears to be millions of lights, blazing like fire, like another sun upon the ground. I stare at the brightness.

"Duo, where do you think her candle is?"

He turns to look at me…his face hidden by shadow, but I know he is smiling.

"I don't know…but she matters, y'know…all of them do, each and every one of them.

I nod. Maybe tonight I will finally be able to sleep…the darkened corners of my mind light by millions of candles.

~~~~~~~~~~
Well, whad ya think? comments appreciated critisism desired but neither is necessary. Love ya all, and happy halloween !!!