Seventeen Small Candles

Seventeen small candles were all she saw. Teetering delicately on the solid wooden table, their cylindrical forms dared passers-by to play. Go on. Nudge me.

As she made her way towards the back door of the kitchen, she heard a dog barking outside. In the open wilderness of Long Farm it was impossible to even begin to estimate the dog’s location. It could be three miles away; it could be right outside the door. The thought sent fear coarsing through Annie.

In 1982, Annie was five years old. At five years old, a family dog may as well be a roaring lion, she recalled. This dog, however, had made no warning roar; no indication of impending danger. She shivered as the years disappeared, peeling away, and she found herself back in the kitchen as it now stood.

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