The Candles

A true story about my father

Paul woke up one Saturday morning and stared lazily out the window. California sunshine streamed in to the room through the open curtains. What will I do today? He wondered.

After dressing and eating his breakfast, he raced down the street to his friend Jesse’s house.

“Hi Jesse,” Paul called, coming into the front yard where his friend was. “Do you want to go walk around town with me?”

The boy shrugged his shoulders, “sure. I don’t have anything else to do.”

The two boys walked aimlessly through the streets of Pico Rivera for a little while, trying to find something to do.

“Hey Paul,” Jesse said, as they approached a catholic church. “Let’s go in here!”

The heavy black doors were unlocked, so the boys crept quietly inside. At the front of the room, near the platform, was a table. On this table sat several candles, their flames burning brightly.

Paul and Jesse approached the table and stared quietly at it, and then Paul looked up and glanced at Jesse. The two boys seemed to read each other’s thoughts, for instantly, they nodded and bending down quickly blew out all the candles one by one. When the last one was extinguished they turned to leave.

Just then a horrible cry filled the church. From the back rooms came several nuns clothed in black. They glanced around and spotting the boys, raced towards them. Paul and Jesse turned and fled for the front doors.

Out on the sidewalk the two boys kept running. Behind them, loud mournful cries were heard and the nuns, there black robes billowing about them, wrung their long bony hands in despair as they watched the boys flee.

“Boy, that’s spooky!” Jesse panted, dropping to the ground when they were far enough away from the church.

“Yeah,” Paul agreed sitting down beside his friend, “but it was worth it!”

And the two boys exchanged smiles.

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