Stories by Mail, Day 38 – With this flame, we live on



The cave’s ceiling was bathed in artificial, slightly yellowish light from the lantern a park employee had placed on the stony floor. Jennifer heard the tour guide recite something about nineteenth-century visitors, but her entire consciousness was funneled into her eyes, tracing the marks above her head: names, dates, at least one heart.

“What do you see?”, Lacey whispered.

“They were here,” Jennifer said softly. “They were here, and they laughed and fell in love and suffered soul-crushing lossses and soaring triumphs. And they left the world a century and a half before we even existed, but they burned they identities into solid rock and I’m reading their names.”

The group had mostly migrated to the adjoining room. Lacey squeezed her fiancée’s shoulder gently. “I see you,” Jennifer said to the ceiling. “I never met you, but I know you once walked here, and I see you.”  She followed Lacey to the next corridor, to her own time.


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