28 May 2017

The Crimson Candle

The Crimson Candle

A man lying at the point of death called his wife to his bedside and said:

“I am about to leave you forever; give me, therefore, one last proof of your affection and fidelity, for, according to our holy religion, a married man seeking admittance at the gate of Heaven is required to swear that he has never defiled himself with an unworthy woman.  In my desk you will find a crimson candle, which has been blessed by the High Priest and has a peculiar mystical significance.  Swear to me that while it is in existence you will not remarry.”

The Woman swore and the Man died.  At the funeral the Woman stood at the head of the bier, holding a lighted crimson candle till it was wasted entirely away.

- 30 -

If a person managed to write just this, they would have to be gauged accomplished, yet Ambrose Bierce reeled these off at any clip he chose. I don't care to connect this one with current events, but I believe that it's connection to these modern times remains self evident.

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