The Candle Scandal

What’s the harm in a little Halloween festivity? Death: that’s the harm.

It was last year, Halloween night. A few friends and I had all just gotten back from cavorting around gathering candy, dressed as the cast of The Rocky Horror Picture show. In an effort to keep the lighthearted, innocent, Halloween fun going, I decided to turn off all the lights and light every candle I owned, which included two Halloween-themed ones my mom bought from a garage sale a few days prior. Ginger, sugar-filled laughter filled my condominium as we sat around partaking in the candymonium. If only the fun could have continued the through the rest of the night.

We had hardly even made a dent in our candy when suddenly, through the laughter, a horrible, hair-raising shriek came from my friend on the right, and she cried, “El Diablo!” burying her head in the sweets in front of her.

Her shrieks continued reverberating from the pile of Milky Ways for another minute before someone interrupted and demanded she explain. “You cannot bring that into your house. That candle…that is the Saint of Death. If you bring that into your house, you welcome in death!” Doubtful, I picked up and inspected the candle, and printed on the side was a robed skeleton holding a scythe. I looked up to tell her that it was probably just a Halloween skeleton and not to worry, but she was already on the phone with her mom, both of them panic-yelling at 500 words a minute in Spanish about Santa Muerte.

As their hurried Spanish increased in volume and speed, the rest of us sat confused on the floor with growing nervousness. We heard my friend say something that sounded like a last farewell and turned to her hopefully, waiting for her to tell us what we can do to save ourselves. “It is too late. You burned it. There is nothing that can save us now,” she said.

These words sent us all into a screaming, flustered panic in which we blew it out, argued over who had to pick it up, contemplated chucking if off of my fourth floor balcony, and then eventually settled with just keeping on the porch and locking the sliding door. Immediately after the location of the candle was solved, everyone’s parents arrived, and I was left in bitter silence inside a cursed house.

I spent that night in bed awake, patiently waiting for my house to catch fire, or for the floor above me to come crashing down through my ceiling and crush me. Death was inevitable, it was only a matter of cause. Somehow, I must have fallen asleep, because the next thing I knew I was being gently coaxed awake by the colorful sunrise and chirping birds. Colors were brighter and sounds were louder; I made it through the night. From that moment on,nothing can frighten me: no scary movie, old wives’ tale, or supposed curse can cause me even a flinch. I believe I beat Santa Muerte, but who knows, maybe I am just still waiting for her to deliver my terrible end.