Home > Events, Writing > III. The Candle Dryer

III. The Candle Dryer

I remember a darkened room, quite large, dimly lit despite the combined power of our torches. Later, it was candlelight flickering against the walls. Those hadn’t been lit for illumination, however; the light came from inside our still-wet boots. There were just nine of us, fortunate to have been excluded from the primary mission, spread out along the walls and in the corners.
Our mission tomorrow would be simple, nothing compared to what we’d already done, and, in the meantime, we had seven glorious hours almost to ourselves. We had a roof, and tonight we’d be as dry as we’d ever been since the beginning of it all. Things were winding down for us. The past few days had been constant tension and movement punctuated by bouts of intense activity, and in one case intense inaction; but this was rest.
For a while, we came a little bit alive. We were still tired, but less deadened, now that the strain of a real mission was off our backs. I am picturing how we huddled around to observe the technique one of our number had devised to dry the inside of his boots, and how for a while after that we were all busy distributing the available materials and passing the lighter around in a combined effort to replicate the technique we’d just learned. I think it was one of the rare moments where we could put aside the stress of being tough, focused soldiers-on-a-mission and be, well, relaxed. In the midst of all that happy activity, I could only smile.
In the morning the boots were dry.

I remember a darkened room, quite large, dimly lit despite the combined power of our torches. Later, it was candlelight flickering against the walls. Those hadn’t been lit for illumination, however; the light came from inside our still-wet boots. There were just nine of us, fortunate to have been excluded from the primary mission, spread out along the walls and in the corners.

Our mission tomorrow would be simple, nothing compared to what we’d already done, and, in the meantime, we had seven glorious hours almost to ourselves. We had a roof, and tonight we’d be as dry as we’d ever been since the beginning of it all. Things were winding down for us. The past few days had been constant tension and movement punctuated by bouts of intense activity, and in one case intense inaction; but this was rest.

For a while, we came a little bit alive. We were still tired, but less deadened, now that the strain of a real mission was off our backs. I am picturing how we huddled around to observe the technique one of our number had devised to dry the inside of his boots, and how for a while after that we were all busy distributing the available materials and passing the lighter around in a combined effort to replicate the technique we’d just learned. I think it was one of the rare moments where we could put aside the stress of being tough, focused soldiers-on-a-mission and be, well, relaxed. In the midst of all that happy activity, I could only smile.

In the morning the boots were dry.

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