The Tale Of The Lost Lantern. A Flash Fiction by Ashley Houston.

         The Tale of the Lost Lantern.

From up above, hidden within the relative safety of a storm cloud, was a little red lantern. She was searching for her master.

She was trying to look into the crowded temple below. Oh, the cool rush of air that ran through the lantern’s flames. There was a moment of fear, before she lit up brightly with a burst of hope.

The lantern whispered softly to the wind, “please lower me closer to the ground, so that I can find my master.”

The wind complied with a whisper of complete stillness. The lantern started to free fall down towards the moss encrusted cobbled stone street, snaking around the temple. Her flame was winking wildly in anticipation.

“Thank you for your kindness, mistress wind,” she said. Briefly wondering if she would survive crashing into the cobbled street.

Suddenly, the wind swirled around her, till she was once again floating upon its swift currents.

With a wink of her small burning flame, the lantern almost gave up trying to find her master. That was until she caught sight of a nearby human.

The human was wearing thick leather goggles, steering a two-seated crop duster plane through the winds moody currents. There was something about his crazy smile that made her get closer to him.

Maybe he was her master?

She urged the wind to push her towards ‘her master’. The wind did not comply as nicely as it had before, instead it sang out in annoyance. The storm clouds that once protected her, rumbled in response to the wind.

The sky tuned into a dark moody chorus, as the clouds rolled and twirled with the annoyed wind.

With a plume of smoke and a loud shriek her master’s crop duster began to nose drive down toward the ground. The lantern’s assumed master, jumped out into the swirling wind. He fell for a few moments, struggling against the fury of the wind. Until he finally able to pull on the string that would release his parachute.

The lantern‘s flame winked out, when the parachute did not open. She could feel the want to survive drying up her remaining oil reserves. Then the human did an amazing thing, he pulled on another string which produced a blue baby parachute. The baby parachute pulled him to safety, up above the annoyed wind and moody storm clouds.

The flame her been out too long and her oil was completely out. She could feel herself falling apart as it sank faster toward the patiently waiting field below. Her paper outsides shrank into her fragile wooden insides. Everything blurred before her, till she could no longer see or feel.

It became a world of emptiness. A place that was void of all feeling and reason. The little red lantern had given into the darkness after her small flame drew its last breath.

Then, as suddenly as the dark void had consumed her. The darkness was away into a dimly lit world which was not quite as bright as it had once been.

Her body was no longer broken and she could breathe again. Her flame was burning once more. The wick and the oil that fueled her body were new and full.

Yet, the world was not as bright as before. For her flame was not as big as it once had been.

A creak at the door stilled her flame.

The lantern realized that she was holding her breath, her flame was getting smaller and smaller. In a panic she took a big breath which caused her it to flare up.

Her master smiled down at her with one green and one blue eye.

With a horrified gasp and a winking flame, she realized that this man was not her master. Her master had two brown eyes and was a bit round than the bean pole standing before her.

“Do not be alarmed little lantern.” The man whispered, as he pointed over at a sleeping child.

The lantern looked in wonder at the child that she was hanging next to.

“You caught my attention as you fearlessly braved the storm that my crop duster could not withstand.”

The lantern’s flame flickered with confusion.

“How did I survive?” She whispered.

He smiled at the lantern, putting his finger to his lips.

“That is a story for another time. Just know, that you will no longer have to wonder the skies alone.”

The lantern watched as the man closed the door and the child moaned in his sleep.

She dared her flame to get brighter, as she looked down upon the small snoring face of her new master.

While she may not have found her old master, she was given the gift of a new master and a place to call home once more.

I just so happened to have an old red lantern, so I took a picture of it.

I hope you enjoyed my flash fiction! 🙂

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