Candle Crabs in Samar

Ruthie Little

We were bored, we had no toys to play with. So at night, we would go down to the beach with the tiny church candles. Mountains shield the beach from both sides and stretch the length of the island. Distant mountains sit on the horizon like dark unmoving waves, keeping us at home and warm. Life bubbles green across their backs. The island breathes and blows the waves back and forth. We found its pores where the crabs had burrowed beneath the sand and stuck our fingers in, not too deep, gathering lots of them. We lit the candles until the wax turned soft. It trickled down their stems, swollen from flame and a wet coat. We stuck them to the backs of the crabs, our faces mirroring their color in the candlelight. Their shells protected them as they ran swimming in the shadowy shores, like a parade of lanterns scuttling after a night sky.

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