The candles flickered, filling the darkened room with dancing lights and the smell of honey. Faint streaks of smoke curled up towards the ceiling. Candles made of honeycombs loosely rolled around a wick, placed touching each other on a plain dish, that was all she could afford for christmas decorations.
Four candles, their natures determined solely by the honeycombs used, and so all the candles were different: one thin but dense and smoothly rolled, prepared to support the others despite its fragility; the next one tall and heavy, its honeycomb secured with small staples; the third was light and malleable, causing funny structures of wax to form on its rim while it burned; the last one...
...the comb had broken when it was rolled, causing dark streaks to crisscross the honey-colored stem like scars, yet it stood as tall as the second and equally tight, not allowing the molten wax beginning to fill up the space between them to leak out where it touched the first candle.
Niko sat silently, allowing the dancing flames to become ghostflames on her retinas, filling the darkness of the empty cadet quarter at the Ranger Academy with even more lights. The candles burned quickly, flickering wildly, each struggling against the dark on its own until the central void was filled and the inner walls were melted by their combined heat.
The candle flames stilled, calming the ghostflames in perfect patterns around their pools of lights now embedded in a single sea of molten beeswax between the filigree of honeycombs surrounding them. A face framed by ghostflames formed in the golden dome of light above the now-joined candles.
...You are abiding their traditions, aren't you?... Ariel's mental voice whispered.
The mental image of a smile crossed the undefinable distance on the mental plane before her mentor's beloved face began to lose contour as the dark lines of the broken candle ceased in the warm glow of the others.
...I don't know, it seems right...
Seasons Greetings, everyone!