Candle in the Jar 

The dead leaves dancing in the chilly gust of wind. The way the moon watches above all the children running with buckets full to the brim of candies. The air’s sweet aroma of pumpkin spice and fright. The decorations of spiders on cobwebs and witches standing by people’s front doors. The different trees and houses topped with pretty purple and orange lights. This was the time of the year I could be myself and get away with it. No fear, no shame.

“Man, this is getting boring.” Mark sighed, lifting his mask.

“What are you talking about,” Johnny interjected. “We’re just getting started!”

“Yeah!” Donghyuck added.

Mark wiped the sweat off his forehead.

“I mean we’ve been doing this for 2 hours.” He looked at me.

“We have.” I agreed with Mark.

“Oh, so you’re bored too!” Johnny rolled his eyes.

“I never said I was bored.” I looked up at the tall male.

“Well, do you have a better idea?” he raised an eyebrow.

I sat there silently. I looked over at my best friend Donghyuck who wouldn’t even maintain eye contact with me. His cheeks were a faint tint of pink as he looked to the ground. I looked over at Johnny who had a smirk on his face. He scoffed at me.

“So, any ideas?” Mark asked, scratching the back of his neck.

“Here,” Donghyuck thought for a moment. “How about we split up and come up with ideas and then come back here in an hour? Deal?”

Everyone looked at the other for a second before agreeing.

“I’ll be partners with Mark.” Johnny spoke.

“Perfect!” He smiled at him.

“Which way are you guys going?” Mark asked.

“Probably over by the playground down the street.” I said.

“Come on Mark stop standing there!” Johnny called to him walking in the opposite direction.

“See you in an hour!” I smiled at him.

I started walking with the boy with sunkissed skin and pretty eyes. My heart was doing flips and I could no longer hide my smile. I knew he couldn’t hide the feelings either and he started to giggle. We both started giggling as we walked to the park. The cold wind lightly brushed over his soft brown hair that rested gently on his forehead. He looked over at me with his charming smile. I looked back at him and chuckled through my teeth. Our cheeks turned every shade of red.

“Hey, Vannie,” Donghyuck looked back to the ground. “Do you remember the time when we were younger and we would jumpscare all those people?”

“Yeah, I do.” I looked up at the stars.

“You could really scare those teenagers. How did you even do that?” He looked over at me.

I slowly looked down and into his eyes.

“Oh, I don’t know.” I lied.

I knew the exact reason I was able to scare those teenagers when we were 10. I kept eye contact with him. I felt bad for listening to his inner thoughts, but he was so interesting.

‘Should I tell her right now? I feel like that would be stupid. She won’t like me back. I should tell her I’m in love with her.’   He thought.

I know you love me Donghyuck, but we can’t be together and you don’t know what I am. 

‘Should I kiss her?” He thought.

“No!” I shouted, backing away from him.

“Wait, what,” He reached out to touch me. “Are you okay?”

I backed up more. He can’t touch me; he’ll know my secret.

“Yeah,” I trailed off rubbing my arm. “Yeah I am, sorry.”

“Do you wanna start heading back? By the time we start walking back it’ll be time to meet up anyways.”

“Sure.” I looked down to the floor.

The walk back was quiet and a bit awkward. The space between us was filled with tension. It was midnight and the temperature was dropping. The children were no longer on the streets. The porch lights are turning off one by one. The teenagers slowly creep through cracks and crannies to go to parties. I looked down at my hands and saw them becoming a glowy white translucent.


I put my hood up and hid my hands in my pockets. The sounds coming from the trees helped calm me down. I looked up to see Mark waving at us with a giant smile. I smiled back at him.

“What did you guys come up with?” Mark asked.

“Oh, um.” I looked at the ground.

“A haunted house.” Donghyuck suggested.

“Man, we’ve done that every year!” Mark whined.

“We were thinking something like ghost hunting!” Johnny said looking down at Mark.

“Yeah! Ghost hunting is fun and we might catch a really cool one, and we got some equipment for it!” Mark said excitedly showing off all the death trapping devices.

I froze at the sight of them.

“Yeah, and we did a ton of research.” Johnny said with confidence.

I was shaking. This was the first time I felt the human emotion of fear.

“See we have a spirit bottle!” Mark put up the blue bottle.

I quickly looked away. I am not going to be counting those stupid mustard seeds if thats what they think. We aren’t that stupid. 

“What are you guys thinking we’re gonna catch again?” Donghyuck asks.

“A ghost!” They exclaimed.

“Well we can try, it seems fun!” Donghyuck grinned.

What do I do? I thought he would say no.

“So, are you in Vannie?” Johnny raised an eyebrow.

I gulped. My mouth was dry and I couldn’t form proper sentences.

“I-I don’t think that, that’s a good i-idea.”

“Hey, it’ll be okay, don’t be scared! You’re gonna be with us.” Donghyuck smiled at me.

“Yeah!” Mark smiled.

“Whatever, just come on,” Johnny rolled his eyes. “You guys are so dramatic.”

He started to walk over to the wooded area. He turned back to look at us.

“Are you losers coming or not?” He asked, disappearing through the bushes.

“Yeah we are.” Mark shouted back at him, running towards the woods.

I stood there looking in the dark wooded area. I wasn’t scared of the dark, if anything that was safe for me, but today I learned to fear the dark. I’ve had to hide from hunters for years, and now, my own friends have become the people I’ve feared and hid from.

“Vannie,” I looked over at the voice. “Don’t be scared I’m here for you.”

Donghyuck gave me a reassuring smile. I couldn’t help but smile back at him.

“Here, let’s go!” He excitedly motioned for me to follow him.

I ran after him towards the closed bushes. As we were running the bushes suddenly opened up.

Donghyuck stopped and looked at me with frightened eyes.

“What just happened?” He looked at me with wide eyes.

Why’d I do that? How do you act shocked after something you did? 

“It was probably the wind,” I looked back at him. “Let’s just get this over with.”

I ran into the bushes and Donghyuck followed behind me. It was dark, not even the moon’s light was bright enough to shine through the trees. I walked over to Johnny and Mark who had flashlights.

“Alright are you guys ready?” Johnny asked.

“Yep!” Donghyuck and Mark exclaimed.

I stood there waiting for the plan.

“Alright, Vannie and Donghyuck you guys go and use this candle and jar,” Johnny explained, handing Donghyuck a jar with a candlestick in it and a few matches. “Light the candle when you get further away and once it looks like it’s going to burn out shut the lid and trap it.”

“Got it!”

“Alright go on then! Let’s meet up in 2 hours!”

He’s gonna trap me in the jar if I don’t say anything to him. How am I even going to tell him and explain what I did. That I’m not who he thinks I am? I’m indefinitely screwed. 

We walked about 30 minutes into the woods until Donghyuck decided it was a good enough spot. He grabbed the matches from his pocket and lit them.

“Wait, Hyuck.” I said, raising my hands up to stop him.

“What’s wrong Vannie?” He looked at me with a calm tone.

I took a deep breath.

“I wouldn’t light that.”

“Why not?” He said, setting the jar down.

I sighed and shut my eyes tightly.

“There’s something I need to tell you.”

“What is it?” He asked, blowing the small flame out.

“Don’t freak out, but I’m not who you think I am.” I stuttered out.

“What,” He looked at me confused. “What are you talking about?”

I felt tears lightly glaze over my dark eyes. I knew that everything I told him would break me apart until I had nothing left but my translucent skin and ragged clothes. I could come back to my hidden identity if he didn’t tell anyone else. If only it’s our little secret.

“Donghyuck,” I became serious. “I’m the shadow that you saw in the dark hallway when you were a child. I’m the bad intentions. I followed you everywhere! I had to be with you! I had to have it right next to me! I gave up my wings for material things and you,” I began to cry. “I talked to the Devil and gave up my halo, my body, my wings. I became something I promised myself I wouldn’t.”

“What are you going on about?!” Donghyuck raised his voice.

“I became what he wanted me to be because I was selfish and needed you. I’m damned to live here for eternity and haunt people now. To take souls and new bodies for him.”

Donghyuck sat there for a minute silently as I cried. My skin began to crack and become see through. As my true form began to shape and up until it finished, Donghyuck realized what was happening.

“I lost my place in Heaven a long time ago, so can you keep a secret?”