To finish Short Story Month in style, we are pleased to bring you “The Candelabra” by Ben Loory. We loved his collection Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day, and we are thrilled to be publishing an original tale of his. While “The Candelabra” is just about five hundred words, it palpably conveys the ways in which we take those we love for granted, down to the smallest detail.
The grandmother starts staying up later and later, long after everyone else has gone to bed. She sits in the living room, in the dark, with her hands folded in her lap.
One night the mother—her daughter—finds her there. She’s on her way to the bathroom.
Mother, she says, what are you doing?
She reaches out and turns on the light.
Don’t, says the grandmother.
She holds up a hand.
But what are you doing? the mother says.
She waits for an answer.
No answer comes.
You can’t just sit here in the dark, she says.
Read the rest of “The Candelabra” here.