Short Story: Of Caves and Candles

Everyone came to the caves with their dreams. Dreams of wealth, of glory, of a better life. Holding these dreams, they ventured into the dark caves.

But there were costs to venturing into the caves. It wasn’t just the danger posed by the cave dwellers, or the fierce competition with the other cave crawlers. In the caves, there were no shops, and even the rare travelling merchant sold wares that were heavily inflated to include their hazard pay. If anyone wanted to succeed in the caves, they had to prepare for everything and anything they could need before they entered, or be prepared to pay an exorbitant price to keep going.

Long ago, he came here as a cave crawler with his dreams, only to find himself completely outclassed by his competitors. It was only luck that allowed him to survive the caves intact, but now he knew that the caves couldn’t grant him the dreams he had come here with.

So he became a chandler. Everyone needed candles to navigate the pitch dark caves. And he didn’t stop at just normal candles. He made candles that produced different coloured flames to detect the different dangers in the caves. Candles that would cleanse the stagnant air and noxious fumes. Candles that could double as bombs or amplifiers with the right accessories.

In time, his candles became a must have for any serious cave crawler. He might not be able to go into the caves, but now the treasures in the caves came to him in exchange for his candles.

It wasn’t the life he expected when he came here, but he was happy all the same.


Genre: slice of life, fantasy?


Related to Creative Cave Crawling, Of Strength and Skills, and Hidden History Held.

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