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  • Writer's pictureArthur Mills

Candle Face Victim #22: Struggles Beneath the Bridge

Candle Face Victim #22: Struggles Beneath the Bridge

Candle Face Victim # 22

March 27, 2024


I was lounging on the sofa, lost in thought about the increasing visits from the lost souls. Interestingly, none had shown any hostility toward me of late. Perhaps it was a mere coincidence. While preparing my makeshift bed on the sofa, the side door swung open, ushering in an intense wave of body odor. A man, seemingly in his middle years and mirroring my own age, approached. His gaze, however, was fixated on the fresh brownies my wife had prepared just a few hours earlier. Offering some, I was taken aback not only by my own ease of communication but even more so when he responded, “I appreciate the offer, but partaking in the pleasures of the living isn’t something I can do without consequences.” His refusal was met with my encouraging smile, “Well, if you reconsider, they’re there for the taking.” We then proceeded to the living room, where, for the first time, one of my nocturnal visitors chose to sit. Curiously, I inquired, “What brings you here tonight?” This is what he told me:

I stood at the bustling street corner, clutching my tattered sign, a weary presence amidst the relentless city chaos. My appearance told the story of my hardships, etched deep into the lines on my face. My daily routine was a cruel dance: beg for change, buy beer, drink, and beg again. A numbing cycle, an escape from my harsh reality of homelessness and addiction.
One day, a man approached me, his eyes filled with a strange determination. He handed me a flyer adorned with a mysterious figure called Candle Face, a supposed “savior” who promised salvation from my plight. My initial reaction was disbelief, but something about how he spoke planted a seed of curiosity.
I dismissed the man’s offer, tossing the flyer back at him with a grumble. “I need food, not another savior,” I muttered to myself. That night, I lay beneath the Interstate 35 overpass in downtown Austin, my thoughts drifting to the countless times well-meaning people had tried to “save” me. Something about Candle Face’s promise didn’t sit right with me. Was it a glimmer of hope or just the desperation of a weary soul?
The following morning, an older homeless man approached me. He had a haunted look in his eyes and shared his experiences with Candle Face. He warned me about the dangers of crossing paths with her, but my curiosity burned brighter than ever.
Days turned into weeks, and the voices in my head became louder and more persistent. At first, I blamed them on the alcohol, chalking it up to another cruel side effect of my addiction. But as time went on, I couldn’t ignore them any longer. They spoke to me, told me secrets and promises, and made my daily routine unbearable.
Desperation and a sense of impending doom led me to form a tentative alliance with others who had heard of Candle Face. Together, we scoured the city for clues about her activities. We swapped stories, hoping to piece together the truth. Yet, despite our efforts, we found little concrete evidence of her existence.
Then came the betrayal, as one among us revealed allegiance to Candle Face. It was the man who had first handed me that fateful flyer. His true intentions became apparent as he manipulated us homeless, using our desperation and vulnerability to his advantage. The voices in my head grew louder, tormenting me day and night, and my friends began to fall victim to Candle Face’s influence.
In a grim revelation, I discovered that Candle Face was no mere hallucination but an actual entity that fed on the souls of disbelievers. My mental and physical health deteriorated rapidly, and I felt hopelessness closing in. The city had swallowed me whole, and now I was trapped in a nightmare beyond my control.
In a moment of despair, I drank enough alcohol to end it all. As I teetered on the brink of death, Candle Face appeared before me, her creepy form illuminated by a faint, flickering light. She asked if I still didn’t believe. Weakly, I replied no, insisting that she and the voices were a result of my alcohol-induced hallucinations.
Candle Face revealed the truth – she had been waiting for me to give up the fight to claim my soul. She told me that my struggle with addiction and homelessness was a battle with dark forces far beyond my comprehension. Realization washed over me; I couldn’t defeat her. With resignation in my heart, I submitted to her control, allowing her to claim my soul.
In a brutal climax, I was defeated, and Candle Face and her disciple continued their reign of terror over the vulnerable homeless population.
The street corner where I once stood was now occupied by a new soul, struggling and unaware of the dark forces at play. Candle Face’s influence grew stronger, casting a long shadow over the city’s forgotten souls. Stories of her wicked presence spread, creating an atmosphere of dread and hopelessness for those who dared to defy her. Candle Face’s power continued to grow, and the city’s homeless community remained trapped in her evil grip. The world outside moved on, oblivious to our plight, while we, the lost souls, succumbed to the darkness.

After concluding his testimony, he rose and wandered towards the brownies enticingly on the kitchen counter. He lingered there, an aura of yearning enveloping him as if he were savoring the sight. My gaze remained fixed on him, observing every movement, yet I remained silent. With a heavy sigh, he turned to face me, his expression a blend of longing and resignation. “As much as I yearn for a taste of a life once familiar, some desires are best left unfulfilled,” he confessed. With those parting words, he exited the house, his steps slow and weighted as though each was a reluctant farewell. As his final step touched the sidewalk, his figure faded, gradually dissolving into the air until he vanished entirely, leaving a sad silence.

 

Key To Understanding

To ensure readers grasp the full context and significance of this article, it’s crucial to be familiar with Arthur Mills’ award-winning memoir The Empty Lot Next Door, inspired by actual ghostly events in Austin, TX. The book provides essential background information, and without it, the nuances and depth of this article might not be fully appreciated. Therefore, reading The Empty Lot Next Door is highly recommended for a more enriched and coherent understanding of this article’s content and implications.


To purchase The Empty Lot Next Door, please visit Amazon


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