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  • Writer's pictureArthur Mills

Candle Face Victim #14: Sobriety's Test - A Haunting on Sixth Street

Candle Face Victim #14: Sobriety's Test - A Haunting on Sixth Street

Candle Face Victim # 14

February 20, 2024


While sleeping on the living room sofa, I woke for the common middle-aged nocturnal pilgrimage: a bathroom trip. Upon my return, rounding the corner to reclaim my spot on the couch, I encountered a drenched man standing by it, clutching a beer bottle. It was clear to me he wasn’t a threat but rather a spirit in search of my assistance. Approaching him to offer a handshake, he retreated, maintaining a gap between us. Anticipating such a reaction, I seated myself, ready to listen. He, too, seemed prepared to share. And so, his story began.

The relentless Texas sun had begun its descent, casting long shadows over Austin’s Sixth Street. I stood there amidst the Friday evening crowd, feeling a sense of triumph. Months of sobriety had transformed me, and I was determined to prove I could enjoy the bustling street life without succumbing to my old vice.
The street was alive with music and laughter, a testament to the city’s vibrant lifestyle. Even alone, I felt a part of something larger, a community where everyone sought escape from their daily grind. I mingled, played pool, enjoying street food, and for the first time in years, I was genuinely enjoying myself without a drop of alcohol.
As the night waned, a peculiar encounter unfolded. A group of young people, their eyes wild with a passion I couldn’t fathom, were handing out flyers. I tried to sidestep them, but one girl, tears streaming down her face, blocked my path. She pushed a flyer into my hand, insisting it would save my life.
The flyer featured a disturbing image - a little girl with a charred face crawling out of a fire. They called her Candle Face, a deity in their bizarre faith. Skeptical, I dismissed their beliefs. The girl, her eyes a mix of anger and sorrow, warned me with words that I brushed off as the ramblings of a fanatic.
Leaving the chaos of Sixth Street behind, I wandered towards Lady Bird Lake, seeking solace in its calm. The night air was cooler here, a welcome break from the heat of the day and the intensity of downtown.
As I neared the water, I heard splashing and a child’s faint cry for help. Driven by instinct, I dove into the lake, swimming towards the struggling figure. It was a little girl, her arms flailing desperately. I reached her, pulling her to safety.
But when she spoke, her words were unsettling. “Why did you save me? Take me back,” she said. Her response unnerved me, and her insistence on returning to the water was bizarre. Her strength was unnatural, pulling me deeper into the lake despite my resistance.
Then, the horror truly began. Her face transformed, revealing the charred, skeletal look of Candle Face, the girl from the flyer. A cold dread gripped me as she spoke words that shook my soul.
Weaker by the moment, I found myself unable to resist as she drew a bottle of alcohol from the water and forced it to my lips. My pleas fell on deaf ears. Her laughter echoed across the lake as she toyed with me, a cruel game of life and death.
The next thing I knew, I was sinking into the dark depths, the last remnants of my strength fading. My final thoughts were of regret and disbelief, how my story would be twisted - a sober man lost to the bottle once again.
Days later, my bloated body was found, and the stories began. Friends and family mourned not just my passing but the tragic return to my old ways. Little did they know, it wasn’t the drink that claimed me but the haunting curse of Candle Face, punishing a disbeliever.
As for the girl with the flyers, I wonder if she regrets that night. But for me, regret is eternal.

After concluding his account, he retreated a step. My gaze inadvertently fell on the bottle he held. Sensing my observation, he explained, “This bottle has become a part of me, a personal memento and a signal to everyone trapped in Candle Face’s nightmare. It labels me as a drunkard, someone who lost the battle with his desires.” He took a sip, turned around, and disappeared into the shadows.


Personal Note to My Readers


As the testimony unfolded, I couldn’t help but wonder about the depth of the girl with the flyers regret. Did she lie awake at night, haunted by the faces of those she believed she was saving, or in her heart, did she find a twisted satisfaction in the unfolding of Candle Face’s curse? The ambiguity of her intentions adds an alarming layer to his testimony, raising questions about the nature of belief and the consequences of our actions.


The tragedy of this spirit, a sober man consumed by forces beyond his comprehension, forces me to reflect on the victims of Candle Face’s wrath. How many souls ventured into the night, never to return, their stories untold? And as our world turns, how many more will find themselves trapped by the legend, their fates sealed by a flyer clutched in trembling hands?


The girl with the flyers stands as a testament to the power of belief and the sometimes catastrophic impact of our actions on the lives of others. As I close this entry, I ponder the ripple effects of our choices and the shadows they cast in the lives of those we touch, willingly or otherwise.


In the end, the mystery of the girl’s true feelings about the man’s death remains unsolved, a lingering question that invites us to explore the depths of our own convictions. How many more victims lie in wait, and how many more stories of regret and redemption will be written in the wake of Candle Face’s curse? This story, though concluded, leaves a door ajar to the endless possibilities in the realm of the unknown and the unknowable.


Thank you for joining me on this journey through Austin’s dimly lit streets and Lady Bird Lake’s murky depths. May the story of Candle Face and the questions it raises linger with you as we ponder the mysteries of fate, the power of belief, and the indelible marks we leave on the world and each other.


With gratitude and reflection,


Arthur

 

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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