Welcome to Candles
Jimson visits each guest in turn, helping them settle in.
Marta’s bruises are fading.
“My own bedroom and private bath! Fragrant lotions and soaps. Morning light. No one slapping me or pulling out my hair. It’s like a fairy tale.”
She throws her arms around Jimson who gently hugs her back. He remembers her monstrous husband and shudders.
Tucker still trembles a little.
“Too many windows. Dragged my mattress into the closet, pulled blankets over my head. Can barely hear the bombs and people screaming. Almost safe now.”
Jimson draws the heavy curtains and Tucker tentatively opens the closet door a little wider. Jimson’s eyes fill with compassion for the man who daily relives the horrors of war.
Laslow is no longer a skeleton.
He sighs contentedly.
“Incredible food! Salmon cakes with dill sauce, steamed asparagus, blueberry cobbler. And those artistic menus on the food trays! Reading the names of the dishes out loud is almost as good as eating them.”
Jimson smiles, grateful to be able to share his culinary passions with this man who had never had enough to eat – until now.
Philomena greets Jimson with bare feet.
“My first act of freedom was to remove my shoes and dance all night. My second act will be to wear my own designs when I give my gratitude recital.”
She eagerly shows Jimson her sketches of flowing pastels. Her birth family was wealthy and privileged, but had paralyzed her creative spirit.
A timid knock announces the out-of-work husband and pregnant wife. The nursery suite is ready. How nice it will be to have a baby in the house again!
Jimson throws the front door open.
“Any room for a couple of wanderers?” The husband looks exhausted, but happy.
“Welcome home, my friends.”
Jimson’s kindness is a reflection of his late father’s generosity. The will had turned Candles, the family estate, into a special haven. Tomorrow Jimson would issue the final invitation. But for now, he must show Marie and Tomas to their rooms.
“Are you hungry?” Jimson asks the new arrivals, already planning the festive homecoming feast.