2049 - torches
With the air of one carrying through the most sacred item of a religious ritual, Sheerin scraped a large, clumsy match into spluttering life.
There it would wait, dancing about, futilely playing about the tip. Then it was topped by the wavering flames until the room began to glow.
THE LIGHT WAS OH SO DIM, MORE THAN SUNS and what we had.
The flames reeled crazily, giving birth to drunken, swaying shadows. The torches smoked devilishly … But they emitted yellow light.
With a light there was hope, through the end, what would follow. There was something about that warm yellow light, after hrs having spent in Beta’s dim, somber glow. And as he (Sheerin) stood warming his hands, It was without regard of the soot now upon. To himself he cried out “BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL. I never knew what a wonderful color yellow could be.”
But Theremon regarded the torches suspiciously. He wrinkled his nose at the rancid odor and said, ‘What are those things?’
‘Wood,’ said Sheerin shortly.
‘Oh, no, they’re not. They aren’t burning. The top inch is charred and the flame just keeps shooting up out of nothing.’
‘That’s the beauty of it. This is a really efficient artificial-light mechanism. We made a few hundred of them, but most went to the Hideout, of course. You see’ — he turned and wiped his blackened hands upon his handkerchief — ‘you take the pithy core of coarse water reeds, dry them thoroughly, and soak them in animal grease. Then you set fire to it and the grease burns, little by little. These torches will burn for almost half an hour without stopping. Ingenious, isn’t it?”
After the moment’s excitement had past, a stirring confluence had come to an end.
THE DOME WAS OH SO QUIET.
Latimer snuck his chair to the torch lips moving in monotonous tones…
…OF INVOCATIONS TO THE STARS.
Let them all die, come lonely stars the vengeance is yours, pour down your wrath and let the blood flow