LE PETIT CHANDELIER

by Maria Ioannou

As published in In Focus, Vol. 9, No 3, Sept 2012

The little chandelier was tired of listening to all those horrible secrets and watching all those naked bodies switching places and corners. It felt as if its pose just wasn’t right. It felt upside down. Not straight. It should’ve been straight! Thus, it would’ve looked like a bird with shiny feathers, not an old and withered bat hanging with its feet stuck on the ceiling, doomed to watch the perverted relationships of his owner with women half his age.

The little chandelier would swing from time to time, complaining about its uncomfortable position but nobody would care. It was just one more lifeless object, hanging upside down.

Or so they thought.

The luxurious chandelier with its beads and precious stones was truly unhappy no matter how decorated and expensive it looked. It often dreamt of being an umbrella with silver dots, flying in the air and looking at things from a different perspective. As if an invisible hand would hold it still but free at the same time. A tiny insect would rest on one of its beads from time to time, enchanted by its dazzling rays of light and transparency. It would keep the little chandelier company and then it would simply disappear as if it never existed. At nights, the moans and noises below would spice up the experience. Yet, the light would repeatedly burn the poor chandelier’s skin and no matter how hard it tried to heal its wounds, its scars and scratches would be permanent. And in the morning, the little chandelier would soothe its pain from the bruises and burnings by rubbing them with fluff and plaster and it would fall asleep, thinking about that place they all called heaven, where everything was white and most people were honest.

At least that’s what it thought, being shy and naive, carried away by its endless imagination.

At times, the little chandelier would murder one of its lamps to stir things, since its life was boring and nobody seemed to care. A newly bought lamp would offer him something new and newness was a necessity. The dust on its glassy surface, no matter how paradoxical it sounds, was his favourite because it was soft and free like a woman. His allergic sneezing remained unnoticed and the dust continued to dance in the blurry light.

The night it all happened, the little chandelier was even more tired than usual. It noticed a strange crack on the ceiling and a loosened edge of its structure. The shadows coming from the silhouettes below seemed to reveal a scenario the little chandelier had never thought before. The possibility to slip away, to disappear, to live somewhere else, with a better view and a better ceiling. An escape that now seemed even more possible!

The moment was right. There. Somewhere among the sexual positions and the true lies, the chandelier grabbed the opportunity to take the big plunge and fall.

1…2…3!

t

h   e

f

a

l l

b  e   g

i

n ssss

It twisted in the air three times until it looked more like a pigeon than a bat. After electrocuting itself, it suddenly landed on the young lady’s curly hair, who that night decided to sneak out to get some fresh air. The little chandelier didn’t mean to kill her. It was an accident.

It couldn’t handle it. It fainted, letting its last lamp blink two and a half times. They all thought that both the poor chandelier and the young lady were dead. But they weren’t.

When they both regained consciousness, the yacht had already reached its destination.

The young lady kept the little chandelier as a souvenir and the little chandelier, after some serious “objective” thinking, eventually decided to keep the young lady because of her honesty but most importantly, because of that airy, white dress it loved to light at night.

The story was first published in Greek, in the short story collection “The gigantic fall of an eyelash” (Gabrielides Publishing, Athens 2011).

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