"GHUDDI CANDLE OF CHANCE
INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Go into a private room and turn off all lights.
2. Sprinkle holy water in circle around statues/candle.
3. Light Candle.
4. Wait.
WARNING: highly flammable
NOTE: lighting this candle will bring life to either the Guddi statues or the venomous snakes. There is no way to predetermine which will be awoken, it is chosen by the spirits and is a game of luck. If the Guddi statues are awoken you will become instantly wealthy, physically superior, and have every earthly desire granted. However, if the venomous snakes are brought to life, everyone you have ever cared for will die and you will be left alone with an incurable spine-crippling disease. It's up to you, will you take the chance?"



A cold chill ran down my spine as I set the candle back down, weighing my options. My life is dominated by my illness. Day in and day out chemotherapy, surgeries, scans. It never really ends. What's a spine-crippling disease to someone with only 6 months to live anyway? All of my friends stopped visiting months ago; it was easier than watching me dry up like a puddle on a hot summer day. Indulgently, i thought of everything i could have if only the gods were awoken instead of the snakes. I would be Cancer-free. Endless supplies of thick, rich chocolate. More money than I could imagine. I could go to India. I could be the president. I could even marry Ashton Kutcher if I wanted. I'd wish my dad didn't leave and that my mother was happy like when I was little. I'd wish for life.
I picked the candle back up, my heart hammering inside my ribcage as i held the lighter up to the wick.

Nothing happened. I sat there watching as the flame of the candle flickered and cast shadows about my room. I thought I'd feel different. Where's Oprah, knocking on my door to congratulate me for inheriting her grand fortune? I felt my head, searching for the hair that would surely be there, courtesy of the Guddi statues. Nothing was there. I knew I shouldn't have believed this stupid thing would work. Tears sprung into my eyes; I haven't been this hopeful for a happy ending since my diagnosis. I've kind of just accepted that I was born to be a burden on my mother and then die. Sighing I blew out the candle and grabbed my purse. "Mom? It's almost 3:00. If we don't leave soon we're gonna miss my appointment," I called out. I was met with silence. "Mom?" I said as i walked through our small apartment, unable to find her anywhere. Her bedroom door was locked. Panicking, I ran back into my room and grabbed the candle. The Guddi statues were in their place but the snakes had vanished. "Oh my god" I said as I realized what I had just done. I had been so caught up in myself and my fantasies that I hadn't even considered what would happen if the snakes had been awakened instead of the statues. I flung myself against the door to my mothers bedroom, tears flowing freely as I sobbed my her name. The hinges released as I burst into her room. Inside I found her lying in a puddle of blood still streaming from a snakebite in her neck. Her were eyes open, and her mouth was formed in a large "O" of shock.
Before I even had time to process the death of my Mom, a sharp pain pierced my spine. It felt as if my spinal chord had been cut in half. I fell to my knees in front of my mothers corpse unable to feel anything, unable to move.

-Amber Thomas