Some nights the chandlers would come.
They would take me in my sleep and do things on me.
Tied on a wooden altar, I could only stare at their bleak, static faces, as they scrutinized my body.
The one who doesn't speak, always cared for my perfect alignment against the altar. My hands touching my thighs, my knees and ankles touching together.
The one who never talks, carried a heavy, leather bag. The metallic tools contained within were carefully arranged along an invisible surface. Even though, I could not turn my head to look at them, I knew they were pointed at me.
The third one, the one who only smiles, she would just stay unmoving in front of my face. Eyeless and white. Like trying to distract me from everything about to happen.
The tools would then start to drill and carve my ears' insides. The three chandlers were miners of a rare resource, only found beyond my eardrums. The tiny metallic picks, effortlessly slashed and tore apart the walls of my flesh tunnels. As the precious earwax was harvested, bit by bit, I was paid back in pain. Piercing, sonic pain more unbearable to hear than feel.
I never knew I had so much of it inside me.
After what seemed like an eternity of punishment for a sin I knew I had committed, I felt cleansed. They would put the chunks of wax in a large cauldron, and leave me to wake up to the deafening ambiance of a questionable reality.
The same thing would happen for many more nights. And now, the cauldron was overflowing with little parts of me.
* * *
Tonight, the chandlers came again.
The one who doesn't speak, hanged me by my hair on a large wooden pole. I felt the burning pain of my scalp coming off, but the hair would not break. I twitched and flailed, just to make the pain grow. So, I remained still. Like a fake doll, with fake tears.
The one who never talks, lit up a big fire underneath me and put the wax filled cauldron on top of it. As my ears' wax started to melt, burning the soles of my naked feet, I cried in agony. But the pathetic sound coming out of my mouth, only made me realize my helplessness.
Then, I was lowered down to the boiling wax.
And it burned.
It burned so much.
I felt my flesh liquify and come off. Dipped inside the viscous mass, my fragile body's meat melted. It became one with the wax.
What they dragged out of the cauldron, was not me. The tall wax sculpture vaguely resembling a man, was a candle. A candle with a wick of bones. Still, alive enough to think. Alive enough to feel.
When the one who only smiles appeared, she carried a torch. She sat above me, and while setting my head on fire, she spoke inside my mind in my mother's voice. She spoke with her unmoving smile, repeating an oddly familiar phrase.
“You should clean your ears, sweetie.”
The flames engulfed me and I started to melt once more.
I should have listened.