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Whisper to the Black Candle

An Excerpt

As she predicted, the Gabberts did want their son's body shipped home to Texas, but Anjette refused to allow it. Instead his family flew to Macon for the funeral, and in the late afternoon of December 4, services for Buddy were held at Memorial Chapel. Anjette moved through the day like a robot, answering when spoken to, but showing no emotion. She sat unmoving as she listened to the minister saying farewell to Buddy in the same chapel where, on a winter day four years before, she'd heard the same words spoken over her first husband Ben.

Most of her friends and family knew about Anjette's peculiar beliefs. She used a variety of candles and was always wiling to tell them more than they wanted to know about the purpose for each one. The tall green ones with the Lord's Prayer on them, called St. Anthony's candles, were supposed to burn for seven days without going out and brought luck or money. White candles were for peace and red for love. The orange candles were supposed to keep people from gossiping about you. Anjette burned them all from time to time, choosing the color most appropriate for the circumstances. Sometimes she put notes or photographes beneath the candle to accomplish a specific purpose.

Once a candle was lit, Anjette would whisper to it.

"Why you talking to that candle?" one of the cooks asked her one day.

"When you light it, you talk to it." She held a match to the wick of the orange candle and, with her other hand, sprinkled a bit of salt onto the flame. "You tell it what you want it to do."