There were always three.
The warrior knelt, eyes closed, smoke filling her nostrils. Three candles blazed. That was the custom, honored for centuries amongst the warriors of the Mawu.
One burnt for the past: for remembrance, for victories won, for wounds that still hurt, for friends who had fallen, for the thousands of ghosts that weighed upon the living.
One burnt for the present: for the world all around, for the things she still had, for friends and family, for the heart that beat in her breast, for the air in her lungs.
One burnt for the future: for dreams, for memories-to-be, for challenges to come, for the strength she would need to face them, for the hopes that would be met and the ones that never would be, for the final day that all warriors faced and the world beyond.
The warrior thought of all three: past, present, future. A prayer rose to her lips, the ancient warriors’ words.
“Let me not be haunted by what is behind me. Let me embrace what is around me. And let me not fear what lies ahead.”
One-by-one, she blew out the candles and then arose, carrying the flames in her heart.
Word Count: 200
This is for Sunday Photo Fiction.