The flame gutters and dies. Nothing remains to mark its existence but warm ash, soon to be cold ash, soon to be blown away. The light it had sent out has all been absorbed, to the last photon, the uniqueness of the flame reduced to an unremarkable warming of the environment. Anything could have done that.

Wish as you may, you cannot bring it back. You can't even remember it accurately. The information that made up its essence is irretrievably gone. So perhaps you will placate yourself with this small fleecy animule. Listen, it squeaks.

Your mind returns to the flame; your mind is a moth. Hear it fluttering inside your skull, straining to get out. Open your mouth, let it fly away, shoot it down with your Howitzer; it's all the same. The flame is gone, so what does it matter?

In your diary, you have torn out the pages for all the days after its passing. They are buried in the garden, slowly poisoning your plants, whispering to their roots of the days without the flame.

Meanwhile, the animule bleeds polyester strands in your clenched fist.