THE LAMPLIGHTER • by Avra Margariti

Fragrant lilac trees flank the lamplighter’s path. A lark’s song punctuates the dusky evening. The lamplighter carries a tall ladder and a lit wick through the flagstone-paved park. He moves from lamp to wrought-iron lamp, and sees to every one of them.

“Hullo there, old girl,” the lamplighter says once he’s perched at the top rung.

He always feels closer to her whenever he’s near the velvet of her sky, her star-children winking in greeting. They found, early on, that they’re not much different, she and the lamplighter. Both illuminate the world for people to find their way in the dark.

The moon smiles, all crater dimples. “Old friend, you never come around for tea anymore.”

The lamplighter nods solemnly. “Then we must surely rectify this.”

Already he’s thinking about how he’ll bring a treat to her celestial garden. Something sweet, or perhaps something savory that will go well with her silvery pools of tea. She’ll look at his gift and laugh her crystal mirth, saying, You shouldn’t have bothered. You being here is enough.

He’ll say, probably: I know you like something to nibble on along with your tea.

“It’s a date,” the moon says.

The lamplighter whistles a jaunty old tune all through his shift.

Avra Margariti is a Social Work undergrad from Greece. She enjoys storytelling in all its forms and writes about diverse identities and experiences. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in SmokeLong Quarterly, The Forge Literary, Longleaf Review, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and other venues. Avra won the 2019 Bacopa Literary Review prize for fiction. You can find her on Twitter @avramargariti.

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