Excerpt from Radek’s Diary

[I, like many aspiring authors on here, am working on my debut novel. I’ve decided to complete a few exercises exploring aspects of the story and the characters to see if they’ll be useful for me, as well as (hopefully) interesting standalone posts. This is from a character called Radek. Let me know what you think!]

My hands creak and shake as I unwrap the package. It arrived earlier today but I have waited until now to savour the moment. Master has been very kind to allow me my own small fund lately and this package is my first purchase. I peel open the seal and pull out the contents.

I am confused.

I hold a mass of soft glass bubbles and cannot quite see into the centre of them. A bubble pops under the pressure of my thumb – stuck out of joint again – as I turn the object over. Through the other side, I see a flash of colour that reminds me of the catalogue. Hidden inside the bubbles?

I study the bubbles further and find a gap in them that I quickly work open. Yes! I reach in and pull out the small box of candles. Again, there is a soft glass cover, but this time I find the paper backing comes away easily.

The colours are beautiful – the bright pinks, greens and blues are nothing like the tallow of the old sentinels that stand in the dusty candelabras. Apparently these don’t even go in candelabras, but are pressed into the top of a cake. Perhaps I shall request that Nazumi, the cook, makes me one.

I have not celebrated a birthday for over three hundred years, despite (in my opinion) technically having two: one for when I was born, and the second for when I was reanimated. I hold a bright green candle against my skin. My own shade is not nearly so vibrant.

Much has changed since the guests arrived. Master is much happier and, though he has always been good to me, he now gives me more freedom to explore what I can of the outside world, within the confines of the castle of course! Ordering these candles was quite an adventure. I look forward to lighting them later, and celebrating my birthday for the first time since I died.