WWIn: Fireworks

Wednesday Write-in 12! 

Prompts: carpet burn  ::  disagreement  ::  woodsmoke  ::  melt  ::  tie pin

Spider Smoke
Where there’s smoke, there’s kindling. Sparklers fizzled out, kids waved glow sticks in the dark day. The anticipation of the exploding stars, huge spiders with tendrils of smoke growing legs and fading. Rainbow coloured champagne bubbles, golden-green gnats jumping in the sky, black as a board. The fireworks filled the air with their steam, a thin grey layer over everything. It spread from the fields, from people’s back gardens and private parties, to town where a country mist had descended. The skater rolled down the road, gliding to a stop neatly as a tram roared past a centimeter away from his toes. At a run he crossed and jumped his board in one continuous motion. There were carpet burns on his legs from forgetting he was boardless within the house, skidding helplessly across the navy blue of his mother’s living room. What are you doing? She appeared in the doorway, kettle in hand, the wrinkle over her nose settling in. Nothing, nothing, he stumbled to his feet, feeling the sting in his kneecaps. They’d always disagreed, him and her. They both approached their relationship warily, it was a pet dog that might bite if patted the wrong way. The small nips of everyday living were something they negotiated. She drank tea, he went out to find the curving sides that he could plunge down. The first rush of it like having momentarily left your soul behind, and with it all the baggage of your life. His left foot kicked at the pavement forcing his speed up, breathed the smoky air in sharp cold pulls.

He arrives at home, the patio is uneven and his board sticks at the cracks. He leans it on its side and walks in, feeling unsteady without the tip and roll. She is inside the living room, smoking. The smell of burnt matchsticks is replaced by the smell of nicotine, clinging to his clothes. He tries to go upstairs without her seeing but she hears him, Come in here! He opens the door and goes inside, bracing himself against the smog. He doesn’t sit down. She looks at him from under her hair, inhales. So, you’re back from your wanderings, think you’re superman do you? He shakes. He did sometimes indulge a fantasy he was spiderman web slinging around the city, flying apart from the traffic, something other and purer. You need to get a life! She’s off on one of her rants, these can go on for hours. He leaves her grimacing and grinding her cigarette into the ash tray, better to leave before she gets properly started.

Sitting alone in his room he can faintly hear her ramblings through the one floor. He lies back and looks at the poster above his bed. The red and blue figure is in the middle of a web of his own making, caught in his own plot. He dreams of being so in control of your flight, being as free as fire. He sees again the human group with a stick of fizzing light that narrows down to their hands. His eyes burn from the smoke and from tears, which he lets set, not moving to brush them away. They perch on his cheeks momentarily in their slide down his face, a waxen figure melting.

Word Count: 557  (aroundabouts)

Ace picture me and Sara took at Plattfields fireworks display:


4 thoughts on “WWIn: Fireworks

  1. I really like the first few lines, the descriptions of the fireworks are beautiful and unexpected. I also really liked the description of their relationship, and the daily nips – I think you could make more of that. Maybe something to do with trying to train it, bend it to their will, but it’s resistant? I don’t know. It was a really cool analogy anyway 😀

    I think after that I got a bit lost, I didn’t get involved enough. The mother shouting at him was a bit generic, perhaps because they didn’t have names, and she doesn’t say anything to tie it all specifically to their relationship. It didn’t feel personal enough to hurt so much, if you see what I mean? But I’d really like to see more of this boy and get closer to him, find out what he’s about 🙂

    • Thanks Sarah. I think one of the dangers of me writing everyday is that I’m starting to slip into generic writing. It wasn’t really where I wanted to take it with the mother. I wanted it to be a happier relationship, so yeah could prolong the old analogy! x

  2. Great connotations of how he reaches home and cannot be on the board as soon as he reaches its threshold because of the cracks. I love ‘web of his own making’ and ‘caught in his own plot’- they reveal how difficult teenage years can be and how we do have difficulty finding our place at home and in the world.

  3. i really liked the fiireworks imagery in that first paragraph – and that last line. But I too was a bid muddled in the middle. no matter, engaging none the less./

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