Friday, July 5, 2013

Flash Fiction Friday: Kisses and Fireworks

When I first wrote down the idea for my current WIP, this scene was part of that idea. It doesn't work now, because this scene takes place during the Fourth of July and my WIP takes place during the school year. When I decided that I wanted this week's piece to have something to do with the Fourth, I chose to write it separately.

We sit side-by-side on the edge of the lake. It’s dark, the only light provided by the stars, a few bonfires dotting here and there, and the headlights of late cars pulling into the parking lot behind us. I’m resting on a towel in the sand, water lapping at my feet. Chris is just above me.

There’s a sharp feeling of anticipation in the air. Except for one couple shouting about something—what exactly, I’m too far away to hear—it’s quiet.

The first firework blasts into the air with a squeal and everyone turns their attention to the other side of the lake.

A second firework follows.

They burst into a shower of blue and gold sparks that crackle and fizzle off. Everyone goes “Ooh" and “Ahh” which is something I’ve never quite understood. We all know that the fireworks are beautiful. That’s why we’re here. Is it something that needs to be said out loud?

The fireworks continue. Red. Blue. White. Green. Some let off a blast that makes me want to cover my ears. Some a sharp whistling. Some a noise like a sizzle. They all take my breath away.

Chris reaches over and puts his hand on top of mine. Slides down so the water surrounds the bottoms of his shoes.

“Are you okay?” he asks, the fireworks reflecting in his eyes.

I nod and turn my attention back to the display. It’s almost time for the grand finale, I can feel it. People are starting to get restless, some of them going so far as to start packing up their things and heading for the car.


No one speaks. I don’t even breathe.

They set off all the fireworks they have left and I watch them burst into the sky and explode. Different colors and kinds and shapes, all of them beautiful.

I look over at Chris and he looks at me. The fireworks shake my heart in my chest. He leans closer and I know that I shouldn’t let him.

But I do.

He presses his lips against mine. I let him do that too. The kiss is a lot like the fireworks—a flash of white-hot beauty that’s over in the blink of an eye and leaves only darkness and a shadow of smoke behind.

The fireworks stop and in the silence, I can think. Guilt burns like hot coals against my skin and I rip myself out from under his grip.

“I’m sorry,” Chris says, reaching for me.

His touch is the last thing I want. I need to run, faster and harder than I’ve ever run before, until I hit the next county, the next state, the next world. I don’t answer before I walk to my car, feeling like I’m in a dream.