Our challenge this weekend was to write about madness in 500 words or less. This was not an easy challenge since madness can encompass so much. Let me know what you think about this!
“Hey, y’all… for the finale, let’s stack all fifteen of these Roman candles on top of the Blossom Blasters with the M80s underneath and see what happens!”
“Hell, yeah! We can turn this plastic bucket upside down and load it all up on top of it to make ‘em go higher!”
It took us ten minutes to put together our masterpiece on top of a 10-gallon plastic bucket turned upside down. Beau took the blunt and lit the thing while the rest of us ran off a ways. Half the neighborhood kids stood around watching us like we were escaped mental patients fresh out of pills.
The first Roman candle filled the dark sky with a green burst about thirty feet in the air. Definitely an impressive beginning for the end. Two more blasts followed with blue and gold flowering out above us. I looked over to Betty Lou, the lights brightening across her face, her smile brightening across my own.
Yeah, she was into me.
The Blossom Blasters lit up underneath the Roman candles which were all catching heat at once. The circular package sat like a crown on the bucket with the cherry bombs below, and the first barrage shot out, its tail lagging lazily behind it before it exploded into a fountain of fire in a rainbow of colors.
Betty Lou took my hand.
That first burst was a game-changer.
That bucket didn’t hold.
The whole platform was on its side in a nanosecond, and all hell broke loose.
The first indication that the whole enterprise was going south was the Roman candle that whizzed by my head and missed my left eyeball by about an inch and a half. After that, it was pure, unadulterated madness – the things everybody’s mothers warn them about coming true right here.
The Blossom Blasters still shot the explosives fifty feet – just not into the air. Now they were shooting randomly in all directions and mushrooming everywhere… in the trees, against the sides of our pickup trucks, into the barn… The base was now spinning 360 degrees about three times a second, so there was nowhere to run, but we sure as shit couldn’t stay. Roman candles became their own Special Forces death squad, ricocheting recklessly in every direction. The M80s blew holes in the pasture big enough for the cows to fall into.
I stood like a statue watching Armageddon until Betty Lou had the presence of mind to yank my hand in a zigzag pattern toward the tree line.
Good ol’ Betty Lou.
We zigged. We zagged. We yinged. We yanged.
We made it.
I don’t know where everybody else ended up or what damage the mayhem may have caused, but I can tell you that when she pulled me in for a kiss, probably for the first time in my life…
…I saw fireworks.