Ah, Independence Day.
That day where we prove how American and free we are by blowing things up.
I love it.
And of course, since I have a character who just looooves blowing things up, of course it’s his favorite holiday.
So young, small Wolfgang Dankworth gets a story about his adventures with fireworks.
Hope you guys enjoy. ❤
“This one!” I held up the little round shaped thing that was in the fireworks box, holding it towards Dad’s face and bouncing on my toes. “I wanna see what this one does!”
Dad leaned back so it wasn’t in his face anymore and pulled it from my hand. “Oookay . . .” he looked it over. “The Screamer. Nice. This one looks like it might be a little loud, buddy . . .”
“Yessss . . .” I scrambled off to grab the matches, shoving them towards Dad and then moving back a little. “Light it!”
I looked back at Mom and Ellie since Dad was giving them a weird look. Mom just grinned at me and covered Ellie’s little ears, pressing her light-colored, fluffy hair down around the sides of her face. I moved up next to them and picked at the sequins on the edge of Eloisa’s red, white and blue dress.
“You’ll really like this one,” I whispered to her. “They’re all cool.”
Ellie flapped her hands and smiled at me.
“Okay, stay back.” Dad lit a match and held it to the firework as it sat on the driveway, then stepped back with the rest of us.
The fuse fizzed for a bit, then the firework lit up, shooting pink sparks out in all directions over the driveway and spinning around, making a squealing noise.
I clapped my hands over my ears as the noise got louder, but laughed.
It was so crazy and so cool that we could actually do this and not get in trouble. The 4th of July was my absolute favorite holiday.
The ball of pink sparks jittered around and screamed for a few more seconds, then slowly died out, landing in a sad little lump with a tiny bit of smoke coming up off of it.
Eloisa stared with wide eyes, not blinking.
I clapped my hands. “Another one!”
Dad laughed, shaking his head. “Wolf, we could blow through all the fireworks in the state and you’d still be yelling for more.”
Well . . . yeah. But that didn’t mean we should stop.
“Please?” I pulled on my shirt and then at my hair as I looked over at the full box of fireworks we still had.
“I think we should save some for when it gets darker . . .”
Mom straightened Ellie’s dress. “Just one more? How about one of the fountain ones? And then we can give the kids sparklers or something.”
I bobbed my head in agreement.
Dad thought for a second, then shrugged, making a face at Mom. “Okay fine, one more for the glitter-queen.” He walked over and grabbed a long tube firework with glitter on it.
I clapped, hopping up and down. That one looked like it would be loud.
Only Mom wasn’t covering Ellie’s ears this time.
Dad set the tube upright and struck another match, dropping it on top and stepping back.
It crackled a little then a shower of golden sparkles shot out of the top with a fwooshing, crackling sound. It was like a fountain of glowing glitter.
Mom oohed and Ellie smiled, clapping her hands and babbling something about “pretty”.
And it was pretty neat, yeah. But I mean . . . it was sorta . . . girly. It wasn’t making any noise at all and this was going to be our last one for right now. I wanted a good one.
I twisted my mouth sideways and sat on the grass, enjoying the rest of the quiet sparkles while they lasted. They died down, fizzling out and leaving another tiny stream of smoke.
“Yaaaay!” Mom laughed and clapped Ellie’s hands with her own. She stood up and propped her on her hip, going over to the fireworks box. I followed, hoping she’d grab the big one. But she just grabbed the tiny tube of sparklers.
“Will, could I have the matches?” she turned and Dad tossed them to her as she pulled out two matching sparkler sticks and set Ellie down in the grass.
Mom lit the sparklers with the one match and handed one to me and then bent down to help Eloisa hold hers.
Ellie stared at the tiny sparkles with wide eyes, clinging to her stick tightly. She looked over at Mom and giggled.
“Pretty, isn’t it?” Mom smiled.
Ellie nodded, biting her lip and cautiously wiggling her sparkler in the air for a few seconds before starting to twirl across the yard.
I waved mine in the air, watching the smoke twirl. This wasn’t nearly as fun as firecrackers. I sighed, looking over at everyone else.
Dad was busy cleaning up the scraps of the other fireworks. Ellie was dancing. Mom was following Ellie . . .
No one was looking at me.
I looked over my shoulder at the box again, my gaze resting on the big one with stripes on the tip. We had three of them. Using one now wouldn’t be bad, would it? Dad said we could do one more. He had to have meant one good one, right?
I edged over and grabbed out one of the big ones, hiding it behind my back as I moved out further from it, still holding my sparkler out in front of me. I grinned.
I didn’t have matches, but there was still a good bit left of my sparkler.
I found a good spot away from everyone and stuck it down, quickly holding my match-substitute under the fuse. It smoked a little, then caught, hissing.
This was going to be awesome. This was going to be so awesome.
“Wolfgang?” came Dad’s voice. “What are you . . . Wolfgang Samuel!”
I bit back a squeak, dropped my sparkler and scrambled backwards, my heart pounding. The fuse hissed down, sparkling as it went. I felt big hands grab my shoulders and Dad hauled me back further. I still kept my eyes on the firework, straining to see what it would do.
Dad held me tight, still backing up. “Wolfgang, what were you thinking? That’s an explosive and . . .”
Before he could finish, the fuse burned to its end.
With a loud squeal, the firework shot up into the sky, going higher and higher up.
I tore away from Dad and ran closer to where it had launched, keeping my eyes on the sky.
It stopped for a second, just seeming to hover. Then it blew up.
And I mean really blew up.
It exploded with a huge bang that made me jump and red, white and blue sparkling streams shot out in every direction. The noise was so loud and so close it rang in my ears and the fire looked like it could rain down and touch us.
That. Was. SO COOL.
I loved it.
I burst out laughing, jumping in the air and pumping my fist. “Did you guys see that?! That was awesome!”
I wanted to light off a hundred other fireworks just like that one.
Dad grabbed the back of my shirt before I could run back to the firework box. “I said no more fireworks, kid. And I meant it.”
“But Dad, I . . .” I trailed off, looking over at Mom, comforting Eloisa. Ellie was curled in a ball, holding her ears and crying.
My heart dropped down into my stomach. I’d scared Ellie. She didn’t like loud noises and I just set off the biggest one. I swallowed.
Dad marched me over to them before letting go of my shirt and I dropped down next to Ellie. I pushed her fluffy hair back from her face, where it was stuck there with tears. Her eyes were squinched shut tight and her lower lip quivered, her chin looking like a teeny walnut shell. My nose and eyes stung a little.
I patted her back and gave her a little hug. “I’m sorry, Ellie. I’m really sorry, I didn’t mean to.”
She opened her eyes and uncurled, hugging me back even though she still shook. I kept holding her, my nose buried in her sweet-smelling hair. I brushed some of the dirt off her dress.
“We’ll do more of your sparkly ones later, okay?” I mumbled into her shoulder.
Mom’s bigger hug enveloped us both for a few seconds, then we all pulled away. “How about we go have our berries and ice cream now?”
I nodded and started to move towards the door.
“After a spanking,” Dad raised his eyebrows at me.
I grinned sheepishly, determining to save up and buy my own fireworks next year.
Hope you guys all have a great 4th!
Like the story? What’s your favorite kind of firework?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
LATE EDITION: I drew tiny Wolfgang and forgot to share before mom reminded me oops. XD