1. Fireworks


Fireworks in a black sky:  glinting diamonds; fiery rubies; earrings dangling from the stars. Each burst of light tunnels through my pupils, seducing my imagination with colour, with glitter, with magic. With one loud flash the sky becomes the stage. The world around me adopts the black, blank canvas of a motionless night sky. There’s nothing more to life in this instant than the burning reds, blues and greens above me, just out of reach. Small hands from nowhere stretch to grasp a shard of light, a falling bead from above the clouds. The hands fist around nothing but air. Still transfixed, I search for your hand in the darkness. My hands, too, clench on nothing but air.

I remember. You’re not here. You are as intangible to me as the fractions of light that children try to scoop from the sky. Looking back with blackened gaze, the fireworks have lost their beauty. Their essence is painfully bare: the loud noise and garish blaze of a chemical reaction. Of gunpowder shoved into a cardboard tube and forced to explode. The lights fade to embers. The embers, in turn, fade away until it is impossible to decipher them from the dull summer stars.

Without you, the once dazzling colours streaking across a black page blur into a murky stream – the reflection of tainted light on tears.

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