Thursday, July 16, 2015

Story 91: 4th of July-travaganza

            “I know I’ve said this before, but this year will be the one everyone talks about where our show had the best fireworks ever!”
            The leader tried to rally his crew as the members prepared for the town’s 4th of July fireworks display in the local park; he knew that they needed motivation after having done practically the same show for the past 20 years.  He couldn’t let their almost-nonexistent enthusiasm result in his losing the annual contract that had taken so much work to win in the first place.  Plus, the town once again had chosen this show over regular recycling pick-up, so he needed to prove that that decision was indeed worth it.
            “Send one up!” he shouted.
            They released a single burst of color and fire to show the increasingly antsy audience that they hadn’t been forgotten.
            “There, that should hold them for about 15 minutes.”
            “Can’t we start on time this year?” his second-in-command and undercover usurper logically asked.
            “And ruin the suspense?”  One of the rules, along with making the audience flock to you year after year, was then making that audience wait for you – this heightened the thrill of the actual display because everyone realized that it had finally begun.
            Half an hour past the scheduled start, it was finally showtime.  “OK, the people are ready to revolt – let `er rip!”
            The bombardment of colored fire and the park’s temporary resemblance to a war zone was a beautiful thing.  The leader always had tears in his eyes as birds flew in panic away from the area and spent shells fell all around.  He could barely hear the “Oohs” and the “Aahs”, but they were enough.
            “This is what our forefathers fought for,” he said every year.  “The right to shoot pretty colors into the sky and make loud booming sounds.”
            “Actually,” the usurper chimed in, “the fireworks represent the battles fought in the Revolutionary War and commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  It’s the amateurs who only like to make pretty colors and things go ‘boom.’”
            The leader glared at his pipsqueak enemy.  “Don’t detract from my enjoyment.  Fire all torpedoes!”
            The crew released the obligatory Grand Finale of controlled explosions, with the crowning glory of a starburst that depicted a supernova transforming into the American flag.  The subsequent vacuum of sound was soon filled with cheers as the leader beamed with satisfaction and soot.
            “Good job, fellows.  They really loved that one.”
            “For about five minutes,” one of the crew muttered – the usurper’s influence was spreading – as they set out to clean up their equipment and debris.  It would kill time nicely so they would not be trapped in the bumper-to-bumper exodus as all the spectators left at the same time.
            The leader packed up cheerfully as he thought about the show that had just happened and began planning the one for next year.  That really would be the one with the best fireworks ever.

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