[Two new characters! Isaac Drury is Emilia's best guy friend, and Jon Rumer is Isaac's friend... and a bit of a pyromaniac. It's the Fourth of July. Emilia's just had a fight with her mother and is now at a party.]
Jon looked up from where he was playing with two rockets with their fuses taped together. He waved us over. "It's safe, don't worry!"
I seriously doubted that, but I followed Isaac and Marron over anyway.
Isaac immediately picked up a bright red rocket that looked too big to be legal. "Is this the one that your uncle brought down?" he asked Jon. Jon put down the now doubly fused rockets on a cardboard box by his side, and motioned over his shoulder in the general direction of two more similar boxes behind him.
"Yeah, man, and there's more where this beauty came from." And where was that, exactly?
"Canada," said Isaac, seeming to hear my thoughts. He then laughed at the expression on my face. "Em, you're giving me your 'that is definitely not legal' look. Please stop? It's all fun and games, no worries. Hakuna matata, you know?"
I was still pretty preoccupied with the fact that I apparently had a 'that is definitely not legal' look, but I heard him anyway. Foolish child, I thought. "Yeah, all fun and games until somebody blows up."
"Actually," Jon cut in, "I'd like to rectify that statement: It's all fun and games when somebody blows up." He looked as if he might spend time thinking about the philosophical reasoning behind his newly improved saying. I just sighed.
I may have scoffed, come to think of it. Scoffed derisively. In a derisive manner. In such a manner which may, by some parties, have been interpreted as derisive, I scoffed.
And as I was caught up in the analysis of my scoffs, which were, as you now know, rather derisive in quality, there may or may not have been a boom. Or rather, a BOOM!
I ducked my head and fell to the ground to avoid the inevitable shrapnel which would accompany an explosion of that magnitude. My mojito spilled all over my sweatshirt, but the death of my drink was a minor concern compared to the masses of casualties surely caused by the –
"Em? Em, are you okay...?"
I looked up warily. Isaac and Marron stood above where I lay, curled in a fetal position with my hands over my head. The red paper cup that had held my drink was squished under me, in the grass now sticky with simple syrup and rum. I heard Jon in the background, and approached soon after I lifted my head. In his hands was what looked like a box of cigarettes, from which he poured a plethora of small pellets into his hand, smiling apologetically.
"There may have been a... um... minor spark. Sorry about that. Did these scare you?" He held the pellets towards me, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out why he had a box of what looked like chicken food, and why it had anything to do with the explosion.
My focus moved from Jon, to Marron and then Isaac. Isaac looked as if he were attempting to keep himself from bursting into laughter. Did I really look that ridiculous? I eyed their clothes, momentarily confused. They were surprisingly clean, for the clothes of people who had recently survived a blast the size of... "What exploded?"
Mar's eyebrows disappeared into her bangs as she looked at Isaac. Apparently it was his job to sort out the confusion, though in my opinion it should have been our chicken pellet-holding friend, who had once again wandered out of my sight.
"Nothing exploded, Em," Isaac said. I sat up a little, perplexed. "Have you had a little too much to drink? Jon just threw a couple of snappers, that's all."
I could feel my ears beginning to turn red, and the flush quickly spread to my face when I realised what this must look like. I was on the ground, covered in mojito and dirt, cowering from tiny firework pellets. How pathetic.
"Oh." I said lamely. I began to push myself back up off the ground, and Isaac reached down to help me. Grabbing my wrist, he pulled me back up to a standing position. I looked down at the mess all over my hoodie. I pulled the heavy dark green fabric over my head, thankful I had thought to put on two tank tops underneath it. Even so, after the warm air held in by the sweatshirt material faded away, I found myself shivering slightly. Before I could complain, though, Isaac had pulled off his own hoodie and handed it to me.
"Here, wear this." It was red with white lettering that labeled him (and now me) as a member of Portland's volunteer fire department. Was that irony, given our current situation? I decided not to think about it too much; I was just grateful for the warmth.
"Thanks," I said, giving him a weak smile.
He smiled back. "No more drinks for you," he told me, but then his expression grew a shade darker. "Are you sure you're okay?"
I shrugged. "Yeah, fine." I crossed my arms, hugging the warm red material of the sweatshirt around me. "I'm... fine." I turned away from Isaac and walked slowly back towards the house. I needed some water, or a dark corner to sit in. But I left Isaac standing in the yard, and he looked like he wanted to come after me and demand what was wrong, but he didn't have to, it was okay. Nothing was wrong. I was fine.