No back story, just something I was thinking about.
The evening is sultry, making most movements painfully slow. Thunderheads gather in the distance, and it’s a sign, a promise to break in the heat, but the rising clouds carry the potential for destruction.
Families spill out onto porches in hopes to catch something of a breeze. They drink lemonade and iced tea in sweaty glasses and call out casually to neighbors.
Dogs pant in the grass.
Dusk creeps across the town and with some effort, I take a clean glass jar – its tin lid punctured with a screwdriver - and begin to chase fireflies.
Most children are content to stay within view of porches and parents; I venture deep into the recesses of our lot, where darkness has already arrived. The brush here is deep and somewhat cool, and it takes my eyes moments to adjust after each firefly bursts its beacon of attraction and lust.
The night deepens its reach as I hear the first calls from parents trying to round up their rogue children. Lightning and thunder rumble in the distance.
I make my way through the backyard by memory, dodging the low fence around mother’s iris, and generally avoid the detritus of my four siblings.
The back porch is dark and empty, and I set my jar of fireflies on the railing. With a penlight, I flash my herd.
They begin to flash back.
Soon enough, they’re lighting up in symphony. Each burst is a cascade of light that repels the blackness.
I smile, pull out a worn paperback of “Tom Sawyer,” and with my fingers, find the latest dog-eared stopping point.
And await the next burst to continue our adventures.
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