Fugitive Firefly

Running away with the last bit of hope

Thump thump and bump bump and oh no

Thump! Thump! What was that? I asked myself. It was late at night and I was getting ready to crawl into bed. Thump! Thump! it went again. There was no way sleep would come easy until the noise was investigated.

Maybe it was from watching too many horror movies as a child that caused my mind to race, but none of the thoughts had a pleasant ending. It was just me and my aunt in the middle of nowhere in a big, old house--a classic setting for many slasher flicks. I grabbed my yellow Bic pen--the sharpest object at hand-- and clicked it into stabbing position. Thump! Thump! Was it a clumsy burglar trying to find something valuable in the kitchen? Thump! Thump! Or was it my aunt’s body being dumped down the stairs and into the basement? Morbid, yes, but it does happen off the big screen.

Armed with a yellow tube of ink poisoning, I crept silently down the stairs, thankful that I’d lived there long enough to know which boards creek and which don’t. My eyes strained in the darkness, looking for a shadow that might spring into action. The door was still locked and the windows shut. I was almost to the living room where I’d left my aunt. Thump! Thump! She was laying perfectly still on the couch, face hidden behind the cushioned arm. A finger twitched. Oxygen entered my lungs once more.

Thump! Thump! “What’s that noise?” I asked her.
“Huh? What noise, dear?” It sounded again, right on cue. “Oh that,” she answered, and gave me the news.

My predator/burglar/anythingelsethatsbad was a fireworks display at a distant fair. For a school.

Slightly humiliated I plodded back up the steps, not caring if I stepped on every weak board. The fireworks gave a mock greeting as I entered the bedroom. I guess that Thump! was really more of muffled Crack!