“These people, who launch fireworks like every weekend is the fourth of July, just don’t get it, do they?” Sarah leapt from her chair, a look of worry planted in her eyes.
“What’s that?” Michael asked in all innocence. “I don’t hear anything.”
Sarah eyeballed him. “Of course you don’t. It hasn’t started yet. Just wait.”
Michael focused his attention back on the TV and the ninth inning of a cliffhanger Sarah didn’t get.
The room fell silent as Michael, aware there was no way to side step his young wife’s anxiety, finally hit “mute” and turned to listen. The winning run had been scored. He could relax.
He sighed. “I wish I understood. Tell me.”
Sarah sat beside him on the two-seater burgundy leather sofa. She checked the time on the clock above the mantle and reached for her husband’s hand. Any minute now, the not-so-magic hour of 10 p.m. would be marked.
More silence. Then …
Boom! Bang! Whistle! Boom! Boom! Boom!
… for ten solid minutes the still magic of a summer’s evening was a bombast of cannon and shot from some neighbour’s yard somewhere down the street.
After a final flourish it was all over, the night its peaceful self once more.
“Do you realize that every Saturday night since Memorial Day someone, somewhere in our small town has bombarded the air with this stuff. In the process, something designed to be magical has become annoying instead. The thrill is gone.” She stood and walked over to the window. “Never mind the fact we can’t even see the damn sparks fly, but we must listen to it, every weekend because apparently a summer Saturday night is incomplete without noise.” Sarah closed the window and continued staring into the darkness. “I dread Saturday nights now. Instead of being happy for other people’s festive happiness, my teeth grate and blood boils because yet again the silence has been needlessly disturbed. I don’t know how Maggie and Steve next door manage their tiny triplets with all this noise going on. They must have to shut every window in the house which, frankly, isn’t fair.”
Michael watched Sarah closely. The sparkle of her heightened awareness not lost on him. He slowly flipped the TV remote in his hand, over and over. He knew his young, sensitive wife was not yet finished talking.
“And does anyone even consider the trauma inflicted on the tiny animals who must endure this unnatural disruption? Poor babies. The birds; squirrels; chipmunks; cats; dogs must all tuck themselves away from the horror of it.” Sarah took a breath. “Mrs. McGregor across the street says her cocker spaniel, Rupert, hides under the bed every time a thunderstorm rolls through, never mind the worried look he gets in his eye and the chair he hinds behind when the fireworks start cracking. It’s traumatizing for the little ones, really it is … ” she paused, “and downright bloody annoying for the rest of us who prefer a quiet evening in on the weekend.”
“Isn’t that what Sundays are for?” Michael responded, not meaning to sound flippant.
Sarah turned and sent him a withered look of warning.
Michael smiled. He knew she was simply letting off steam.
“Come on,” he coaxed, “I know how we can have our own display of fireworks … and not disturb the neighbours … maybe.” He winked.
Sarah felt a thrill and smiled back.
“Of course you do …”
My response to Kellie Elmore’s image prompt for this week Free Write Friday.
Thanks for visiting …
©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014