I was on final warning and wanted out, a dangerous combination. Sean and I’d grasped the concept of hot air rising and were keen to test possibilities of flight. We climbed the wooden angel, the centrepiece for the Christmas pageant, and tacked sails to her wings. We had no idea what else to factor in for flight, but that wasn’t going to stop us. Dividing our stash of Queen’s Birthday firecrackers into two, each taped up and under a wing, we prepared for take-off by dousing long ropes fashioned as wicks in petrol, throwing matches at them, and bolting for cover.
Like fiery snakes, the wicks set the grass ablaze before slithering up the angel, hem to halo. Her plastic sails shrivelled as she burnt like the furnace of hell we’d been warned was our destiny. By some divine act of the burning effigy, the firecrackers went off just as the nuns appeared, habits flapping and a chorus of “Good Grief!” accompanying the raucous pops.
Our laughing faces, morphed by firelight and dancing shadows gave us menacing looks the nuns swore were the devil incarnate. Bursts of colour in the night sky heralded our imminent freedom from the nuns’ charge.
Exactly 200 words for Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge #2. This took some work to cull down to the 200 words. I like the exercise of making my writing more precise and less waffly. Jane, if you are reading this- thanks, and critical feedback most welcome.