Short Story of the Day, Flash Fiction, The Amber Night by Jack Barker-Clark

“But I can hardly sit still. I keep fidgeting, crossing one leg and then the other. I feel like I could throw off sparks, or break a window–maybe rearrange all the furniture.”

― Raymond Carver, Where I’m Calling From: New and Selected Stories

Fireworks from Reunion Tower, Dallas, Texas (click to enlarge)

From my old journal, The Daily Epiphany, July 4, 1997:

The Fourth and Fireworks

We left the party early, just as the bar-b-que was being trundled out because we had tickets to the Ranger game. It was a great evening; cool weather, a record sellout crowd, and a good game (the home team won seven to six). The only problem was that Lee was a champion wiggleworm; I missed a lot of the game walking him around. He kept trying to kiss some teenage boys in the row in front of us.

After the game was a fireworks display. I knew from years past that the Rangers always put on a good fireworks show, and this one didn’t disappoint. It was a long, loud, impressive display, with the explosions timed to go along with the music played in the ballpark. We watched from the upper level promenade, an open area around the top of the stadium. It was a perfect vantage point.

Nick and Lee had never stuck it out through a fireworks display before. We’d taken them to a couple, but they cried at the noise and we’d had to leave. Now they are bigger, they were nervous before it started, holding their hands over their ears, but once it got going they really thought it was great.

After the game, the fireworks, and the massive traffic jam leaving the ballpark, it was after one when we finally reached home. That is very late for this particular family unit. Yardwork, pool party, baseball, fireworks – about as traditional a holiday as you’ll see. Not very cool , not very punk , not very postmodern . And I don’t care.

And today’s flash fiction:

The Amber Night by Jack Barker-Clark

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