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I’m a wuss about fireworks.

Yeah, they’re pretty, and can look amazing lighting up the sky in a myriad of sparkles and colours, but… *whispers* I don’t like them.

When I lived in the U.K., Bonfire Night a.k.a. Guy Fawkes Night, a.k.a. 5th November, was a big deal. Every grocery store would start selling fireworks weeks before, everything from sparklers to giant-ass rockets. My husband loves ’em. He’d seek out the biggest rockets, the most extravagant roman candles, and the noisiest creations around.

We had plenty of local firework displays, some of which could be seen from our bedroom windows, and so he would save some of the fireworks for New Years Eve.  I’ve lost count of the number of years I’ve huddled outside in the freezing cold, while he sets off one cracker after another.

Why don’t I like them? I learned they can be dangerous.

Picture the scene. November 5th. It’s a clear, still, crisp night, for once. I’m in my brother’s garden with my husband, my bro and his wife. We have a huge freakin’ bonfire and the guys have a box of fireworks to set off. The first of the big rockets goes up, flying straight into the sky. Now remember, a big rocket also has a big stick, and these babies were easily four feet long.

The fuse is lit. There’s a whooosh, and it flies up, and up and up. My sister-in-law murmured. “I always wonder where the sticks come down.”

The firework explodes in a thousand sparkles and we all make appreciative noises.

There’s a rushing noise in the dark, and my sister-in-law cries out. The rocket came straight back down again, this time as a spent plastic shell, with a four-foot stick attached. It SCRAPED DOWN THE SIDE OF HER ARM and buried itself in the ground at her feet. If it had come down a few inches to the left, it would have struck her head.

At that point, we damped down the fire, packed the rest of the fireworks away, and called it a night. I’ve never liked them since. It didn’t stop my husband and bro from setting them off again at New Year, and on birthdays, and subsequent Bonfire Nights, but I would always stand under cover. That was too close for comfort!

These days, the only fireworks I like are the ones where my characters are lighting up the pages, and I’m in control of events   🙂

Happy Bonfire Night – and stay safe!