FIREWORKS by Clare London

“It’s magnificent.”

“What is?”

“The firework display, Andy. What did you think I meant?”


“Whatever. A picnic on the grass with beer and banana and pickle sandwiches and a view over the festival grounds – a great summer evening’s entertainment. A great idea of yours.”

“Thank goodness. I wasn’t sure you’d…”

“What? Sure I’d what?”

“Well, like it. Whether you’d like being here with… like just sitting here.”

“And eating.”

“Yes, of course, one of your favourite hobbies. I should have known.”

“So what’s to worry about?”


“You’re frowning. Worried I wouldn’t like the pickles or something? Worried I’d burp too much with the beer?”

“Don’t be ridiculous. I don’t worry, it’s a wasteful emotion. I just thought you might be…”

“Bored? What with? The fireworks?”

“For heaven’s sake, I only meant…”

“Bored with you? With your company?”

“Hm. You’re just trying to provoke me now.”

“No I’m not, but it’s working. You’re blushing. Aren’t you?”

“Me? Of course not. I have perfect control over my bodily reactions.”

“Yeah, right.”

“Yes, right, indeed. Have another sandwich.”


“I would have got tickets, Kyle, you know.”


“For the festival itself. We needn’t have sat up here on the hill outside the enclosure all night, watching everyone else come and go. I’d have got tickets for us to go, as well, if I’d thought you were… interested.”

“In the music?”

“Well… of course, in the music.”

“Of course, yeah. But it’s fine up here. Better, actually.”

“Huh? What is?”

“Andy, keep up. It’s all much better up here – the sound is lighter; softer. The trees are a cool background. We’re on our own, not bothered by a lot of other folks…”

“The music is better.”

“Yeah, that’s what I meant. Of course.”

“Hm. Of course.”


“Kyle? What’s wrong?”

“Wrong? Nothing’s wrong. What do you mean?”

“You just look distracted. There’s banana on your chin. You’re… staring at me.”

“I’m saving that bit for later. And the staring thing… well, you are too, you know? Right at me. And there’s that look in your eyes. You know what I mean.”


“No, what? You damned well are staring -”

“No, I mean I don’t know what you mean. I don’t have ‘a look in my eyes’. My expressions are clear and above reproach.”

“Yeah. Whatever.”

“Yes, whatever, as you would say. Pass the salt, please.”




“What did you think I meant?”

“When? You need to clarify such imprecise statements.”

“When I said magnificent. You looked startled. What did you think I meant?”

“I… well, the fireworks, of course.”

“Of course. It wouldn’t be… no, I suppose not.”

“Wouldn’t be what?”


“Kyle, that’s a grunt, not a coherent word.”

“Haha. We’re hardly the most articulate of guys, are we, Andy?”


“Yeah, like I said. But words aren’t everything, right?”

“I’m not sure in which context you mean, but yes, I believe that language may be supplemented and refined by the judicious use of other expressions-”



“Other expressions like that, Andy?”


“Andy, you’re blushing again.”

“You kissed me.”

“Um. Yeah. Do you want me to clarify that as well?”




“So that’s a decent stab at clarification, I believe. Mwahaha. Now you’ve got banana on your chin. And I’m pleased to see that you don’t have perfect control over your bodily reactions. Not all of ‘em, anyway.”


“Exactly. Don’t wriggle your ass like that, you’ll tip over the picnic basket.”

“I wasn’t -”

“You were.”

“I… was. Yes, you’re right.”

“Thank God. You can admit you’re wrong. I like that in a man.”

“Don’t be childish, Kyle. You caught me unawares…”

“And unwilling?”


“Did you like it? Hate it? Prefer it to the sandwiches? Want to punch me? Want more? Want -”

“Hush. It was very good.”

“Yeah, but was -”

“Shut up, Kyle. There are indeed situations where words are not everything.”

“Well, thanks for tell-”

“Let’s make this moment one of those situations, right?”

“You’re not as fazed as I th -”

“It was long overdue.”

“Ah-hah! But so why -”

“And it was very good.”

“Hell, now I’m blushing. But-”

“And I’m going to return the favour now.”



“You knew all along, right, Andy?”

“Knew what? Your obtuse statements continue to amaze me.”

“Whatever. You knew it’d be like this, didn’t you?”


“Good. You knew it’d be good. This kissing thing. Like our own firework display, right here, just for us…”

“Yes, Kyle.”


“Magnificent, Kyle. I knew it’d be magnificent.”