“Do it, ya fuckin’ pussy.”
“Yeah, come on already.”
“Dooo it. Dooo it. Dooo it.”
The crowd of kids gathered close around. Well, close enough to see the show and still avoid any gore if things went bad.
Tom stood in the middle of the circle of anxious kids. He gripped a sheet of mini-explosives in one hand, polished steel Zippo in the other. He didn’t smoke, but always carried the lighter. Not a pyro, per se, Tom like to have options. And if any of those options included setting something on fire, so be it.
Even still, this stunt was above his usual level of stupidity.
He flipped the lighter open with his thumb, flipped it back with his index finger. The steady clack of the lid relaxed him. These weren’t cherry bombs or M-80s for Christ sake, just a few firecrackers. But still…
Why did I take this stupid bet again?
Toward the back of the group a pair of blueish, blue eyes watched Tom’s every move. He wished he could come up with a better name for those eyes, but Tom was neither poet nor romantic. Tom was a daredevil. Years of excellent stories revealed themselves in scars along his body like a road map to glory. Pain is but a moment, right? He’d heard that somewhere.
“Yeeaaarrghh,” Tom shouted as he thrust both arms in the air.
The crowed took a cumulative step closer. Two dozen phones held out at the ready, a generation of electronic third eyes ready to capture the moment. Tom flicked the lid back and struck the wheel. Flame danced on the tip of the lighter. Those eyes, those blues eyes grew wide as he touched the fire to the wick of the Black Cats. He thought it was a look of nervous excitement. That’s when he noticed how they glistened. They shone with all the sorrow of the blue flame that blew this bridge to pieces.
Too late to turn back now. The whole school would see the videos.
She never cried for him, just hung her head and walked away as he exploded his way to a glory more lonely. But at least he would always have the last look of those blueish blue eyes to keep him company, even when the flash of local fame dissolved like the smoke in the aftermath.