*squeals in excitement*
Just in case that wasn’t enough of a cue, I’m very excited for this post. Not because of my continued consistency (even though I managed to be consist despite my computer crashing today!!). Actually, I’m excited about this because it’s a short story written by my friend Bella B. She’s a fellow young writer passionate about writing for the Lord. This story is about two of the main characters from her current dystopian work-in-progress, and is absolutely adorable! (=
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Cody sat expectantly at the edge of his bed, trying to hold his excitement down as he forced himself to wait a few more moments to be sure his roommate, Ben, who was laying on the top bunk would be asleep before he snuck out. He was the one who told Cody about the fireworks in the first place, but he didn’t want Ben to know he was sneaking out, just to prevent any questions.
After waiting to a point he couldn’t hold himself back any longer, Cody scrambled out of his bed and put his running shoes on. They were beaten up, pieces of them completely falling apart, but what eight-year-old would care about that?
Stepping around the noisy parts of the floor, he cracked the door open and glanced around to make sure no one was walking around the orphanage’s hallways, then swung it open just enough for him to sneak out. He smiled as he shut the door behind him, making sure not to click it and wake up Ben, then started down the hall.
Right at the very end was a door that led outside, colorful glass surrounding it that he was surprised hadn’t been broken by the orphans in the past decade or so. He stopped just over halfway through the hall before reaching the colorful glass, pressing his ear against one of the doors. It made him smile again as he heard his little sister’s soft humming behind it – They weren’t really siblings, but Cody found that they were close enough he could call them that, even if their friendship was only supposed to be artificial, at first.
He cracked the door open, not letting himself step into the pink, girlish room. Fluffy stuff was everywhere and toys covered his sister’s bed. He waved her over, the door only open a few inches. She got up, not nearly as careful as he was and accidentally letting herself step on several creaky parts on the ground, leaning over to pick up her running shoes along the way. Thankfully, nothing she did seemed to wake up her roommate, who Cody believed was named Sally.
“Bree, shh!” He whispered, smiling, grabbing her hand loosely when she got close, then closing the door behind her. In her other hand she held her own running shoes, so she sat with her back against the wall and shoved them on, letting Cody tie the laces on them for her as she didn’t know how.
Bree smiled, hissing slightly as she tried to keep her five-year-old giggles in so she wouldn’t wake up the other kids. “Where are we going?” She asked excitedly. Cody stood and helped her up as well, walking with her to the door at the end.
“It’s a secret.” He said, trying to sound mysterious. “Don’t worry though, you’ll figure it out in just a minute.”
She sighed, knowing he wouldn’t tell her until they got to the surprise, though Cody could still feel her tight grip and the slight spring to her step. Last time he took her out, he brought her to the bakery for her birthday, when they got two cupcakes late at night and left the coins on the counter for in the morning when someone could grab it. He wasn’t surprised she was excited for what he had ready for her. He himself was excited for it.
Brightness from the streetlights outside cast a beautiful pattern on the ugly carpeted floor, leaving bright green, blue, pink, and orange marks everywhere. They walked into that light, Bree holding out her hand to watch the pretty pattern move over her skin. Cody opened the door that was between the thin, colorful glass panels surrounding it. Bree was the first to walk outside onto a small metal platform. It was just big enough for the two of them to stand on it at once, with it being so small, though Cody was sure to keep a fast grip on Bree’s hand as they stood there so she wouldn’t fall off. The steep stairs weren’t something they needed to go down, they only needed to stay where they were for Cody’s surprise, but he didn’t want Bree accidentally trying to go down them when she didn’t have to. And with the huge gaps in the lower part of the hand railing, there was plenty of room for her to slip through, and he didn’t plan to let go of her hand just for that reason.
She turned for the stairs but Cody quickly pulled her up and back, picking her up off her feet for a moment as she swung away from it. She looked up innocently, tilting her head in question.
Cody smiled, amused, then looked up at the sky and waited. Almost on cue, just as Bree was about to ask what was going on, a huge dark orange firework went off, exploding in the sky with a loud pop.
She jumped back behind Cody, standing half behind him and peeking out around his arm, wondering what happened. Several more fireworks followed, blue, yellow, red, and green. Some were in certain shapes and sizes, too. Cody stared in awe, not quite sure what to think of it. Ben had mentioned the fireworks before and even explained to him mostly what they were, but he had also admitted he’d never seen them. No one Cody knew had seen them, they went off every fifty years. Fifty years was like… Forever. It would have been six or more lifetimes, way too long to wait. He’d have to smuggle some so he could set them off for everyone’s enjoyment, eventually.
He glanced down at his sister as a purple firework went off in front of a fading white one that was in the shape of a heart, several sparks flying around the new one to make the whole show seem even grander, somehow. Bree stared at the fireworks, eyes wide and her mouth wide open. She’d rarely even ever seen fire before, let alone fireworks. It made Cody smile again.
They started slowing down, the noise dying down with it.
“Was it… What was… I don’t…” Bree stuttered. She sat down, staring up into the sky and waiting for more, giving up trying to say whatever it was.
“Those are called fireworks,” Cody explained. “Reeve, the guy in charge, he sets them off every fifty years for us to see them.”
“Why?” She asked as Cody sat on the ground next to her. She leaned over and grabbed her toes that were covered in her own somewhat damaged running shoes before sitting back up, leaning against her hands behind her.
Cody carefully wrapped an arm around her, noticing the tiredness in her voice and allowing her to lean on him. He wanted to stay a few more minutes, just in case they started going off again.
“He gives us the fireworks because… I’m not sure. They used to go off every year, about six hundred years ago. Can you believe that? He changed it to fifty years though. I think it’s because he takes other things away, so he gives us fireworks to see.” He said, not quite sure of himself as he spoke.
She relaxed and he looked down, watching her for a moment as she strained to keep her eyes open.
“We should go back in… They’ll come to check up on us any minute, we can’t go unaccounted for again.” He sighed, then gently shifted her into a sitting position.
“But Cody… They’re so pretty… Just one more minute?” She asked, even though the fireworks were long gone.
He sighed, letting her lay back on him one more time. He stared up at the sky expectantly, as if they would go off again, but they didn’t. People started coming back into the city, and Cody was up high enough on the flimsy platform on the side of the tall building that he could see many of them enter their houses under the dim streetlights, despite the slight fog from pollution everywhere that slightly blurred his vision.
“Bree,” He whispered after a few minutes She was laying somewhat across him with her legs dangling over the five-floor drop with the rest of her on his lap, head nuzzled into arm. She was very clearly asleep. “Are you awake still?” He asked anyway, and when he didn’t get a response he carefully shifted around, and after a minute had her in his arms and was cautiously opening the door to get back inside.
He walked back through the halls, muscle memory telling him not to step on certain parts of the ground or else it would creak. He wouldn’t be able to fall asleep, he was to excited. To happy he just saw that sometimes once in a lifetime thing, but at the same time disappointed he wouldn’t be able to again for another half-century if he could make it that long.
He made it to Bree’s room, carefully opening the door and hoping he wouldn’t wake Sally as he stepped inside, not sure where the creaks were so failing to avoid at least half a dozen of them as he made his way to her bed.
She mumbled something he couldn’t make out as he put her down in bed, doing his best to get the blankets on top of her instead of letting them go under her.
“What was that?” He asked, whispering in her ear so Sally, who was sleeping above them, wouldn’t hear.
“Thank you, Codes.” She repeated, completely relaxed as he maneuvered her around in the bed to make her comfortable.
He smiled, then squeezed her exposed hand softly before tucking it under the covers as well, making his way back to the door and only stepping on one creak, having himself avoid the rest.
He closed the door silently, half-running down the hall and trying to make it to his room fast so no one would check up on him while he was out of bed. Making it there quickly enough, he bolted into the room and took his shoes off without stopping, rolling them to the side near the door into a messy pile before carefully tossing himself in bed, forcing himself under his covers and closing his eyes.
“Did you have fun? I got back ages ago.” Ben spoke up from above him, causing Cody to jolt awake slightly and sit up, narrowly missing hitting the barbed-wire like thing that kept Ben’s bed up above his own.
“Bree fell asleep, I needed to carry her back to her bed,” Cody said, yawning and laying back down as his mind raced, images of the fireworks rushing through his mind as he tried to remember them all.
“That’s so cute,” Ben said teasingly.
He rolled his eyes, shifting in bed until he was comfortable.
“Ni-Night.” He whispered. Ben grunted softly in return.
Just another fifty years. He thought hopefully. Just make it another fifty years, and you can show her the fireworks again.