Friday, July 12, 2013
CE: Laris Discovers Fireworks
"Hey, Doofus, back up!"
The shouts are simultaneous with the sudden crackling of the sparklers. My brother jumps back just as one lighted stick swings under his nose.
"Careful, Gherkin!" He shouts to our cousin.
"What in all of the twelve kingdoms is that?"
The voice behind me makes me jump, even though I'm already on edge from the blasts of the firecrackers and sparklers.
"Laris! Don't sneak up on me like that!"
The tall blonde princess grins, her green eyes flashing with fun. "What is it?" She repeats the question and nods at the circle of people in front of me. One of my other cousins, Captain Oblivious by name, is getting another great burst of color ready to send into the sky.
"We're shooting off fireworks for the Independence Day."
"It's an American tradition." I explain. "But we only do the little ones."
Nattalaris laughs as another explosion sends my siblings and cousins scrambling backwards, necks craning to make certain they don't miss a bit of the sparking wonder above them in the night air. "I would dearly love to see such ones that you do not describe as little."
"You'd love it, Laris. They boom so loudly that you can feel it down in your very bones."
"And we don't have these in Findenland, because...?" The princess gives me a raised eyebrow.
I shrug, hoping the nonchalant expression will gain me some favor in her eyes. I know that this is just the sort of thing to excite Nattalaris, and she's probably not happy with me for allowing her country, fictional as it is, to have a lack of fireworks. "No one has invented them yet."
She throws a fist into my shoulder. "Well, hurry up and have someone invent them! You're going to need these lights over the castle for the ball."
I give her a puzzled glance. "What ball?"
"Don't be daft, Kiri." Laris keeps her eyes on the spectacle in front of us, clearly enjoy each blast and sizzle of color. "You have twelve princesses in one castle, and visiting monarchs in every other chapter. There's going to be a big ball sometime. And to keep the whole occasion from falling into that boring monotonous dancing regime, you're going to need some of these. At least, if you hope to have anyone enjoy themselves, you'd better include fireworks. Balls are bad enough as it is, so you'd best blow something up."
"So, to keep something interesting, you have to blow it up?"
"Certainly! That's what the orcs did at Helm's Deep, right? They blew clean through the Deeping Wall to breach the fortress."
My jaw drops. "How do you know about that?"
"Oh, come on, Kiri. You don't think I can be a figment of your imagination and not know all the things you tuck away up there? Lord of the Rings is one of your favorite stories. I know all about it."
I had never put the idea together that my characters may know some other story than their own. But, yes, it makes sense that Laris would know about LOTR. She probably has all the events from the Narnia books cross-analyzed and memorized, as well.
"He's setting off another one!" Laris darts forward as Captain touches another fuse off. Sure, the bottle rocket isn't anything grand, as we have all seen so many different displays of fireworks in past years. But for the Findenland princess, this is something entirely new. Somehow, even though she's only the figment on my imagination, I find myself completely enthralled with Laris's reactions. The fun she sees here is so much more than anything anyone could describe as fun in her own land. I almost regret forcing her and her sisters into their current position.
But not completely. I know where they'll end up, so hopefully later they'll thank me for all the trouble I put them through.
After the last sparkler has been burnt, Laris turns back to me. "You will put fireworks in our story."
"Is that a command?"
Laris returns my nonchalant shrug. "A suggestion. Besides, I'll enjoy the ball ever so much more then."
I laugh. "How do you know? You've actually never been to a full, all-out ball before. How could you know that fireworks will make it better?"
"Because I do. You like them, and I'm just like you, so I like them, too."
"You're not just like me."
"Then why am I your favorite?"
"You're not my favorite."
"Yes, I am. I'm obnoxious, and I'm fun. You can't help but like me."
"Does that mean I'm obnoxious, too?"
"That's exactly what I mean, Kiri. Now go and write those fireworks."
But I'm too late. She's gone, without any blast of color, crackle of sparks, or tiding smoke tendrils.
"Obnoxious girl." I mutter to myself with a grin, making a mental note to myself at the same time.
Write fireworks in TK for Laris.