“You’ve gotta put that back. If your uncle finds us in here, there’ll be real fireworks.”

“Fireworks? Where do you get stuff like that? Butch is not gonna know if you don’t tell him.”

Pauley held the gun in her right hand, her left cupped under the grip like she had seen her guardian do hundreds of time. Holding it in one hand, she turned it over so it was horizontal.

“That looks stupid,” her friend stood in the bedroom doorway where she could watch for anyone coming down the hallway. “Put it back, please!”

“Stop being such a baby, it’s not even loaded,” Pauley laughed. She stood in front of the bedroom mirror, changing her stance and arm positions until it felt right.

“Why are you even interested in guns? That’s a guy thing.” The other girl, arms crossed over her chest, worried a thumbnail, chewing the cuticle until it bled. Looking down the hall again, she moved closer to Pauley. “Please, just put it away.”

“Charlotte, you don’t have to worry. Butch is out until late.” Pauley sat on the edge of the bed, clicked the magazine release, dropping the clip into her lap. “Oh, shit!”

“What’s wrong?” The other girl’s voice rose several octaves.

“Nuthin’!” Pauley tucked the loaded magazine under her leg, then checked the slide on the 22 cal. only to see a cartridge in the chamber.


Releasing the slide carefully, Pauley reloaded the magazine. She checked the safety, then replaced the gun in the night side table drawer.

“Come on, let’s get out of here,” Pauley grabbed her friend’s arm and started dragging her down the hall. “Remember, we were never here.”

Angry now, her friend jerked away. “And, if I do tell, what’ll you do?”

“If Butch finds out, you’ll have to worry about my fireworks!”

Trifecta, a weekly one-word prompt, challenges writers to use that word in its third definition form, using no less than 33 words or no more than 333. The week’s prompt is: Fireworks [noun \fahyuhr-wurks\] 3: (plural) a : display of temper or intense conflict

To read more about Pauley, check out “Dead Money.”

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I believe all good fiction includes an element of truth, and all good photography includes an element of fantasy. In this journal I hope to give voice to the stories swirling around in my head, and to capture the images I see through my camera’s lens.

15 thoughts on “Fireworks

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