Posted on June 21, 2023

The Firework Stand - Gebo's

The black and white portable antenna tv belted out, “like sand through an hourglass, so are the days of our lives.” The firework stand was miserable in the 101’ degree heat, but Wade wasn’t complaining too much. He was 11 years old, getting paid good money to sell fireworks leading up to the 4th of July. Drenched in sweat, he happily played the word search, sipped a coke, and stood in the breeze of the oscillating fan. 

A truck pulled up to the patch of dirt called a parking lot. Out stepped a man in his late 50s. He wore a hat that distinguished him as a veteran. His hair was long and gray. He wore a button down untucked, hanging over his stone washed jeans. His boots kicked around the dust as he walked. In his left hand was a lit cigarette. 

As he approached the firework stand counter, he leaned over to look at the selection of explosives. His cigarette leaned over the counter with him.

“Um sir,” Wade said, nervously, “Thank you for your service, but I don’t think you can smoke that here.”

The old man looked annoyed as he took one more drag off the cigarette before extinguishing it under the toe of his boot. 

“Well, what do you recommend, kid?” He said, gesturing toward the fireworks. 

Wade wasn’t by any means a salesman, but he did love fire and watching things go boom. “Are you wanting something that is loud, or colorful, or what?”

“I guess I’d like-”

“Cause if you want loud, I’d go for the M-1000 Super Pack or a giant string of black cats. 

If you want something for kids, go for the colored smoke bombs, sparklers, spaceships, or fountains. 

One time me and my brother stuck a smoke bomb in an ant hole and the ants all came out purple. We felt kind of bad about it afterwards, but it sure did look cool. 

Another time we lit smoke bombs then hit them like golf balls across the pasture, painting the sky in funny colors.

If you want to prank someone, use the throw pops or string pops. It gets ‘em every time.

Romans candles are fun to pretend to aim at each other, but don’t actually aim them at someone. That’s unsafe. 

I don’t care much for bottle rockets though. You can never trust that they won’t turn on you. 

I like artillery shells too, but make sure to put them in the tube or they just explode everywhere and you have to pour water or stomp the fire out with your feet. Also, make sure the tube doesn’t fall over or sometimes you have to duck out of the way of the explosion.

Anyway, I recommend one of those.”

“Wow kid, you sure know your stuff.”

“They don’t pay me so good for nothing, sir,” Wade said, squinting proudly.

“I can tell you’re a pro at this, young man. Well, why don’t I just get some artillery shells and blackcats for today.”

“Yes sir,” Wade said as he bagged up the man’s fireworks. “Here, take some of these punks too for lighting the fuses. Don’t let the ash fall on your arm though, they leave a pretty nasty mark.” Wade showed the man his scar proudly. “Thank you for shopping and have a happy 4th of July, sir!”


By: Jefferson Marshall

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