Fireworks at the Beach by Traci Bonney



Sunrise at the beach – time for some flow arts practice.  I had brought the hoops, baton, juggling balls – all my favorite toys.  Both the video camera and portable music player were on the fritz, so I’d have to forego the usual practice session recording and be content with the rhythmic pounding of waves as my soundtrack.

I started with a little hooping to warm up before moving on to the next prop, an old baton from the high school band’s fundraiser tag sale.  As misty vapors of early morning fog rose into the crimson streaked sky, the sounds of waves and sea breeze lulled me into a trance while I spun through all the moves I’d learned as a kid.  A cherished dream of running away and joining the circus teased at my brain while I tried to recall windmills and other combinations buried deep in memory.

A missed toss is where things got hinky. I had a good horizontal figure eight going and went to toss it from one hand to the other, but my catching hand didn’t catch.  The baton went flying into the water and I waded in after it.

When I bent to retrieve it, something was clinging to the baton.  My first panicked thought was, “Squid!”  Instinctively, I threw the baton as hard as I could, trying to distance my hand from the possibility of a sea creature attack.  The baton sailed in a high, sparkling arc, a comet tail of what I now saw to be seaweed trailing after it.

The poor guy in the parking lot, eating breakfast out of a fast food bag while sitting on the front bumper of his Mazda and watching the sunrise, didn’t see my flying missile of disaster until it hit him in the head, ricocheted off and cracked his windshield.  I couldn’t tell if he was seeing fireworks as he slid off the bumper and smacked the pavement with his rear end, but I was pretty sure I would be when he recovered his senses.

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