Big Bang

The expected could be inexplicably unexpected.

I was never fond of firecrackers. When I was a child, I stayed indoor when the celebration got underway. I was not afraid of the explosion itself but more scared of drunk men throwing them away without any direction. Imagine the accidents waiting to happen.

I could never forget how a neighbor found the painful way never to play with even a small firecracker. His ‘accident’ nearly ended his life.

He taunted luck and fate while lighting the fuse: he would use the burning end of his cigarette. Every time he did it, people around him slowly took cover. No one was sure how or where he would threw it.

In fairness, he was good at it that sometimes he lighted the fuse even though the cigarette was still in his mouth. It was a variation of the Russian roulette: the risk of explosion to his face had a similar degree of danger.

One day, it was not even New Year, he attended a birthday party. He was in his playful mood, regaling the children with his antics. Then, as a finale he invited them to watch him light three small firecrackers while he placed them in between the fingers of his left hand. At that instant, parents dissuaded him to continue his gamble. He paid them no attention.

He was left in the middle of the ground, a performer eager to wow his audience. One by one, he lighted the fuses. No one could bear to look if he would lose his fingers if ever his trick failed.

Before the firecrackers exploded he shook his hand to free them. Unfortunately, the firecrackers landed near a group of children. The succeeding explosions terrified the young ones that one girl suddenly fainted.

Because of the incident, an angry mob rushed straight to him, pummeling blows and stomping straight kicks all over his body. He could have died on the spot if not for cooler heads prevailed and stopped the murder.

Even when he recovered, he never showed his face again in the area.



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