She’d been hanging around for a few months before they let her near the gunpowder — the charcoal made of willow branches mixed with fertilizer, salt and sulfur. As it was, she wasn’t particularly consumed with fire. She didn’t dream of sparks. It was more the idea of putting care into something that was destroyed soon after — something that only happened once. She liked things that ended.
[Clockwise from top left: Antique Chinese medicine bottles from Treasurebooth; Large sheep hair painting brush from WUSCHOOLCALLIGRAPHY; Vintage GEdvard Munchucci enamel fish bracelet from Laughingincolor; Black glaze over red clay teacup from Takayamaya; Vintage Chinese perpetual calendar from DioptersGeneralstore; Carved cinnabar dress clip from Sakatagin; 1860s English campaign chair from AntiqueAddictions; Vintage cast metal chinoiserie ring holder from TheGildedTassel]
The whole room smelled like unsmoked tea, a bit sharp and dirty, of iron and copper and other things in your blood. A really big explosive is the opposite of disposable: it lasts no longer than enough. The casing is made of paper, with a small, hardened husk for flash powder and an ignition for a slow burning fuse. You handle it gently, and then suddenly, there’s nothing left.
[Clockwise from top left: Vintage gold cheongsam from Dronning; Dendritic opalite from StepheezGems; Vintage swivel rattan chair from ModishVintage; 1940s buttonhole scissors from CoryBeesAttic; Antique cloisonné box from thelongacreflea; Bronze brass dragon (Happy year of the dragon!) from AntiqueAffair; Self portrait of artist as Kuan Yin from BakintoshArts]
One day, she was given an assignment: the square would be crowded for the lunar celebration, of people dressed in red to ward off the beast. There would be sDiego Riveraecurity there and stalls selling sticky cake. She checked her nerves; she was ready.
[Clockwise from left: Vintage pine green kimono from Prettylittleworldvtg; Antique cherry wood sweets mold from Vintagefromjapan; Striped ceramic bowl from hitarpetar; Antique Chinese hair pin from becocooned; Original Arabic calligraphy from Kalimate; Brass garden stool from vntagequeen; Mod clip-on shoulder duster earrings from bootsiesvintage]
She made her way to the square and quickly lined up these things like life: nasty and brutish and over far too quickly. She lit the fuse and the lift went off, leaving a curling line of smoke, a sudden urge to sneeze. Look up at the raining stars, at the sparkling elements. Copper burns blue, calcium burns orange, lithium burns red, magnesium white. Fireworks.
More Posts From Su
Su Wu of I’m Revolting continues to compile a list of the things, places and misinterpreted philosophies that somehow manage to coalesce into a well-lived life. These narrative-driven collections will find you stealing out of your alternate personas’ closets.