New Years Eve

10 …

Stacy was alone, again, on New Year’s Eve.

9 …

Well, not alone, as such. She’d actually attended quite a sizeable house party.

8 …

She was alone romantically. There are two times that being single is brought into full view. One is Valentines Day. The other is midnight on New Year’s Eve.

7 …

Were there eligible men at this party? Well, that would depend on your definition of eligible. There were certainly single men. They just weren’t what she was looking for.

6 …

There was Dave the accountant, who could put anyone to sleep when they asked him what he did for a living. There was Stan, who was mildly creepy and had already tried it on with the host’s girlfriend, as well as other not so single individuals.

5 …

There were others but just like Dave and Stan, they weren’t exactly prime partner material. So, Stacy supposed that being single was preferable to being dismal in a relationship with the Daves or Stans of the world.

4 …

The countdown had begun in full swing. She looked across the lawn of patchy grass to a solitary individual, with lighter in hand. Dan had secured some illegal fireworks and was going to set them off at midnight. He figured that he had about two minutes after they were set off to destroy the evidence before the police potentially rocked up.

3 …

The chant got louder as the whole party became fixated on Dan and his display. If there were others chanting nearby, she couldn’t hear them. In one way, chanting down to the new year felt like being part of the human race. Everyone had their eyes towards the clock, she thought, before she remembered that some people had long since fallen asleep. There was also the difference in time zones, which meant that the new year slowly inched its way across the globe.

2 …

She had no idea who the first and last people to cross into the new year would be. If her geographical knowledge served her at all, the break was somewhere in the Pacific. Was the break between Russia and Alaska? Did that mean that places like Japan and the farthest eastern reaches of Russia were the first to experience the new year? Her current location on the East Coast of Australia wouldn’t be too far behind that. Finally, America would be the last ones to cross over into the New Year. Places like Hawaii and Alaska; places acquired during America’s attempt at becoming an empire.

1 …

The fuse was lit. Suddenly, time zones didn’t matter as in one second time would be renewed. She looked around at the half a dozen or so couples, who were entangled with each other, waiting for that oh-so-important minute in time. Why was there such a focus on New Year’s kisses anyway? Was the first kiss of the New Year more important than any other time?

Happy New Year!

The illegal rocket propelled itself into the air, leaving sparks behind it as it rose. As it climbed a trail of smoke followed it. It exploded in the air as Dan reached for another one. After the loud crack had dissipated, all of them heard the police siren. The house was illuminated in blue and red flashing lights. Two officers had walked down the open driveaway and had found Dan, red-handed with a firework in his hand.

Dan grabbed the fireworks and made a break for it, climbing the surrounding two-metre fence with surprising dexterity. The two cops gave chase. Suddenly, that all-important minute of the New Year didn’t seem that important as Dan made his escape. Stacy noticed that Dan had left something in the backyard. The spark from the rocket had caught on a patch of grass and was quickly spreading. The twenty-degree heat wouldn’t exactly slow the burn either.

‘Fire!’ she shouted.

Five gentlemen with drinks in their hands leapt forward in an attempt to douse the fire. First, they ineffectually stomped at the blaze with their feet. Thankfully, none of them was wearing thongs or had gone barefoot. Then they decided to pour the beers over the fire, which only made it worse. By now, one of the smarter party guests, Jenny, had dashed into the laundry and grabbed a bucket of water. She threw the water on the fire as it began to climb the neighbours’ fence. By now, Dan was long gone. Who knows if the cops had caught him?

From Jenny’s initiative, a conga line of drunken party goers filled buckets of water and passed them down. It must have taken a solid ten minutes but slowly the fire was doused. Triumphantly, those who still had glasses raised them and gave a rallying cry of Happy New Year! I guess there is a sort of togetherness in the early hours of the new year.

 

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