by R. Nikolas Macioci
They pepper the dark with miniature, gold torches. I am nine years old and have nothing to do but carry a Mason jar into the backyard, unscrew the top, and use the bottom to catch these docile bugs. They are night's yellow beacons, easy to grab from blue-black sky. I have caught a dozen or so in my jar. They make no sound, and it doesn't disturb them when I flick my finger against the glass.
I call them lightning bugs, but the book says
they are fireflies. They blink like amber eyes.I've seen some kids tear off the abdomen and wear it on their finger like a ring. I cannot be so cruel. Soon I will turn them loose, but for a while longer I want to look at their flashing beams, captured bits and pieces of sun. I've ended with a pretty good catch. Nowit's time to open the lid and let them go I recap the jar. My dad yells from the porch. I slump toward the steps, wonder why someone doesn't free me from his mean streak that keeps the lid screwed tight on a jar that suffocates what is captured.