Up in Smoke

The glass was caked white like dried snow.  The inside smelled of something pleasant gone and faded.  The box of baby clothes on which it sat trembled under the modest weight.

The space was theirs.  Theirs to utter idealistic nonsense that still felt like magic.  Theirs to fart and spew visions of grandeur in the same breath.  Free to bask in the warm, unfiltered light of an unsecured bulb.  At least until supper-time was called and they dutifully ate their peas and were told not to lean back in their chairs.

Where did it go?  On through the chimney in search of two more boys to enchant?

He grabbed a box for the moving van.

Mom and Dad were up playing cards by the light of a flimsy lamp.  So enthralled by their game, they did not notice his arrival.

Not until the glass flew.  A shatter.  A shutter.  A grin on a rigid corpse.  Ashes.  Up in smoke.