Jon Chaiim McConnell

There was a leak in the font and the floor of the hall was crackling over and flooded with current. I filled my bucket and dipped my phone in to my wrist until the screen glowed on and I couldn’t feel my fingers.

      I said, “Well, it’s still pure.”

      And then a bailing line formed behind me of all the kids from town since we’ve always been told to bring enough home but not too much, since too much can blow a house transformer. I’ve seen it—the arclights are purple. Your siding can melt.

      So we tossed the excess just out onto the snow. Any other season we’d be careful—dry grass could catch, wet grass could hold a charge that would melt your shoelaces. We knew how it worked. But in the winter, with the snow crusted over like it was, our tosses of current hit the ground and shattered into a sea of hissing blue marbles that rode brilliantly down the hill to the street in an instant and then disappeared. We tossed our buckets all night. We tossed until the hall was safe and dark and patched the font with electrical tape.

      “It won’t hold for long,” Dad said. “But good work. Good instincts…”

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