On the roof.

A shouldn't-be time in a shouldn't-be place,

Thad pecked a shouldn't-do cigarette from the packet and lit it with a burst of flame that violated the darkness and fizzed against the silence.

He exhaled a plume of smoke, pushing it away from his body with his breath, but it hung about in his personal space as if it was reluctant to go too close to the edge.

He looked up. Some mist up there was blocking out the stars and, for now, the moon was balling along behind a strip of cloud. There wouldn't even be a celestial witness to his transgression of ever widening rings of 'shouldn't's.

He knelt beside the shouldn't-have firework and the lighter flared again. Then he stood back.

The touch paper glowed and threw off a few sparks.

A few moments later, the rocket would scream into the sky and bloom over the sleeping town.

And the wheels of revolution would roll again for the first time in centuries.


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