A faith like a guillotine, as heavy, as light.


Because later, when we're down by the pond and the first of the rockets is streaking up, up, up, Freak is making a fuss bacause he can't see. There are so many people crowded around, all he can see are feet and knees, and people are lifting their little kids up to see the fireworks explode like hot pink flowers in the sky, and so I just sort of reach down, without thinking and pick up Freak and set him on my shoulders. He's kind of trembly up there until he grabs hold on my hair to steady himself, and then the first really big rocket whams off, a humongous thud! I can feel in my stomach, and Freak is shouting, "Awwww right!" and I know it's okay, he's not flipped out because I picked him up and put him on my shoulders like he was a little kid instead of possibly the smartest human being in the world. "Magnesium!" he shouts as the white sparkles glitter down over the pond. "Potassium chlorate!" as the shells go womp-womp-womp and everybode goes ooooooooh. "Potassium nitrate! Sulphur! Aluminum!" And after a burst of hot red fire in the sky, Freak tugs my hair and screams, "Coper! That's copper powder combusting with oxygen!" And then when the fire blossoms are flashing blue he goes, "Good old strontium nitrate!" and I'm thinking whoa! is there anything this little dude doesn't know?

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