Trifecta Writing Challenge # 62 …………………….. THE BOTTLE ROCKET… A Cautionary Tale in 333 Words


The Meyers were having a great Fourth. Setting off bottle rockets was a family tradition, and this year was going to be their greatest display ever.

The Bottle Rocket is considered China’s first ‘modern’ weapon of warfare. Fired at advancing sword wielding hordes from the mouth of a Ming vase, this early explosive device coined the phrase ‘Shock and Awe’. A simple projectile, consisting of propellent on a stick lit with a primitive opium lighter, would strike fear in the hearts of the invaders, causing a massive retreat… or so that’s how it was supposed to work. Today, the Bottle Rocket is relegated to New Year’s and Fourth of July celebrations. Wait a minute! That’s not exactly true… Wikipedia says: A bottle rocket is a very small skyrocket, consisting of a rocket engine attached to a stabilizing stick. The user can place the stick in an empty bottle (hence the name), and ignite; the mouth of the bottle guides the stick, stabilizing the rocket in its first seconds of flight. They’ve been made since the early decades of the 20th century. In India, bottle rockets are set off during the Hindu festival of Diwali, and are sold in the millions.

So, on this particular Fourth, the Meyers boys put their mouths to the mouth of many a beer bottle, in order to prepare for the big event. Bottles lined the railing on the deck of their second floor apartment, a skyrocket inserted in each, they were ready and waiting for darkness to descend.

It can be assumed, that in their excitement to light as many rockets at once, one bottle was knocked off and fell to the Gutmann’s deck below, sending the rocket into their living room. The Gutmanns saved their cat.

Sifting thru the charred remains of the Meyers’ apartment, investigators were amazed at the amount of ‘launching pads’ they found. The Meyers brothers are currently residing in the Sacramento County Jail, since bottle rockets are illegal in California, except for certain Hindu celebrations.


For this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge,  we were asked to use the third definition of Mouth.

3: something that resembles a mouth especially in affording entrance or exit: as

As always, I invite criticism …

31 responses

  1. Nice blend of informing and and entertaining. They were going shot the rockets in there apartments. Crazy guys.

  2. My significant other and his friends spent hundreds putting on a large scale ‘illegal’ fireworks show this past fourth of July. Everything went fine till one of the guys (who had been drinking all day) decided he wanted to tie fuses together so they would all go off in secession… it would have been fine if only he had noticed that he knocked one of the fireworks out of it’s position. That awkwardly tilted firework hit the neighbor’s house and it was just pure luck that it didn’t hit a window or do any damage.

    Fireworks are dangerous even when one is sober, but when people are drinking, they are tempting fate. Good story.

    1. Thanks, Miss… No kidding!

  3. Nice story. Especially loved the initial description of the history of bottle rockets. Modern Shock-and-Awe weapons fired from a Ming vase? Awesome! Now THAT’S good writing. 🙂

    1. You are too kind, Dawn. Thanks.

  4. I like this alot. “the Gutmanns saved their cat” – nice line 🙂

    1. Thanks, TRG… I liked that line too.

  5. Nice one, informative and amusing. Glad about the cat. And about the Meyers’ new residence. Good one Ted.

    1. Hah… thanks, Sandra.

  6. Hehe this was hilarious. I thought I knew bottle rockets (having burnt a lot of them as a youngster during Diwali, as rightly mentioned) but your description made me think and then upon later reading I realized you’re bluffing. 🙂 Such a fun read. Fourth july celebration gone awry..

    1. But, did you set anything on fire? Thanks for adding to my story.

      1. Hehe.. No. Never. It was always outdoor, li’l away from home.. 🙂

  7. Oh, THOSE neighbors… it’s all fun and games until… Nice piece.

    1. Thanks, how would you like neighbors like that… think of the other 364 days of the year.

  8. Entretenido y agradable escrito y también para reflexionar.
    Que tengas feliz jornada.
    Un abrazo.

  9. Ha! Educational and funny! I too loved the cat line and “…investigators were amazed at the amount of ‘launching pads’ they found.

    1. Thanks a lot, Jennifer. I’ll go find yours…

      1. Took me awhile, first I found your food blog… sending to my sister. … but I finally found ‘Whispatory’

  10. Very interesting and funny! What neighbours!

  11. “put their mouths to the mouth of” and “waiting for darkness to descend” I do like these phrasings!

    1. Thanks so much, that’s nice to hear.

  12. I think the Myers brother might live on my! I’m not surprised by the the charred remains. Loved it!

  13. Welp…good for the cat, I suppose. Great writing (:

  14. Wonderful mix of fact and fiction – if it is fiction – true for someone if not the Gutmann’s and Meyers. The mouth of a Ming vase – nice use of the word. And like everyone else I’m happy that the cat was saved. Nice writing!

  15. I think you should be a regular news anchor – you made this story much more entertaining than what it would’ve otherwise become! 🙂

  16. bwahahahaha – residing in a cell in Sacramento! 🙂 Well deserved rest for the Meyers bros. Glad the family downstairs saved the cat.

    We have interesting times in southcentral Alaska – fireworks laws and such. ‘course, fireworks ’round here cannot be seen on the 4th of July – we have way too much daylight that time of year. We save em for winter activities. 🙂

  17. Hah!!! Great story well told! xo

  18. So,they rocketed their way to the jail over the charred remains of their home-well,at least they have a roof over their heads,lol!Nice piece ,lighthearted yet informative -this kind of firework is very dangerous-we have a few cases here in India,during our festival,”Diwali” in Oct/Nov.

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