He threw his hands out once again, feeling the same flow from the mask and hearing another pop. He repeated the process again and again, the physical exertion feeling like an intense workout in his core. He started performing ‘tricks’ instead of just throwing his palms out. He made a gun with his fingers, and when he pushed his thumb forward, he heard yet another pop. He repeated the cycle again and again, stopping only occasionally to place more firecrackers on the ground. He kept pushing through the burning in his core. He grunted with exertion, another crackle, grunt, crackle, grunt, crackle, suddenly he was letting out slight noises between wordless yells and yelps of pain. For every noise that escaped him, another firecracker exploded, until finally he shouted and ignited al of his remaining firecrackers, generating a satisfying boom that preceded the sound Thorne made as he feel backwards to the ground in exhaustion, his chest rising as fast as the rapid beat of his heart. He breathed in quickly, suddenly gritting through the intense but comforting pain that accompanied his effort. He raised his right arm and peeled his mask off, the seemingly hard and inflexible plastic clung to his face like a Band-Aid, only reluctantly and begrudgingly letting go as he pulled it off his angular face. He clutched the almost amorphous mask in his hand, not quite ready to stuff it into his pocket. Thorne looked up the night sky with his big, deeply colored eyes, the pupils running from side to side, taking in the stars visible in the uncharacteristically clear sky. He slowly let his eyes close, succumbing to exhaustion. As he drifted off into the blackness of sleep, he hoped he would dream of the stars, dream of the painfully distant heaven above.