The Diary of Emma d May: No smoke without fire

Sunday 12.01am: Impromptu midnight bonfire party in Vikram's back garden. So far, have got a few twigs and three cardboard boxes, although Dylan has gone on scouting expedition to Winnie Mandela Park to bring back firewood. Hampered in fire-building mission by effects of obscenely large bag of superskunk and still feeling a bit strange after Friday night's pills ("pure MDMA", claimed Dylan), which turned out to be Ketamine, causing everybody to lose use of limbs and sit jibbering against club wall for seven hours, as if under wicked fairytale spell.

1.30am: No sign of Dylan. All decide to go and look for him in park.

2.15am: Find roped-off council bonfire instead, awaiting Sunday lunchtime Guy Fawkes' funfair. Have argument with Vikram over whether it is morally wrong to steal wood from children. We are just walking away (empty-handed, having decided it was immoral) when hear strange whimpering from inside woodpile. "Help!" says a small, familiar voice. "In here." Drag Dylan out suffering from head injury. "I was looking for hedgehogs," he says, dazed and confused. "They go in there to sleep and then they get burned to death..."

2.30am: On hands and knees inside council bonfire on Animal Hospital mission to rescue innocent, sleeping hedgehogs, but can't actually find any.

2.45am: "Ouch!" yells Vikram. "Little fucker's stabbed me with its sodding prickles." "Don't hurt it!" shouts Dylan. "Where are you? I'm coming." Hear crashing. Start to feel nervous about wood overhead. What if we get trapped and the council light the bonfire and we end up Guy Fawkes casualties. Smell sickly sweet odour coming over the scent of damp bark and dogshit. "Dylan," Vikram shouts, suddenly. "Tell me you're not smoking a spliff." Loud coughing from Dylanish direction. "Dylan," says Vikram. "You really mustn't smoke a spliff in here because we are, after all, inside a bonfire and bonfires are designed to catch fire." More coughing. "Oh yeah," says Dylan. "Shit. Sorry."

4am: Back at Vikram's the mattress is burning a treat and wardrobe starting to catch. Sit smoking and watching flames in primeval trance. Anna has made a Guy Fawkes out of bin liners stuffed with compost which we decide to call Jack Straw, as feel have to keep with revolutionary Guy Fawkes blowing-up-Parliament tradition.

4.30am: "Hello," says Tinky Winky, who has just walked in, speaking so slowly it is a miracle he ever finishes the word. "What the fuck's the matter with you?" says Vikram. Tinky looks back blankly.

4.40am: Tinky manages to reply. "Pure... MDMA..." he sort of chokes in an accusing way at Dylan. It seems his brain wants to fight Dylan but his body is conscientiously objecting. Carry him upstairs to bed.

5am: Bonfire seems to be taking over garden. Time to burn Straw. Dylan chucks him on top and starts dancing around in worrying Lord of the Flies manner. The Home Secretary's plastic-bag face looks like it's crying. Feel a bit bad, but try to focus on images of squeegee merchants and homeless people.

9am-ish: Wake up next to bonfire embers. Jack Straw is no more. Vikram's landlord no longer has lawn, back fence is seriously blackened. Still, can't help feeling lucky to be alive. Send Dylan to buy celebratory breakfast.

9.30am: Dylan returns looking v excited. "Look at this!" he says, holding up "emergency" edition of local paper: "VANDALS BURN CHILDREN'S BONFIRE". "We ought to find them, there's a reward and everything for information." A few seconds silence. "What did you do with that spliff you were smoking in the park, Dylan?" Anna asks casually. "I chucked it down, when you said like don't smoke cos it's a bonfire," says Dylan. "Hedgehog murderer!"

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

    £20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

    Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

    £24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

    Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

    Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

    Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

    Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there