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
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
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
Sport
Jonny Evans and Papiss Cisse come together
football
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The beat is on: Alfred Doda, Gjevat Kelmendi and Orli Shuka in ‘Hyena’
filmReview: Hyena takes corruption and sleaziness to a truly epic level
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

    Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

    Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Assistant

    £10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Assistant

    £17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

    Ashdown Group: Automated Tester / Test Analyst - .Net / SQL - Cheshire

    £32000 per annum + pension, healthcare & 23 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A gro...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
    Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

    Lost without a trace

    But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
    Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

    Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

    Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
    International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
    Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

    Confessions of a planespotter

    With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
    Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

    Russia's gulag museum

    Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
    The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

    The big fresh food con

    Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
    Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

    Virginia Ironside was my landlady

    Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
    Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

    Paris Fashion Week 2015

    The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
    8 best workout DVDs

    8 best workout DVDs

    If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
    Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
    Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

    Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

    The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
    Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

    What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

    Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis