As a young child, one of my favorite pass times was to catch and count fireflies. We had a small backyard, so occasionally we would go down the street and across to a small park that was not particularly friendly to find some. This usually happened when the family was over and we ran out of room for the large amounts of people in our home. Our parents would walk us down there and sit talking while us kids ran around yelling and screaming.
We would then head home. My sister and her crew would be wearing jewelry they made by pulling off the butts of the fireflies and I would be carrying a sun tea jar that I had set up as a kind of apartment for them until we got home where I would set them free. On this particular day, we kids stayed outside in the tool shed that we set up as a playhouse until it got cold and then we went to the basement.
We were playing the usual things: roller skating the length of the room to grab onto a support beam to see how fast we could spin around, board games, setting up house in the room under the stairs, and breaking into my father's dark room. We were absolutely, under no circumstances allowed in there as he was always working on new photographs in various stages of development and experimentation.
Right about the time the neighbor boy and I broke into the darkroom my Mother came yelling down the stairs that whoever let the fireflies free inside the house had made a bad decision. We had forgotten them out in the shed, so we knew it wasn't us.
As we went up the stairs to go outside and prove it was not us we heard the adults talking about the fireflies down the hall blinking and bouncing all over. My uncle states that with the blinking it was hard to tell, but he thought there were maybe five in the house. As he tried to approach to capture them, the light would go out and he could not find where they went. My grandmother says that they looked agitated. She always said it was as if they were expecting a bug zapper would jump out of no where and attack them.
Out in the shed, the jar lid was still on tight. My sisters fireflies were, well... Gone. She was wearing them. None of us had taken any in the house. All of the kids though had to search the house and try to rid it of these fireflies. None were ever found. We were not allowed to put them in a jar after that. Coincidence on the timing of the break-in and the fireflies or was it something more?