Loud noise in the dark of the night

As we walked along the Embarcadero, we suddenly heard a loud noise.

Something falling and crashing, I thought.

But then it happened again.

Echoing against the tall buildings of downtown San Francisco. I was frightened and looked at my friend as we walked. Everything kept going normally—the cars kept driving, the street cars kept moving. The lights seem to shudder, but everything was as if nothing had happened.

And it happened a few more times. Echoing loudly against the buildings as if a bomb was landing.

But as we turned around the corner of the Ferry Building, we spotted people looking out into the Bay.

There it was.

Fireworks exploding upwards from a ship. A cruise ship? Of bright colors and light, thundering against the buildings of downtown San Francisco.

I felt old as my discomfort grew, disliking the noise as it echoed. With my friend, we ran into the restaurant we were heading toward…and stayed inside even when the restaurant staff ran outside in glee to watch an old-fashioned unexpected fireworks display.

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