Bottle Rockets

by Gavin McCall

It wasn’t my fault. I only showed him how to drill holes in the bottom and reattach the fuses, then tape barbeque skewers to their sides so they fly straighter – that’s all. I didn’t tell him to bring them to school, or to light them during recess. I especially didn’t tell him to fire them by hand, even though I did it myself, a couple times. I also didn’t tell him to use old ones, ones that sometimes turn into little cardboard-and-gunpowder bombs, and I didn’t tell him that sometimes they blow up instead of shooting across the soccer field, like mine did. But they do, and he did, and now his sister won’t even look at me anymore.


Gavin McCall was born on a farm on the Big Island of Hawaii, but has spent the majority of his writing career in Honolulu, where he just received his Master’s Degree in creative writing from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He won the 2008 Sudden Fiction Award, which included publication in Hawaii Review, and his work has been or will be featured in Boston Literary Magazine, Nimble, Lesser Flamingo and Paradigm.