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Ten! A flash of light from a photograph being taken sliced into the party, illuminating the guests for just a moment. Plastered smiles played on the faces of partygoers, but they faded with the light. A waiter quickly handed out the last glasses of champagne.
Nine! A woman stood within a group as they cheered and held their drinks above their heads. The beads of their short and loose flapper dresses shimmered as they twisted. Their short hair bobbed with every move.
Eight! A gaunt-faced man’s eyes roamed the party. His outfit stood out among a sea of sparkles and suits, a deep green wool coat with large buttons down the middle. His friend slapped his shoulder, “Cheer up, Charlie,” he shouted above the roar of the countdown, “It’s almost 1924!”. Charlie smiled, but his eyes’ tortured expression did not change. His poise was rigid and straight.
Seven! A writer stood in the corner, watching his friends He stared at the tables overflowing with food, the walls covered in ornamental detail, and the men and women dripping in gold. The writer shook his head with a grimace.
Six! The woman cackled and grabbed the shoulder of her companion as she sloppily caught herself from falling as she stumbled to grab another glass of champagne. She laughed into his ear and clung to him.
Five! Smooth, unfeigned jazz flowed through the party with gilded trumpets highlighting the melody. The brassy instruments pierced the heavy atmosphere and filled the listeners’ souls.
Four! Charlie was jostled as others bounced around him. He forced his eyes closed as his throat closed. He breathed and reminded himself this was only a party. He was not surrounded by dirt walls. His friends and brothers were not dying around him. Charlie opened his eyes.
Three! The woman stared into her glass of shimmering champagne as bubbles rose from the bottom only to pop once they reached the top of the liquid.
Two! The writer glanced out the window, seeing bright white snow fall from the black sky. He tentatively touched the glass, letting the cold encase his fingers.
One! The partygoers shook with anticipation. They all clutched their champagne, daring midnight to pass so they could drink.
Midnight! Whoops erupted from the party as lustrous confetti fell from the ceiling. The woman placed her champagne onto a nearby table, unable to take another sip of the sparkly alcohol. Her companion had dissipated into the festivities. She slumped onto a nearby couch. The writer opened the window and thrust his hand out to catch what he could of the white flurries. Charlie swung his glass of champagne back in a swift motion and threw the empty glass to the ground. He watched the glittering pieces shatter upon impact as the celebration of the new year continued around him.