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New Friends Above the Clouds (flash fiction)

July 25, 2013

Photo of above clouds, by Douglas M. MacIlroy

Little fingers loosened their grip on the thin tether, and the balloon rose, watched by the child’s crestfallen eyes. The yellow balloon looked back, sad to leave the child’s giggles. But its sadness smoothed to wonder as the houses became smaller and multiplied along streets stretching into an intricately devised pattern, broken by trees and fields beyond. As gasp of awe as the world expanded. Then dampness as the balloon lifted through clouds.

“Hey, it’s a yellow one.”

Another balloon, a red one, among a pack of balloons above the cloud, approached.

“Wrap your string around a hook. You don’t want to keep rising. Death’s up there. Join us.”

The others welcomed the yellow balloon heartily.


Friday Fictioneers prompt given by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. For other stories inspired by this photo, click here.
Photo copyright Douglas M. MacIlroy
Story copyright Dave Williams

22 Comments leave one →
  1. July 25, 2013 5:31 am

    Nice one Zooky. Sad in places, mysterious in others.

  2. July 25, 2013 7:16 am

    very cute. Nice spin. Randy

  3. July 25, 2013 10:36 am

    It must be sad to leave a child’s giggles knowing you’re not going to return. Great take on the prompt.

  4. July 25, 2013 12:52 pm

    Another clever perspective and personification.

  5. July 25, 2013 1:33 pm

    That was lovely!

  6. July 25, 2013 1:48 pm

    The last refuge of lost balloons. Very imaginative!

  7. July 25, 2013 1:53 pm

    I love stories that have that child like wonder in them
    a haven for balloons – perfect

  8. July 25, 2013 3:09 pm

    This story has a fanciful and magical quality to it, and the image of balloons gathered above the clouds is very vivid. Ron

  9. July 25, 2013 6:26 pm

    Sounds like such fun. A story a child would love!

  10. Mystikel permalink
    July 25, 2013 10:54 pm

    Very cute and oddly inspiring. You find yourself really rooting for that yellow balloon.

  11. July 26, 2013 2:09 am

    Balloon heaven–who knew? The sadness looking back was a nice touch.

  12. July 26, 2013 5:27 am

    Dear Dave,

    A sweet one from a unique perspective. Ever hear the song Mr. Balloon Man by Ray Hildebrand? This piece puts me in mind of it.



    • July 26, 2013 6:11 am

      I had not heard the Mr. Balloon Man song — thanks for sending me the link. And I can see how the story reminds you of the song, it has a sweet story in there.

  13. July 26, 2013 2:56 pm

    The word that comes to mind is “pretty.” What a lovely tale.

  14. July 26, 2013 2:58 pm

    By far the most inventive one I’ve read this week! Who knew that there were two parting of ways, when balloons fell away in this fashion?

  15. July 26, 2013 8:54 pm

    So that’s going on with the balloons. Fun and a bit mysterious. A very nice blend. 😀

  16. July 27, 2013 2:21 am

    wow this is very unique. lovely and mysterious all at once. and how it evoked sweet childhood memories. 🙂 sigh, perhaps that’s where my balloons went 🙂

  17. July 29, 2013 1:44 am

    A story from the balloon’s point of view, I loved it. I guess it is a death for them, isn’t it? I never thought of it that way. Nice one!

  18. July 29, 2013 7:07 am

    The short life of a balloon. If balloons had feelings, they probably might feel that way. Or they may ask the child not to inflate them (and get their hopes up) only to burst them in the end..

  19. August 5, 2013 7:01 pm

    I wonder if that ‘hook’ is an angelic staff… Just saying… could be.
    A brief respite from the next step. Nicely done.

    • August 6, 2013 5:52 am

      I like your idea of the hook being an angelic staff — it’s a nice thought.

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