Friday, June 24, 2011

Revenge at a Party

He hovered at the back of the room. Nervous. Not afraid- not anymore. He’d been at too many of these events to worry that he’d be next- watched as the father had laughed and snapped his brothers back and forth, before inflating them, strictly to the limits of what was advised on the packet.

They’d grown to immense sizes before the father had twisted their necks and hung them with string about the room; a collection of medieval gibbets.

The festivities had barely begun when a skinny kid took advantage of the way the larger kids were drooling over the snack table, and slipped a drawing pin into one of his kin. The tension had been unbearable, but, as always, there came the predictable BAM and the delighted shrieks of children as they coughed up chunks of cake onto the carpet.

The balloon wept a little- tears of moisture which dripped inside his translucent body.

The children had stormed off to play computer games, ignoring the magician who had been hired for the occasion. The man, dressed in his scuffed suit had consoled himself by folding what seemed to be strange relatives of the balloon’s into wonderful shapes- an amusing dog with a floppy nose, a man on a bicycle.

Knowing that his time was short, he decided immediately to get his revenge. Using a breeze, he drifted over to the magician, and settled near his ear. He puffed himself up, and began to whisper- a thin high voice that seemed as gentle as a leak.

The magician was good at keeping a straight face, and he didn’t let on, but the balloon could tell he was pleased.

The children returned, pushing each other and laughing. One was crying because his toy gun had been broken, but he’d been using it to shoot down some of the balloons bobbing, hanged, near the ceiling, so the balloon felt little sympathy.

The father came into the room, and the magician called him over, spoke to him quietly. Daddy nodded and laughed, amused at the tricks the magician was suggesting.

The magician didn’t say a word, but simply drew a gloved hand across his own face, and the children stopped talking. They sat as if he’d actually asked them to do so, still and patient.

The gloved hand gestured to the father- who pretended to be surprised, and mugged for the mother, who was taking pictures. Me? Ha Ha!

The balloon drifted nearer the open window, and wrapped the end of his string around something.

The magician suddenly grabbed the father and pulled his arm. The arm seemed to stretch. The father laughed uncertainly, and then squeaked as his arm was stretched a little more. The kids roared with laughter. Still more his arm was stretched until it was almost double its usual length. The father’s face was frozen- a huge grin stuck there, but a frown creasing his brow.

The magician tore at the father’s other arm, quickly doubling its length too. The father’s face seemed to bloat, then- he pursed up his lips and squealed as if in pain.

The legs followed rapidly, and he was left lying misshapen on the floor. The magician waved at the children. One or two of them had started to cry. He picked up the father as if he was weightless, and pretended to blow in his ear. As he did so, he tied the flexible limbs in a pretzel shape, and moved towards the door. The mother stood frozen, tea cups rattling on her tray.

The door opened, and, with a magnificent gesture, the magician hurled the father into the breeze. He bobbed twice, and lifted into the sky, quickly topping the house, and then the trees.

The balloon had nudged the window open, and leapt onto the currents of the wind, and was swept after the father.

A few moments, and the lighter balloon had caught up. Angling the end of his string carefully, he swung it into the father. The pin tied in the end glistened in the sunlight.

He managed to snag the father’s nose, and a hole appeared. Not enough for a huge blast, but there was a gushing sound, the flatulent burp of air escaping.

As if rocket powered, the father shot into the air, looped twice, and came to rest, flattened and deflated on the garden path.

The balloon nodded in the breeze, waved his string at the departing coattails of the magician, and headed towards the sun, feeling both the warmth of its heat, and the satisfaction of justice.


  1. Loved it Scott! Never read a story from the perspective of a balloon before. Fantastic imagination and very nicely executed!

  2. Clicked over here courtesy of Craig Smith's twitter feed. Great story you have created with such a unique perspective with some wikkid descriptions. My favourite is "the flatulent burp of air escaping."
    Adam B @revhappiness

  3. Craig recommended, you delivered — great debut piece.

  4. I for one welcome our new balloon overlords.
    Welcome to #fridayflash!

  5. This was INCREDIBLE. I shouldn't come here because while I love your writing it leaves me feeling inadequate and then vengeful. But I'm lazy, so you need not worry about the vengefulness, which is also outweighed by the admiration I have.

    In short, great story.

  6. Whoa! Didn't realise anyone read this... Thank you all :)


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