The Best-Laid Schemes
Not all hot air balloons fly.
Some drift and others float. Ours died and the pilot, together with his crew, is desperately resuscitating it. The envelope rises and falls to the rhythm of our bored breathes as the crew members blow, ironically, cold air into it with the fan before they turn on the propane burners. Another crew member is circling the balloon like a patrol soldier – not knowing what to look for but pretending to look busy to avoid a scolding from his commanding officer.
The weather looks good; the prognosis does not.
“Oh, how can this happen?” my wife cries and stamps her feet. “We should be up there hours ago, enjoying the sight!”
“M’am, I’m sorry but we are trying our best -” the pilot starts.
“Well, your best is not enough! Try harder!” my wife yells back.
I shake my head in resignation. I could have told him it is pointless to explain; she is used to getting her way.
She turns to me. “This is so unfair!”
I nod. It is very unfair indeed, God. I was looking forward to going up there in the balloon and pushing her off.
I have no idea where this story comes from. I started with the sentence “Not all hot air balloons fly.” without an idea what I want to write next. I thought about going all philosophical but decided against it halfway. Before I knew it, this darkly humorous story completed itself in front of me and I wondered “Why not?”
I would have probably made a very good murderer if people leave me alone long enough…
If you are interested, the prompt is linked below,
Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner is a weekly writing challenge designed for both the flash fiction newbie and the more experienced writer. It is the desire of this challenge to allow writers the opportunity to clear the cobwebs from a more tedious and involved project. Becoming a part of a new and growing writer’s community might be just what the doctor ordered to rejuvenate your writing juices.
The challenge for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner will open early Wednesday morning.
Allow the prompt to take you anywhere you want to go! (Limit your stories to 200 words.)
The Six Easy Guidelines
- A photo prompt topic is to be used as your ‘muse’. They will arrive promptly at midnight each Wednesday morning.
- Include the photo prompt and its credits with your story on your blog.
- All stories are to be crafted and honed to under 200 words in length.
- Each flash fiction piece should have a clear beginning, middle, and end. No serial stories. It is harder to stay abreast of a serial story. (Please keep content PG-13.)
- Once you have your post complete, create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. If that is not an option for you, add your post’s link in the comments section.
Prompt: FLASH FICTION FOR THE PURPOSEFUL PRACTITIONER: WEEK #33