giant hot air balloon? my darling asked of me. It’s all yours for the morning,
Me? What about
us? I queried. He wanted me to enjoy myself wholly and without distraction.
you are not by any means a distraction, why, you are my star attraction.
He blushed deep
crimson now, rarely was he used to receiving compliments, mainly playful little
cute insults which he knew were full of love and meant nothing of which others
would use them as.
now, he urged me, run along and have some fun, enjoy yourself. I’d never been
in a hot air balloon before. I had always come up with some excuse: too
expensive, I would have to awaken too early, it would be too cold, what if the
weather turned dreary? And other some such, or whatnot, excuses which masked
the true reason: a fear of flying.
I’ll be right here, he reassured me, pointing to the grassy knoll by the evergreen trees. I’ll be reading and researching, it’s important I do so, but I’ll be watching out for you.” He reached forth, pulled me into his grasp, placed his lips full upon mine, passionately. Surprised at his action, I withdrew slightly, then warmed to his embrace. I melted into him because it was rare we expressed ourselves physically.
my love, for thinking of me, I said and reluctantly extracted myself from his grasp.
The hot air
balloon operator was incredibly kind. He could see I was tremble profusely,
that my hands could barely hold onto the edge of the basket which held us as we
ascended into the perfectly blue sky, tinged with coloured clouds that twinkled
with differing shades in our eyes.
It’s okay, he said reassuringly. First trip in the air? he inquired with a warm smile.
in the air in anything, I replied, I’ve not even been in a plane. What
got me the most was the noise as we rose, I was frightened but I knew there was
nothing to be afraid of. Balloon accidents were very rare, and this operator
seemed to know his methods and flying to a tee. I glanced down at my love, he
was reading on his phone, making notes in a pad to his right, his mind set upon
certain equations and problematic formulas all of his own. I called to him,
waving and attempting a false smile. He looked up, delighted that I was
enjoying myself and fervently waved back.
something seemed wrong, there was more strength from the flames which allowed us
to rise, we were on an errant path, rocking from side to side. With horror I
looked up and realised that the lower flames from the burner had extended far
past where they were meant to be and were situated up near the exit hole of the
balloon, exposing the likely flammable material to excessive heat, now what
could I do? I was too high in the air to jump, but above it showed that we were
going to fall anyway, what could I do but scream for my love, to tell him how I
felt once more, before I might become gone, gone, gone, away my life would go,
crushed or flown away.
for him to hear above the burners that scolded the air for listening on its
firm intent on destruction, I stared at his bowed head and willed him to raise
it, to captured my attentions, but I could smell the acrid scent now, a certain
plastic-like melting odour in the air, then a rapid whoosh, and away we
dropped, into a group of sharp, gnarled bushes.
I heard him
scream my name in the background of the silence which was the result of our inevitable,
heard him breaking through the bracken of the bushes, clawing to see if I was
alive, for himself. The operator and I were shocked beyond belief, he now was
shaking, his hands trembling, telling me over and over,
never happened before, this has never happened under my attentions, it has never
finally reached us, I was not damaged, but I was frightened beyond repair.
Oh, my sweet,
how did this happen on my watch, my choice, I’m so glad you are here, alive, I will
never leave you again, remain by my side. I am so sorry, for this stupid,
idiotic choice, in leaving you in there without me. I am glad this operator was
there to guide the balloon down somewhat safely.
helping out myself and the man from the wreckage, my love and I walked away
from the scene which never would cease to amaze me. So thankful I am that he
was there keeping watch, but never again shall I ride into the air, no matter
within what contraption, not even under another expert’s watch.
© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.
Return to All Posts