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A Balloon Ride

Soumya lives in India where she is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, and a Diploma in Creative Writing. From an early age, she loved to read and write. Soumya enjoys the written word, and has a great love for nature. She has been writing online on her personal blog since 2014, and specializes in poetry, and speculative fiction. Soumya's work has been published in the Nonbinary Review.

It was a Monday morning, and I was already late for work. Hurriedly, I shuffled into my coat, and took my hat off the rack. It was an overcast day, which meant there would be huge traffic in the stratosphere, up above. I tied my yellow balloon to my hat, and off I flew.
"I'm running low on Helium. I better fill up my balloon. No one wants to crash land on a Monday morning! What with the raptors scouring the streets!"
Up! Up! Up!
There was an unusually ginormous crowd in the gas station. There were frustrated officegoers, panicked old men and women, and frolicking school children. All for a bit of Helium.
I queued up, too--or however it was possible on my part. As I waited for my turn, I noticed a wizened lady with a black balloon. Heavy with exhaustion, her obsidian eyes reflected the color of her balloon. Surviving on the gasps of air inbetween the final few rides of its life, the balloon caved in and out alarmingly. She filled it up, and the balloon grew back, but to its now sad shriveled size, matching its owner.
While I contemplated upon the fleeting nature of life, a group of kids brushed past me. Some of their balloons had floral prints, just like them--who rang with energy, and innocence; their sublunary minds, still uncorrupted, which looked at this world with a sense of wonder. They filled up their balloons, and whooosh! They flew away unhindered, and unobstructed; their spirits free from the deadweight of the manacles forged by worldly affairs.
It was a delight to watch them break through the pillowy cloud walls. With a weird sense of satisfaction deeply nestled in my heart, I filled up my yellow balloon, and flew off to a busy day at work.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Author Comments

I have always been fascinated by balloons. My paragliding experience at Palampur (India) motivated me to pen this story.

- Soumya Mishra
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