March 20, 2014

The Hot Air Balloon - A Short Fan-Fiction Piece

Balloon by GlowOfFarore (DeviantArt). 
"What if they shoot at us?" With silence from above, splinters from the wicker weave responded in Heather's fingers. The dry, blisteringly hot air stung at any exposed skin, consequently burning her ankles and neck. She dangled within this, fearful of kicking the tops of the trees. "What if they don't?" Heather's change in outlook revered just as much of an answer.

It jiggled with the oncoming particles drifting away from ethereal clusters normally confined to more chilling mists, the pink-purple fabric leaping in joy with the flickering sparks clumsily created from Silver's blades. He tipped the basket considerably with his weight, compensating by using his back foot to hold steady a weapon as they bobbed over the mesas. Holding on with a single hand and letting the other rest, Heather curled her feet up, pretending that the sky hundreds of feet below was actually a floor of clouded marble or layers upon layers of pudding.

She wrinkled her nose. The sky was not pudding and the basket was not made of string. The fabric billowing in the stillness was not the plastic balloon left waiting years ago; The pudding would have spoiled. Re-establishing her composure, she assumed her expression, her backpack jangling as it slid to the side of the basket.

And then, cannonfire. From so far up, it boomed so that Heather, as she curled defensively close to the wicker bottom, secretly longed for more of the noise. The chaos eeked at her curiosity, almost enough to encourage Silver to lower the altitude. Sliding her fingers between the strands of wood, she climbed onto the side of the basket. Silver was leaning towards the other side, even with her presence not acknowledging the shift in weight. His hands were tightly clasped, whitening knuckles in the direction of the sun. Heather watched her backpack as it tipped, spilling coins. Glaring back down as she wiped each sweaty palm in turn on her pants, she watched a galleon twice the height of the balloon pass, its highest flags farther below than she could have imagined. Whipping her head back at the decisive crack of gunpowder, a broken skiff crumbled in the sky. Silver at last paid attention, turning his head enough so that he could catch the action in his peripherals.

"They might," he inferred monotonously, turning back. Heather climbed back into the basket, her wrists screaming. The windlane, once a path of safety, was merely a strand of glowing air heralding a taunting salvation. And below it, Heather reminded herself, the pudding would taste as sour as it would have become. At that thought, she smiled, cracked lips threatening to split.

"We've got to make new limits," she whispered breathlessly.

Keep Traveling
It's so rarely that I get to employ out-of-community talent and GlowofFarore's collaboration was a wonderful addition to this post. Please do take a look at her other work on her DeviantArt page, HERE

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