The Balloon in the Sky

July 18, 2008
By Tad Frager, Grass Valley, CA

Did you ever wonder what happens to balloons when you let them go? I did.

Whenever I'd go to get my hair cut, I made sure to always sit very still and never wiggle. Because if I do, I knew the nice lady would give me a balloon. She says it's for being a good boy. Plus, she has scissors, and if you wiggle she might cut your hair all wierd!

Like this one time I saw this 4 year old getting his hair cut and he was running around the shop screaming because he wiggled and he looked like he was bald!

Well, one time when I was 6 I took that balloon the nice lady gave me, and I made sure it wouldn't escape. I tied the string around my hand really tight! And you know what I did then?

I climbed a tree. The tallest tree I could find, and I jumped off! The wind swept me up, carrying me way up high into the sky! It was so high I couldn't see my house anymore! I went past clouds and birds, even a plane!

I floated for hours and hours, and eventually I got bored. Floating while tied to a balloon without tv, books, or anything would bore even the smartest guy in the world!

I was getting hungry. I hadn't eaten in forever, so I told my balloon I wanted to get something to eat. You know what that balloon did? It landed on the closest cloud and there was a food place there! Filled with balloons! It was a big building painted all the colors I've ever seen balloons colored!

I was wondering if I was the only kid there, but then a little girl came over.

"Hi! I'm Samantha; did you try to find out where lost balloons go to?"

"Yeah! My name is Tim! Wow, this is so cool! Where are we?"

"We're in a Balloon Restaurant. It's tiring doing all that floating I guess, so the balloons stop here for food and stuffs!"

"Do they have food for kids?"

"Yeah! Let's get some!"

We got a burger and a shake from the balloon chef and we sat down at this purple table outside the store. We had finished eating and we got up to go, but I saw she looked all sad, and I asked her what was wrong.

And then she hugged me. Ewww, cooties!

"My balloon just told me we can't go back down to the ground with them! I'm afraid I won't get to see my daddy again!"

I started to worry I wouldn't get to see my mommy or daddy ever again either. I stopped thinking about her hugging me, and I looked at my balloon.

"Mr. Balloon, how do we get down from here?" It gave a tug. "I think we have to keep floating and find out!" I told Samantha and then I saw that her pink balloon was tugging on her arm too!

We walked to the edge of the cloud and jumped off and soared back up into the air.

"Boy this takes so long, I wonder how high we go?" I said to Sam.

"I don't know. How much further Miss Balloon?" She looked at her pink balloon and then looked at me. "When we pass the cloud that looks like a duck we're reaaaally close!"

"Wow! I'll bet that means we're already close, look at all these cool shaped clouds! I'll bet we find it really quickly!"

And so we floated. Past elephant shaped clouds, people shaped clouds, until we saw the duck shaped cloud.

"Look!" I yelled, "The duck-shaped cloud! Sammy didya see?"

That was when we met the Machine. It was a big grey metal thingy. It had an enormous opening in the front like a mouth and we floated in!! It was so scary, because it was really dark!

Samantha grabbed my hand as we floated. I let her because I was just as scared as her, but I didn't want her to think I was a baby.

Soon we came to a little tunnel that was all lit up with bright lights and we went into a big balloon city!

My daddy had taken me into work one day and he said we had to go into the "city", but when my dad and I got there, there were buildings like a bazillion feet tall! But Balloon City was so much bigger, because balloons can float higher than people!

We landed on the ground, but guess what? It was made of balloons! Sammy and I jumped all over the balloon ground and it was really cool!

When we stopped bouncing on the ground our balloons untied their strings from us. Then we walked into the city and the balloons showed us all around! There were helium stores, and color changers, and everything! It was so awesome, because we got to walk around balloon city all day!

Then our balloons took us to the final stop. It was a little window on the wall, and there were tons of balloons floating next to it! So I went up close and saw it showed barber shops, and dentists, and clowns, and everywhere you could get a balloon!!

My balloon turned to me and as if by magic it twisted into a pair of lips! Then they spoke to me in a quiet, nice voice, kind of like my mommy's!

"Well Tim, this is the final stop for us. I really loved being with you while we had the time. And maybe someday you'll get me again! I'll keep an eye out for you."

I started to cry and I gave my balloon a really big hug. Next to me, Samantha was giving her balloon a tight squeeze.

"It's okay Tim... We balloons are here to make you smile! To make you kids happy! So smile and be happy! Because maybe I'll get to be a balloon for a sick kid and help him get better! Don't worry about me. I'll always remember our time together. Now hold on tight and I'll help you and Samantha go home."

Then the balloons took us to this room in the back and we got in these cool boxes! And my balloon got two green balloons to tie their strings to the top of our boxes and we floated down from Balloon City!

So we got back home. As we went down I found out Samantha lives two houses next door. How cool is that?

When we almost got to the ground Samantha's box blew the other way, and we waved good bye.

My box finally touched down on the ground and then the green balloon flew away! Then I heard Mrs. Goei, my next door neighbor singing, and she always does that at lunch time! And I'd gotten my hair cut at lunch time!

I looked around and Sam wasn't there, so I think her balloon took her to her home. Then I heard Mommy calling me.

"Timmy, where are you?" she walked to the tree and looked at my empty hands. "Aw Timmy, did you lose your balloon AGAIN? Sometimes I don't know why I let you get them!" And she took my hand and walked me home. As I was almost home I heard Sam protesting at her father.

"But daddy, there's a Balloon City up in the sky! That's why I let it go!"

My mom looked at me.

"Well at least you don't come up with crazy stories like that girl."

I looked across at Samantha, and we smiled. We knew Balloon City was real. And we weren’t sad we'd let our balloons go. We knew they were happy.

"Come on Tim, get in the house."

"Yes, you too Samantha, get in the house."

And I watched as my mommy and Samantha's daddy looked at each other with those silly grown up faces.

"They've got quite the imaginations these kids, don't they?" Mommy said smiling at Samantha's dad.

The author's comments:
I'm only 16, but for some reason I felt like writing a children's story. And this is the first test of my story, it is a teenage magazine, but I thought maybe I'd test it out.

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