The Haunted Helium

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
For the last almost one hundred years, people from Germylane, Pennsylvania have been mysteriously disappearing…without a trace. Unfortunately, most of the population in Germylane didn’t seem to care. Rumor had it that some of the adults, for whatever reason, moved away without telling anyone, and some of the kids just plain ran away. It was thirteen-year-old Oliver (Ollie) St. Smith who happened to have an epiphany regarding the unnerving truth. Ollie’s horrifying realization occurred the year after his on-again-off-again best friend, Ezra Jonesboro, simply vanished.

On a gray, rainy Wednesday afternoon, Ezra Jonesboro walked home from school. All of the other kids had departed Germylane Middle School an hour earlier; thus, he walked home alone. Ezra had been asked to stay after school by his teacher, Mrs. Pharma. He appreciated how discreet she made her request, when the test paper handed back to him simply read, “See me,” on it. After their long discussion regarding extra credit ideas, he left the school grounds and headed home. As he walked, Ezra noticed a lone, charcoal gray balloon. He noticed it because it wasn’t doing the usual things a balloon on the loose would do. In other words, it wasn’t floating upward…it was hovering. When Ezra walked past it, the strange balloon seemed to slowly turn as if it was watching him. In a surreal, almost frozen state, Ezra tried to walk a little faster. His legs felt like stiff two-by-fours, and he wished they would bend slightly so he could start running. Ezra Jonesboro was in a dilemma. With all of his might, he wanted to know if the balloon was following him – but, at the same time, he dreaded the idea of such knowledge. Against his better judgment, Ezra hesitantly turned his head to the right. To his horror, the eerie balloon, with its string hanging limply, had a face. The face resembled a typical jack-o-lantern face, only creepier. The creepiest part was that it was looking right at him. As Ezra stood there gaping, the sinister balloon’s once limp string was now slowly reaching for him. Finally, his stiff two-by-four legs bent and he took off running.

Ezra sprinted down Clinic Street, leapt across Fever Court, and took a short cut through Biotic Alley. His heart was pounding so hard and so fast, he thought he could actually hear it. Unfortunately, there was no denying that he could hear the balloon’s bone-chilling hiss behind him. Again, against his better judgment, Ezra took a hesitant peek backward. The freaky, bizarre balloon wasn’t there. He stopped running and let out a much-needed sigh of relief. For a few brief seconds, Ezra thought maybe being chase by a hovering charcoal gray balloon was just a figment of his imagination. He couldn’t wait to get home and call his best (on-again-off-again) friend, Ollie, and describe the whole weird event. He closed his eyes and smiled as he imagined Ollie laughing his head off at Ezra’s brainlessness. When he opened his eyes, his blood froze. The balloon was hovering in front of his face with its creepy smiling eyes looking right into his eyes. Ezra felt the no-longer-limp string slowly wrap around his waist. To his amazement, the balloon slowly lifted him upward without any difficulty. Ezra’s mind was so occupied with the improbability of a helium-filled balloon lifting his thirteen-year-old, seventy-eight pound body with such ease, that he forgot to be scared.

Later that evening, the phone rang in the St. Smith household. Ollie heard his mom cheerfully answer. When he heard his mother’s frantic voice call for his dad, he knew something terrible had happened. It’s been a year since Ezra Jonesboro vanished. Ollie knew in his heart that Ezra would never leave without saying something – even if they were mad at each other. For an entire year, Ollie analyzed the unlikely, incongruous disappearance of his best friend. One rainy Wednesday night, while doing homework, Ollie was gazing out from his upstairs bedroom window. As he was watching the silhouette of the rain reflected against the streetlight, he noticed a lone balloon. He noticed it because it wasn’t doing the usual things a balloon on the loose would do. In other words, it wasn’t floating upward…it was hovering. And, as he continued to study it, Ollie swore the balloon seemed to slowly turn and watch him in return…





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback