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Balloons go UP, not DOWN, Father!

Father advances first to the vibrant balloon
With deep treads in dark coffee brown leather shoes.
Following in suit, I stride deliberately and absentmindedly in petite-sized steps,
Ultimately absorbed by the brisk, crisp, fresh forest air ‘round us.
Isä initiates the fire upon entry into the sturdy weaved basket
While my toes apprehensively tap onto its floor like a swimmer testing out the water in a pool.
The fire groans and roars at the fingertips of its commander
As he calmly speaks to me, coaxing myself towards him to the basket.

“Rentoudu, kultaseni! Nothing will happen to you! Isä will protect you!”
Reluctantly, I inch to the very entrance and tilt my head,
“Surely we won’t fall out of the basket, right?”
“Of course not!” And with that I leaped on, ready to embark on an adventure
To meet the sky, clouds and the approaching sunset.

The two of us ascend upward slowly, gradually collecting feet by feet,
Climbing higher and higher by the moment.
A plush scarf tied ‘round my neck provided warmth for my porcelain doll pink cheeks and mildly rubescent lips
As the temperature dropped more with the help of wind chill and rising altitude.
‘Twas a strange feeling, the feeling of rising upwards at this pace.
‘Twas a sensation comparable to that of a climbing rollercoaster during an elongated time period.

My father’s mouth curls to a smile,
The wondrous hues of golden yellows, oranges, and reds of the sunset delighted both him and me as it showered its colors ‘cross the smooth white snow and the many frozen lakes of Järvi-Suomi.
Lush, green trees appear in clumps over the Finnish skyline.
Animals zip on the surface, specks of neutral colors.
Near pure silence hum in my ears.

Ahhh, however, something was growing louder in volume.
Father’s face turn from joy to deepening worry.
Louder, louder and louder it became,
Preparing for the best time to reveal itself from its curtains
To see what was outside.
Us two began to panic, searching for the cause of whatever it might be.
I look above, towards the left and a glaring hole showed up before me.

We begin to descend downward.
Like a magician, the hole bore a surprise.
Like a witch, the hole bore an item with much evil.

I yelped out and hit the right side of the beautifully woven basket.
Isä realized what happened as I glared the problem with meek eyes and pulled me into his arms.

“Don’t worry, kultaseni! We will get out, we will survive,” he paused,
“Isä is here!”
Funny, for a second there, I thought he intended to whisper a soft “maybe”.

The pretty balloon that had brought us up above Finland’s marvelous Thousand Lakes,
Now brought us back down, complete with the slight floating stomach feeling,
Like a descending rollercoaster.





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