"Evil Balloon" by: Melissa Carruthers Wilson
Jamal and Samuel were playing, in their den. They were taking turns, punching and kicking, a huge Valentines' balloon. It had been a present, from their mothers' boyfriend. Both their mother, and her date, had retreated, into an upstairs bedroom, shortly after she'd set eyes, on her exquisite Hawaiian flower, and chocolate covered cherries.
Jamal and Samuel knew that they could readily practice their Karate', with no disruptions, so they did- or at least they did, until Jamal did a "tragic spin", as he described it; and Samuel threw in a good chop, directed at his brother, Sam. Sam took a vengeful, deep breath, and began yelling, "Jamals' beating up your balloon, moms! Ma-ma!"
There was no answer, but the balloon, as if picking up frantic speed, and directing itself, in a thoughtful manner, rushed along, as if on a gust of
air, right up the stairs- into one of the rooms, slamming a door, behind it- or so it seemed.
"It's alive," said Sam, urgently.
"No balloons are alive, stupid," retorted Jamal.
"You, get it, then, Jamal."
"You go get it, I'm not getting a damn thing." Jamal sneered.
"Because you're a pussy," teased Samuel.
"I smell some, and it's coming from your girlfriend, Suzanne, outside, dum-dum!" His brother shouted, with a giggle.
They raced, outside, the screen door slamming.
Later, that day, after their mothers' boyfriend had gone home, and their mom had told them to go to bed, since they had school, in the morning- they sat around, in Jamals' room, eating pizza, and watching television. The balloon, which must have
been hidden, in a closet, or behind a bedroom door, started seeping out, ever so slowly, and quite deliberately.
Sam fell asleep, first, in a chair, before he could get himself up, as he had planned, to go into his room. Instead of waking Samuel up, Jamal stretched lazily, and then stood up; only to walk over to his bed, and let himself head-dive, into his pillow.
Five minutes couldn't have passed, before the over-sized balloon drifted into the room, where they were sleeping. It had a long, shiny string, dragging, underneath it, which it seemed to pull, tediously, as it meandered, somewhat menacingly.
It positioned itself, above Jamal, and after a short pause, it began wrapping the white, thick looking string, attached to its' base, around Jamals' neck- winding, winding, winding, and winding itself, more, then it began pulling away from him, the string tightening, until he awoke, gagging, and gasping.
The sight that Sam woke up to was petrifying. He half rubbed his eyes- hoping that Ironman, or someone else, who he'd been dreaming about being in cahoots with, would come, to his rescue. No one came.
The balloon seemed to have finished its' job, and swooshed right past him, and out of the door. Sam wanted to yell, for his mom, but his voice went hoarse, and his throat felt both scratchy, and as if it had loads of heavy, gravel in it- stifling his voice box.
Fear engulfed all of his senses, and he started to pant, out of sheer nerves. The only thing that he could think of doing, was to run out of the house, maybe to a police station- no, that was too far; or better yet, to his neighbors, and ask them what to do, as he wasn't actually sure. He raced down the stairs. Near the bottom, something caught his bare foot, and he went sailing, breaking his bones, in the process. He felt terror. Blackness overtook him, as death took charge, over his eyes, his ears, his lungs,
his heart, his skin, his consciousness, his entire being. The balloons' string started to loosen, then unravel; from the handrail and a nearby closet doorknob. Sam had tripped, over its' illusive string.
His mom, finally awakened, from her sweet slumber, and came down the stairs, only to stop, as she looked down, open mouthed, and screamed, in distressing horror. She opened the door, and yelled for help, in a panic, then turned, and came back in, leaving the door ajar, as she hunted for her cellphone, in order to call 911.
The balloon rushed right out of the door, and on down the street, coming to rest, at someones' back door, ever so quietly.
It had been a long day, at school, and then, at the gym, where they practiced gymnastics, and cheerleading, until late, in the evening, after hogging down food, from a fast food restaurant, and going to church, for choir practice.
The McMullen sisters opened the back door, and gingerly trotted inside, each picking up swords, once entering their bedrooms, as they pretended to sword fight, with their dangerously sharp weapons in hand, casually.
"Okay guys, um, try not to stay up too late, and yes, until the cows come home is definitely way too late," chided their mother.
"Take out the garbage," their dad added, walking behind his wife.
Jionna took out her trash, and Ginnelle gave her a few dollars, to take hers outside, as well. When Jionna came back in, she had the balloon wrapped around her fingers.
"Lookahere, at what I found. Wonder where it came from?"
"Who knows, not from your "man," for sure," Ginnelle joked.
"What man?" asked Jionna.
"Exactly," Ginnelle answered, with a half grin.
"Shut up," Jionna laughed. "Want it?" Jionna added.
"Na, I'm straight," Ginnelle said, convincingly enough.
"I know, or Keira would've happily left a balloon, just like this, for you- you know," Jionna reminded her sister.
"No doubt, right," Ginnelle corroborated, thoughtfully.
The balloon loomed, wearily, as they continued to converse, and as they brushed their teeth, and got settled into their separate beds, but once the lights were both turned out, it began, on its evil path.
Jionna and Ginnelles' mother thought it a bit odd, at first, when she noticed that the balloon that her daughter had brought in, had floated over toward her, and snuggled, as it were, next to her chest, in her bed, but, she decided that it was cute,
then spread a sheet over her, and walked back out, to check on her sister, too.
As soon as their mother closed the door, to her room, the balloon began to rise up, the light sheet somehow, trapped over it. Jionnas' eyes fluttered, as she sensed something peculiar, and then opened widely, as she glimpsed what looked to be a ghost.
She jumped up, and raced into Ginnelles' room, and shook her. Ginnelle awoke, with a confused look.
"What's wrong, with you?" Ginnelle, who had an easy going disposition, usually, felt slightly irritated, at being awakened.
"Come in my room?"
"Never mind, look!"
The balloon, draped fully beneath the white sheet, circled around, in front of them both.
Ginelle looked around, as she gathered her thoughts, as best as she could.
"On the count of three, grab your sword," Ginnelle directed, in a head strong whisper. "One. Two. Three"
They jumped up, Ginnelle grasped her heavy sword, and swung, into the lower area, of the sheet, then retreated. The sword pushed the sheet away from the balloon, but Jionna charged forward, adrenaline still pumping through her, fiercely- and stabbed, into the balloon, full throttle.
It made a horrible, half deflating, half expiring type of sound, and then fluttered.
They looked at each other, then sighed, simultaneously.
"You guys alright, in here?" Their dad stood in the doorway, a bar-b-que rib in his hand, and a few creamed corn kernels, on his dress shirt.
"Yea," answered Jionna, who was still breathing heavily.
"But the evil balloon is dead."