Three Red Balloons

by Jacob.wirth

The colors were beautiful. It was a very clear day even for the ocean. Tropical fish swam around me every where. I swam up to a smaller fish. She was trying to guard her eggs from a few other fish and was very successful, but upon my arrival she stopped and started pecking at my mask. I tried to swat her away but she kept coming at me. Poor girl if she had known I wanted to do no harm to her then the other fish wouldn't have ate her eggs. When I left only a few were left. After that I made my way to my destination. A small cove. The entrance is big enough for me only if I maneuvered around. Everyone who saw me go in there thought I was nuts. It was defiantly worth it though. I got inside my small cavern and like always there they were. Shells upon shells upon shells. This was a great place to find cowry shells. Small, big, and huge I collected them all. You see that's how I made money. I made shell items. From necklaces to chandeliers, heck sometimes if it was pretty and big enough I just sold the shell. It was the easiest, best job I could want. I was good enough at it to just do that my whole life. Collecting more than I needed I began to shimmy back out of the hole. On my way back I looked around and I saw the most amazing thing ever. A mated pair of rays. That's a once in a lifetime spot right there. Did you know a pair of rays mates for life and if one dies the other is tuff out of luck because they don't search for another mate. Now that's a committed animal.

My head hit the water and I was right on target. Right where I thought I would be. I'm very good at navigating the waters. I have been diving for quite some time now, since I was nineteen and I'm about twenty-six now. I came up with 500 psi approximately and was down for about an hour and a half or so. I'm really good on air. If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a diver. I live up on North Shore, in Hawaii, with my friend, Cheech.

I got out of the water and Cheech was waiting as always, sitting on a log, cleaning his feathers. I snapped my fingers and he flew to my shoulder and from there I pet him a little. Then I took off my B.C. Turned off my tank and disconnected my hoses. I took off my wet suit and then took all my gear down to the water to wash it. Then I loaded it all up in my Jeep and took off for home.

"Get out of here you damn birds!" Gunshots were heard. The old lady is going to kill someone someday. I've trained Cheech very well so I don't have to worry about him going near her and getting shot up by the crazy old lady.

I should probably go talk to her but I need to clean my gear. I washed my gear first, filling a tote with water. I dunked each article of my gear into it and put each one on a rack or on a hanger and on a different rack. I talked myself out of talking to that old lady. Instead I decided clean my shells. This is a long laborious process that involves a long time to do. Its simple I lay the shells on the ground and put buckets over them. Laying them on the ground kills the thing inside of course and the bucket keeps in the small cause holy crap those things smell bad when the die. Who would have thunk it? Not I.

I heard another gunshot and I couldn't just let it happen anymore I had to try to stop her. I walked over to the old lady's house, making Cheech stay home. I didn't even have to knock before the door opened.

"What do you want?" asked the old woman.

"I want you to stop shooting all the birds. They don't do you any harm." I said this with a short temper.

"You have no clue Buddy Boy!"

"Buddy Boy?" I thought. "This lady must be off her rocker."

"Come in, lets talk." She said as she sauntered in to her home.

"What could it hurt?" I thought to myself as I followed.

She sat down in an odd recliner and gestured for me to do the same. Well not in the same chair of course but on the couch. She started talking about life in her odd country. She talked for hours and hours and then she started talking about jell-o and some how that led to rock'n'roll. I was very confused by the whole thing so finally, I stopped her.

"Excuse me, ma'am, what does any of this have to do with the birds?" I asked sheepishly.

"Oh, nothing. I just wanted someone to talk to for a little while."

I sat in awe. I couldn't even fathom what had happened. I had just been tricked into wasting a whole afternoon, sitting in a crazy women's house, listening to her ramble. In frustration I got up to leave.

"Thanks for listening." she said as I left.

I got home and got my gear together. I missed the entire afternoon dive but my night was still free. I like those better anyway. While I waited for the night I took out my guitar, I only play when I'm irritated. I don't remember the last time I played. Well anywho I only play songs of my own composition so I played.

They drift away, they drift all day

Singing song

Singing joyful songs

Sing every little thing is going to be O.K".

I played for hours. Then I was just about time. The best time to dive is at sunset. You get to see the night fishes wake up and the day fishies go to sleep. I loaded all my gear into my jeep and took off. When I got there I instantly put on my gear. I always forgot how uncomfortable a cold, wet wetsuit was to put on. I did it anyway though and like always Cheech sat on that log as I went into the water. I decided this time to go through what everyone in the area calls the tubes. The tubes were exactly what they sounded like, an hour long dive, if you went straight through it, completely in a cave. Its also is a place where sea turtles are found sleeping. I spent an hour and a half looking at sea turtles and collecting a few shells. When you come up in the tubes you come up a whole in the coral about a hundred feet from where I entered the water. It was a very long walk in full gear.

I got almost there and couldn't see because of how dark it was. Just to be safe I snapped my fingers and sure enough the cute little dove landed on my shoulder. I walked back to my house and took out my tote, filled it with water from the hose, and started cleaning gear. Better to do it now than wake up early to do it. Better for the gear too.

Time to sleep" What a weird day"

I woke up to a stick being dropped on my face. "Ugh, I suppose you want to play." My feathered friend, Cheech, took the stick and flew outside through a dog door. I quickly got up and ran almost outside and forgot I slept in the buff. I threw some clothes on and ran outside. The stick was lying right outside like always. I picked the stick up ad threw it. Just like always Cheech went and got it. He caught it in the air and flew it back to me. I always enjoyed watching the bird work. It's just marvelous. I've had him since I was little. I rescued him from a gutter and we have been friends ever since. He is a genius. He is the smartest bird I know. It's magic in the air watching the guy fly. After a lot of stick throwing, it was time for lunch. I got out peanut butter, jelly, and bread. Cheech got me a butter knife and I made my sandwich giving Cheech the crust. They are his favorite.

After lunch, I went out diving again. It was great. I went home and cleaned my gear again. Then another gunshot. Ok I had had it. I went inside grabbed my phone and called the cops. They told me to ask her to stop and they would make a trip my way if they had time. If they had time! The lady is bustin caps left and right and I get a if they had time!

I decided to talk to the old lady once more to see if I could get her to stop. I walked up to the door and went to knock but she was waiting again. Again I put Cheech in his cage

"What now?" The old lady barked

"Umm"I'd like to talk to you again about the gunshots. I just don't understand what those birds could do to you that make you that angry."

"Come in," she said walking back into her house. I hesitated remembering last time but I went anyway with last time in mind so I wouldn't let her talk for hours. "When I was a little girl," she started, "I dreamed of finding a man and having a wonderful big wedding. When I found my husband I had just that then they hit Pearl Harbor and lavern was drafted and sent to Japan. When he came back he was changed"he had flashbacks all the time a lot of the time he would wake up and punch me in the face repeatedly. Then one night he started a flashback, the worst one I've seen, he put a pillow to my head so I struggle for a little while"then I" then I"," she started tearing up " then I grabbed the lamp and hit him with it. then I rolled over and went to sleep. In the morning the sheets were cover with blood and Lavern wouldn't wake up so I did the only logical thing and buried him in the back yard here. Now the birds try to get to his corpse so that's why I shoot the birds" She said with a sinister smile. I didn't know what to do. I sat there for a while then got up and without saying anything I walked to my house and went to bed. Not to sleep just to bed. I couldn't sleep, not after that.

In the morning at Four A.M. I got a call asking if I wanted to go for a boat dive. "Just what I need" I though that would get my head off things. I told him to bring his boat over and we could go out off my beach.

When he got there we loaded the boat and got on, Cheech on my shoulder. "Wait," I said jumping off the boat, "Cheech needs this." I grabbed the birds waiting log and hopped back in the boat. We drove out a couple miles and stopped.

"Throw the anchor," he told me, I did as instructed and got ready. "Want a three-prong?"

"Of Course." I responded quickly. He threw it to me and I connected it to a line and threw it in. Then I jumped in following the three-prong's line down. The dive was great except I couldn't stop thinking about what the lady had told me every time I say a fish I imagined fragments of the story. Then I say it, the biggest oo-hoo I had ever seen, incase you don't know an oo-hoo is also called a parrot fish and they were tasty. I aimed my three-prong at it and then boom all I saw was the old lady hitting a man in the head with a lamp. I came to and saw the oo-hoo swimming away. I cursed myself for letting it get away. Then my friend came up and gave me the go up sign. I don't know whether it was the thought of the story or losing the fish or maybe even being out of practice but my mind wasn't there and I forgot about my de-co stop. You see when doing deeper dive its necessary to do a de-co stop, or de-compression stop, to even out the pressure. If you don't you could get seriously hurt or even die. This is called getting bent.

When my head hit the water I got a migraine from hell. I didn't know it then but I got the bendz. I just kept thinking about the story the lady told me and it made me angrier and angrier. Cheech wouldn't sit on my shoulder no matter how much I snapped. Then the boat got to shore.

"Fine you stupid bird. I don't like you anyway!" I yelled. He fell off. "Wait I'm sorry!" he continued to fly ad I saw him fly into the old ladies yard. Then there it was, that sound. Gunshots. I don't remember how I got off all my gear so fast or how I got a revolver in my hand. I don't even own a revolver. I ran to the house and kicked in the door.

"I told you not to shoot those damn birds!!" I yelled in a rage. The old bat began to say something but it didn't matter. My finger was about to pull"

"Ma'am, the citizens have been hearing gunshots lately. I'm going to have to ask you to"" a police officer said stepping through the shattered door.

I blew her brains out. Right there, that second, and then I felt pain and blood dripping off my chest, so I turned around and shot again before I fell to the ground.

Lying there I knew I was going to die and I felt a friendly talon on my stomach. "Oh, hi Cheech." I think I was half or maybe fully hallucinating that day because when I said hi to Cheech he said bye back and started to sing"

They drift away, they drift all day

Singing songs

Singing joyful songs

Sing every little thing is going to be O.K".

Kill count: 1 old lady, 1 cop, 1 misunderstood man

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