150-Word Flash Fiction: Lead Balloon

I’ve recently been inspired by a fellow blogger to try flash-fiction on for size (specifically: the 150-words-or-less variety). I thought it was a great way to sneak some fiction into my blog without boring my readers to mutiny. I quickly discovered that this challenging form is a lot of fun and, at the very least, a great warm-up exercise for other writing.

And if you hate its guts, it’s only 150 words long–my shortest post to date!

Lead Balloon

Max kept his gaze fixed on the purple party balloon as it moved over the clouds, his eyes dry as desk-drawer marbles. A blast of wind flicked the balloon even higher. He stayed with it. He’d kept his eyes on that purple speck for three hours now. He was committed.

Squinting, he could see the string dangling and the envelope. The sappy letter he, on second thought, wished he’d kept to himself.

The tip of the control stick dug into his chest. A thing of spit ledged his lips, streaked down his stubbly chin.

Then he heard the propellers above him start to cough and sputter. The wine in his stomach curdled. Needle in the red, he was going down.

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2 Responses to 150-Word Flash Fiction: Lead Balloon

  1. So tragic. Looks like the destination of all balloons will have to remain a mystery for the ages.

    • Fred says:

      Well, I guess it depends on how good a pilot Max is. I didn’t have enough words to properly explore his skill. Either way, it’s probably somewhat difficult to safely land a helicopter without any fuel.

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