I was thinking I’d share the opening to a story I wrote (I should say, “I’m writing”). It isn’t finished yet. I’ve been caught up (and still am) in Andoree, but this story comes back and visits me frequently.
The inspiration for this story was a large bunch of balloons I saw dropping slowly out of the sky one day as I drove the kids to a class. I was enthralled by the balloons and wondered from where they’d come. This story is my explanation. I will bring more of it to the blog as it comes to me.
The colorful bouquet of balloons rose determinedly into the air but not so high as to expand and burst. Bound together by a rainbow of curled ribbons, they were driven by hope and goodness to a goal. They looked lovely against the azure sky. It was the perfect Texas sky…deepest blue and dotted by fluffy clouds.
A little girl in her backyard exclaimed in wonder as they flew overhead, picture-perfect. “Oh,” said her mother, “How unfortunate.” But those twelve balloons were not sad to have left their owner’s hands. They were released with intention, and the balloons understood their mission.
They flew for hours blown by the west winds. They dodged tall trees, power lines, and an occasional windmill. They couldn’t become entangled…it was too important.
Finally, they began their descent. They were close and the time had come.
Their bright, happy colors falling from the sky seemed unfitting. They should be alight to fly high and forever. Yet, the balloons dropped lower and lower until they let themselves become entangled in the lowest branches of a large oak tree that shaded a pretty, little, white, farmhouse with a yellow door.
Ch. 1 Magda
“Dang!” Magda cursed aloud at the ray of sun that had rudely entered her den through an opening in her curtains. She rolled over and looked at the clock on the nightstand. Three-o-clock…in the afternoon.
Today was a “Dark Day.” They were becoming fewer and fewer, but today hit her hard.
She had woken earlier that morning with a day of errands planned. But, she couldn’t find her watch, and she knew she had a spare in her jewelry box in the closet. When she pulled the box off of the closet shelf, a card fell on the ground.
“For My Angel…” the front of the card read in his intimately familiar hand.
It was a birthday card. Frank had given it to her two years before. He had taken her to London, a special trip for her fiftieth birthday. Inside the card were tickets to see Les Miserables.
He died six months later.
Magda had been so good about preparing herself for things she expected to come across. She knew when she opened the jewelry box his ring would be there. She was ready for that. But, the card was unexpected and it was more than she was prepared for. She slid to the floor a pitiful lump.
Waves of memories snowballed into a lifetime. Twenty-five years they were together. Her love. Her soul-mate. Her best friend. She pounded her fists on the floor and screamed. She was out of control. God, how she missed him! She cried the rest of the morning.
And now it was the afternoon and the sun cruelly demanded she rise.
Her cat, Beatrix, stretched at the end of the bed. She was always good about being quiet company during these times. Then she jumped down and mewed.
“Yes, sweetie,” said Magda as she dragged herself off the bed. “I’m getting up.”
Beatrix rubbed Magda’s leg and headed out the bedroom door to the stairs. Magda, washed her face of the streaks of black, and tried to make her eyes look a little less frightening and her nose a little less red.
She went to her curtains. “You win, Sun. I guess if I’m getting up, I’ll let you in completely,” she said to herself as she parted the panels.
The sun poured into the once dark room. The strength of it almost blinded Magda, and she squinted until her eyes adjusted.
Then she saw the balloons.