“The Balloon Goes Up”, Original Short Story

A couple weeks ago, I was on something of an Owl City kick. No rhyme or reason for it. I just listened to a lot of Owl City. In so doing, I came across his cover of “99 Red Balloons”. It’s frightfully short (I do wish it was longer!), but it was just a lovely melody and the lyrics are bittersweet. After having listened to it on loop a few times, I got a very distinct mental image. I wish I could draw it, but I’m afraid I won’t do it justice. Maybe one day, I’ll work up the courage to do so.

In the meantime, though, I did write a little bit of a story. A flash-fiction, really. And for once, not fanfiction or sci-fi!the hundredth balloon cover Originally, the story’s title was “The Hundredth Balloon”, which I knew was pretty lame, so I asked some online friends for help. One who is more or less obsessed with WWI offered the current title, which referred to the communication balloons they’d send up to tell troops to open fire. This works perfectly, I think, both with the story and the meaning behind the song.

She gave it to me, the day I was deployed, to bring back to her when I returned from the war.

Click here to read it!

PS: Also, because I’m curious, what do you envision the characters to look like as you read this?

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2 thoughts on ““The Balloon Goes Up”, Original Short Story

  1. Wow! Again you suck me into your world and leave me without words only to rethink and reread. šŸ™‚ I found your story lovely and was intrigued by the idea of writing a story after a song. I must say I pictured the girl with a reddish short forties hairstyle, never really got a visual in my mind for the guy. Thanks for sharing!

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    • Haha, thanks! (And less depressing than other stories I’ve written, right? šŸ˜‰ )
      Some songs just strike you the right way. Sometimes it’s just a phrase from the lyrics. Sometimes it’s the music itself. Sometimes, as in this case, the song paints a vivid picture that you just have to tell its story. If you ever write a story based on a song, lemme know!
      Interesting. Thank you for letting me know what you “saw” as you read my story. šŸ™‚ I’m finding that different people having varying ideas of the girl and that, while they never have a full image of the protagonist, everyone thus far has assumed that the character is male. šŸ™‚

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