Yellow Balloon


Each time the memory tried to surface, Henry forced his brain to skirt it.  He wrapped it up tightly, sealed it in plastic and shoved it to the back of his mind.   

But his stupid, stubborn brain would circle the memory, seize it, shake it; deliver small unexpected packets of it the way the internet chops information into bits before sending it. 

Snippets came to him; sharp pinpricks that sent him reeling.

There was the monogrammed handkerchief.  Cotton.  Pink.  Flowers embroidered upon the edges.

There was the seven-digit sequence. 

There was the feel of peach skin; the scent of strawberries; his certainty of his hatred for chocolate.

 Henry toyed with a pen.  Through the window, he saw a girl and her mother in the park.  The girl had a yellow balloon tied to her wrist. 

One yellow balloon.

One yellow balloon was all it took.

The bits and pieces arranged themselves into a discernable whole.  The complete memory burst forth.

 The handkerchief was his mother’s. 

The digits her telephone number.

The peach skin…

He screamed. 

His wife startled and dropped her mug.  “What’s the matter?” 

“Nothing.   Sorry.”  But he knew: That woman standing before him was not his wife.  And he wasn’t Henry. 

“Get me a towel.” 

He stood and made his way to the kitchen.

He picked up the telephone and began to dial.

But he realized that he could no longer recall the sequence.

And the memory of the pink handkerchief faded and drifted.

“Henry, the towel?”

‘Coming.”  He selected a pink towel.  Just before heading back to the living room, he took a chocolate bar from the freezer.  “Here you are, darling.”

“Thank you, Henry.  I see you found the chocolate.  I thought you’d sworn it off?”

“I couldn’t resist.”  Through the window, Henry saw a little girl playing in the park, a yellow balloon tied to her wrist.  “She’s beautiful.”

His wife stood.  “I think so, too.”

“I’ve always wanted a daughter.”

“Take her some chocolate, Henry.” 


This week's Trifecta Writing Challenge word was the third definition of skirt as in: 
to go or pass around or about; specifically : to go around or keep away from in order to avoid danger or discovery

Labels:

Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Yellow Balloon

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Yellow Balloon


Each time the memory tried to surface, Henry forced his brain to skirt it.  He wrapped it up tightly, sealed it in plastic and shoved it to the back of his mind.   

But his stupid, stubborn brain would circle the memory, seize it, shake it; deliver small unexpected packets of it the way the internet chops information into bits before sending it. 

Snippets came to him; sharp pinpricks that sent him reeling.

There was the monogrammed handkerchief.  Cotton.  Pink.  Flowers embroidered upon the edges.

There was the seven-digit sequence. 

There was the feel of peach skin; the scent of strawberries; his certainty of his hatred for chocolate.

 Henry toyed with a pen.  Through the window, he saw a girl and her mother in the park.  The girl had a yellow balloon tied to her wrist. 

One yellow balloon.

One yellow balloon was all it took.

The bits and pieces arranged themselves into a discernable whole.  The complete memory burst forth.

 The handkerchief was his mother’s. 

The digits her telephone number.

The peach skin…

He screamed. 

His wife startled and dropped her mug.  “What’s the matter?” 

“Nothing.   Sorry.”  But he knew: That woman standing before him was not his wife.  And he wasn’t Henry. 

“Get me a towel.” 

He stood and made his way to the kitchen.

He picked up the telephone and began to dial.

But he realized that he could no longer recall the sequence.

And the memory of the pink handkerchief faded and drifted.

“Henry, the towel?”

‘Coming.”  He selected a pink towel.  Just before heading back to the living room, he took a chocolate bar from the freezer.  “Here you are, darling.”

“Thank you, Henry.  I see you found the chocolate.  I thought you’d sworn it off?”

“I couldn’t resist.”  Through the window, Henry saw a little girl playing in the park, a yellow balloon tied to her wrist.  “She’s beautiful.”

His wife stood.  “I think so, too.”

“I’ve always wanted a daughter.”

“Take her some chocolate, Henry.” 


This week's Trifecta Writing Challenge word was the third definition of skirt as in: 

Labels:

12 Comments:

At December 29, 2011 at 4:33 PM , Anonymous TLanceB said...

brilliant descriptions

This was really atmospheric. You could feel and smell everything.

well done

 
At December 29, 2011 at 4:40 PM , Anonymous barbara said...

whoa! Yes, I even said whoa out loud when I finished reading. Gripping. Thanks

 
At December 29, 2011 at 5:11 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading, Barbara!

 
At December 29, 2011 at 5:12 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks, Lance.

 
At December 29, 2011 at 6:19 PM , Anonymous From Tracie said...

Oooh! That ending really caught me off guard!

 
At December 29, 2011 at 8:03 PM , Anonymous Carrie said...

another creepy tale in Trifecta. This raises so many questions, especially with that ending. Totally unexpected.

Kind of reminded me of Memento

 
At December 30, 2011 at 4:18 AM , Anonymous Tara R. said...

The makings of a good thriller here, very creepy. The ending was unexpected.

 
At December 30, 2011 at 5:00 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Tara. Heading over to read the rest of the entries now...

 
At December 30, 2011 at 5:00 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

This was a hard word to write to - Looking forward to reading your response today. Thanks for reading, Carrie.

 
At December 30, 2011 at 5:01 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading, Tracie!

 
At December 30, 2011 at 3:08 PM , Anonymous Satu Gustafson said...

Definitely thriller material, I have to agree with Tara.

 
At January 3, 2012 at 3:34 AM , Anonymous Trifecta said...

Thanks for continuing to contribute during the busy holiday season. This is yet another brilliant entry and there's not much I can add to the comments below other than to say you have quite a gift and we're really pleased that you're sharing it with us. Looking forward to next week's already.

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home