RED BALLOON

Rain poured down on the remote town of hangman’s hollow. Six-year-old molly sat in her bedroom, watching the rain hit her window, completely and utterly bored she sighed.

It was a Saturday and there was nothing to do and all of her friends lived at least a mile away. She stuck her head into the hallway from her door “mom, I’m dying of boredom!” She shouted down the hall. “Sorry darling. It’s almost bedtime anyway” Her mother’s voice echoed down the stairs from the second floor of their house.

Molly hit her head against the wall, retreating into her her room and resuming her spot on the window sill. 3 hours later It was 10pm, her parents had gone to bed, and all the town lights had been shut off.

The only way a passerby could tell there was a town residing in that area was the flickering street lamps, which cast a small circle of eerie yellow light, not even igniting enough of the street to drive. Molly was too restless to sleep, so she went over to her newly painted red book shelf, which was her favorite color, and selected a book.

She had read this book many times so it was very worn and some of the pages were missing, but she loved it no less, she had just gotten to the good part of her story when she heard an odd noise outside.

It sounded like balloons being filled with air, to hear the sound better she opened her window but the sound immediately silenced, now kind of frightened she got back to her book, flinching at everything she heard. Suddenly out of the corner of her eye she saw the tall figure of what appeared to be a man towing something behind him, she focused her full attention on it and it was gone.

 

Molly rubbed her eyes, she must be getting tired she thought, “I’ll go to bed now” she said to herself putting down her book, but no sooner had she said that when the sound of wheels scraping on the gravel of her driveway tore her attention back to the window, she still saw nothing.

She glanced back at the digital clock on her nightstand it read 1:30 am, when she looked out her window again she was surprised to see someone standing there, he was wearing a black and red pinstriped suit and a tall ominous top hat which blocked her view of his face, all she could see of it appeared to be scars and a mouth that was hastily sewn shut. Behind this suspicious man was a cart of balloons, balloons of all shapes and colors. “Hello?” Molly said timidly.

There was no reply from the man instead he turned around and searched for something when he turned back he held a perfect red balloon. This was too weird, Molly had just been thinking about balloons. She reached for the balloon, but the man would not let her take it he shook his head and fished around in his pocket. In his hand he held a would need a needle but she desperately wanted that balloon.

It was the most beautiful shade of red she had ever seen before, so she nodded. The man put his cold pale hand on her forehead and with his other hand he took the needle, bringing it to the corner of her mouth he pressed the metal into her skin, piercing through her bottom lip threading a black string past her top lip and back down. He was sewing, Slow to process what was happening Molly finally let out a shrieking scream but was quickly silenced when the man put his index finger up to his mouth making the motion for her to be quiet.

So she did; she did not know why she was listening to this stranger but there was something entrancing about the red balloon he was holding. The man finished sewing and cut the thread with his fingernail, Molly could longer open her mouth, tears slowly began to roll down her face as the man tied the balloon around her wrist. Molly panicked, she did not string painfully went all the way through her wrist.

She watched in horror as her hand dropped to the floor, blood was everywhere staining the white wood floors red. She looked up at the man who had lifted his face, so she could see the whole thing. He appeared to be crying but instead of tears going down his cheeks it was drops of blood, he looked apologetic. He took off his hat and placed it on Molly’s head, the last thing he did was take his long sharp fingernails to her eyes and ripped them out of their sockets.

Molly could feel the blood pouring down her face. He was the last thing she saw, but now she knew she had to take the cart of balloons and search for feel the blood pouring down her face. He was the last thing she saw, but now she knew she had to take the cart of balloons and search for a new balloon keeper, she felt the handle of the cart, stepped out of her window, and began to walk. THE NEXT MORNING- Molly’s parents were in the kitchen preparing breakfast.

“It’s so quiet this morning” Molly’s mother commented. “Almost too quiet” Molly’s father replied. “Molly, darling! Breakfast!” her mother shouted. No response, not even the slightest of movements from down the hall. Worried, the trudged to her room, not hearing anything behind the door. When they opened the door they were greeted with the sight of rich dark red blood everywhere. Molly’s story was spread across the country. Some people still claim when they can not sleep at night they see the form of a little girl with a red balloon outside their window.

written by Sindhu Adhikari;USA

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