He watched as the balloons floated higher and higher on the most perfect day of the summer. A day of sunshine and cool breezes and ice cream and laughter.
He loved the trees here but he was glad the balloons wouldn’t hit them. He was glad they wouldn’t pop. He was curious about how long he could watch them until they were out of sight.
They were pink balloons because it was his wife’s favorite color. While some people made pink seem cheap or silly, Monica knew exactly how to use it in her daily life that made people smile.
She’d always made him smile…from the very start. His beautiful wife who gave him a beautiful life.
The wind caught the balloons and they changed direction. He thought the way they moved was sort of magical. Back and forth, back and forth, bouncing on the current and sparkling in the sun.
In the distance, he heard a very small child yell happily, “Mommy! Look at the balloons!”
It made him smile knowing someone else was watching them. They were hundreds of feet in the air now. No bigger than the head of a pencil eraser.
Drifting. Drifting. Drifting.
“Back up! Everyone back up! Did anyone see what happened?”
Detective Grady wasn’t on duty. He was in the ice cream parlor across from the park when he heard the squeal of tires and the unmistakable sound of impact.
“Stand back! Let the paramedics through!” He knelt beside the man and took his hand. “Stay with me, sir. Help is here.” No response. “Sir! Can you speak?”
Covered in blood, bent in a way that defied the physics of the human body, the man smiled. “Drifting…”
It was the last word he uttered.
© Shayne McClendon
PS: Do you love short stories? I’m something of a work horse when it comes to short stories. I write a lot of them. Every year or so, I put the short stories I’ve written into a collection. Check out Quickies – Volume One and Quickies – Volume Two.
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