The Balloon


The balloon bobbed along severely in the cold winter air. It was at that happy stage where it hung just out of reach of adults and children, but just low enough to spy, to exact judgement on each person it sees for the day the world ends. And, as a balloon, it had the perfect alibi: being inanimate.

So it drifted with the wind, delighting children as it went, eyeing them with The Creator's eyes from its lofty perch.

Now it paused momentarily next to a window where music was wafting out. It listened.

"No I don't care if you've got 'hot dog fingers!' Everyone can play an instrument! And they can't be that ba--oh my god. Well, ahem, I think all you need is more practice and to give me more money."

The balloon departed quickly, not wanting to be spotted. A lamp post down the street made a likely spot for viewing the sins of the world. It slipped around the post and watched two teenage girls walking down the street. Their conversation grew clearer and more stupid as the pair drew nearer. The balloon sighed, expanding slightly in doing so.

"I think my fingernails need shaving," said one of the girls.

"Yeah, and mine could use a good tan," replied the other.

The balloon left and sped further down the avenue toward a pile of vaguely human-shaped garbage that was conversing quietly with a shrub. The balloon grew nearer and heard the homeless man's voice trail off.

"...smells like waterfalls and prescription drugs."

When it caught on the shrub, the man drew himself up and said, "Hello, Mr. President. I wasn't expecting you this nubile. Please, take a seat." He gestured magnanimously to the sky.

The balloon stuggled off the shrub and fled down the street once more. Some miles down, it came upon a barricaded area in the middle of the street. A woman dressed in furs was arguing at a person seated in a fold-up chair. It floated over these Cain-doomed breathren.

"How am I supposed to act when my coat is stuffed with $100 bills?!" screamed the woman.

The man in the chair, nonplussed, said, "Um, enthusiastically?"

The woman puffed up haughtily and huffed off, the balloon doing similarly.

It floated down past an open restaurant where it heard briefly, "No this isn't my order. I asked for no lampchops. No lampchops. And this bureaucrat looks under-cooked." A crease of disapproval appeared for a moment on the balloon's surface before it headed toward a row of tall buildings. Surely one of these must have at least one redeeming feature, it thought in a rare moment of optimism.

It stopped at the first building, listening hopefully near the window. From inside came a mic-enhanced voice.

"On behalf of your mother, I'd like to present Melsbury Hornsbee, reknowned physicist and captain in the Queen-sized mattress' army." This was followed by a chorus of vacuums cleaners.

The next building held an inordinate number of baguettes, so the balloon just floated on past.

The final building, a residential building with large windows, held an interesting scene. The balloon settled down on the window ledge and watched.

Inside, there was a mother busily prepping her son for a trek in the snow. She stuffed a hat and mittens on the small boy. He was squirming and impatient, ready to go out in the snow with his friends. The mother, also preparing supper for her husband, was frowning considerably as she forced mittens over the boy's hands. Once he was finally ready he lookd up at his mom and said, "Thanks, mom."

"You're welcome, sweetie," she said, checking the chicken.

The boy waddle-ran over to the door where, before going out, he turned and said, "Mommy?"

"Yes, sweetie?"

"I glove you," he said and ran out the door.

The balloon, seeing all this, left its perch and floated dreamily down the street. Upon finding the nearest fence, it lodged itself on the top spike and popped. What a horrible world this was.

Hangga't kaya kong magtrabaho... by manfrommanila (source image)

Clouded Judgement by shoofle

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