Beautiful Balloon

Beautiful Balloon

This is my first week as Admin to Sunday Photo Fiction. Two things struck me about my new role. First, it’s hard to choose a photograph that has a story to tell. Second, it’s hard to write a story from your own photograph without dipping into the where and why of where it was taken. The story below was not my first idea. That one still sits as an open WORD document on my laptop. Maybe it will get deleted, or maybe saved for another day. This one came about from watching the Sunday morning news. The story is a bit political, but in a light-hearted way.  I hope it is enjoyable, just the same.

SPF May 4 2018
Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

“Were you lying when you said the president didn’t know about the $130,000 payment to Ms. Daniels?”

The stoic press secretary stared out into the press corps through smoky eyes. No amount of preparation readied her for the questions coming out of left field. Her career and credibility were on the line, and worse yet, she could no longer tell her children that lying was wrong. Unsure what to do, she gave her former boss a phone call, asking for advice.

“I feel like I am swimming in a shark pond,” said Sarah. “Sometimes I think I need a bush to hide in.”

“I know just the place,” said Sean. “Even the press corps didn’t hear about this one.”

Sarah listened to Sean’s instructions with skepticism but figured if it wasn’t immoral or illegal, what did she have to lose.

Upon arrival at the designated spot, Sarah noticed a colorful, hot-air balloon, ready for flight. Sarah beamed as she realized her prayers had been answered. Escape was possible.

As the balloon floated into the clouds, a soft voice sang,

Up, Up, and away in my beautiful balloon. The world’s a nicer place in my beautiful balloon*…


*”Up, Up and Away” is a 1967 song written by Jimmy Webb and recorded by the 5th Dimension, that became a major pop hit, reaching No. 7 in July 1967 on the U.S. Pop Singles chart, and No. 9 on Billboard’s Easy Listening chart. In other countries, it reached No. 1 in Canada, and in Australia. The song placed No. 43 on BMI’s “Top 100 Songs of the Century”.





17 thoughts on “Beautiful Balloon

  1. I remember the song too and have referred to it in my post too. The other choice for a balloon song was ‘I can’t let Maggie Go’ (aka She flies like a bird) which was used in the Nimble bread adverts, but I went with my first idea.

  2. Did he really say that? He was a persistent little guy. He never gave up on trying to kick the football. Thanks for commenting C.E.

  3. Dear Susan,

    Best wishes as the new facilitator of Sunday Fiction. I hope it isn’t like swimming in a shark pond. 😉 I hope you find it, as I do, a rewarding experience. Love your story. Up, up and away.



  4. Lovely story. I would love that escape. And thanks for taking over the challenge! I have the same problem picking photos and writing prompts for my JSW challenge. I tend to write from my first impression of the prompt so it’s hard at times to pick something which might inspire more than myself.

    1. I’m noticing that I look at photos and ask if I can write a story from it. It’s definitely a challenge. Thanks for the nice comment.

    1. I am at the point where I can’t listen to music without getting a ear worm. Songs get stuck in my head for days. Hope yours don’t last as long. Thanks for commenting

  5. I remember that song… Being a misfit of the 1960’s and living near Greenwich Village (NYC) at the time… Though I was too young for the political scene that enveloped everything. That was just a year or so before I started writing… which was in 1969… I’m an old (or old enough) bat.

    I have always wanted to go up in a hot air balloon. (Oh, never delete or destroy old stories… file em, sure… but keep ’em!)

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