I could tell you why I am inside this red balloon, but you wouldn't believe it! I recall driving to the party supply store to get some extra red balloons for a birthday party. The weather is stifling hot outside and I welcome the air conditioning inside the store. I pick up six bags of red balloons, when I notice that one of the bags is torn open. Walking over to the customer service desk, I hold up the bag of red balloons and say, “ I don't want this one, it is already torn open.”
The woman behind the desk looks at me and without hesitation says, “You open the bag, you buy the balloons. No exceptions!”
“This is ridiculous! Just let me exchange it for another bag!", I shout.I look at her for a moment and am about to walk out when she suddenly takes a cup of some horrible liquid and throws some of it on me. The liquid is sticky and I start to shrink. My body is shrinking, shrinking until I reach the size of about four inches tall. I still look the same; I can breathe and shout but I am tiny!
She picks me up and opens the end of a red balloon and pushes me inside.It is a tight fit because the balloon is not inflated yet and I am having trouble breathing, but that is the least of my problems.
The balloon is inflated with helium and the rubber walls expand wider and wider. I immediately bounce to the top of the balloon and I am feeling giddy.
She wraps a string around the red balloon and gives it to the first little girl that enters the store. The little girl holds on to the balloon string and runs to the exit door and into waiting car. I don't remember much after that because every time she tugs of the string, it sends me to the other side of the balloon. I remember little of the car ride. Suddenly, everything went black and the next thing I remember I open my eyes inside to what appears to be a house. I can't see very well because I see only red tinges of color and shapes.
The air is stifling inside the red balloon and it is getting warmer by the minute. I try to calm myself in a few ways by slowing my breathing or closing my eyes but it doesn't help much. Walking is impossible inside this red balloon, and I find myself bouncing from the top of the balloon to the bottom. I might as well be on another planet. I walk one step, do a somersault, two steps back, hit the bottom of the balloon, then soar to the top.
I am upside down and through the red haze I see a huge eye peering down at me. It is a giant little girl, normal size, as I once was. I miss being big and curse the urge to come into the party supply store. Going over and over in my mind why the woman in the store threw that cursed liquid over me! I have a whole new small perspective of life inside this red balloon. It is hard to breathe in here and I am an object of some kind of practical joke! Is there some way that lady could make me big again? I want to be normal! I want to be me! Get me out of this red balloon. Get me out now!
My emotions fluctuate from fear to anger to desperation. I know that I will go mad if I cannot escape the red balloon.
I strain my eyes to see what is happening in the room where this blasted balloon is resting. I see a table is set with a colorful tablecloth. It looks like some sort of synthetic fabric. As I squint my eyes, on the wall, I can barely see streamers and a banner that says: "Happy Birthday" but the name of the Birthday Boy or Girl is unclear.
Wait! I am trying to listen here for any sounds. I hold my breath and close my eyes. Distant sounds echo into the red balloon. The sounds of children playing. I can hear running and giggling.
I am in a balloon at a birthday party. How ironic! I was getting balloons for a party. The red balloon is on the table and a little girl is looking at me with a funny smile on her face. I don't like that at all. What is she up to? I am not sure she sees me but, wait. Yes, she is calling her friends over and her eyes are on this red balloon. She is pointing at me and she is picking up the red balloon and tossing it over to her friends. My body is thrust to the top of the balloon. My whole body torpedoes into this rubber-like wall and I bounce back to the other side of the balloon. The little girls, all dressed up in party dresses, are throwing the red balloon up into the air and it hit the ceiling! I am getting very dizzy. I stop thinking and I no longer have control. My body is bouncing all over this balloon.
I can scarcely see a grown up woman carrying a cake into the room and the candles are all lit up. The children all take their places at the birthday table. I hear singing of the song “Happy Birthday“. The last thing I remember is seeing a charming little girl clapping as she blew out the candles but a little boy snatches one of the candles to burst the red balloon. The balloon explodes and I am thrust into the air I land smack dab in the middle of the cake. I am in between the "H" and the "A" in Happy.
I struggle to get up and I am free of that cursed red balloon, but I am all covered in vanilla icing as I take my bow. The children clap.
“Susan, I didn't know you were having acrobats at your birthday party!”
“Let's see that again!”