Blown Out of Proportion, Again

When I woke up, I was lying face down on a rooftop. I felt bloated, and ropes were cutting into my back.

As my eyes focussed, I learned that I couldn’t move my body—and that something was stuck into my mouth. Then I heard a hiss and felt myself bloat even further—and I knew exactly what was going on. I glared down at Janie, who was standing beneath me, pumping on the pump.

She looked up, a tear in one eye. “I’m sorry, Mommy,” she said. “I know I belong to you, and I always will. But I’ve just found out I really like this new life you’ve made me, and I can’t have you just deflating me again, or telling me to be someone else. I can’t just deflate you, ‘cuz I might lose my nerve and pump you back up again.” She looked down. “So I’m using the ‘helium’ setting.”

She stopped pumping, then reached up and duct-taped the pump to my side. “Goodbye, Mommy. Have a safe trip.” She cut the ropes holding me down and waved tearfully. I sailed up and away, a Macy’s Parade balloon without a float, or even a parade.

View this story's 3 comments.