I live on Shiny Street

Screen Shot from the movie The Red Balloon (1956)

My name is Matt and I live on Shiny street. I am six years old and last night I had a dream that I was a red balloon. I thought that was funny because my mother always told me that I was grey or blue.

I think mother does not know I have some red in me now. She hates red, so I let her think that I was grey, and blue. But at school I was red.

I was a red balloon, in my dream. Mother held me by my white string, until the wind blew and lifted me high. And then I was floating, up and through the sky. I enjoyed being so high. I could see everything. I could see more than tall Johnny, or even funny Greta who sat in front of me.

Being in the sky I could see so clearly.

I saw Greta walking to school, through the park. She was crying and her mother who was holding her hand was comforting her.

“Daddy didn’t mean to hit you,” she told Greta. I know about Greta’s daddy who was always angry. Greta’s mother sent her to the school gate and said bye. Greta waved, tears still streaming. I floated down beside her and she smiled.

“Hello red balloon,” she said, “are you having my breakfast with me?” I drifted by her and stayed for a while. She held my white string and told me a story about the red riding hood, the book she was reading.

“Daddy sometimes reads to me at night, when I’ve been good. But last night he didn’t. Because I had been a bad girl.”

I do not think Greta is a bad girl. Her daddy is always angry. There was one time she told me her daddy struck her and called her a stupid clumsy fat bitch, just like he calls her mummy always. I do not know what a bitch is, but I do not think Greta is stupid, or clumsy. She is not fat.

Not as fat as Mary.

The wind blew and Greta waved goodbye when it lifted me up.

I floated pass mother who saw me and told me to come down immediately. But I did not want to, I kept floating higher and higher to the sky. Mother was rather cross and she stomped off to the markets. She could always buy another balloon, she always told me.

So I think she will buy another balloon.

I floated past Marcia who was staring at her new black shoes. When she walked she made sure her heels touched the pavement and made that click sound she loved hearing. It made her feel grown up I think. Marcia always spoke like a grown up and walked like a grown up.

She wanted to be a grown up, and I don’t know why. Grown-ups are so sad and angry.

As I floated on I grew hungry, and wanted to badly to float towards home. But then I thought what if mother had bought a new balloon, she would not want me anymore. So I floated to the sea, to grandma Milly’s home.

Grandma always said I was welcomed there. She would give me those wonderful chocolate cookies to have with my milk. I missed grandma’s cookies because it had been a while since I saw grandma. Mother never takes me there anymore. She needed to work and grandma lived very far away.

I floated down the river, past the bridge, up the hill towards grandma’s red brick home. And grandma waved when she saw me, and she tugged at my white string and pulled me down and into her home. She tied me around her wooden chair and gave me milk and cookies. We watched Tom and Jerry together. She told me stories and I fell asleep.

When I woke up she told me it was time to go home, and so she took me outside and let me drift off on the warm afternoon breeze.

I played with the breeze a little and then I saw mother by the cliff.

She was sad, and crying and I floated down beside her. She took me by my string and held me tight. She asked me if I could come on a walk with her and I did.

And then mother asked me if I would carry her if she walked off the cliff. I was not sure if I could. I was much smaller than her.

But she stepped off the cliff holding tight to my white string. There we were, a lady and a red balloon floating across the water. And she looked at me and said, see you can carry me my dear little red balloon. I tried very hard to float.

After a while she got heavy. And I started slipping, then we started sinking. We slipped down into the sea below.

Then she let me go. And I floated on the sea, the bobbing red balloon.

I cried so hard, I cried so hard in my sleep.

Then I heard grandma Milly’s voice. She woke me.

“Your mother is here,” she said to me.

“Sorry for leaving you at grandma Milly’s for so long.” But she did not see me when she spoke to me. So I opened my mouth and I said.

“Hello mother, my name is Matt, I live on Shiny Street. I hope you did not forget me.”

She picked me up and put me on her knee. Her tears formed as she whispered a little sorry. She held my hand tight, and then smiled at me.

“Of course I remember you, you are the little red balloon that saved me.”

I smiled, and I held her soft hands tight.

But I was scared she would walk off the cliff that night.

So I decided, if she did not like red,

I will be her little blue balloon instead.

And that made me feel all grown up.

ForBeKindRewrite Inspiration Monday: This one’s For You.
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