I have a book called Complete the Story and it has 150 interesting writing prompts. I recommend it to anyone who often faces writer’s block. I am going to try to do one every other day. This is day 27, and prompt #51 in the book. Below, the red is the initial prompt and the rest is what has happened in previous parts.
When you’re the only family living on that side of the mountain, you learn how to keep calm, work hard, and go with the flow. One morning, Mom, up first as usual, walked into the living room and let out a startled, “Oh!” as a hot air balloon landed in our front yard. “Land” is a bit inaccurate, it was more like stumbled and tumbled across the grass. Soon, the whole family was awake, gaping at the strange, empty balloon. Seven-year-old Charlie happily climbed in, and to everyone’s surprise, the basket tipped upright on its own and he began to slowly float away. His family reached up high as they could, but it was no use, and they watched helplessly as Charlie drifted away from their mountain, the only place he’d ever known.
“Charlie!” Scarlett cried as her parents took a last jump, failing to grab the dangling ropes of the magic balloon.
Dad shook his head in disbelief. “How is this even happening?”
Scarlett looked from one parent to the other, eyes full of curiosity, as Mom’s eyebrows went up and she looked at Dad, waiting for him to realize the same thing, whatever it was. “Could it be?” she said, and his jaw dropped.
“No,” he said.
“What?” Scarlett asked, confused. She heard her brothers distant wails start to fade away, and tears formed in her eyes.
“But Vincent, it’s the only explanation,” Mom persisted.
“That ended a long time ago. It’s impossible. They confiscated it all!” Dad argued, his voice raising intensely.
“What if they didn’t!?” cried Mom, even louder than him.
“What is happening?” Scarlet interjected through her tears. Her parents looked at her and sighed.
“Magic,” said Mom.
“We’ll explain later,” added Dad.
“Wait, what!? There’s actual real magic? Like, that was magic?” Scarlett questioned, baffled.
“We’ll explain later!” they both repeated sternly. “We need to help Charlie,” added Mom.
“How?” Scarlett said. “Do we even know how to get off this mountain? Or where he’s going? He could be anywhere, and we don’t even know our own planet well enough!”
Dad blurted, “I don’t know, okay!? I thought — we all thought — there was no more magic, but apparently we’ve all been wrong! There’s a lot we don’t know, apparently, especially considering we’ve been living alone for…for years! I think we all need a minute to process this.”
Meanwhile, Charlie was afraid at first, but as he moved higher up into the sky, he realized how amazing it felt, the cool wind on his face. He was a little short of breath, but considering he lived quite far up a mountain, this didn’t really bother him. He balanced his elbows on the rim and rested his chin on his hands. Charlie watched the world and its inhabitants operate as normal down below, as if he wasn’t floating away in a mysterious hot air balloon. He looked back behind him and saw his mountain, looking smaller than ever as he was slowly-but-steadily drawn apart from it.