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 do one every Tuesday and Friday. This is day 28, 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. Mom and Dad believed it might be old magic that they thought had all been confiscated, and Scarlett knew nothing of this and is very confused. 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 looked back behind him and saw his mountain, looking smaller than ever as he was slowly-but-steadily drawn apart from it.
Charlie floated for some time until he came upon a quaint village far down below. Maybe I can stop here, he thought. And get back home. After hesitating a moment, not knowing how to operate a normal hot air balloon, let alone a magic one, he commanded, “Stop. I mean, don’t stop! Land.”
The balloon seemed to stare blankly at him and he sighed, defeated, as it directed him away from that village. “How do you work?” he wondered aloud. “Stupid balloon.”
Later, he was seated in the basket, far from relaxed, when he felt an abrupt stop and his stomach flip over. It took him a moment to realize the horrifying truth — he was falling through thin air.
Charlie inhaled and closed his eyes, and prayed the balloon would not kill him. He breathed quickly and quietly. His hair flew wildly up and he pressed his body up against a side of the basket. Please, please, please, stop, magic balloon.
Now, if Charlie had been more alert (but who is alert when all they can think is that they’re about to die?) he would have realized that this fall was lasting way longer than it should be. Eventually, after several minutes of what I described in the previous paragraph, he opened his eyes, stood up carefully, struggling to maintain his balance, and peered over the side. To his astonishment, he was not moving, but suspended in thin air, just six inches or so above the top of a grassy hill. He wasn’t falling! Charlie, bewildered, slowly lowered himself back down into the basket, and the feeling returned, simulating exactly as if he were plunging through thin air. “What the…” he muttered, and he stood back up, this time more confident, and so it was not as hard.
Charlie climbed over the side of the basket, grunting, and did a strange sort of flip onto the ground. “Ow…”
He rubbed his back, stood up, and nearly fainted at the sight of his mountain, his very own mountain, very far off in the distance, and the little village — or any sign of civilization — nowhere to be seen.