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 29, 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. Mom and Dad, unable to stop their son from drifting away, believed it was some sort of magic that had all been confiscated — or so they thought. Charlie, meanwhile, had a strange, magical experience with the balloon when he landed on a hill. 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.
Charlie looked back at the balloon and tried to shake it a little. “Are you gonna bring me home, magic balloon, or what?” He could almost see the balloon shake its head solemnly.
He sighed. “Well,” he said aloud. “I guess I’d better go and find some more people. But how will I make sure you don’t float away?”
The ground below his feet vibrated, and Charlie heard a faint low noise. He breathed in sharply, and instantly became immersed in the music. His head rolled back, and he lay down on the grass. I’m being hypnotized, he thought. This is bad. This is really, really bad.
But oh, the music was so pure, so mellow. It swallowed him as he began to fall into a deep sleep.
When Charlie awoke, he was inches away from a slender metal pole, about ten feet tall, with another perpendicular piece at the top. It looked like a tall T. He stood up, confused, and looked at the pole. It definitely was not there before.
“Well, this must have been you,” he concluded to the balloon. “And the music too, right? …So I wouldn’t see you doing it?”
The balloon was silent, and Charlie took that as a yes.
“But why? What am I supposed to do with–oh!”
Charlie was a quick-thinking and resourceful young boy, and he understood what he believed was the balloon’s idea quickly. He lifted the rope that was dangling in the sky when he had been flying, and was now resting in a coil on the grass. Then he wrapped it around the pole and secured it with a sturdy knot, pulling the ropes taut when he was finished. “There,” he said with a satisfied nod. “Now you won’t be going anywhere, because the T part at the top will stop you. And I’ll have my ride home. Now I’m going to go find some people.”
And he marched down the hill, confident, and a little excited to start his first journey.