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I've been creative writing all my life, though with various haitus(es) along the way. IFrom 2010 I started this blog and enjoyed sharing writing and other information with everyone. illness and bereavement supplied the more recent hiatus.

Thursday 26 May 2011

Thursday Tale


Wishful Thinking by Madeleine Maddocks

You know that song, ‘99 red balloons’, it’s always been a favourite of mine. For me, Denise Burdock, to be able to tame all those balloons, maybe even have 100 at my command; floating in the summer sky, now that would be an achievement. My parents would surely be proud of me then?

“That’s  just the silliest thing I ever heard!” The neighbour, Mrs. Gordon’s daughter said when I shared my idea with her. She sounded every bit as much like a miniature Mrs. Gordon. She even placed her hands on her hips the same way.

“Tiz not, Harriet Gordon!” I replied, trembling with jangles of emotion. “I got five already!”

“Duh, Dandelion” Harriet’s mouth and nose twisted all out of shape with the sneering way she said my nickname. “In case you hadn’t noticed yours are yellow, not red.”  

Tears prickled down my throat as I  flounced off towards the river, clutching my five balloons by their strings. I sat down on the bank, my green and white-spotted wellies crinkling as I rocked. The tears spluttered onto my cheeks and I stared out across the water allowing the doubts to bubble inside me. Was it silly? Should I let go of the string and release my balloons?  

A tear splopped onto my yellow summer dress and it was then that my mind recalled our teacher, Mrs. Gilbert’s words: ‘Dare to be different. Hang onto your dreams’ she said.

Clutching tighter onto the string and wiping my cheeks with the sleeve of my green cardigan I shouted defiantly “They’re not yellow, Harriet Gordon, they’re ochre.”  (270 words)

How about you?
What story does this image conjure in your writerly mind?


  1. Love your last line! Shows her spirit.

  2. "They're not yellow...they're ochre."

    My new catchphrase!

  3. You tell Harriet, Denise Burdock!!! Yay for Denise!!! Lovely story, Madeleine! I now have the 99 red balloon song in my head! :-) Take care

  4. Loved the story Madeleine. I get the feeling that the girl is on a nostalgia trip.

    Btw..hope your health is better now.

  5. I've always loved that song, too.

    And I love the defiance at the end. :) Lovely piece!

  6. aww this is just an awesome story. ask her to hold on to her ochre ones. someday she will color other lives with them.

  7. Ochre? Very nice. =]

  8. Speaking of red balloons, I really liked the Parisian film The Red Balloon. I'm just going to piggy-back on everyone else's comment about the last line. I like feisty characters, especially when they're girls. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Well written Madeleine.... The last line was superb :)

  10. Thank you everyone. Yes I enjoy strong female protagonists, those who overcome adversity. :O)

  11. A fabulous piece of flash fiction. The photograph is stunning, and I can see why you were inspired to produce such a wonderful and beautifully told tale.

    You should submit this somewhere!

  12. Lovely story. The image is captivativing. I see why you chose it. Nice work.

  13. Lovely, lovely! Madeleine, this is wonderful. Like Kitty I now have the song in my head! I love her final defiance.

  14. love the defiance in the ending. Nice story ;-)

  15. beautiful writing, Madeleine.. love the ending! Hope she clings on to the dreams! :)


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