Hot Air Balloon, Chapter Eight

Fiction By Clare // 7/10/2010


After breakfast the next morning, Cody declared it was time to find a gas station. Georgie was blindly trusting Cody on this one; he had no idea what exactly he was scheming. On the way there, Cody explained it to her. She gave him a very serious look.
“Cody, I would not be surprised if there are laws about this,”
“Well, do you want to be clean or not?” Cody asked.
Georgie didn’t argue.
“Kum & Go,” Georgie said. “One of the nicest gas stations around,”
“Hmm…” Cody frowned. “No. Let’s do Caseys,”
“Why?” Georgie asked.
“Smaller bathrooms,”
Georgie didn’t understand how that made any difference, but she followed him into Caseys. They came to the bathrooms, two doors opposite each other, MENS and WOMENS. “Ok,” Cody said. “Remember, quick,”
“I know, I know,” Georgie mumbled.
Cody had a way of explaining things like no one else. He had broken it into steps:
Step one, lock bathroom door. Easy.
Step two, strip. Self-explanatory.
Step three, using paper towels, hand soap, and water from the sink, wash hair and self. This step covered a good deal.
Step four, quickly dry self off with paper towels and or hand dryer and put clean (or cleaner) clothes on.
Cody told Georgie not to take any longer than five minutes. He was out waiting, freshly cleaned and feeling fine, picking snacks to restock with, and Georgie had still not come out of the bathroom. He had four bags of chips and several dozen packs of candy, and went to the refrigerators for drinks. Still no Georgie. He was just about ready to march up to the ladies room and bang on the door, when he turned and nearly walked right into Georgie, who looked rather irritated.
“What took you so long?” he asked.
“Ok, do you know how long it takes to blow-dry my hair with a hand dryer!?” Georgie snapped. “And seriously, that was kind of gross! The floor was like…sticky-ish,”
“But you’re clean, right?” Cody asked.
“Yeah,” Georgie muttered. “So like…how often are we gonna do this?”
“Not too often,” Cody replied. “I mean…we’re not that dirty ever,”
“True,” she said. “Grab something besides Coke, will you? Propel is so awesome…and look! Fruit smoothies!”
“Let’s crash a wild party!” Georgie suggested an hour later, when they found themselves in a busy part of St. Paul with nothing in particular to do.
“It’s too early for wild parties,” Cody said. “Besides, all they do at those parties is drink and bop to weird music until three a.m. They should be in bed,”
“So…what should we do?” Georgie asked. “It’s only ten. Should we find another park or something? That was fun,”
“Yeah, but that was yesterday’s fun,” Cody said. “Don’t you have a St. Paul brochure in you backpack?”
After ten minutes, Georgie dug it out, crumpled and rather worse for wear. “Here it is!” she cried triumphantly.
“My heartfelt congratulations,” Cody muttered.
Georgie opened it and started reading. “Restaurants…libraries?”
“No,” Cody said.
“Ok…campsites, grocery stores…ooh!”
“They have a zoo!” Georgie squealed. “A big zoo! With elephants I bet!”
Cody made a face. “A zoo? Seriously? That’s so…second grade field trip,”
Georgie rolled her eyes. “Don’t be lame, Cody! Zoos are awesome! There aren’t just cute animals, you know. There are creepy ones with lots of teeth, too!”
“Creepy teeth are good,” Cody admitted hesitantly.
“Bats, Cody,” Georgie said in a tempting voice. “Snakes. Lizards. Gila monsters!”
Cody grinned. “Ok, fine. I haven’t even been to a zoo since my second grade field trip, anyway. Maybe they’ve improved,”
“Whoa,” Cody said, looking down at the map of the St. Paul Zoo. “Um…Georgie?”
“Yeah?” Georgie asked, peering at the map. “Ooh! Pandas! I love pandas! And penguins! And llamas!”
“This place is huge!” Cody cried. “Are we gonna spend the entire day here?”
“Sounds good to me,” Georgie replied. “There’s a food court! Come on! Let’s go!” She took Cody by the arm and dragged him off towards the first exhibit. All the while, she had out the notebook and pen, recording everything they saw and every random and or amusing thing that happened. For instance, when Cody bought a bag of food to give to the goats at the petting zoo, and one of them started eating his shirt. And when she almost fell into a fish pond trying to get a picture of a giant coy.
They went fairly quickly from exhibit to exhibit, until they came to the butterfly house.
“Wow,” Georgie breathed, staring in amazement as she was engulfed by clouds of butterflies chasing each other through the exhibit. After thirty seconds, Cody was good. Butterflies. Everywhere. Awesome. Lions were coming up next, anyway. Why linger?
But Georgie wasn’t moving. “Cody!” she cried. “They’re…they’re…”
“Bugs,” Cody finished.
Beautiful!” Georgie gasped. As if on cue, a gigantic monarch came and landed on her nose. Georgie screamed, but no sound came out of her mouth. She practically crossed her eyes staring at the butterfly. “Oh my gosh!” she cried over and over. “Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh!” She stood totally still, and soon, a few dozen more butterflies came and landed on her. Georgie started giggling hysterically. “They love me!” she squealed. “Look, Cody! They love me!”
Cody sighed, and smiled at her. “Who wouldn’t, you crazy kid,” He pulled the camera out of her backpack (which he was holding so more butterflies could perch on her hair), and snapped a few photos of his best friend completely clothed in adoring butterflies. Soon, butterflies were landing on him, too. “Get off,” he told them, but didn’t make any move to swat at them.
Georgie giggled as butterflies began descending on Cody. “Look! They love you, too!”
“Yeah…I think they might just like sitting on me,” Cody replied, laughing. “They’re pretty cool, though,”
“They’re awesome,” Georgie breathed, gazing at a large black and blue butterfly that was slowly flexing its wings on her finger.
“We should get going,” Cody finally said. “Lots of other things to see, remember?”
“Yeah…” Georgie said reluctantly. “I guess so,”
Cody helped her shoo the butterflies off of her, but the one on her finger would not be moved. When Cody shooed it off, it came back a second later. “Come on, bug!” Cody laughed. “Get going!”
Georgie sighed. “I wish we were allowed to take her out of here,”
“Well, rules say no,” Cody replied. “Maybe you could blow on it,”
Georgie tried, but the butterfly still wouldn’t budge. She giggled. “This one really does love me!” She looked thoughtful a minute. “Her name is Jacqueline,”
“Huh?” Cody said.
“That’s the name I just gave her,” Georgie replied, smiling at the butterfly. “She’s so beautiful, she needs a name,”
“Ok, fine,” Cody said, certain the lions were going to be napping by the time they got there. “Just get it to fly onto a flower or something!”
“Go on, Jacqueline, go on!” Georgie said. She blew the butterfly a kiss. “I love you, Jacqueline,”
Jacqueline the butterfly was apparently finally satisfied with this, and fluttered away from Georgie’s finger, lingering to fly around her head. Georgie giggled. “I’ll miss you,”
“Come on!” Cody cried. “Let’s go before any of the other butterflies decide to land on you!”
They finally left the zoo seven hours later when it closed for the evening at five p.m. “That was epic!” Georgie cried. “I love zoos!”
“Yeah, it was pretty cool,” Cody said. “That 15-foot boa constrictor was sweet,”
“Hm…yeah,” Georgie said. “The butterflies and the penguins were my favorite…and the sea lions,”
“So,” Cody said. “Where to next?”
“Dinner,” Georgie replied. “I’m starving,”
“Ditto,” Cody said. “So…what do you want? Arby’s? McDonalds?”
Georgie frowned. “Well…we’re near all these huge cities with hundreds of nice restaurants…maybe we could go somewhere kind of fancy, y’know?”
Cody looked at Georgie’s clothes and then down at his own. “We’re not exactly dressed for fancy,”
“I know…but…” She smiled hopefully. “Maybe we could buy some nicer clothes if we look that bad…I would really love to eat somewhere that we order our food from menus and we get to sit and wait for our food instead of getting it in five seconds,”
Cody smiled at her. “So basically you want me to take you on a date, Georgie?”
Georgie laughed. “Yeah, I guess so,”
Cody put his arm around her. “Sure. Let’s go find something nice to wear, though,”
Cody hated trying on clothes. He hated all stores that sold coats and clothes and worst of all bras. But Georgie wanted something fancy. So he hailed a cab (which took some doing…this was St. Paul, after all, not New York, and Cody had never hailed a cab before) and took her to one place he knew off the top of his head they could do fancy.
Mall of America.
It was only five minutes to the mall, located in Bloomington, but it took the cab driver about ten minutes to navigate through the parking lot. The place was even more massive than the zoo!
“Ok…meet back here in like…an hour,” Cody said, knowing in his gut this was a stupid idea and he was going to hate every second.
“You are awesome, Cody!” Georgie cried, hugging him. She pocketed the money he’d given her and left her backpack with him. Cody sighed. Always the pack animal. He looked up at the large map he was standing next to, wondering where the heck you bought nice-ish boy clothes. His mom and aunt always bought his clothes. He dropped the backpacks and pulled the back of his shirt around so he could read the tag. “GAP. Dang. Why me?”
He found GAP on the map, and headed there quickly, slowed down a bit by Georgie’s backpack. He sighed heavily, ordering himself not to whine about this.
Finally, he was in and looking at clothes. He knew his size by looking at the tag of his shirt, but had no idea what to look for. He was not asking one single person for help on this. He would die of shame. He thought about what he’d been forced to wear to his cousin’s wedding. Way too fancy. Something in between that and what he was wearing now. His pants were okay, but he felt that Georgie deserved her first date to be special.
  What do other guys wear on dates? He wondered. He was going to go insane before he even found anything. He gave up on strategizing and started just looking at what there was to buy.
Trying on was a nightmare. How was he supposed to know if it fit him right? None of it felt comfortable! He realized he was running out of time, and suddenly, he remembered what his dad wore…back when he was around. It was kind of between what Cody wore to weddings and what he wore every day. Nice jeans and shirts with a collar that had buttons at the top…what were they called? Polios? No…that was a disease. Polar bears? Duh no. Oh, duh! Polos!
Cody finally left GAP wearing a nice new pair of dark carpenter jeans, a dark brown polo, and dark brown shoes that, while not dressy, were actually clean compared to his sneakers. He stood at the large map, waiting for Georgie. He was a little early, so he pulled out his DS and started fiddling with it. He had been at it for a full sixty seconds when he heard Georgie say, “You look nice! What do you think?”
He looked up, and just about swallowed his tongue. She looked…WOW.
Georgie was grinning ear to ear. She had on a mint green dress with chocolate brown ribbon at the collar, hem and waist. She had a matching headband pulling back her hair, except for the very front, which hung down like bangs. She had on chocolate brown heels that gave her an extra three inches in height. In her ears were two sparkly little diamonds. She also looked like she was wearing…makeup. Her lips were pinkish and sparkly and what Cody knew from having a classy aunt and mother was mascara and eye shadow on her eyes.
“I…da…um…” Cody wondered if his brain had suddenly departed to another planet. “You…look…great,”
Georgie grinned wider, looking like she was fifteen instead of twelve. “Thanks…oh my gosh…I feel so…pretty right now! A whole bunch of ladies kept helping me find stuff and recommending stuff…I had to say no to most of it but…” Her voice trailed off.
They stared at each other for a little while.
Georgie giggled. “Thank you, Cody. I know you hate clothes shopping. You picked good. Is your hair slicked back?”
“Um…” Cody cleared his throat. “Yeah…I bought a comb,”
“It looks…nice. Handsome,”
Cody swallowed. “You look handsome too…I mean, pretty! You do…really…really pretty,”
Georgie smiled again. “So, shall we go?”




What do other guys wear on dates  !CLASSIC! I absolutely love it!

I was like "Awww!!" when I read that.

Can't wait for chapter nine to be published I'm waiting for a new story I've made to be published, its called " Dear Crazy Girl", please, if you don't mind, could you read it when its published. I'd love that ever so much! 

I loved this and I can't wait for the next!

Write on!

Kassady | Sat, 08/14/2010

"Here's looking at you, Kid"
Write On!


Sure no problem! *thumbs up* I have actually FINISHED Hot Air Balloon! It needs to be edited A LOT, but i can still post the rest of it pretty quickly now. I'm waiting for chapter nine.

Clare | Sat, 08/14/2010

Thanks !



Oh good! I can't wait to see how it ends

Kassady | Mon, 08/16/2010

"Here's looking at you, Kid"
Write On!

My favorite...

 My favorite chapter yet! I have been following this story so closely! I love it! Clare, you are a truly terrific writer and this story is definitely one of my favorites on AP! :-)

Madeline | Wed, 08/18/2010

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

Thank you so much! It has

Thank you so much! It has been a BLAST to write! I need to super-edit it, but our printer is down so i haven't been able to :(

Clare | Thu, 08/19/2010


  I promise, you're so wrapped up in the story, you don't notice anything. I didn't even know there were mistakes!!! I love how Cody is so open to everything Georgie says. He wouldn't dissapoint her for anything, I don't think. Their conversations always give me a laugh too! 

Madeline | Sat, 08/21/2010

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

Thanks! I am sooo glad thats

Thanks! I am sooo glad thats how their relationship came off...exactly how i wanted it lol!

Clare | Sat, 08/21/2010


 Yeah. I loved this story from the start. It is so inventive! Kassady told me you based it off the Owl City song? If you did, then this story has it's own theme song! LOL! But really, I can't wait for chapter nine! 

Madeline | Sun, 08/22/2010

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

Yes, it is! That is SOOO fun

Yes, it is! That is SOOO fun lol. Chapter nine will be posted as soon as Ben comes online *sigh*

Clare | Mon, 08/23/2010


 Yeah, I know what you mean! I guess he must be pretty busy or something. I've had stuff waiting to be published for weeks. But he has a big job too. :-) Cannot wait to read chapter nine!

Madeline | Fri, 08/27/2010

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way


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