Hot Air Balloon, Chapter Four

Fiction By Clare // 4/16/2010

So, you may or may not know that i am the author of the work in progress (of awesomeness) Hot Air Balloon. (Pleeease tell me you actually read it...)

I am sorry for those who were enjoying the story that i am taking so very long. I have limited computer time and a BIG family to share the computer with, not to mention i have a lot of friends i only ever corrospond with on the computer, so writing *tears of sadness* has been shoved out of the agenda for TOO LONG! But, here it is, CHAPTER FOUR. Please be aware that i am sharing with you a very, very, very, VERY rouch first draft and i just want to get this out there and have some advice/feedback! I loove you all for reading this madness!

Thanks much, enjoy!


Chapter Four:


“Rachel!” Georgie shouted. “Are. You. Done yet!?”
“No!” Rachel bellowed down the stairs. “If you keep screaming at me I’ll never get my mascara right!”
Honestly, how did she ever find time to do anything but her hair and makeup!? If they were any later, Cody just might start phoning local hospitals in case they had been in some terrible accident (the first sort of terrible accident that came to Georgie’s mind was a giant hot cheese explosion, which left her so terribly burned everyone wept at the sight of her).
“Rachel!” She shouted. “We’re leaving without you if you don’t come now! Cody probably thinks I’m in the hospital with cheese burns right now!”
“What’s a cheese burn?” Brian asked as he walked past her with his hands full of dirt.
“Duh,” Georgie replied. “It’s a burn from cheese,”
“Ah,” Brian said. “Want some mud? It helps burns,”
Georgie glared at Brian, and he left the living room sniggering and trailing black dirt across the carpet.
“Raaachel!!” Georgie yelled at the top of her lungs.
“Georgina Anne Regina O’Kay!” Her mother said angrily, coming into the living room from the kitchen with Nathan in her arms. “If you don’t stop shouting you aren’t going to Cody’s house!”
Georgie grumbled a little under her breath. “Can I call Cody and tell him I’m not dying from cheese burns?”
“What is a cheese burn?” Mrs. O’Kay asked.
“It’s a burn from cheese,” Brian said, coming back through the living room. “Duh, Mom,”
“Why is there dirt on the carpet?” Mrs. O’Kay asked.
Brian suddenly looked very innocent. “I had a cheese burn, and dirt helps,”
“Clean up this mess right now, or you’ll spend the day in your room,” Mrs. O’Kay replied. “Georgie, go put John in his car seat and put him in the car,”
“Yes Mom,” Georgie said, stomping loudly into the kitchen where John sat in his highchair. “Come on, Johnny,” She said, pulling him out and tickling him. “I’m going on an adventure today,”
“Goo!” John cried.
Georgie hugged him. “I’m gonna miss you…but we’ll be back really soon,”
“Goo!” John repeated, giggling. Georgie loved his smile. It was so real and so happy.
After John was securely buckled in his car seat and his car seat strapped into the car, Georgie quickly claimed shotgun and sat with her feet up on the dashboard, waiting for Rachel to make her royal appearance. John babbled happily, batting at toys on the bar over his car seat. Mrs. O’Kay came out and put Nathan in the car, and the two boys sat giggling and playing with toys while Georgie slowly died of boredom. She turned on the air conditioning so the babies wouldn’t get too hot, and soon was imagining freezing to death in the arctic.
“I’m bored!” She announced.
Nathan giggled.
“Who asked your opinion, anyway?” Georgie grumbled. “You aren’t the one awaiting the greatest adventure since traveling halfway across town downhill in a wagon, forced to wait because your older sister has to look like a supermodel before going to work!”
“Goo!” The boys replied.
Georgie decided babies don’t give very good advice, nor are they very sympathetic.
Finally, her mother and sister came out of the house. “Get out of that seat!” Rachel cried. “I have to get out first!”
“Sit next to the boys, Rachel,” Mrs. O’Kay said, starting the car. “If you didn’t take so long, you would get there first,”
“Here, here,” Georgie said. “Now can we please get going?”
“What’s this backpack doing here?” Rachel grumbled, tossing Georgie’s backpack into the trunk.
“Hey, that’s mine!” Georgie said. “Treat my stuff like you would treat your cell phone!”
“Girls, stop fighting,” Mrs. O’Kay said.
The drive to the grocery store where Rachel worked was very dull, and Georgie feigned a slow and painful death in the front seat, until her mother gave her such a stern look she sat up straighter than she’d sat in her life. After dropping off Rachel, they started for the Walters’ house.
“So, what exactly are you going to do today and tomorrow?” Mrs. O’Kay asked.
“Well, Cody wants me to fly in a hot air balloon,” Georgie said. “He says it’s a childhood experience not to be missed. Oh…and we’re having tea,”
“Well, you be careful,” Mrs. O’Kay said. “I don’t want you falling from a thousand feet or have Cody messing around, alright?”
“Yes Mom,” Georgie said. “We’re not going to do anything stupid…just have fun,”
“It does sound fun,” Mrs. O’Kay said, smiling. “I always wanted to fly in a hot air balloon when I was little, but I never got the chance. Take lots of pictures for me, ok?”
“No problem,” Georgie replied, smiling. “I was born to fly,”
They arrived at the Walters’ mansion, and Mrs. O’Kay took a good long look at the sprawling, perfectly landscaped lawn, the immaculate flower beds, and the house itself, which was magnificent. It was a stately tan brown color with decorative rocks against the siding, and the shingles were all perfectly straight, which was more than could be said about the O’Kay’s suburban house.
“Sheesh,” Georgie said, glancing at her mother. “You’d think you’d just sighted a mountain of chocolate or something, Mom. It’s just a big house,”
“I nice big house,” Mrs. O’Kay said, smiling. “Ah, well. Mothers of nine can’t be picky. Go on, Sweetie. I love you,” She leaned over and kissed her daughter.
For a moment, Georgie felt sad leaving and not telling her mother. But we’ll be back soon, she reminded herself. She hugged her mother extra long and tight. “I love you too, Mommy,”
“And, remember, Georgie…I know your dad and I don’t like him, but that’s not the only reason I’m saying this…Cody’s not always right. Use your own head,”
“I know, Mom,” Georgie said, getting out of the car. “You wanna come in and say hi to Cody’s folks?”
A sudden wail came from the backseat. Mrs. O’Kay smiled wearily. “No, I think the twins want to go home, Honey, but I love you! Have fun!”
“I will,” Georgie said, yanking her backpack out of the trunk. “Bye!” She waved till her mom’s car was out of sight, and then skipped up the wide, smooth sidewalk leading up to the front door of the Walters’ enviable house. She rang the doorbell, letting her backpack bang down on the cement porch, carefully avoiding dropping it on any of the fancy deck chairs or potted plants…but managed to smash one of Mrs. Walters’ favorite garden gnomes. Georgie guiltily toed the headless gnome, hoping he wouldn’t be discovered until she and Cody were long gone.
The door was thrown open. “G-girl!” Cody cried. He looked down at the gnome. “Oh…wow…you killed it,”
Georgie gave him an alarmed look. “Am I about to die a painful death?”
Cody glanced over his shoulder. “Probably not…I guess we can run out and bury it before Aunt Jodie sees,”
“Here’s hoping,” Georgie said, hoisting her backpack and following Cody into the house. Aunt Jodie was just slightly attached to her gnomes. They were all custom-made, and had tacky little name plates. Georgie was probably the only gnome-killer able to say she killed a gnome named Rudolph.
They took off their shoes in the mudroom, and then went through a second door into a great expanse of white. White carpet. White walls. White woodwork. White furniture. They walked down the hall till they got to the kitchen, which was also all white. The tiles were white. The sink was white. The countertops and cupboards were white. The dishes were white. And Aunt Jodie, her blonde hair ever smoothed and perfected, was wearing a white shirt. Fortunately, her pants were black.
“Hey, Aunt Jodie,” Cody said.
“Hay is for horses,” Aunt Jodie said sternly, turning away from the stove. “Ah. Georgina is here. How nice.”
Except when Aunt Jodie said how nice, she said it like, oh, how nice, you’ve brought in a dead toad carcass…just what I’ve always wanted. Perhaps that’s an exaggeration, but Cody and Georgie were never ones to tell things as they are, and this was how their dramatic brains processed Aunt Jodie’s tone. Aunt Jodie pursed her lips like she was trying to tell how much lipstick she had on. And she had on an awful lot. And it was bright red.
“Well, put your things up in Cody’s room. Come back down in about half an hour,” She looked up and with a death glare that would have won Death Glare of the Year, she added, “Be good,”
Cody rolled his eyes once he had turned his back on his aunt.
Upstairs, the backpacks were tossed onto Cody’s bed. Cody’s room was almost the only one in the whole house that wasn’t white. Well, the walls were white, but the carpet was blue. And it was a total mess. Georgie flopped out on Cody’s bed, and Cody flopped out next to her. They lay there silent for a little while, not really thinking about anything. For some reason Cody put his hand out and touched Georgie’s arm…almost as if he wanted to know she was safe. His room didn’t feel safe to him. It hadn’t ever since he’d come to live with his aunt and uncle.
Georgie closed her eyes. “We are about to do the most awesome thing ever.”
“Hoo yeah,” Cody said in agreement. “Gosh…it feels so good to know in a few hours I won’t have to sleep in this stupid room anymore,”
They were quiet again. Georgie felt very peaceful, as opposed to Cody, who was always on edge in his room. Georgie knew how Cody felt (they told each other pretty much everything), but she felt so happy, she wondered how he could feel anything different. “Cody?”
“Mm hm,”
“You’ve run away before, haven’t you?”
Cody laughed. “Yeah…boy, that was before…” He stopped. Georgie lifted her hand so now she was touching his arm. Before his dad left.
“Yeah?” she said.
“Well…it was awhile ago. It was after we were friends, though. My mom punished me pretty good for something or other…I think I was grounded for a month and I couldn’t have supper,”
Georgie giggled. “So you ran away?”
“I walked to your house, and we ruined your Grandma’s antique sewing machine with that parachute my dad bought us. We only lived a few blocks away,”
“Oh, yeah!” Georgie said. “But my mom called your mom, and we both got in trouble!”

“Ah, good times, good times.” Cody sighed. “That’s why we have to do this. There haven’t been any times quite like that in forever. Blowing up Mrs. Crabapple’s yard was satisfying, but it wasn’t nearly as insane as rolling down Main Street through two lanes of heavy traffic in a Radio Flyer!”

“So right,” Georgie said, bobbing her head in agreement.
“Hey…do you think its been twenty minutes?”
“Hay is for horses,” Georgie sniffed in a superior tone not unlike Aunt Jodie’s. “And yes, I would say so,”
They hopped off the bed and went downstairs, where Aunt Jodie had apparently been very busy. The pleasant smells of food were in the air…sweet delicious food. Coming into the kitchen, they found no food, though, and no mess. Just a perfectly preened Aunt Jodie and a more friendly face---Uncle Jeff!
“Hi, Uncle Jeff!” Georgie cried, running up to him and hugging him.
“Hello there, Georgie!” Uncle Jeff cried, noogying her fondly. “How you doing, Kiddo?”
A disdainful sniff came from Aunt Jodie. “Jeffry,” she said. “It’s time for tea. We musn’t roughhouse when we’re having tea.”
Tea was one of the things perfectly cultured Aunt Jodie had brought back from her two month trip to England a few years back. Tea was the highest form of etiquette and culinary masterpiece, or so said Aunt Jodie. No one really complained about tea…it was a time to eat tasty munchies and hear Aunt Jodie babble about her latest interests.
“Everyone, please be seated in the dining room,” Aunt Jodie said. “I will be in momentarily,”
Uncle Jeff lead the stampede (though a sniff from Aunt Jodie turned into more of a charge) into the dining room, where all the food was waiting. Mountains of still hot jelly biscuits with strawberry filling oozing out greeted them, along with platters of fresh fruit and cheese and little sausages. There was a large plate filled with finger sandwiches, and even some small store bought cream puffs. There were tea bags of assorted flavors in small baskets and Aunt Jodie seemed to have pulled out her best china set.
“Ooh…this looks yummy!” Georgie cried.
Another sniff came from the direction of the kitchen.
Georgie noticed, somewhat nervously, that the dining room also sported pure white carpet and walls. Was she honestly expected to eat without spilling anything? This could become very ugly.
Cody plopped down in one of the stuffy, high-backed chairs and began picking at the tines of his fork. Georgie sat down next to him, observing how little of the long white dining room table was actually used for this ‘tea’. This table would have comfortably fit Georgie’s family! How often did Aunt Jodie even have guests over?
“Cody!” Aunt Jodie’s voice rang out. “I thought your mother was going to be home by now!”
Cody rolled his eyes. “Maybe she’s late,”
“Impossible,” Aunt Jodie replied. “She said she wasn’t working late!”
Cody was silent. He continued picking away at his fork tines.
Georgie glanced at Uncle Jeff, who was gazing enrapt at the jelly biscuits.
Aunt Jodie made an irritated noise…like a horse trying to clear its nose.
“So…” Georgie said. “Do we just…sit?”
“Until Maggie joins us, yes,” Uncle Jeff said. “Jodie likes all of us to be here,”
There was a very long period of thumb twiddling and kicking each other violently under the table for Cody and Georgie. Uncle Jeff didn’t notice until Georgie missed Cody’s leg and kicked the table so hard one of the biscuits literally leapt off the plate into Uncle Jeff’s lap. He then carefully replaced the scone and joined in kicking his nephew and Georgie. When the novelty of that wore out, they began mouthing insult at each other, trying to see who was the best at reading lips. Georgie won every time, and burned both Cody and Uncle Jeff by mouthing to them in the very little amount of Spanish she knew. “Locos tienen hambre,”
They sat there trying to figure out whether or not she was cheating. You forfeited the game if you gave up, so Uncle Jeff and Cody didn’t stop trying until Mrs. Ryan finally arrived home for tea…an hour later than expected.
She came into the dining room in a flustered wave of a strong, sweet minty fragrance. She had long jet black hair so think and beautiful it looked like a cashmere blanket. She had dark coco skin from her mother who had been African American. She had thick lips that were always rose pink and she wore fun clothes, like Converse dresses and leggings with jangly jewelry. Mrs. Ryan was an amazing woman in Georgie’s eyes. Here she was, living under the rule of a scrooge…or scroogette, like Aunt Jodie, raising Cody all by herself after Cody’s dad left, and working two jobs; the job she needed, and the job she loved. The job she needed: a very boring and minimally paying gig dyeing old ladies’ hair, painting on fake fingernails, and piercing screaming nine year olds’ ears, not to mention doing any grunt work the other cosmetologists wanted her to do. She could do that. But she didn’t like it. The job she loved: abstract art. And by abstract, I’m talking seriously weird, from a pair of kissing hot pink dinosaurs  made from tin cans to a mobile with mini ballerinas made entirely out of paperclips and superglue. Her art wasn’t very popular, but the people who liked it paid her a lot for it. She hoped some day to have enough money to buy her own place to live with Cody…that is, if Mr. Ryan didn’t come back. This was about as likely as pigs developing green skin and wings. Mr. Ryan had bailed and bailed exceedingly well…not a trace did he leave behind, save a little post-it note on his pillow that read simple, Chow!
“Ok, ok,” Cody said, looking pained by the defeat. “What the heck were you mouthing?”
“Locos tienen hambre,” Georgie said with a smug grin. “Crazy men are hungry,”
“Crazy men are hungry?” Maggie Ryan said with a wide smile at Georgie. “Yes, I’d say they are,” She sat down next to Georgie and gave Cody a big ‘oh-how-cute-my-son-has-a-girlfriend’ smile. Cody grimaced just as Aunt Jodie came in, wielding a scary looking knife.
Georgie yelped and jumped, knocking a pitcher filled with lemonade. It began to rock, and both Mrs. Ryan and Georgie screamed in the horror of what was going to happen if they didn’t do something. It was Mrs. Ryan who saved the pitcher, the carpet, and both her own and Georgie’s skin from Aunt Jodie’s wrath by sticking out her foot and catching it in the heel of her very high heeled shoe. Everyone sighed with relief. Georgie wasn’t sure how long it took her heart to start beating again.
“Well, before the clumsy young women present do any more damage,” Aunt Jodie said, giving her most disdaining sniff yet. “I think we’d better start.” She sat down and tapped her fork to her teacup. “Tea is served,”
“Tea is cold,” Cody grumbled. “Tea is nasty and vile even when it isn’t cold,”
“What was that?” Aunt Jodie said.
“Nothing,” Cody replied. He turned to Georgie and clutched his throat dramatically.
Before long, everyone was eating and Aunt Jodie and Mrs. Ryan were having a loud argument about whether or not Cody should be homeschooled again after his disastrous second time going through 8th grade, even though that had decided months ago he would indeed be going to school. Uncle Jeff became completely absorbed in his food, looking up only occasionally to ask Cody to pass him the sugar cubes. Cody and Georgie took the opportunity to commiserate through the torture.
“I cannot believe we are stuck drinking tea when we’re about to go on the greatest adventure ever!” Cody grumbled.
“I know,” Georgie said. “I want to leave now. This tea tastes like dish water even with five sugar cubes and a cup of cream drowning out the taste!”
Cody glared at his own cup of tea like it was a personal enemy. “Aunt Jodie’s trying to kill us off, I swear,”
Now, to be truthful, tea can be very good, depending on the kind and quality, and has thousands of health benefits that we could spend ten whole pages going into. However, as not to delay the more interesting and exciting action in the story, we shall move on a simply say, though it may go without saying, that Cody Ryan knew next to nothing about tea except for the taste of the strong, cheap stuff still brewing in his cup.
After an hour of ‘tea’, Georgie and Cody were released from their torture. Uncle Jeff said to meet him out in the field in half an hour, where their mode of transportation would be waiting for them. They could hardly wait, but knew they had been lucky thus far that Aunt Jodie hadn’t seen the decapitated gnome out on the front porch, and that Cody’s mother had gone through the garage door and hadn’t seen it. So they rushed out as soon as tea was through to get rid of the evidence.


Haha, this is a cute story ;)

Haha, this is a cute story ;)

E | Mon, 04/19/2010

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Thanks so much! Ugh....all my

Thanks so much! Ugh....all my italicized (sp?) things went back to being printed regular when it was posted so the story seems kinda flat without its italics and stuff. Oh well. Thanks for reading it!

Clare | Tue, 04/20/2010

No problem ;) I found that

No problem ;) I found that if, when you are pasting the story to the AP thing, you re-highlight the things that are in italics and put them in italics again it will give you want you want :-D I have to do that with Dear Charlie, and other stories too.

E | Wed, 04/21/2010

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Very Good Clare!!

Very Good Clare!!!! very enjoyable!!! keep it coming!!! oh have you read my stuf yet. , Tell me if you like it or I should change anything!! loved Your's!! Mrs.Ryan seems like a nice person! and there andveture sounds like it will be fun I can't wait for more!!

Well done



Kassady | Wed, 04/21/2010

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

Thanks so much!!!

Erin: Awesome advice! I was just like, "NOOOooooOOooo!!!! NOW IT LOOKS ALL WRONG!!!!" but i guess you could still UNDERSTAND it so i'll use that trick NEXT time lol.

Kassady: Thank you! I'm in love with this story and i PROMISE the awesomeness of chapter five will be posted SOON.

Clare | Thu, 04/22/2010



Let the the chapter begin!!!

Kassady | Thu, 04/22/2010

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



Ariel | Wed, 04/28/2010

"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville


I LOVE this story! The pastries sounded delicous, the decapitated gnome named Rudolph was hilarious, and everything was wonderful!!!!!!!!

I love it!

Kendra | Fri, 04/30/2010

"Are you sure this water is sanitary? It looks questionable to me! But what about bacteria?"--Tantor the elephant from Tarzan.


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