RWH: Local Items

Agnes leaned back, stretching her legs out across the dewy green grass and resting on her elbows. She listened as the sleepy crowd slowly counted down along with the man over the loudspeaker.

“Three…two…one…” The announcer’s voice faded into the dark early morning sky and Agnes focused upwards just in time to see the three hot air balloons, lit from the inside. The brightly colored balloons seemed to glow from within and, as always, Agnes was breathless at the sight.

The lights went out and Agnes could see morning light starting to come over the horizon, brightening just the edge of Rancho San Rafael.

Her husband sat cross-legged to her right, with nine-month-old Matilda asleep in his arms. The baby would soon be awake, wanting a bottle or a diaper change or just to be held. The baby always wanted to be held. David said it wasn’t any more than any other baby her age, but Agnes wasn’t sure. This baby just seemed so needy.

Matilda stirred in her father’s arms. The sun made its slow ascension into the sky as the rest of the balloons joined in.

“She’s hungry,” David said, handing a now-awake Matilda towards Agnes.

Agnes sighed, looking once more to the sky. As the baby latched onto her breast, the Mass Ascension launch began and Agnes wished she were the one lifting off the ground.


This piece was written as a part of my fictional work-in-progress, Finding Agnes. You can find more from Finding Agnes here.

Red Writing Hood is a weekly writing meme from the Write on Edge community. Constructive criticism is appreciated.

This week’s Red Writing Hood prompt: This week you have 350 words to write a fiction or creative non-fiction piece in which a local or regional item or industry plays a role.


Photo courtesy of Michael Evans. It received a 2011 Honorable Mention in The Great Reno Balloon Race’s annual photo contest. More information on this contest can be found on the Balloon Race website.

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6 comments on “RWH: Local Items”

  1. Morgan

    Thanks for transporting me back to my childhood and the balloon launches during our July 4th festivities! You also captured that pain of being a new mom and ever demanded upon – bitter and sweet.

    Visiting from Write on Edge.

  2. angela

    I think it’s a testament to the story you’re creating that you can drop us into Agnes’s life at any point, and I’m engaged and interested. The image of her lifting away like the balloons is really lovely.

  3. Patricia Lynne

    Great piece. That sounds like it’d be a beautiful event to witness.

  4. Brianna

    Good choice! I’ve always been disappointed that I’m in town just before or after the races. I’ve always wanted to do dawn patrol.

  5. Cameron

    Gorgeous ballon imagery and so at odds with the tethered feeling of motherhood. Oh, Agnes.

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