Five, four, three, two, one…

Wind rips at my face as I dive off the balloon. Adrenaline surges through my veins. Free fall, the ultimate thrill. Then the rope jerks up. I whoop as my body springs up toward the teetering balloon, then down again. Each bounce of the bungee decreases in stride until I sway upside down a thousand feet above the ground. Blood rushes to my head. Life as an accountant is boring. This is anything but. I continue to hoot as they pull me back into the swinging basket.

“You idiot!” The balloon pilot’s face is almost purple and his eyes bulge. “Are you insane? You almost tipped the basket.”

Three other sets of eyes glare at me. The looks alone make me burst out laughing again. None of them knew of the stunt until my leap to freedom. A young couple huddle together, ashen faced. Their hands clench the tethers holding them in the basket. The third is my date of the week.

“Hey, Marlene, wasn’t that a blast?”

Marlene walks the three steps across the basket and slugs me so hard I almost fall out of the basket. Maybe it would have been better if I had. She follows it up with a sharp kick that sends daggers of pain from my groin to my fingertips. That destroys the euphoria.

“Kill yourself on your own time, Janus.”

A second later she me hogties me. The fun wears off when they land and leave me tied up in the basket. Last time I date a rodeo champ.

About A. L. Kaplan

I am a writer, artist, and parent.
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