I am officially admitting it to the world. I’m an Owl City fan. I recently started listening to Adam Young (for those who don’t know, he is the singer behind the one man band Owl City) after hearing him sing a cover of one of my favorite hymns, “In Christ Alone.” I really liked his version and wanted to hear one of his original songs. That song was “Hot Air Balloon.” I heard this song and knew at that moment that Owl City had just inspired my newest characters as well as becoming my newest favorite band. Everyone, I’d like you to meet Arden and Ben in Part 1 of “Hot Air Balloon”:
It all started when I went over to our next-door neighbor’s, to officially meet their daughter, Arden. I reluctantly stepped up on the porch and, with a deep sigh, pushed the doorbell. Arden flung open the door. With her light brown braid and freckled nose and cheeks, she looked pretty normal.
“Ben!” she squealed, skipping out of the way. “Come in! You just have to help me finish my prologue!”
“Ooooo-kay,” I said, raising my eyebrows. I really wasn’t much on writing, or at least fiction writing. I tended to prefer reality. Arden snatched at my hand and dragged me into the living room. “Can I take my jacket off now?” I asked, motioning to my orange and black jacket.
She didn’t notice, as she flopped down on the cream colored carpet and gazed up into my brown eyes with her green ones. “Well? Come on!” she cried. I sighed, and sat down beside her. I was beginning to think my earlier “normal” assessment may have been a bit premature. “I need help with this sentence.” She pointed to one of the lines with a painted nail.
I stared at the doodled-on notebook page, trying to make the letters come into focus. “Uhhh … Prince Even fell from the Tower-In-The-Sky’s window. His cape flew back behind him like a superhero’s, and he spread his arms out. Glancing down at the ground, he realized he was going to need something to catch him.”
“Whaddya think?” She rolled on her back and gazed up at the ceiling, her braid flipping from her shoulder to the floor.
“It’s …” I stopped. I couldn’t think of anything to say. I mean, how realistic was a prince falling from a tower in the sky’s window? “Imaginative,” I finally selected a word to describe the bizarre prologue.
She rolled back over, grabbed the purple pen, and tapped it against her teeth. “Hmm … what could break his fall? A random rainbow? A prince-saving unicorn? A dragon? Ooooh …dragon.” She held her pen right over the page, poised to write the word, “dragon.”
“Or a parachute?” I muttered, running my fingers through my blonde hair.
She brightened up immediately. “A PARACHUTE!” Jumping up, she snapped her fingers and did a little dance. I just stared. “Normal” was definitely out.
“YES! That’s perfect!” She dropped by her notebook and scribbled, “He pulled the string attached to his parachute, and it poofed open. The fabric touched his arm, feeling like …” She stopped and chewed the end of the pen.
I gazed over the words. “Poofed isn’t a word,” I pointed out.
She grinned, “I know. I just created it. Isn’t it a great word? Poofed. Poofed. POOFED!” Giggling, she lapsed back into serious thought, interrupted by an occasional
giggle. “What does a parachute feel like?” she wondered.
“I don’t know. I could Google it for you,” I offered.
“Can you imagine what a parachute would feel like?” Arden turned her jade eyes on me.
Stay tuned next week for part 2 of Arden and Ben’s story! And for those who’d like to hear the song this story is based off of (I definitely recommend it!), here it is: