This week’s prompt from Charli at the Carrot Ranch is
March 8, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a balloon. It can be a party balloon or a hot air balloon. How does it add to your story? Go where the prompt leads.
As readers of my blog will realise, I am fascinated by the early history of flight, so could hardly pass on this prompt. However instead of an inspiring, or amusing, tale, I have decided to retell the story of the first air accident and it’s tragic aftermath.
“I’m frightened.” She looked up at the strange shaped balloon, rising over Calais.
“Don’t worry, he is the most experienced balloonist in the world.”
“But to risk everything, especially now.” Her hands moved automatically to her swelling belly.
Then above, in terrible silence, the balloon seemed to break apart.
She cried out and collapsed, by the time they found his body she, and her unborn child, had died.
The death of the first man to fly, in the first fatal air accident, had destroyed his entire family.
From now on the pioneers could not dismiss the dangers they faced.
Terrible and true, Pilâtre de Rozier had made the first flight in a balloon on November 21st 1783. On June 15th 1785 whist trying to cross the English Channel his balloon broke up in flight and he became the first man to be killed in an air accident. His death was witnessed by his pregnant fiancée who died shortly afterwards.