The woman was holding a black balloon. I walk slowly towards her across, the harvested cornfield. There was no wind or sound, everything had frozen.
White and grey puffy clouds lined a pale blue-grey sky. In the distance, more harvested fields stretched, the earth brown or pale yellow. There no trees or houses, nothing else but her with the balloon.
‘Hello!’ I tried to call out, but I didn’t hear my own voice speaking.
I came closer and saw the woman had no head. Stopping, I wondered what was going on. She wasn’t invisible, for I could see her arms, hands and legs. She was wearing a stripy top and a black skirt with black ballerina slippers. In her hands was the white string of the black balloon which was floating just about where her face should have been.
‘Who are you?’ I spoke, once again my words came out silent.
A few more steps and I was before her, though I left a wide gap in between. She didn’t move and at first it seemed like she wasn’t aware of me, but then I guess without a head how could she have been? Then her hand reached out and she offered me the string.
I looked up at the balloon and it was one of those party kinds, like kids have at birthdays, only it was as black as midnight.
‘I don’t want it, thanks,’ I said, shaking and waving my arms no, so she got the message.
The woman’s arm reached out further, offering me the balloon strongly.
‘No!’ I yelled.
She pressed the string into my hand and though I didn’t grasp it, the string wrapped around my palm and laced over my fingers. I gasped and looked up, the balloon was now just above my head.
I shot out my hand to give it back to the headless woman but she had gone!
Something tugged on me, I glanced at the string then the balloon before I was pulled upwards and away, my feet swinging off the ground. I tried to let go of the string, but my hand was glued to it. The balloon rose up with me attached and we flew across the bare fields.
Up and up the balloon took me, right through the clouds. With my other hand, I grasped the wrist holding the string and tried to release my fingers. I struggled against the unknown force that was holding my hand shut, twisting in the air like a mad puppet.
The balloon came to a stop, my hand came free and the string slipped away. I plummeted. My mouth wide open in a scream which was silenced, my arms and legs flapped in the air, my fingers trying to grip anything and finding nothing.
There was no time to try and reach for the string of the black balloon, it was gone in seconds.
I twisted, tumbled, fell through clouds, felt the wind against my skin like an angry slap. I clawed at the sky, I screamed after the balloon and the headless woman. I saw the yellow and brown earth racing up to meet me. I knew I was going to hit it and there was nothing I could do!
And then, I slammed into my car’s steering wheel, felt the hard leather pressing against my forehead. My seat belt tightly constricting my chest and stomach. I heard the windscreen wipes whooshing, the rain hammering down and the growling of an unhappy car engine.
I look up and there is blood everywhere.
(Inspired by; https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2018/08/21/photo-challenge-227/ with thanks).