Teresa, over at The Haunted Wordsmith first tagged Fandango to carry on her latest Finish the Storyprompt. Teresa starts it out, then tags another blogger, in this case Fandango, to add the next part. I will tag someone else to continue the story and so on and so on.
Fandango at This, That, and The Other has tagged Li at Tao Talk to write the next chapter in this Finish the Story Tale: The Future is Down.
Then Li tagged me!
Here is Teresa’s Part 1 of “The Future Is Down”:
For fifty generations, the people of Haven have lived in the sky. Floating without a care in the world in balloons and ships passed down from father to son and mother to daughter. Everything a person would ever need in their balloons was provided to them. The sky lord saw to that. The people were happy and the sky lord was happy. But, even in a perfect life, there is born in every generation one person who is not content. Ivan was this generation’s adventurer.
When other kids passed their day playing cards or making up stories with their family, Ivan stared below his balloon and wondered. He wondered what was below the clouds. Was it a world filled with giant monsters that could gobble him in a single bite? Or, was it a world filled with tiny fairies that fluttered around towering trees just waiting for him to come play?
The more he looked, the more he wondered. And the more he wondered, the more he dreamed. Dreamed of leaving the sky.
And that is exactly what he did on his thirteenth birthday after receiving his very own balloon.
“Goodbye,” he shouted, waving as he slowly deflated his balloon. “I love you all, but have to find out. I’ll write when I can!”
As his balloon inched its way down toward the unknown, Ivan’s heart raced with excitement. “I wonder what I’ll see first.”
Ivan didn’t have long to wait, for as soon as he was in a cloud bank, he saw…
And here is Fandango’s part 2:
…a huge, noisy, metallic, cylindrical tube zoom right by him, causing his balloon to start shaking and shimmering in the strange object’s wake. “Oh sky lord,” he screamed, as he tried desperately to regain control of his balloon. “What the Haven was that?”
“That was an airplane,” a voice said. Ivan turned to see that a strange looking animal of some sort had landed on the rim of his balloon’s basket. It was covered in colorful feathers and it had long, feather-covered arms that flapped up and down in a rhythmic motion. It had small, beady eyes and a pointy, hard looking mouth. And when it spoke to Ivan, it was in more of a squawk than a voice.
“What in the sky lord’s name are you?” Ivan asked the creature. “And what was that thing you call an airplane that almost knocked my balloon out of the sky?”
“I’ve heard of beings like you who live in balloons far above the clouds,” squawked the feathered creature, “but I thought it was just an ancient myth.”
“I’m as real as you are, whatever it is that you are,” Ivan said.
“I am Hawkeye,” the creature said, “and I am what the surface beings call a bird.”
“The surface beings?” Ivan said. “Tell me more, Hawkeye.”
Here is Li’s part 3:
Hawkeye started scouring the balloon’s basket, then gurgled, “First, I gotta know, what is it that you sky people eat anyway? You don’t have access to the ground to grow things in, and I know you don’t eat air!”
Ivan had no idea what “ground” was. “We have baskets that collect cloud water and our food grows in them. Is ‘ground’ a kind of container?”
“Oh boy, you got a lot to learn, Ivan. I’ll be happy to show you, but right now I’m ravenous. Got any of that food with you?”
Ivan walked over to a covered area and pulled back the woven mat. There was a large woven, water-tight basket filled with water – and living things. Hawkeye saw various-colored fish, several kinds of swimming insects, as well as seaweed in the water and watercress on top. “Right here. What are you hungry for, Hawkeye?”
Hawkeye spied a school of large green minnows. Lifting one leg, he pointed at them. Ivan grabbed his net and one in smooth motion netted a minnow. “Here ya go!”
As Ivan was an expert minnow-catcher, Hawkeye was an expert minnow-eater, so the minnow was airborne for a heartbeat then straight down into the multi-colored raven’s gullet with nary a swallow. “And I thought I was going to be teaching you things!,” squawked Hawkeye, then hiccuped.
As all of this was transpiring between air boy and earth raven, the balloon was descending further towards land. Thankfully it was early morning and so air traffic was light. Clear of the clouds now, a panorama of the unfamiliar was laid out before Ivan. Every new thing he saw he pointed at and asked for an explanation. Hawkeye, who had a limited attention span, soon grew weary of answering the questions.
“Ivan, my good buddy, I think it is time to show you what ‘ground’ is. I don’t know how well you can steer this thing, but can you take it over there?” Hawkeye pointed one of his toes towards a vast park-like area with plenty of open space and plenty of trees along the edge of it.
“Then you land!”
“It’s where the ground is. Just go there and as we get closer and I’ll tell you what to do.”
And here is my Part Four:
As the green space came closer, Ivan was surprised that unlike clouds that became fainter the nearer you got, this stuff appeared more solid. In the distance was a large pale blue splodge on the landscape.”
“What’s that over in the distance?” Ivan asked.
“Oh, that’s Lake Superior. That’s wet stuff. Don’t land there, land on the green stuff instead.”
As they descended Hawkeye shouted “Prepare yourself,” but Ivan was anything but prepared as his balloon basket crashed into something green that sprayed brown stuff into the air.
“Now THAT’s the ground,” said Hawkeye.
“Is it always so hard?” asked Ivan.
“usually, although sometimes you hit wet stuff and sometimes the wet stuff seeps into the ground and that makes it soggy and squishy. They call that Marsh or swamp. Stick to the hard stuff, there are a lot fewer alligators ” Hawkeye explained helpfully.
“So now what?” asked Ivan.
“Well, let’s go for a hike, you can walk on the ground and I’ll fly.”
As they walked on the ground, Ivan was just amazed at seeing the trees towering above him and the sold feel of this ground beneath his feet. He was so in awe that he failed to see someone sitting under a tree and staring up at the sky. Ivan fell over this sky gazers legs and discovered again just how hard the ground was.
“Oh, I’m terribly sorry. Are you OK?” said the person with the long legs.
Ivan picked himself up and dusted himself down.
“No, it was all my fault, I wasn’t watching where I was going, I was staring at the trees.”
“Really? I was staring up at the clouds aren’t they amazing? They always make me think of Wordsworth. ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud that floats o’er vale and hill'”
“That’s very poetic I’m sure, though hardly original, and I know for a fact that clouds are never lonely,” Ivan responded.
Then Hawkeye came swooping over “Oh, I see you’ve met one of them ‘humans’, then. I wouldn’t linger talking to one of them. They’re not very nice, you know?”
………….. End of Part Four……….
So who shall I pass the baton on to?
How about Rory of the blog A Guy Called Bloke, he always shakes things up a bit!
I have also included the following word prompts: