by Colette Coen
I tie the balloons to the gatepost: blue, red and yellow. The knots are tricky, and the wind pulls and tugs. I stand calculating oven times and check my mental list: party bags – complete; pass the parcel – wrapped; marketing forecast – on hold.
In two hours it will be over, but the balloons will stay tethered for longer. Noticed again in a week’s time, they will be good for nothing, sacrificed in their duty of guiding the way.
I am the blue balloon: with air slowly seeping out of an imperceptible hole. I shrink and shrivel. Josh is the yellow balloon: shining like the sun, but restless and eager to break free. Martin is the red balloon: over-inflated, ready to burst at any moment; spilt juice on the carpet, or screams that drown out the commentary.
The cars begin to arrive, trailing their own balloons behind them.
Let the games begin.
Colette Coen is an ex-librarian, ex-literacy tutor, now full-time mum and part-time writer (hopefully).