20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers

The Red Balloon

“Peter, I don’t know.”  The two were walking down the sidewalk with an easy closeness, a bit like siblings.  The familiar brownstone apartment building where they each lived wasn’t far.  A giant red balloon loped along  ungracefully behind them, connected to the string held firmly in her fingers.  They were quite serious.

“What do you mean?”  His gait slowed, and she adjusted her pace.

“What if it doesn’t come back?”

He leaned in closer.  “Of course it won’t come back”  The balloon tug-tugged on the string, agreeing.

This she found somehow both scary and reassuring.


After a moment, her small hand bloomed open, and the string slithered up her palm, pulled by the balloon.  They watched it rise until it grew smaller, smaller, and then was high enough the air currents pulled it over the rooftops.

They finished the walk home in silence but completely present with each other.  She slid her hand into his.

It felt alright, she thought.


My friend Diana – Pat’s prose challenge

I saw Maggie reference a challenge of Pat’s, which I don’t recall seeing.  But it sounded interesting, so I thought I’d try it too.  I’m with Maggie though…this was difficult to do!  But it was fun doing something a little different.  In Maggie’s post below, it says that Pat’s challenge was to write a prose piece of 150 words, and then cut it to 50 words, and then to 25 words, to see if it’s better when it’s more concise?  Is that right?  Personally I think 150 words was hard enough. Ha ha…but I can be long winded.  Here goes! (Editing here to include the link to Pat’s post in her blog about this.  It was actually 150 wds., 80, and then 25.  But I did it 150, 50, and 25.  Oh well.  Here’s the link! Exercise in Discipline by Pat Wood)

My Friend Diana

Diana was a beautiful girl, with raven hair and a fair complexion.  I loved to ride the school bus in the afternoon on those special days when I was allowed to stay overnight at her house.  It was a lovely, two-story house in the country.  The trim was blue, I think.  It wasn’t huge, but to me it was like a palace.  There were two bedrooms upstairs.  Diana said one was her winter bedroom, and the other one her summer bedroom.  The master bedroom where her parents slept was downstairs, off the pretty living area, with a piano that Diana’s mother would ask me to play sometimes.  She always requested that I play, “Love Is Blue”, and would sit and listen while I happily complied.

Diana and her boyfriend Mark were killed instantly in a car wreck when we were fifteen.  My life will always be touched by her memory. (150 words)


The nights spent at Diana’s house in the country were always a special treat for me when I was a child.  Diana was an only child, a beautiful and sweet girl, and a lovely friend.  I remember that Saturday morning in 1973 when she died.  Gone too soon…but not forgotten. (50 words)


Diana was a lovely girl, and my childhood best friend.  Thirty-nine years have passed, since that tragic Saturday morning, but her memory still lives on. (25 words)


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