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Tracy Scarpino

Breaking the Law of Falling Bodies

Amy went up but she never came down. Her family tried everything they could to bring her back but every time they got hold of her, she drifted away again. They brought in a ladder so her father could climb up and tie a rope around her.

"With this rope on I look like a helium balloon," she said. "Why donít you just write happy birthday on me and take me to a party?"

They tied the rope to a leg of a table to keep her close to the floor and called their family doctorís office. Could he come over right away? They were sorry, but Dr. Munro was all booked up for the day and itíd be better if they went to the emergency room.

Her father got a firm grip on the rope and they all headed out to the car.

"Whatís happening to my little girl?" her mother said as they drove down the road.

"I donít know," said her father. "There must be an explanation. Bodies fall, they donít rise. A person doesnít just become immune to gravity."

At the hospital her father reached into the car and grabbed her rope. As he closed the door an ambulance with its siren screaming pulled in front of the hospital and startled him. He lost his grip on the rope and Amy began to float away. She drifted high above the hospital, past the windows of sick children in the pediatric ward who pointed and squealed, "A balloon!"

A woman whoíd witnessed the scene walked up to Amyís father and said, "Shame on you, donít you know itís illegal to let helium balloons go like that? Birds and fish can ingest them and die."

He passed out, not noticing his wife already lay unconscious on the ground. They were both admitted to the hospital and didnít regain consciousness in time to tell anyone about their daughter whoíd slipped from their hands and been carried away.

Amy cried as she watched the people and buildings below become smaller. The wind took her toward the shore.  It carried her higher and higher across the ocean, breaking the law of falling bodies.


Tracy Scarpino lives in Ventura, California.  She has a BA in Literature from Bennington College.  Her writing has most recently appeared in Libido and The Melic Review.

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