Fiction: Balloon Art


I’ll tell you a sad story about a clown and how he broke my soul. His name was Bobo, Bobo the clown.

It was the world balloon art finals. I had made it there with my creation of the Eiffel Tower is the semi. I was the world champion and set on defending it. Bobo had other ideas.

Bobo had created a scale replica of the Sydney Opera House to win his way to the final. I was a bit nervous. Bobo had shown that he had skill and the temperament under pressure perform. I had to put aside my fears to get pumped for the final. I too loved the pressure of competition.

The final was a on. 5 minutes to create art.

So there we were facing off over the gas bottles. Staring each other down. Then the hooter went and we were off. I tried to concentrate on what I was doing, but I fumbled my balloons right out of the gate, and my confidence started to falter. The squeaking coming from the other side of the table was unbearable and as I turned my head to see how far along Bobo was. I was shocked, and I could only stare.

Bobo was a genius, to this day I don’t know how he did it. Balloons were flying all over the place. He had two hands blowing up more balloons and two more hands working on his art. I was mesmerized by the speed. He truly seemed to have four hands.

Soon they were counting down the final minute, and I realized that I had created nothing. I had had grand plans to create, in balloon form, the 2000 Sydney Olympics Opening Ceremony. It would have been a sure fire winner with the home crowd. But with only 30 seconds remaining I could only put together a poodle, the lowest of the balloon art skills. I was going to be laughed off the Professional balloon art circuit.

Bobo finished just as the hooter went to tell us that time was up. He had timed his run perfectly. His piece was amazing. It was over five feet in length and a full 3 feet high.

Somehow he had managed to create a tribute to humanities frailty. The detail was exquisite. Faces of angles and demons fighting for the souls of people. Humanity in all its glory and horror. Pain and terror and yet peace and hope as well. Remarkable. Absolutely amazing. The crowd lapped it up.

I wouldn’t have minded losing to this inspired piece of art if I had made something other than a poodle. Bobo had shown in balloon art my failings and all the world was seeing them. I looked at him and his clown face was no longer sad, it was laughing me, mocking me. Anger started to course through my veins. And then I saw it so clearly. The source of my anger pain and humiliation was just a few feet away and made out of balloons. I screamed in pure terror and rage. I dived across the table headlong into the heart of Bobo’s masterpiece.

I wriggled and tossed, all the while hearing the tortured squeaks of the balloons as they popped and pained screams of the crowd as they became horrified at my destruction of something so beautiful. Bobo just watched on with that horrible clown smile that still haunts my dreams to this day. Watching my destruction of his perfect creation unmoved because he knew I was proving the art correct in all that it had asserted. His ambivalence proving my worthlessness all the more.

When I was finished Bobo’s creation was no more. As I emerged from the carnage I had created the crowd were silent due to what had I done. I had destroyed the most beautiful piece of balloon art the world had even seen.

They locked me up and threw away the key. I had taken from the world something that could have inspired world peace. I got what I deserved. So now as I sit here in my jail cell, trying desperately to recreate Bobo’s tribute to humanities frailty to somehow revive my soul. I have never coming close. The understanding of what it means to be human is not there. A clown had what I lack. I struggle with my emptiness and cry at night for what I have done.



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