• Finally, the buzz of the alarm went off, letting the sleeping in the house lie in peace. Time then passed.

    Adrian awoke lazily, lying in bed for a few minutes to gather his thoughts. He assumed that he had awaken early, not hearing the alarm go off sometime beforehand. Adrian dressed in silence, going through all the motions he did every day for school.

    It wasn’t until Adrian walked into the kitchen that he realized it was so late in the morning. Not only had he overslept, but his mother had as well. That’s not like mom at all... Adrian thought to himself. Against his better judgment, Adrian then walked into his mother’s room in an attempt to wake her. He did have to get to school, after all.

    “Mother, it’s late, and I need to get to school. Come on, I’ll make breakfast.” Adrian shook his mother gently, his fingers scraping against her bare shoulder. Why is mother so cold?
    Mom isn’t waking up; this idea settled into his mind slowly at first, but then finally hit him.

    The daze that followed this realization was unbearable, but Adrian still managed to call his father, who was away on business. He then called 911 on the advice of his father, not sure what good calling the emergency services would do when his mother was already dead.

    Adrian did not go to school that day. Instead, the day was spent with coroners, the police, doctors, all coming in and out of the house. Adrian’s father came home on the next plane, but to be perfectly honest, he wasn’t much of a comfort to anyone. After all, his wife had just died.

    Adrian had spent most of the day in his room, trying to keep his mind off of whatever happened, but it was around dinnertime and Adrian was hungry. As he walked to the kitchen to make something to eat, he overheard his father talking to one of the many doctors who had been at the house that day.

    “I’m terribly sorry, sir, but I do believe the other doctors are right. Your wife died of a brain aneurysm.”

    Hearing this, Adrian ran back to his room, and spent the rest of the night in silence, trying to wrap his mind around everything and nothing at all.


    Several days passed with no significance. The wake, the funeral, all of it went on, but none of it was of any dire consequence. Adrian’s father had taken time off of work in order to sort out some semblance of a new living situation. In the meantime, however, a rural fair of sorts had come to town and Adrian’s father thought it would be good for Adrian to get out of the house and enjoy himself. He had been melancholy for the past couple of weeks, and some fresh air and sunshine would certainly do some good.

    The fair, in general, was typical of anything you would see across America. The general rides, the general games, the general everything. Adrian was enjoying himself, but not in a way that would convince anyone of that fact. The most notable thing about the day was a clown who made balloon animals. The clown, being fairly competent at his job, noticed Adrian and his lackadaisical attitude and tried to cheer the boy up.

    “You seem to be down in the dumps, son. Mind telling ol’ Flippers the Clown what’s bothering you?”

    So Adrian told the story of his mother, which horrified the other children around him. Adrian, however, told the sad tale in a matter-of-fact tone; he had grown so accustomed to telling everyone his story. He then asked Flippers for a single red balloon, his mother’s favorite color. Adrian held his red balloon string very close to his chest and walked away in silence. A little boy, then had a red balloon, and he let it go; a tear streaming own his cheek as the red speck floated off into the clouds.