Patterned with colours of the rainbow, the hot air balloon stood out sharply against the endless blue of the August sky. Jason didn’t particularly like heights, so even if Keira had suggested a balloon ride, he probably would have resisted. He was happier with his feet planted firmly on the ground, thanks very much – happier watching, not partaking. But a small part of him – a yearning, adventurous part – wondered what it would be like, to be suspended in silence, high above the ground.
The balloon seemed to glide without effort, as though the planet beneath it, busy with noise and drama and emotion, was insignificant, only fleetingly present.
Jason wondered how Lady Aida felt when she travelled through the cosmos. He didn’t know quite how she managed to slip from one world, one time, to another: was there a door, or a rip in time? Or did she simply set her flight path and follow it? He grinned at the image of the wise and graceful being tweaking the controls of the balloon. Somehow he thought her transition between worlds – whatever form that actually took – to be far more subtle.
Did Lady Aida feel that the people she guided were insignificant, crazily caught up with the tragedies and emotions of their lives? He knew she had compassion, that she probably found her work fulfilling. But sometimes he felt so small, so human, so fallible. He acknowledged that he had learned lessons from that night on the moors – and had changed his life for the better as a result – but he was also keenly aware that there was a lot of work still to do. Maybe it would never finish!
Jason’s perception suddenly shifted: it was as though he was up in the balloon, gazing down at the tapestry of land and humanity stretching beneath. He was part of that silence, that stillness, that detachment. The feeling gave him an immediate mental lift, a gentle yet strong feeling of peace. He somehow knew that he could access this fresh perspective whenever he felt stuck or rushed or overwhelmed.
The balloon lifted higher, became more distant, a tiny speck in the wash of blue. Jason waited until it vanished, smiling at the sense of empowerment that remained with him. Wait until he told Keira!
Jason and Keira are the two central characters in The Lazuli Portals Series, which begins with The Cordello Quest.
If you have read The Cordello Quest (or even if you haven’t!), did you enjoy this Bitesize Tale? Please let us know, as this little story is something of an experiment, and we were undecided as to whether our readers would like it – or not! Thanks! 🙂