Deb and Jim lived in a house on a cul-de-sac next to a sprawling park. It didn’t look like much of a park with only a few small trees, but that’s to be expected in Albuquerque. Parks are pretty sparse areas in the high desert. On the other side of the park was the huge balloon field where hundreds of hot air balloons took off and landed during the annual week-long International Balloon Fiesta in the Fall.
Deb and Jim didn’t have to walk over to the balloon field to watch the balloons. They just sat in their back yard and watched the show. It was on a crisp October morning when a few hundred pilots lit up their balloons in the predawn light. The flames that heated the air in the balloons, enabling them to lift, caused the balloons to glow like whimsical, multicolored lanterns as they climbed in the murky sky. On this particular morning, Jim had Deb’s digital camera to photograph the balloons as they rose above the field and floated over their house.
As the sun shone brighter and the balloons were drifting over the house, Jim was taking pictures. The balloons were particularly colorful against the blue morning sky. There was a balloon flying low towards the house. Jim was taking pictures when there was a sudden shift in the wind and the balloon went straight for the power lines. He was still shooting as the balloon hit the power lines and caught fire. He continued taking pictures as the gondola fell forty feet with its two burned passengers. He never stopped taking pictures as the two injured men lay there about 100 feet from him. He didn’t call 911. He didn’t run out to help the badly burned men. He just kept taking pictures…
DPChallenge: Flash Fiction
Word Count: 300
Photo Credit: KOAT-TV