On your first shot, you skim that bright blue present-box underneath the balloon, but your pebble bounces of it and you duck to avoid your ammunition coming back to hit you. You jump to the left to keep up with the moving balloon, and wildly try again, stupidly misjudging the distance in your haste. This time, your shot does not even kiss the edge of the balloon or the sky-present.
As tears of frustration bead at the tips of your eyes, you release your final smooth stone. It hits its mark.
The present comes shooting down like a comet hitting the Earth’s atmosphere…and you catch it like a meteorologist: with some caution, but knowing exactly what you need to do.
Quickly, you lift the lid of the vibrant box to see a large oddly-shaped parcel that seems too big for such a small cardboard box. Slowly, you liberate it.
Beneath the packaging lies a small violin, beautiful and silky to the touch, due to the fine-grain wood from which it has been made. The strings twang nicely, having been made from some rare fibre, and there are ornate carvings all over the violin body. What a find! (Or, to be more accurate: what a catch!)
Grinning proudly to yourself, you carry the object home. The flat is empty and you reason that your siblings must now be out amusing themselves somehow; they never really had any business brain on them to make some money as you have.
You place the violin in your music-room, filled with an array of everything from xylophones to electric guitars that you have found, bought, and collected over the years; you prefer to be able to do something creative whilst Max watches his childish television programmes and Jane talks or noisily narrates her letters to friends in other towns.
As you are again leaving the house, it suddenly occurs to you how odd it is to have a present tied to a balloon casually floating through your town. It doesn’t seem a thing to happen naturally. Of course, someone could always have let it go from the cliffs around your town…but why? And who for? How could they have guaranteed its safe arrival? You curiosity has been piqued.
And, after all the fuss, you suddenly realise that you have forgotten about the letter from Katy.