Frances Laskowski would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Balloon Man

By Frances Laskowski All Rights Reserved ©

Mystery / Horror

Blurb

One by one over the years, many of the children of the Atchafalaya Basin had been disappearing, Then, the children of Swarthmore Home are found brutally beaten and murdered, The terrifying, suspenseful race to find the killer before he strikes again, has a sleepy Atchafalaya Basin town all shook up and turning on each other.

Chapter 1

Paris, France 1986

“Papa, are we there yet?” Giselle asked her father.

“No, not yet. Be patient. You are about to see the most wonderful musical! The story is fantastic, or you could call it, fantastique. You will both love it, I’m sure. Ah, my beautiful daughter Giselle and my lovely wife Jeanne—what more could a man ask for than to be in Paris, France with the loves of his life attending a wonderful show?”

Franc LaTorre drove down Boulevard de Clichy slowly pointing out notable buildings along the way. “Look over there,” said Franc, “the famous painter Edgar Degas, lived in that house over there. He died in 1917. On that side,” he said while pointing to the left, “is the studio of French painter William Didier Pouget. And there is the small flat, or as they say in France, the pied-à-terre, of the painter Francis Tattegrain. He lived there in 1910.”

“How do you come by all this information my dear?” asked Jeanne, surprised by Franc’s extensive knowledge of Paris and the history.

“I absorbed it by reading the tourist guide. I am fascinated and astonished at the incredible history of artists. As you know quite well my tailoring requires a bit of artistry,” Franc laughed. “My instincts tell me after Giselle gets a taste of France and all it has to offer in beauty of the arts, she will love it.”

Franc was right, for once they attended The Phantom of the Opera, Giselle was transformed. She would never feel the same about musical theater. Giselle was mesmerized by the voices and songs. She was singing in French “That’s All I Ask of You” and “Think of Me” from The Phantom of the Opera, all the way back to the hotel.

“Listen to her back there, Franc,” said Jeanne. “She has the voice of an angel and perfect French at the age of six!”

Arriving back at the hotel, they tucked Giselle into bed and said goodbye to the sitter. They rode down the elevator to the hotel lobby to have a nightcap.

The orchestra played the waltz, “A Stroll in Paris.” Franc nuzzled up to his wife, whispering in her ear as they danced. “I love you so. What a lovely time this is and a great bonus this trip was from my job! To be able to have you and Giselle with me, I’m so happy.”

He kissed Jeanne lightly as they continued to sway and move to the music. “I will be sure to thank Mr. DeValle for this trip. To think I could someday be a first class gentlemen’s tailor! The Tailor Convention is teaching me so much about fashion and design.”

“I think Giselle is really enjoying this trip,” said Jeanne. “I have never seen a child pick up on a language so fast. I only taught her a little bit and yet she is almost as fluent as I am.”

“Let’s go back to the room and check on her,” said Franc. His wife nodded in agreement.

They walked holding hands like teenagers, giggling and smiling at each other. Jeanne and Franc pushed the elevator button to go back up to the twenty-ninth floor. As the elevator climbed, it labored, and then stopped at the eighteenth floor.

“What’s going on? Are we stuck?”

“It seems like it,” Jeanne said while scanning the button panel, looking for an emergency switch to push. The lights flickered out, and suddenly, the elevator went dark as they stood together in the pitch black, wondering how long they would have to wait. A little whirring noise, a bump, and the elevator started riding up slowly.

“Whew,” said Franc wiping the sweat from his brow. “I thought we would be stuck for...aaahh, nooo, aaahhh, eeeeeeeeeeee!”

Husband and wife screamed together as the elevator plummeted straight down eighteen floors, crashing to the bottom floor.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Lydia Walters: I really enjoyed this novel. It gives us a view of what could be if we really tried.Also that there's nothing wrong with loving our LORD and our fellow humans. couldn't wait to get to each new chapter (mission). Thanks, Joe!

Kayresia A. Bass: Loved it. Author did some insane research to bring this story to life. A little short for my taste, but an awesome story nonetheless. A few missing periods, and a few missing ending quotation marks, but not enough to take away from the story.Keep going. Add more detail to your future stories and ...

trippix1963: Not really a big surprise at the end, but it's pretty well written and fun. I liked the characters - they were more developed than in some successful published books I've read. A few typos but I've seen that in published books in the last few years.

dimitriwarlamow: I really liked the chapters about the military training and the murders. My girlfriend got me to read the book and I'm glad she did. The characters were all believable. I'll definitely tell my friends that it isn't just a book for the ladies.. Those murder scenes were very clever and the whole st...

katskousen03: This book was so good! It was so real and emotional. I loved all the ups and downs and it showed how they were never perfect and fought! One of my favorite books by far!!! This book is one that everyone should read, it’s funny and real and has a bit of romance. The author does a great job showcas...

Donna J Rinas: I thought it was a great read! A real page turner. There were lots of surprising and unexpected plot twists. The descriptive writing was very well done and you could just envision the places in your mind. Could see this being turned into a movie! I really enjoyed it. Would love to read more...

James Lawson: I enjoyed this so much I immediately bought (and read) the sequel from Amazon.ca - and am eagerly awaiting the third installment.Since this is a review and not a synopsis, I'll share my impressions rather than write out a condensed version of the plot.There were enough plot twists and turns to ke...

Jessica: This is a story that I could not stop reading. It is amazing how everything flowed together and what happened in this book is one that I would not have expected. Very talented author and a great read.

More Recommendations

Jodee3596: I really did like this story. Lacey Amanda Jones is very well written. It's a story about a girl who didn't like who she was but wasn't really sure how to change that and still get what she wants. Then there's Finn. What or who is he? Her gay BFF, some stalker guy who takes pictures of her or the...

Kashaf Azmat: The concept is excellent everything is well defined that you can picture the whole scenario which makes you feel connected to the plot and this is the thing that catches my eye and this what i am looking for in every novel.Keep it up

Jim E. Johnson: Rarely do I find a mystery that peeks my interest, but Jack Huber's Pat Ruger reminds me of Parker's Spenser or Spillane's Hammer! Strong character with the right connections and plot drivers to keep anyone engaged and never putting it down.The encounters of the characters Ruger engages, continue...

Krupa Kataria: the detailing is really awesome ....the characters, ur plots jst too Awsm ,m waiting for the further chapters please do complete it ...like m really craving for those ones ...great job with words too ..please complete the further parts ...

Ali Albazaz: I started reading "Caged" few hours ago and I'm on chapter 7 now. Caged is definitely one of the most addictive stories I've ever read. Thank you so much for writing this novel.

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.