Senior. Years 10+


By Anton Pauckner, year 10+, Elizabeth College

“Duncan, light the furnace,” bellowed the Captain, “We need to rise.”

The sirens rang and the corrugated iron roofs of homes rattled. The flames roared from the furnace emitting a purple light, illuminating the balloon above. The ropes tightened as the turbulence increased exponentially.

“Frederick, pull the left lever now!” demanded the Captain in a somewhat worried voice.

Mere minutes passed before the cowering voice of the navigation officer exclaimed, from his quarters within the brig: “Captain, we’ve pulled away.”

All the rattling stopped as the balloon passed through into the stratosphere. The workers returned to their quarters to comfort the women and children who awaited their return. The radios across the station vibrated with the confirmation from the captain that they had escaped another force three Hurricane. The centre of the air ship lit up with the voices of celebrating families as they watched the storm revolve below them in a vicious twisting manner.

The three moons, which they believed were the cause of the storms on the planet’s surface, rose from the south and then began heading toward their resting place in the north.

But then another balloon was spotted in the distance, approximately five hundred yards to the east emerging from the storm. A war balloon equipped with gigantic harpoons aimed for the furnaces and ropes. It also came equipped with a ferocious flamethrower mounted to the underside.

“All men onto the harpoons and raise the back shield,” instructed the Captain. And so, it was done. The old bar was now acting as a shield at the rear and all starboard harpoons aimed at the approaching ship. The ropes went slack as the harpoons fired searching for their prey. They hurtled towards the deck as the ropes suddenly went taut and fell just short of the bow.

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