She steadied herself and, fixing her skirt, briefly lost concentration on the red balloon she had been carrying. The string started to slip from her hand. She immediately tried to grasp it. The red balloon, however, leaped, trailing the thin line. Away from her. She jumped to seize it and ended up merely stirring and fanning it. The red balloon soared higher and higher, out of her reach. She closed her eyes and bowed her head, her shoulders hunched.