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"N.B., Terry!" Momma's voice broke through the fog that rolled into my room. "Dinner!"

I looked at the clock and it somehow was wrong. We got home from school at two-thirty and now it was six-thirty and we hadn't done anything at all except breathe in the balloons Dad had put in my room while I slept. For four hours we must've been breathing helium and playing with the balloons without even thinking about my broken arm.

All the animal shapes we kept but the rest of the empty plain balloons we shot like rubber bands off our fingers at the trash can with the basketball rim atached to it next to my closet. Terry kept score on the back of a notebook and I had hit seventeen of fifty-three and Terry only hit sixteen of seventy-eight, and that was using my left hand! That was a lot of helium and I felt kind of sick in the stomach from something.

"We better go down," I told Terry as he inhaled his last balloon.

"Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay." His voice squeaked less and less with each word, then he stood up and fell down on his face with a sad little squeak that sounded like that big kitty shaped chew toy Ms. Harriet gave Tribble last Christmas.

"Momma!!!" I yelled and got up, rolling Terry over on his back. His nose was weird looking and just about spurting blood and there was a big puddle of it where his nose sat on my Philadelphia Phillies' throw rug.


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