“Escaping on a hot air balloon? Are you sure this is a good idea?”
“Well, it’s not like we have any other choice, do we?”
“Fine. But if we get caught, you’re the one who’s gonna pay.”
Roger dipped his hand into his pocket. After fumbling around, and a bit of thinking, he said, “Deal.”
Dennis slumped into the corner of the basket. He was feeling very airsick, and his knees were weak with acrophobia. He could feel the balloon continuously rising, and he had no idea how far above ground they already were, but he wasn’t willing to find out.
Roger looked out of the basket. “I could see the tops of the hills from where we are. They won’t be able to catch us now.”
“Oh God, help us,” Dennis muttered. He felt like crying into his hands, and puking into wherever. The beer that he had drunk with Roger, some forty bottles shared between them, was starting to bubble back through his esophagus.
Roger kept watch, although he was struggling to stand. Like Dennis, he was high with alcohol mixed with God-knows-what. Despite their situation, and the panic in his companion, he felt like giggling. “Oh look, another balloon! And it looks like they’re following us!”
“God damn it! Is it them?”
“I dunno. My binoculars aren’t working.”
“You have binoculars?” Dennis looked up, and said, “You fuckin’ idiot.” Roger had shaped his hands into a pair of “binoculars,” and was peering through them as though they were real.
“It looks like them, alright. What should we do now?”
“Like you said earlier. If they catch us, you’re the one who’s gonna pay.”
“Okay, okay. How much?”
“Two dollars a bottle, if I remember right.”
“What? But I only got, like, twenty bucks in here. What should we do?”
“What should you do, you mean. That’s your problem now. You should have thought about that before you ordered all that beer.”
The other balloon was now gaining on them. “Well, I didn’t know the bartender was very good at steering balloons,” Roger reasoned. He was usually cooler-headed than Dennis, but even now his voice was starting to shake. “I can’t even get this thing to rise properly.” He tugged at the ropes (which he had actually no idea what for) but the balloon refused to change direction.
“Of course he’s good at it, you fuckin’ moron. You got the hot air balloon from his fuckin’ backyard. He could be the fuckin’ master. Now, you also have to pay for stealing his balloon.” He couldn’t stop himself now, and barfed all over Roger’s brand-new shiny leather shoes.
“What the fuck was that for?”
Dennis wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “Thanks a lot for getting us into this, genius.”