A Story by Dinali Sathma

What if your personality was in layers? Like fitting yourself into different dresses? Or better, what if your personalities could be removed and put in like Russian dolls? Like matryoshka.


A worthy note before you read my tale. If you ever feel that this isn't original. Well, there you are right. This isn't a completely mine story but then what is? It’s going to sound like Alice in Wonderland tracking a white rabbit, or one of those old Homeric legends, or even one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s universes, the Mattel world of Barbie or any of from that endless list of New York Times Bestsellers. This story spurted in semi-conscious of dilemma, so don’t be surprised. I’ll be bringing out parts of the stories I read growing up. Don’t give up half-way telling yourself “this is just like the every other book”. History, my friend, has done nothing but repeated fantasies.

Still I can assure you, my mother taught me as child that the last thing an author can be is selfish.  This is adventure is my odyssey and I’m sharing every bit of treasure I found with you.


The man at the office was a tough nut to crack. We've ridden hot air balloons all my life; this couldn't be any more different. Delon even with the patient and charming personality was on the verge of losing his temper. He was being most convincing while I kept quiet knowing how bad I could be at this. It must have been by the hands of Fate, (Delon had already given up) the officer finally gave in to the idea.

We were setting off in a hot air balloon at five in the morning. The officer considered it risky, not worth the dare. He was right, there was no ground crew at the landing, and meteorological reports weren't good and what not. I’ll repeat that this must have been the doing of Fate and her plans. I stubbornly wanted this ride and I wanted to ride it alone. Then again, things in life never happen the way we want.

At the station, the officer switched into a good mood and Delon was restored to his good humor. I was still staring through the soft blue sky at the past I try not to think of.

“You know I’m against this crazy idea of yours. It highly dangerous” the officer was still going on.

“The craziest ideas leave the best memories, sir” replied Delon

The officer had not expected a reply. “Yes, and I believe this will give you a lot too”.

I can’t remember any of the talk that followed but this officer seemed to be in a hurry to set things up. Very soon we were to take off. I lifted my head to the skies again, dawn was fast approaching and shades of pink tinted the clouds.

“Sunrise from a balloon is a glorious thing to witness. Bon Voyage!” said the officer at last as our balloon; a multi-colored inverted tear-drop soared into the heavens.

I can’t remember much of the conversation nor of if there ever was a problem with our balloon. It was just the scenes that stuck in my head. The angel like feeling I get every time the balloon gains altitude, the dampness in the air, and the blue hue of everything around us. Delon was quiet all long and I appreciated it. I wanted to be shrouded with my own thoughts. I was in a heart-break. A week ago I broke up with the only guy I was so sure that cared about me. I was trying not to think about it. My attempts were a failure like a lot of other things were.

It wasn't long before I felt an alien heat on my right cheek; it was coming from the east. Delon gave a sharp cry of delight as the first streaks of the day’s sun fell on our basket. It was truly glorious and my companion, he looked so much like Memnon crying out in joy at the sight of the sun on the banks of Nile. I couldn't help but smile. This man was a present-time version of Memnon completely.

If he is Memnon, what am I? The sun was warming my face and a cold hand wrapped my heart. What am I? Who am I? I’m an international affairs consultant, a free lance writer, a traveler, a tourist. Then again, is that what I am? Right then all I felt in me was that I was a liar, an entire body of dishonesty, a stubborn lady, or pride and prejudice (both of them together), an opportunist, crawling through the social system, selfishly sticking to my ambition to travel the world.

Tears silently slide down my cheeks. I wanted to enjoy this ride not cry through it. I closed my eyes for a moment. Who am I?

A screech ripped the air. I was knocked out my feet. Delon was shouting something incoherently. There was fire, in the burner; no it wasn't just in the burner. The envelope jerked and I was rolling on the floor unable to get on my feet. What was happening? I never knew. My world turned black.


There was a girl lying down on a long white hospital bed. Her head was wrapped in a bandage, a saline drip in her left wrist and long wires connected her chest to a pulse rate machine. There she lay unconscious.

“She suffered a crash?” asked the doctor who just entered the unit.

“A serious crash, sir”, replied the lady doctor who was inside the unit for the least an hour now “It was a hot air balloon accident; there is a report of it somewhere around here. No major damages though.”

“Is she the one who traveled with the man in the other ward?”

“Yes, this is her. And what of him? Will he make it?” her voice seemed to break.

“It’s hard to tell,” Dr. Faubes moved closer to the patient “Do you know them, personally?”

The lady doctor gave a clear nod.

“I can’t make any promises.”

The doctor stayed there and made several checks as the nurses that trailed him fussed around the patient. Michelle leaned back and quietly watched. She had seen this been done to so many people, so many other patients and all of them in states worse than this. This is different; this is my sister she told herself.

“Dr. Tissera, I want you to continuously report to me on this patient. She has had some bad head wounds but I don’t think it would take that long for her to wake. Do you get me?”

“Yes, sir” 

© 2014 Dinali Sathma

Author's Note

Dinali Sathma
Review on anything and everything you think is important. I haven't still reach the part about the matryoshka dolls. Do you think I'm taking to long to get into the subject of the story? Is there narration to complicated?

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I`m not the best reviwer of fiction, simply as I`ve not the time to do justice to it. But my first scan found
lots to like here !

Posted 7 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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Added on March 16, 2014
Last Updated on March 16, 2014
Tags: dolls, self, looking for yourself, adventure, other-worlds


Dinali Sathma
Dinali Sathma

Negombo, Gampaha, Sri Lanka

A young, aspiring writer more..