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Non-Fiction Piece


New Member
Hey there, I'm new to the site and have just written a piece of non-fiction for one of my classes, and would like for some good honest reviews before I turn it in. Before anyone asks, I had to incorporate a boat, a red balloon, and a cave into the story, so I worked with what I had to make this:

The Mysterious Red Balloon

Every few days, there is an elderly man with a diminutive, scraggly beard who will gather around his fire and tell dozens of remarkable stories to the children of the seaside village; he tells each story in vivid detail, and you feel as if you were spectating each and every adventurer’s wonderful and breathtaking quests. There is a single story that he tells that is always sure to garner unseen amounts of children and adults: his story of the mysterious red balloon of Santa Cruz.
The story begins with the telling of an astounding sea captain of the name Crunch. He was a member of the Spanish Navy for a time, but he abandoned his post and became a pirate. He was caught by the Spanish a few months later, and was punished by having his ring finger removed from the middle upwards. He left the bay in Nicaragua, with only 12 of his crew members and a destination only known to those on the ship: Santa Cruz. They set off at the first light of dawn, and sailed away into the distance on his personal vessel, La Phantome.
They arrived a few days later and began to head for a large cavern that seemed to have been set into the rock due to erosion. They dodged and weaved through the many sharp rocks that surrounded the entrance, like the teeth of a giant animal, ready to seize hold of unsuspecting sailors. They eventually traversed the minefield of concealed rocks and dropped anchor inside of the vast cavern.
You can see the sparkle in the old man’s eyes as he tells the reaction of the sailors to the cave, and as he sees the bewildered reaction on the listener’s faces. They glow with a passionate flame, and he seems to have many personal emotions connected to the story. He then took an extended breath, and continued spinning his wonderful yarn.
The twelve crewmen planted their feet onto the slippery rock of the cavern floor, and while the captain was able to hold his footing, the twelve crewmen continued to skid and fall until they finally were able to stand up and keep their footing. They began to travel down a cave, filled with moist, humid air and there was a very strong light radiating from the end of the grotto. The crew was filled with fascination as to what they were heading towards, and several began to murmur among themselves, speaking of forestry and wild creatures.
The crew slowly shuffled along the path, while the captain began to pull ahead. They finally reached the mouth of the cave, their eyes squinting as they took in the intense sights and sounds of the surrounding greenery. The old man described the setting wonderfully:
“The greenery was covered in the morning dew, allowing it to glisten with the sun’s rays. The crew simply stood and stared at what they saw before themselves: a colossal red balloon, with a bulbous frame and a large wooden space underneath, surrounded by wooden railing. The captain walked up to the machine, and pulled a handle. Suddenly, flames leapt and crackled out of a metal nozzle near the base of the bulbous red object, and it reacted with groaning steel and it began to eerily float several meters above the ground.”

The Captain bellowed “Anyone up for a ride?” and let out a hearty laugh that echoed throughout the island.

The crew began to all speak at the same time, when the Captain finally got them to stop trying to shout above the others. He chose one of the crew members, and the man exclaimed something that the rest of the crew was undoubtedly thinking: “Sir, what exactly is it?”
The Captain replied, “This? This is a machine that I learned about on our last trip to Europe. There was a man sitting in the local bar, with eyeglasses, simply scribbling in this little notebook and mumbling things to himself. I took an interest into what the man was writing about, and he later met with me to discuss it. The man had a small book, full of his wonderful ideas. The many machines he had thought up had also contained blueprints and instructions to accompany them. I ended up buying one of the ideas and blueprints off of that same man, and this is what the turnout happened to be!”

“It flies? Sir, that’s impossible! Only birds can fly!” A sailor exclaimed.

The Captain then stated, “Oh no, it can fly. It can fly farther and faster than any bird you‘ll find.”

“Is it safe? It looks unkempt.” The sailor queried.

The Captain replied, “Yes, it’s safe. I’ve ridden in it with a few of my close friends before. This brings me to my next query: I have decided to take two of you with me to ride in this mechanization. Which of you would like to ride with me?”

“I would!” several members answered.

“I’m not sure it’s safe, are you sure you’d like to go?” asked the sailors who had chosen not to ride.

The other sailors answered “It looks fine to me!”

They then climbed upon the platform, while the Captain began to pull on the aforementioned lever, and the nozzle spouted out intense amounts of fire and heat.

“I would like all of you to get back on the ship, and sail back to Nicaragua. We will come back, and I have a small ship near the shore that we will use to sail back and meet you in Nicaragua with. Farewell lads, I’ll be seeing you again shortly!” The Captain stated, and then began to lift off, laughing at the nervous expressions on his crew member’s faces.
The other sailors then stared in astonishment at the Captain, flying away on his marvelous contraption. The sailors returned to Nicaragua, and waited for the Captain for several months before declaring their fellow sailors and Captain missing. It is said that you’ll sometimes hear the Captain’s bellowing laugh echoing off of the nearby canyon, and look up to see the Captain’s mysterious red balloon of Santa Cruz.

- So, if you can find any ways to make it better or see any errors, post them here with your suggestions or corrections. That would be a really big help, thanks!