Doubled Love Balloon

This week we set sail once again on the Love Balloon by Ray Chou and came together for hijinks and romance. Julie Plover is our airship’s Activities Director, working to ensure everyone enjoys the cruise. Staying in the Presidential Suite are Dane Cabot, a charming playboy out for fleeting romance, and Eris Show, a shy professional performer who’s living a double life. In three single suites are Terry Spear, writer of paranormal holiday romance novels about wolf billionaires; Blake Duran, a has-been action celebrity looking for a way back to relevance; and Hermes Diabolite, a stage magician whose memory is beginning to fade and whose sleight of hand is no longer so sleight.

Our story begins with Julie escorting Eris, overcome by the crowds at the mooring station, through the back halls of the airship to her cabin. Dane will apparently join her later, as he is too busy charming Hermes while securing a dove that threatens to fly away from the aging magician. At one of the airship’s bars, Terry runs into Blake and gushes over his past triumphs and suggests that he would be perfect to play a werewolf billionaire in an adaptation of her work. As the airship flies on to our first port of call, our cast tumbles into each other some more. Hermes runs into Blake and they discuss their respective histories in the movie and entertainment business. They bond over Blake’s films (Vital Organs and Bloodsport 7) and their near-miss collaborations over the years, so Blake asks Hermes if playing a billionaire werewolf would be a good career move. Meanwhile, Terry bumps into Eris in the airship’s library, who they mine for story ideas before pressing The Wolf King of Passover into the young woman’s hands. In a dining room with a lounge piano, Dane is chatting with Julie about her life and her work until he decides to sing her a song.

The Love Balloon, a game of ... hijinks, humor & romance appears in the left hand corner with two figures dancing the Charleston to the right in a field of soft pink.

At the Seven Geysers, Blake leaves the ship and runs into Dane camped out behind the observation glass as they wait for the famous 49-minute geyser to erupt. Blake is obsessed with how to reinvent and reinvigorate his career, throwing multiple ideas (playing Corazon Aquino, releasing an album) at the young man, but Dane suggests he doesn’t need reinvention but new additions, to expand himself rather than begin again. The old actor is quite taken in by the interest the young man shows in him and expresses his hope to see him again as the geyser erupts. Earlier on the ship, not long after most had gone ashore, Julie encounters Eris in the ballroom dancing alone, suggests she consider going ashore, but ends up dancing with her to help the young woman learn the foxtrot. Overcome, Eris dashes off to her room.

Back sailing the skies, there is a masquerade as the airship heads back to port. We begin with Julie talking about the cruise and whether the aging actor has found what he seeks, until Eris interrupts on her way inside. Blake asks Julie to show Dane to his table when he arrives and heads inside. Julie discovers Eris in the restroom and asks her to come out and dance, but doesn’t notice when Dane emerges from the bathroom, so gives him her kerchief and directs him to Blake. After a brief talk with Blake, Dane asks him to get some drinks and disappears. When the foxtrot starts, Eris dances with Julie, who notices her neckerchief sticking out of the girl’s pocket, and tells her not to shut herself away. When Blake arrives, Eris runs away and Dane returns still with Julie’s neckerchief and when a dancer bumps into Dane, knocking his hat and mask off, it’s revealed that Eris and Dane are the same person.

Crying profusely, Julie pulls Eris away from the crowds and tells her that she is nice no matter who she appears to be. Blake suggests her two parts need to be brought together and explains how much he’s learned from the roles he’s played. They agree to meet to watch an animated film tomorrow morning when Julie has downtime before the ship approaches its destination. After the cruise, Blake provides the voice for an animated series about a billionaire werewolf in which Eris gets a voice role too.