• A.D. Stephenson

Leaving - 500 Words Story One

Updated: 3 days ago

“Where are you going?” Ellen cried into the hallway, her voice simultaneously dampened by the wooden floorboards and amplified by the huge mirror that hung, unobtrusively on the wall. The reply was quiet and considered. So much detail was put into one word.

“Away.”

“You can’t. I won’t let you.” The realisation of what was happening had risen up in Ellen quite suddenly, bubbling like a geyser ready to explode. “Where will you go?” Again, the reply was slow and thoughtful, spoken calmly but resolutely.

“It doesn’t matter, really, does it?”

“It does matter. You can’t leave me.” Ellen’s voice was no longer forceful. She could sense that there was nothing she could do. She felt powerless to stop the man who stood in the doorway from walking out the door. He had his coat on already, was pulling on his boots, preparing to step out into the rain and leave her. He looked at her softly while he did, and a gentle smile grew from his lips and spread warmly across his face. It was a kind smile, a patient one. Ellen wasn’t smiling though. She had seen this before and couldn’t understand why it was happening again. She had done everything right this time. There hadn’t been a cross word between the two of them. Why did this keep happening to her?

“Please don’t go,” she pleaded, her anger having now fully subsided into bargaining. “I’ll be extra nice if you stay. I’ll get you whatever you want. You can sit and watch TV and I won’t even ask if I can watch my programmes. You can watch whatever you want to, even the news if you like, even though it’s always boring and sad.”

“Ellen…” The man started to reply, tried to explain himself, but Ellen cut him off. She wasn’t going to give in that easily.

“No, don’t tell me why you have to go. Just stay here. How about I get you a drink? I can make you a cup of tea. I think there might even be some biscuits. Do you want me to look? If I do, you have to promise not to leave when I’m in the kitchen.”

“Look, Ellen, it’s getting late. I have to go. It’s just what I have to do.”

“But why? I don’t want you to go.”

“I know you don’t.”

“But you have to, don’t you?” Finally, acceptance.

“Yes I do. But I’ll be back.”

“You promise?”

“Of course. Before you know it. I’m already looking forward to it.”

Silence fell between the two of them, before Ellen managed to say what she had been keeping inside for so long. “I love you, Dad.”

“I love you too, darling. Now go and help your mum with Toby. He’ll be walking when I see him next and he’ll need someone to follow around.”

Ellen wrapped her arms around her father. She didn’t know that what she felt was pride. But she did know that it felt good.


* * *


So there it is, my first 500 Words Story. I started this one with nothing but the opening line. I wasn't sure who was saying it or who they were talking to, but within minutes, a character had formed, and not long after, a plot had coagulated into what soon became Leaving. I hope you liked it - let me know what you think in the comments.

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