• A.D. Stephenson

A Second Chance - 500 Words Story Three

The skies had darkened quickly – a storm was closing in, and Jenny Adeyobo wanted to get away before the heavens opened. She knocked hard on the door again. The man beside her looked at the floor.

“MRS SILVA.” She said loudly and slowly, as the door finally opened. “IT’S ME, JENNY. I’VE BROUGHT SOMEONE TO MEET YOU.” The man looked away as the old lady squinted, before eventually nodding and disappearing into her home. Jenny watched her and sighed, her hopes of a short visit quickly vanishing. The man shuffled in behind her.

“MRS SILVA, THIS IS CONNOR. HE’S PART OF OUR REHABILITATION SCHEME. WE TOLD YOU ABOUT HIM ON MY LAST VISIT.”

“Yes, dear, I remember.” Mrs Silva’s voice was frail, her back bent as she poked the fire. Connor looked blithely around him; his eyes unstoppably pulled towards the beautiful oil painting above the mantelpiece.

“I NEED TO TELL YOU WHY HE’S PART OF OUR SCHEME.” Mrs Silva turned back to face Jenny and Connor.

“You don’t, dear. Everyone deserves a second chance.” Mrs Silva smiled. “If I can help him get his life back on track, then I’ve done something to help someone less fortunate than myself. With the help you come and give me every week, it’s the least I can do.”

“MRS SILVA, I REALLY THINK YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW…”

“You,” Mrs Silva pointed her bony hand at Connor. “Come here, let me look at you.” Connor dropped his eyes, noticing a purse on the coffee table as he did, and took a step closer to let Mrs Silva study him.

“What a handsome young man. Whatever it is you’ve done, Connor, I’m sure you’ve paid a great price. You are welcome here anytime.”

Jenny and Connor got back into their cars just as the rain started. Within moments, lightning flashed across the sky and the rain crashed down by the bucketload. Jenny turned her key, turned up her radio and turned out of Lansdown Road. Connor watched as she left, then glanced at Mrs Silva’s cottage in his mirror. Another flash, this time closer, the crash of thunder shaking his car. The lights in the houses around him flickered and went out. Connor looked at the cottage again.

Mrs Silva cursed as she fumbled for her matches. Lighting candles was so much harder than it used to be. Her arthritis hurt more than ever.

Connor pulled his jumper up over his head and ran to the cottage, opening the door without knocking and closing it gently behind him. As he suspected, the deaf Mrs Silva hadn’t heard him.

“Mrs Silva,” he called, “I thought you might want some company with this storm. It’s bad out there.”

Another crash sounded, seemingly inside his head. He was face down on the carpet when a second crash sounded, and the room faded to black.

“That’s for killing my dear Mary.” Mrs Silva whispered, standing over Connor’s crumpled body. “Some people just don’t deserve a second chance.”


* * *


So there you have it, story number 3.

This is a bit different to my last two stories, and the one that I had in my mind for the longest before writing it, having come up with the basis for it back on Tuesday or Wednesday this week. I've got to stop writing them so late! It also took a bit more effort this time, as I wanted to say so much at the end, but just didn't have the words to play with. I read it back a number of times, cutting out a word here or there to get to the limit. Literally every word was considered for potential removal - every word really did count in this story.

I think this might be the best story yet, but it also might be the one that needs the most work... Let me know what you think!

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