This came from today’s prompt. The suggestion was to take a look at Wikipedia’s main page and see what sparked any ideas.
I feel like this is the most bare beginning of a story, there is a lot that could be added on to it without removing any of the sense of intrigue or wonder or vagueness.
So. This is a very shallow beginning of a story. I felt that it came out more … poetic than prose-based. So perhaps this is meant to be a poem. Eventually.
After Dinner Walk
He went outside for a walk after dinner. It was not something different or new or anything like that. It was just what he did. I was actually quite accustomed to it.
I didn’t mind exactly. I mean, I would have preferred if he had hung around, washed the dishes or maybe helped to put the kids to bed. That would have been great. But, at the same time, it was not as if I did not appreciate that he worked hard, really hard, all day long.
So he went.
And I washed the dishes, stacking them precariously in the tray.
And then I gathered the kids. Calmed them down, talking in a low voice, about tomorrow, about school, about what they needed to remember to pack in their bags.
He still was not back yet.
I wasn’t worried. He’d barely been gone for a half hour. Sometimes he would walk and walk and walk.
I couldn’t say I blamed him. There were many days when I felt that I really did have the easier job. Three children under five wasn’t exactly what most people would call easy, but …. Well. No one was trying to kill me because of it.
One by one. I put the children in their beds, each with their own stories and kisses and stuffed animal routines.
I don’t know how long it took, but he still was not back by the time I was back in the kitchen, finishing up the last of the dinner cleaning up routine.
DIshes cleaned, leftover food put away, tables wiped down. There was, really, nothing left for me to do.
I sat down in the chair, in the living room and wondered what, really, I should do next. It was hard to figure.
At what point, I thought, should a natural sense of worry kick in?
Was it, really, realistic for me to just go to bed and trust that when I woke in the morning he would be lying there beside me?
I was not entirely sure.
So I sat in the rattan chair, wondering and trying very hard to pay attention to the handwork in front of me.
The clock ticked.
I was tired.
Would it, could it, be okay to go to bed now?
Exhaustion won out over fear. I went to bed.
I woke to sun streaming across my face, my arms flung about the bed. There was no one else there.
My momentary joy turned to consternation.
Had he come home and already risen to make coffee or get croissants or something else?
Or had I been, all night, alone?
The latter seemed most likely.
I sighed and stretched and sat up.
Where could he be?
I did not particularly want to ask that question.
My stretch barely completed, there was a distant knock on the door and I felt my heart sink.
Who, exactly, would knock, now?
I got up, as slowly as I could, and slipped my robe around me and walked down the simple, bare wood stairs.
I paused in front of the door, unwilling.
“Hello,” I managed, my strength gathered.
The man’s face was very serious, if somewhat uncertain.
“Mrs _________,” he said.
Inwardly, I felt myself begin to collapse.
“Yes,” was all I managed in reply.
“Your husband …,” he began.
And there was nothing else I wanted, needed to hear.
And with great effort, I turned and called, “I’ll be gone just a little while. Get them breakfast when they’re ready.”
And that was all I needed to say. I nodded at the man, closed the door and followed closely behind him.