Eavesdropper: Create a poem, short story, or journal entry about a conversation you’ve overheard.

Author note: The phrase I overheard was a classic ‘Are we there yet?’ but it gave me an opportunity to write another scene connected to my Start the Story piece, please feel free to read that first! I’ve got no overall plot line for this story let, just a few characters and scene ideas, so I’ll see if they shape into something! Let me know what you think of both in the comments and on social media.

‘Are we there yet?’

‘No son, not yet, it won’t be much longer, keep walking.’ The lie resonating through his voice.

‘You said that yesterday, and the day before!’ his son huffed, walking off ahead of him.

‘I know’ he sighed. He kept pushing on, no time to stop, no time to rest.

Nature was reclaiming the road they travelled, cracks stretching ahead. Vines and weeds peep out, seeking the sunlight, no longer kept at bay by traffic. He couldn’t remember the last time they’d seen a car.

‘Woah! Dad, look at that!’

His son had only been a few steps ahead, but now he had disappeared around a corner in the road. Without hesitation, he set off in pursuit.

As he turned the corner, as realised his son was racing towards an abandoned car, stood sentry in the distance.

‘Stop’ he shouted, running faster himself ‘Stop running’.

As soon as he was in reach, he grabbed his son by his backpack, quickly pulling him off the side of the road to the safety of the woods. Hugging him close, they crouched behind a large tree.

Leaning down, he quickly whispered in his ear ‘You know not to run off like that, how many times have I told you, it could be a trap.’

‘I’m sorry’ his son whispered back, his voice now full of fear. ‘I got excited when I saw the car, it’s been so long since I’ve seen one.’

‘I know, but that’s exactly what they want, you remember what happened last time’. As his words sank in, he felt his son start to sob in his arms. It was cruel to remind him of that day, but he had to learn.

Remaining silent, they crouched, waiting for as long as they dare. Not a sound, he was sure they were alone, but checking the car for supplies was not worth the risk. ‘Come on’ he said standing ‘let’s move through the forest for a bit, keep a hold of my hand.’

His son stayed close like a shadow, his hand trembling in his. ‘Listen son, I’m sorry I brought up that day, I just don’t want that to happen to us again, to you again.’

‘I know’

Those simple words covered so much hurt, he sometimes forgot how young he was. This was no longer a world to be a child in, he had seen so much more than he should have by his age…what made it worse was that he knew there would be more to come.

Prompt taken from Think Written: 365 Creative Writing Prompts

Image taken from Pixabay (Free Stock Photos)