Let’s do something new. Or well, take something I’ve been doing for years and make it new. For years I’ve done a thing I call “1-word inspired short story”, where I ask people on the internet to send me one word for me to make a story with, usually fitting in one or two tweets. But some of these I think are worthy of expanding into a longer short story. So every now and then I’ll post one of these stories for you to read and hopefully enjoy

Word given: Edge

Original short story: “What are you looking at?” brother asked. “The edge.” sister replied. “Oh..” there was a brief silence. “Why?” brother then asked. “I wonder what’s beyond it.” sister replied. Before sister could further explain, her father called the two of them back. They had gone too far. They were not to come near the edge. There was death beyond it, father said. But sister didn’t believe him. So she didn’t come when father called. She stepped forward, instead.

Extended version:

On a grassy hill in a windy country stood a sturdy cabin. A cabin that had been a family heirloom for generations. The current owner of the cabin was Father, who shared it with his two children: Brother and Sister.

The hill was quite high and gave a clear view over the valley beneath it. Not that any of the three family members ever got to enjoy the view, because the edge of the hill was to be avoided. Father wasn’t clear about why Brother and Sister were not to come near the edge, but all they knew was that Mother had given in to the temptation and was now no longer with them.

Brother and Sister were twins, both nine years old. Sister was a tad taller than Brother, even though she was eleven minutes younger. Her temper was also bigger, whereas Brother’s temper was non-existent. Sister protected Brother, but also pestered him when she saw fit. Only she was allowed to pester him–– no one else.

The twins didn’t really have many friends. They were always told to come home right after school and they always abided by those orders. But Sister had become more rebellious. Last week, she took a detour home. Father was not pleased and scolded her for the act.

“You may not understand now, but I’m trying to protect you.” he had said.
“Protect me from what?” Sister had asked in return. But Father did not answer.

Now it was evening. Sister and Brother were lying on the soft grass that surrounded their cabin. They stared up at the clouds that passed through the variation of colours the setting sun presented to them. Slowly Sister sat up, hands resting next to her, caressing the grassy leaves that had a bit of dew on them. She just sat there and stared ahead.

“What are you looking at?” Brother asked as he sat up to follow her gaze.
“The edge.” Sister replied.
There was a brief silence.
“Why?” Brother then asked.
“I wonder what’s beyond it.” Sister replied.

Sister got up from her place on the grass, wiping her blue skirt. The dew had left a wet patch on the back of her skirt and yellow striped sweater, but she didn’t seem to care.

She ventured closer to the edge of the hill, much to Brother’s dismay. Regardless, Brother got up as well to follow Sister. He always wanted to stay close to her. He felt unsafe without her.
“What are you doing..?” Brother asked.

But before Sister could further explain, Father called the two of them back. They had gone too far. They were not to come near the edge. There was only death beyond it.

But Sister didn’t believe him. She could hear a song being carried by the crisp air surrounding the edge. It was almost hypnotic.. Soothing. Like a lullaby just before bed, when you’re already quite sleepy. She wanted to be wrapped up in a blanket woven from the notes of the song.

So when Father called again, she didn’t come.
Instead, she stepped forward, never to be seen again.

Header photo by Wendelin Jacober from Pexels