Sitting on the edge of her bed, she had watched the long shadows turn into dusk, dusk turn into darkness.
Her heart started beating faster as she stood up and gathered in a bundle the few possessions she was taking with her. A change of clothes, the little money she had managed to save, a miniature portrait of her parents. She crossed the space between her wardrobe and her trunk. The open lid revealed her painting material, paper, music sheets, a couple of favourite books, and her brother's ragdoll.
She seized the small, rather ugly toy she had made, age six, when her brother was born.
When he had been taken ill she had been forbidden to see him. The ragdoll had been left in his perambulator. She had retrieved it and tried in vain to tell an adult that he needed it to sleep. She had tried and tried, up until the day of the dust motes.
She had been walking towards the barred bedroom when she saw her mother, standing by the door, her hands covering her face and her shoulders shaking, people around her talking in hushed tones. The day had been grey and dark but as the little girl stood by a window, as if removed from what was unfolding in front of her, a ray of sunshine pierced the clouds and dust motes danced their slow ballet in front of her eyes. In that instant she thought that the ephemeral dance was the saddest thing she had ever seen.
For months after she had slept with the ragdoll pressed to her cheek, trying to capture the lingering smell of her brother. If only she had managed to give the toy to him...
She now put the little doll in a pouch she kept about her under her dress, fastened by a long string slung over her shoulder and across her body.
She draped her cloak around her, reached towards her bundle and soon she was walking along the corridor.
As she passed the window by which she had stood all these years ago the clouds moved away from the moon and an eerie light revealed dancing dust motes.
As she went on her way she whispered 'Good bye...'
I wrote this story from the April's writing prompt of the Salt and Caramel Writers' Workshop : Night Fell.