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Writing prompt: goodbye


“Goodbye” can take so many forms. Here is an attempt to portray two of those moments.

Today’s writing prompt:

Write a goodbye between two people who only met for a single moment, and then one between people who have known each other for all their lives.


I don’t remember. I wrote it down a long time ago.

The train pulled into the station.
“So… yeah, sorry for stepping on your foot. And for spilling your coffee.”
“Don’t worry about it.” He picked up his briefcase and what was left of his takeaway coffee and walked around her.
She turned and watched him get into a compartment before slinging her bag over her shoulder and getting into the next one.

The train pulled into the station.
“So…” She tapped her fingers against the sides of her thighs.
“This is… it then, I guess.”
“Do you have everything?” he asked.
“Yep. Train ticket, plane ticket, passport, other documents, and luggage, of course.”
“I don’t really… know how to say this. It’s just—“
“Don’t you dare.”
“Don’t you dare think this is farewell and not just goodbye.”
She took a deep breath. “Okay. Okay, you’re right. I’m going to Australia, not Mars.”
The train sounded its first warning whistle.
“I should—“
“I know… Here, I wanted to give you this.” He fumbled in his messenger bag and handed her a CD.
“What is it?”
“It’s our old mixtape, from when we were kids. I wrote it to CD so that you would always have something to remember… what we had.”
“Have. I promise.”
The train whistled a second time.
“Okay, I’m going… right now. Before—“
“Yeah, I know.”
“It’s okay. Go. Don’t worry about it.”
She nodded and turned, lifting her luggage over the gap.
He stood on the platform and watched the doors close behind her.
Word count: 252
If you use this writing prompt, leave me a comment. I’d love to see what you do with it!
As always, constructive criticism is very welcome.
The writing prompts series is based around shorter-form fiction. In this series, I take writing prompts from various sources and write short scenes inspired by those prompts.
Personally, I don’t enjoy writing short stories as I feel they don’t leave me enough space to achieve a goal. However, I recently discovered that I do very much enjoy writing an even shorter form of fiction: single scenes. Those single moments within a timeline just overflowing with events – those are where humanity really shines through. So that is my goal with writing these scenes. I want to express those little stand-out moments in a character’s life without using too many words.

One response

  1. Hey Elana, thanks for the prompt – I really needed one today because I was terribly uninspired. I used the first part and wrote a goodbye between two people who’d just met:

    I enjoyed your scenes. The dialogue in the second one is great – you can see all the things they didn’t say hiding underneath what they said.

    February 18, 2016 at 01:22

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