Heather's Escape

Written in response to: Start your story during a full moon night.... view prompt


Sad Drama

This story contains sensitive content

TW: mentions of child abuse

Moonlight cascades through my open window as I zip my backpack shut. My lights are out and I’m moving as quietly as possible so that my stepfather doesn’t think that I’m awake. It would be a disaster if he were to catch me. 

Especially with his credit card in my pocket.

Taking a deep breath, I look around my bedroom one last time. This is it. The end of one chapter of my life, the beginning of another. 

Hopefully my next chapter won’t come with so many bruises.

I shoulder my backpack and peer out of my open window. The full moon is flooding the streets of the neighborhood with light, but I think that it’s just dark enough for me to slip by unnoticed, especially at two in the morning. Hopefully, my stepfather is fast asleep and won’t have any idea what happened until I’m long gone.

I just have to do it. I can’t stand around and think about it anymore. So, I hoist myself through the window, onto the slanted roof tiles on the other side. Once I’m all the way through, I make sure to slide my window shut behind me. Then, I carefully and quietly shimmy to the edge of the tiles, and let myself drop to the ground, landing light on my toes.

There. Now I just have to run, and I’ll be free.


Now, instead of moonlight, the house is lit by rays of sun. It is strangely silent and empty. 

Finally, he awakes, pulling himself to a sitting position. His bedroom is littered with empty alcohol bottles. The world spins as he looks around.

He’s not used to the house being so quiet this late in the morning. He glances at the clock; it reads 10:43. Usually she’s awake by now, even on the weekend. 

Well, maybe she went out. She’s twelve years old, surely she’s old enough?

Whatever. Surely someone will find her. She’s not even my actual daughter, just a stepdaughter.


Later in the day, he is lounging on the couch with a can of beer in his hand. A football game is playing on the television, loudly enough to where he doesn’t immediately hear the knock on the door. 

But whoever was at the door kept knocking, until finally, the stepfather hears it. Groaning, his head spinning, he slowly stands and goes to the door. On the other side stands a girl.

“Whaddya want? Who’re you?” the man grumbles, his words slurring together. 

“Is Heather here?” she squeaks, looking up at the man with wide eyes.

“No,” he grunts, and starts to close the door.

“Wait, why not? Where is she?” 

“I dunno. Why don’t you go find ‘er?” And before the girl has a chance to react, he closes the door in her face.


The next morning, the man hears another sharp knock on the door. He opens it to find the faces of two police officers.

“Good morning, sir. We’re here to ask you some questions about your stepdaughter.”

“Wha? Who?”

“Your stepdaughter, sir. We’re going to help you find her.”

“Why do you care? She’s prob’ly just at a friend’s house or sumthin.”

“May we come in?”


Over the next day or two, the small town starts to realize that they have a missing girl on their hands. Her face appears on electrical billboards, even the local news. Her stepfather is questioned many times, and the whole house is searched.

It doesn’t take long for the police to determine that she must have run away.

But if she ran away, there has to be a reason.

Eventually, the mother of the girl who went to talk to Heather’s stepfather requests to speak with the police. She tells them things that her daughter, whose name was Elizabeth, told her: things that Heather had confided in Elizabeth. 

“My daughter was - is - best friends with Heather. She told me about how Heather’s stepfather treats her. She says that his house is always littered with ‘glass bottles’, which I can only suspect means alcohol.”

“Yes, ma’am, we have already confirmed that he’s quite a drinker.”

“But there’s more than that. Elizabeth said that Heather told her about the man physically hurting her. And I believe it, because every time I’ve seen the poor child, she has at least one visible bruise, sometimes more. I think that’s why she ran away.”

The officer is silent for a little while, taking in the information he was just given.

“Thank you for telling us, ma’am. We will look into it.”


About 1 month later


I look up at the night sky, my stomach growling. The moon is full and bright, just like it was that night. The night that my life changed forever.

I ran to the town next to where my stepfather lives, moving only at night so that I wouldn’t have to be around people who could possibly recognize me. My shoes are dirty and worn from walking so much.

But at least I am free.

In that house, I constantly felt pained, tortured. My stepfather never let me do anything that other kids my age could do. And it didn’t help that I was bullied at school. I felt like I would never be happy, because every time I went to school, I had to face the bullies, and every time I went home, I had to face my stepfather. 

Now, my whole life has changed. I am alone and hungry and tired, but I’m no longer covered in bruises. I don’t have to hear my stepfather’s loud, angry voice anymore. I don’t have to see the faces of my bullies every day at school. 

If I just keep walking, just keep surviving (off of my stepfather’s money - what choice did I have?), then my life can keep changing for the better.



Later that night, I am sitting on a park bench looking up at the moon. Seeing the full moon brings back so many memories: grabbing my stepfather’s credit card, packing only what I really needed into my backpack, slipping out of my bedroom window.

All of a sudden, I hear footsteps approaching me. I can feel my heart lurch in my chest. I have to remind myself that I am not at his house, that he is not about to land another punch.

“Hello?” I hear a woman’s voice. She sounds kind. She’s coming closer.

“Uh… hi?” I say timidly. Then, I catch the glint of a badge on her chest.

“I don’t suppose your name is Heather?” the woman kneels down to my level, still several feet away from the bench. She has deep, hazel-colored eyes and her black hair is pulled back into a bun. It is now very clear that she is a police officer. 

“I… uh…” I’m frozen. I don’t know what to say. Will she take me back to him? Back to the life I was trying so desperately to escape?

“I’m Beatrice. I’m not going to hurt you, I promise. I want to help you, Heather.”

Suddenly, I’m bursting into tears. My body is racked with sobs. She slowly comes to sit next to me and puts her arms around me in a comforting embrace. “Shh, it’s okay. I’m here. I’m going to help you, I promise.”

“A-are you g-going to take me b-back to…” I can hardly finish my sentence.

“No, no, sweetie. You won’t ever have to live with your stepfather again.”

So, I let her take me away. She takes me back to my hometown, leads me into the police station. She makes a few calls as I sit in an office, still teary-eyed. Soon enough, my friend Elizabeth and her mother are here, greeting me with happy tears and open arms.

Maybe, just maybe, everything is going to be okay.

July 06, 2023 00:47

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Leah D
03:29 Jul 19, 2023

I really like the different points of view, and I really like that the ending was hopeful. Please write a part two! You can't leave us hanging!


Emma D
03:30 Jul 19, 2023

Part two is under consideration :) Thanks, I'm glad you liked it!


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Zatoichi Mifune
19:14 Jul 16, 2023

Favourite line: 'Hopefully my next chapter won’t come with so many bruises.' Powerful. The first few lines that the stepfather says shows that he isn't the kind of person you want to know. Especially not to live with. I suppose Heather gets adopted by Elizabeth's mother?


Emma D
20:38 Jul 16, 2023

Thank you for reading, Zatoichi! I actually was thinking of creating a part two to this story, possibly where Heather gets adopted. :)


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Aeris Walker
12:09 Jul 16, 2023

Hi Emma! I enjoyed your story; you did a great job organizing the plot, revealing just the right information at the right time, and making the motives, backstory, and emotion connect in a cohesive way. Your main character is someone I would read more of :) Present tense is one of my favorites to write in and it can be a really powerful tool—I’d recommend avoiding the present progressive forms of your verbs where you can, lines like “he is lounging” the moon light “is flooding” “I’m moving.” Sometimes it fits perfectly, but I think your writ...


Emma D
20:35 Jul 16, 2023

Thank you so much, Aeris! Your feedback means a lot to me! I've loved writing ever since 4th grade, when something I wrote was read over the intercom at my school because my teacher was so impressed (still a core memory haha)! I hope to keep improving! :)


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Sophia Gavasheli
10:30 Jul 13, 2023

Hey, fellow young writer! Nice to see some writers on Reedsy that aren't adults, lol. This story pulled me in, and I really felt for Heather. I'm glad she was helped ik the end. My main critique for this piece would be the scene where Elizabeth talks to the police. The dialogue here just rehashes what the reader has already inferenced. It's better to convey more through subtext than just plainly stating facts to the reader. In the same vein, when Heather mentions the bullies, it might be better to show instead of tell this info by includi...


Emma D
21:16 Jul 13, 2023

Thanks so much for the feedback, Sophia! I really appreciate it! 😊


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Michelle Oliver
12:16 Jul 06, 2023

This was interesting. The shifting pov from first person to third person was an intriguing way to tell the story. It felt like two separate stories being told simultaneously. Thanks for sharing.


Emma D
18:15 Jul 06, 2023

Thank you for reading! :) I wasn't sure I liked it but I just went out on a limb and posted it. 😂


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