The Story of Ellie

Ellie hurtled through the trees, even though it was just a game, Ellie always took running seriously, she lived to run, she looked back at her panted brother, “slowpoke!” she cooed affectionately and dissolved into giggles by the side of a tree. Ellie loved her brother, Samuel, and he loved her. They ran together every day so that Ellie could teach him to be as strong as a horse and as fast as the wind. Beatrice, their mother, was always stern when Ellie and Samuel came back with cuts and scratches, but she patched them up with a smile on her face anyway.

“Dinner!” Beatrice called in a singsong voice.

“Coming mother!” Samuel shouted and flung himself into his mother’s arms. Ellie was slower to come out of her room, she had a secret, she had a curse, that’s what her father said on his last week with the family before the government rounded him up as a “spy”, but Ellie knew they were coming for her. She played with the ball her mother had gifted her, got her phone, and glided to the dining room where she dropped it. The dinner was not ready yet, but standing in the middle of the living room was her stern-faced father named Ben. Ben scowled at the patched overalls Ellie wore, Ellie grimaced and sat down. She then realised her brother had a red face and was crying dramatically, she cried out and ran to her brother where he lay in the curve of her arm. Their mother looked troubled when she saw Ellie and Ben exchanging scowls and she said in a beaten voice, “your father is back.”

“I can see,” replied Ellie a little more harsh than she intended to speak but she could not apologise to her unknowing mother, she didn’t know their father WAS a spy, a spy for a lord who fancied rare artifacts and her father had whispered in her ear before he became just a memory: “my lord would like to see what you can do”, she shuddered at the thought and sank into her chair.

“I want to take Samuel into my care,” said Ben quite suddenly, “I think it will do him good.”

“No!” Ellie protested and stood up, knocking over her terrified brother.

“No!” Samuel agreed, fear glinting in his eyes.

“Come with me, son,” Ben shot and grabbed Samuel’s wrist, yanking him out the door. There was nothing Ellie could do, before she knew it their cars were driving along the road, exhaling smoke out of the exhaust.

“Ellie Bentley!” her mother bellowed, clearly outraged, “how DARE you protest against your father! Off to your room…NOW!”

“y-yes mother,” Ellie barely spoke higher in a whisper, picked up her phone and ran to her room. Ellie thought of her brother all day, a 10-year-old boy! How could her own father take her brother, she fizzed in and out of rage, she hissed slightly and took off out the window, if her mother wouldn’t do anything, she would.

Ellie galloped, wind whistled in her ears, she always felt weird when she was a horse, her eyes stung but she didn’t know how to cry as a horse. She stopped at a stream and lapped up the cool water and she settled in the warmest cave she could find, she bit out some of her silver fur and put it on the floor, then she drifted to sleep.

Her brother was falling, never to return, Ellie reached out, but his hand slipped, and he tumbled into nothingness. Ellie woke with a jolt and ran from the cave mouth, jumping slightly, she galloped in the direction the car had drove off in and found the road, she followed it to a big towering building, she slipped back into a human and rolled under the gate where she saw a button attached to a remote, she decided to take it and ran to the big door, she saw a dog door next the entrance and she wriggled through it. She saw Samuel sleeping curled up on a chair and shook him awake, he started but she hissed, “Quiet, do you want them to hear us?”

He shook his head and ran after Ellie and out onto the veranda, where the lord of the house was standing over them, he reached out and instinctively Ellie pushed the button on the remote, instantly the lord shut down and the kids got out, Ellie transformed, “Woah. You can become a horse?” marvelled Samuel but Ellie was impatient, she tossed her head and Samuel mounted her gleaming back, they rode home and their mother disowned them, so Ellie taught him and, 2 years after they ran away, Samuel was able to become a horse at will.

Many might think this was the end of Ellie and Samuel’s story, well it is, the end of the beginning.


These stories were written in our Factory Feedback program, which was created with, and generously supported by, the Dusseldorp Forum.