Stan, my friend with the sad eyes and scarred hands walked in the park. His daughter beside him. She twirled around holding out her tiny arm which hooked her wicker basket. She danced until the flowers inside bobbed. If I had been closer I know I would have heard her giggle, seen her cheeks flush and eyes shine. I watched them from my window. He put out a protective arm to slow her while he mouthed words that I was never to hear. My fingers stroked the pretty net curtains as I watched the scene below; they flapped softly in the breeze as if to wave hello.

In preparation, I set the table with my most attractive linen smoothed the fabric with my hands and placed the crockery precisely. I stacked nibbles, dainty cakes and treats in the centre on a three-tiered stand. I remember being pleased with the appearance of my peony-filled jug.

Going back to the window I noticed the traffic, it was particularly heavy as it buzzed to and fro beneath me. I glanced in the direction of the park in time to see them. Dad stretching his torso as he stood up, he ran his ragged fingers through his hair, tugged at his tie and put a hand towards the child. Still swinging the basket she held on to his fingers and craned her neck; high enough to catch his eye. He stooped to speak, she nodded and though I couldn’t quite see … I am certain she smiled. Together hand in hand they walked towards the gate; it was a touching scene; one I wonโ€™t forget.

I recall a smile played about my lips and a delicate fluttering sat in my stomach as I made the last-minute checks. I placed a beaker of milk and two china cups and saucers on the table. The kitchen like the rest of my second-floor apartment; was neat and pretty. Since a child, I have favoured keeping everything … spick and span.

The breakfast table that Iโ€™d dressed in a gingham cloth, now had three chairs tucked tidily underneath. The staging gave the room a welcoming feel as if it had always had room for two more. I gave the room an involuntary nod of approval.


It was then, as I was satisfied that my best was done. Right at that moment, I remember hearing a dull thud from outside. I had a hesitant thought making me stop for a second, but I rushed on to the bathroom to re-apply my lipstick. I turned my hand, glanced at my watch and thought … they should be here by now.

Agitated by both the tardiness of my visitors and the noise from the road I returned to the living room. My hand reached out and stroked the baby doll with trembling fingers. I was pleased with my choice; such a perfect gift. Looking down on confusion below … through the freshly cleaned glass. There were people and vehicles everywhere, shouting and crying. The squeal of a siren, a distant whining of an ambulance assaulted my ears. I backed away slowly dropping the doll to the floor, then turned to look at the table. A jagged sound was coming from my windpipe. I flinched as it startled me. The sound made my heart race and my stomach clench. Through lashes clouded with unshed tears, I thought … how nice three chairs at a table can look.



This should be a link to me reading it … fingers crossed that it works.

P.S. the written word is a revisited story, one which has been tweaked, so it slightly differs from the audio.

If you are reading it or listening; I am very interested in your views. Which version did you prefer? leave me a comment as I simply love to talk, and will answer quick smart.


peony photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash,

window Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash Roses photos by ORNELLA BINNI on Unsplash

66 thoughts on “THREE CHAIRS AT A TABLE.

  1. A few things: you are an amazing story teller! What a powerful story! I loved listening to you. How did you add your voice? I want to do that for some of my posts. Lastly, I want you to come to my house every single night and read me a bedtime story! You have such a story voice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! I am chuffed you felt that, honoured that you responded. I read it on google drive and added the link. i am not techie so there is possibly a better way but it was the only one that worked for me.


  2. Ellen, the link worked for me and I really like being able to listen to you, the writer, reading the tale – and it may be different to how I read it, which makes it all the more interesting. Powerful story telling.
    (BTW you can make the link open on a different page – when you press the add link button, the box comes up with link url, link text and under this is a box and Open link in window…..just tick this box. It is on the free site) xxx

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ellen it is perfect for reading your work as you know how it should sound! I am always so aware with my writing that too many people take what I write too literally and not with the humour I intend (prob because so much revolves around my chronic health – but you have to laugh right?) C x

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow-very powerful writing. The link did not work for me. Tried it twice. It reads “Whoops there’s a problem” and on my iTunes it shows an icon but there is nothing on it. I’m on a Mac using Safari. If you’d like I could try it on chrome. Having said that the piece is well written.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Apple doesn’t like android much and I struggled to find an app that wordpress liked … but you read it, that’s good enough thank you. P.s. Not all voices are great to listen to sometimes just reading it is clearer.


  4. A very touching story made all the more poignant by hearing you read it. As the daughter of someone who is visually impaired, I appreciate all the โ€œvisualโ€ detail that you gave. While the link did work and took me to your voice recording, I do wish that it had opened in a different tab. That way I could have easily gotten back to your story without having to back out of the recording link.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I lov d the story. I could imagine myself running out the door towards the commotion and realizing I cannot! Iโ€™ve never thought about recording an audio companion to my works! Iโ€™m visually impaired but not so much that I cannot read casually on a phone. How did you do this and then put it into a file that automatically plays? Iris that just how things work when you upload them to the drive? Sorry for all the questions but Iโ€™m intrigued!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi! The link does work. I love that you included that! How will a seeing-impaired person know the link is there? I’m curious because sometimes I think I’d like to do a podcast or a recording based on my blog posts and I don’t know how I’d get it out there easily.
    I loved the story–though it made me sad. Pacing was excellent, imagery vibrant. One of your best in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Angela , aparently most have a voiced message reader but one partially sighted follower suggested that those who dont have a reader but are read to would like to hear the stories so I gave it a try. I am sure there are better voices to listen to, but I gave it my best (pardon the pun) . X

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Different and I can see how it would be an advantage for someone who is visually impaired either way I could feel the story and the suspense which we could only guess at and not really know..Very well done:)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on Bold Blind Beauty and commented:
    “We are all human.” This simple statement sums up one of the nicest messages I’ve received. Ellen, the author of this post wanted to provide a more accessible environment on her blog and after a number of failed attempts, successfully added an audio version of her story. This is such a powerfully written story when you have a moment enjoy!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great writing โ€“ concise, evocative, leaving room for the imagination to fill in the gaps and dropping just enough hints so youโ€™re already fearing the worst by the time it happens (if indeed it does, as you cleverly never actually say who has been hit).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, getting the first comment in is always the hardest. As I sit staring at a machine, waiting, hoping, fearing a ping, then that little voice rubs my back and all is well with the world. X


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