Starting line or general idea for your prompt: The little girl didn’t need to know where the ladder led, she simply climbed.
At least 370 words
Angry tears spilled down plump cheeks as Lyla ran into the field behind her house. She wished her legs were longer, she wished that they could take her far away where Roger was nowhere to be found. She hated Roger. She hated him!
She could barely see as she ran. The tears clouded her eyes and a dense mist sat heavy over the dying grasses after last night’s rain.
Pain split through her head as she ran full speed into something solid. The impact knocked her backward and she landed heavily in the crackling yellow grass, little pieces of the plants breaking off and clinging to her thick, black skirt. Holding one mittened hand up to her forehead, Lyla looked up at the thing that had stopped her–a ladder. A metal ladder, pushed firmly into the ground. She followed the rows of rungs up, up, up, until they disappeared into the foggy, pale sky above.
Lyla looked back toward the farmhouse, her grey eyes scanning for her mother or–she held her breath–Roger. But the windows were empty, and no one stood at the door. Ignoring her throbbing head, young Lyla stood and put a foot up on the bottom rung. She hesitated. Maybe this was stupid. The ladder went into the sky…it wouldn’t go anywhere, right? But it hadn’t been here yesterday, she knew that for sure. She often escaped into the field behind her house when Roger was cruel. And it wasn’t falling over. Therefore, reasoned Lyla’s young mind, it must lead to something. She didn’t need to know what, she just needed to escape.
She didn’t hesitate again. Quickly Lyla climbed the ladder, her boots scraping against the metal rungs with every step. Her breathing was labored, and the pain in her head pulsed with her heartbeat, but she kept going, even when the world around her disappeared as she entered the cloud and fog. Tiny drops of water clung to her clothes and lips and eyelashes, but she blinked them away and kept climbing. Her arms were getting tired now. She didn’t dare stop, and she didn’t dare consider how high she must be.
After what seemed like an eternity Lyla broke through the clouds into a world filled with sunshine, and she gasped.