I played around with this the other day. I had a juice bottle sitting next to me while looking for an interesting starting sentence. The story that follows came from a sentence that was on that bottle. This story comes to a final count of 355 words.
Put Good In
Put good in, get good out. The sign over the rest home read. He felt it was a bit odd to see this kind of sign over a rest home. But it could be a good concept. He figured you get what you put into a relationship. He was there to visit his father. He had been placed in the home a month ago. It was a long drive so they weren't able to make it up until now.
His parents had divorced years ago and he had moved with his mother to the other side of the state. Coming home to his father's house was less like a home coming and more like an alien environment. He hadn't seen his father since before the divorce. The whole thing still felt a bit raw to him.
His mother just left with him in tow. She won full custody, his father hadn't even fought for him. He figured he must have done something. But it isn't always that way. His father had been putting good in his secretary and that was enough for his mom to get out.
The antiseptic white walls of the home were more like a hospital than a home. It was odd to even call it a home to begin with, people didn't come here to live. They came here waiting to die. He walked the hall holding his mother's hand. Hoping that no one touched him. The people he saw in the halls seemed to collect the dirt and debris that might otherwise have lined the halls, refuse of another time.
The deep throated breath of the oxygen regulator was counterbalanced by the steady beat of the heart monitor. The husk of a man in the bed was not the father he remembered. There was less of him there. The doctor had pulled his mom off to the side to talk to them in whispers. He stepped up to the bed taking his father's hand. It was cold, with no strength. His skin felt like paper, thin and frail.
His mom put her hands on his shoulders. "Tell him good bye."