There was a thick cloud layer at 400 feet, common in the area southeast of Houston, so I filed IFR, did the preflight, got my clearance, did my run-up and got ready to depart Runway 23. Throttle forward, pitch up, and the flight was under way. At about 300 feet, I was just getting ready to both enter the cloud layer and contact Houston Approach when the engine stopped. Just like that. One second it was running, the next it wasn’t. No warnings, no vibrations, no unusual sounds. Only a sudden silence.