Advent Shorts: Day 16 – Heart of the Storm

Hi everyone,

Less than 10 days ’til Christmas! I can hardly believe it! Can you?

That also means that there are less than ten shorts to post before we’re through…what a sad thought…

No worries, though. I have a plan for the New Year. What that plan is…well, you’ll have to wait a while to find out.

In the meantime, enjoy our next short. This one is inspired by a breathtaking short story that I read yesterday by KJ Chapman. You should check it out here!

Heart of the Storm

Peter struggled through the squalls of snow.

The bitter whipped at him, a dangerous enemy poised to throw him off course, to wear down his resolve. The harder he pushed through it, the fiercer it came at him, intent on victory.

He stumbled as a gust struck at him from the left. He fortified his foothold in the knee-deep snow, barely able to stay standing with this unexpected assault.

Peter paused and stared out into the distance. There was nothing for him to see, but a furious blizzard, a veil of white impenetrable by human eyes. It was an impossible task. The night would swallow him whole; they would find his body in the morning, frozen, trapped forever in this struggle.

If he stopped. But he could not; he had made a promise. He had to see it through.

So he braved the darkness and the cold, the impaired vision, the brutal chill.

Death followed him all along that forest path, a terrifying companion, craving his failure. She was no more a friend than the cold snow. He could not rid himself of their presence. The only way to escape their clutches was to persist and persevere; otherwise he would have to succumb to their will.

He refused to surrender. No matter how cold. No matter how great the labour. No matter how his limbs longed for rest…

The light of dawn broke the blackness. It forced the dark clouds to disperse, called a cessation to the storm of snow. Death herself disappeared from sight, fleeing from the radiant beams cascading from the sky, knowing that she would not claim his soul.

Though his bones were chilled, and his body wearied by his toils, he continued still. The daylight did not mean that his journey was at an end; all it did was bring an end to his greatest impediments.

He walked many miles more before reaching the small cottage nestled in the safety of the tress.

He came through the front door without knocking, only a word.

“Nathalie!”

“Peter?”

Her voice called to him, content, but tired.

He forced himself to stay awake, though the safety of his home beckoned him to at last relinquish to his fatigued state and collapse in an exhausted heap.

Nathalie sat in their bed, her face pale, her eyes rimmed with black. She was wearied too, had toiled the night away as he had.

They had both been victorious, and their eyes danced with the same relief, the same unyielding joy.

Peter knelt on the floor beside her and took the bundle that she passed to him. He stared upon the sleeping form of his newborn daughter, his first child. Love for her poured from his heart and he wept there.

Nathalie’s hand caressed his cheek.

All sense of weariness was drawn from his body, his spirit uplifted.

He had made it through the storm; he had come home.

FIN

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

Faith  quill-ink

© 2015. Faith Rivens.

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9 thoughts on “Advent Shorts: Day 16 – Heart of the Storm

      1. It can be hard to decide what direction to take a story. I’m usually a fan of happy endings, though I know they can sometimes be trite. Call me sappy, but at Christmas time, especially, I prefer a happy ending.

        Liked by 1 person

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