I’d like to share a very special, and very personal short story with you. I wrote The Christmas Journey more than a year ago, but I was not ready to release it into the world. I wrote it after losing my beloved Grandmother, and now, after re-reading it and editing the story, I have a lump in my throat. I really debated on whether or not to publish this piece. But, after some considerable thought, it felt right when I pressed that publish button. It’s yours now, dear reader. I hope that you enjoy it.
THE CHRISTMAS JOURNEY
On a quiet, snow-filled, Christmas morning, a nine-year-old boy and his red wagon set out on a journey to find his father in H
eaven. Along the way he encounters obstacles that prevent him from reaching his destination, including the supernatural forces of good and evil that make him question his faith. But for every obstacle, his trusty red wagon contains just the thing he needs to overcome the challenge.
THE CHRISTMAS JOURNEY is a 23 page short story. While safe for all ages, some scenes might be somewhat scary for children 7 years old or younger. This is a Christian-theme short story.
Available now at Amazon for $1.99
~~ Keep Reading for an Excerpt ~~
IT IS A TINY, muffled squeak on a rocky, snow-covered dirt road that announces the boy’s arrival. The snow is fresh, as if it just fell, and the boy’s footsteps are the first to make a solid impression. The four black squeaky tires of his old red wagon follow suit, leaving their own pencil-thin tracks.
Even though this snow is new, it blankets layers of snow and ice that lay serene. It has been a while since someone has come this way. The boy appreciates the pristine view before him: the quiet road, though picturesque, is disturbingly undisturbed; small cottage-like houses, void of any human activity, bookend each side of the road silently; oak trees, majestic, earthy, and proud—like a formation of aging soldiers standing at attention—line a natural path as if to lead one into a secret kingdom. But all of it, every single thing, leaves a pang in the young boy’s heart.
Surely this isn’t the way, he thinks to himself as he views, beyond this still-life lane, a white-dotted forest in the distance. There, he thinks. There is where I must go.
He pauses, shivers, tucks his mittened hands deeper into his coat pockets and witnesses a hazy white sun decorating the tops of those evergreens far ahead of him.
It is Christmas morning, and the dawn greets him like an old friend.
The boy searches for Heaven and once, a long time ago, his father told him a story. And if it is true, this is how it starts.
THE SIGN SAYS BROOKFALLS in old, fading letters. This is the right place. He grips the wagon’s handle, reassured by its presence, and walks down the center of the road, never veering too much to the left or the right.
As he looks up, he notices that the lights in the houses turn on simultaneously.
The cold bites into his cheeks as he steps into the town’s city limits. And he feels it. The change, the eerie calmness; as if the air around him starts to think on its own and knows that a stranger has entered.
The air shifts and howls.
The boy is momentarily confounded as a snowy structure slaps together before his eyes. What is this magic? A snow windstorm forms ten feet in front of him.
Don’t be scared. You expected this.
The leafless trees rustle; the solid oak trunks groan like a group of angry men. The boy tries to catch his breath, but the wind steals it, and, for some reason, his eyes focus on the small puffs of smoke twirling out of a nearby chimney.
The wind seems to attack him like a flock of birds. Coming. Swiping. Threatening. But the snowy formation goes around and behind him, as if he were in the way, not the intended target. The boy spins around and watches as his small footprints disappear, as if the air means to erase his entrance. After another moment and a few more threatening-like swipes around the boy, the entire snowy structure dissipates and dies. Tiny plops of snowballs fall lazily to the ground and all is quiet again.
The boy takes back the breath the air stole.
I can go back, he thinks. Then he shakes his head. No. I must go on as my father intended. This is the way to Heaven.
When he turns around again, he nearly runs into an elderly man with shocking white hair and red cheeks, swaddled in a green plaid coat. His colorless, gnarly knuckles grip a walking cane.
“What brings you to town?” the old man asks in a croaky voice.