A Writer's Journey

December 25, 2017

Christmas Lights

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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It was cold.

She rubbed her hands together as they were getting cold despite the gloves she wore. Her nose had lost feeling a while ago and she could feel her body trembling. Yet she waited, knowing it would be worth it in the end.

“I’ve brought hot chocolate,” he said, holding out a thermos. “You want some?”

“Thank you.” She took it, smiling at the man. Like her, he came up here every Christmas Eve. She never asked him his name and he never asked for hers. They just sat on the hoods of their cars, watching the city below.

He watched as she poured some hot chocolate into a cup and then took the thermos from her. Instead of going back to his car, though, he lingered. “May I join you?”

“Umm, sure…” She scooted over a bit so he had some room to sit on her hood.

Their shoulders brushed as they watched the sun set over the hills. “Almost time,” he said.

She nodded, sipping the hot chocolate. “This is good. Thanks again for it.”

“You’re welcome,” he replied before they fell into an awkward silence again.

Setting aside her hot chocolate, she held out her hand. “I’m Noelle, by the way.”

He chuckled. “Noelle? How appropriate.”

“Thank you.” When he didn’t say anything else, she leaned closer. “And you are…?”

“Kris,” he replied. “Like Kris Kringle.”

She giggled, trying to hide it behind her hand. “Sorry. It’s probably not funny.”

“No, it kinda is. I’ve come to accept it.” He winked at her and she flushed.

“I get it, though,” she said. “I’m a Christmas baby and I was teased mercilessly.”

“Christmas baby as in…?”

She nodded. “Tomorrow is my birthday.”

“Is it as bad as I’ve heard?”

“I think it depends on your parents,” she replied. “Mine are pretty good at trying to separate the two, so it’s not as sucky. But I’ve never had a birthday with my friends on my birthday. When I was little, that’s all I wanted. I even asked Santa for it.”

He smiled. “I doubt he could give you that.”

“No, he couldn’t, though he did leave a very nice apology letter and a doll wrapped in birthday wrapping paper,” she said.

“Santa was considerate.”

She laughed. “Yes, he was.”

“Today’s my birthday,” Kris said, sipping his own hot chocolate. “I’ve escaped my birthday party.”

“What? Why?” She set down her drink, focused on him now.

“Because everyone gets overly cheery in trying to pretend that my birthday isn’t Christmas Eve and after awhile, I need a break from all the attention, you know?”

Noelle nodded. “I guess so.”

“So, I come here and watch the lights with you,” he continued. “Then I go and get a drink at a nearby bar with my friends.”

“That actually sounds great.”

Kris nodded before looking out over the little town they called home. “It’s about to start.”

They both fell silent as church bells rang to welcome the evening. Houses began to light up, block by block, until the whole town was illuminated in bright reds, greens, blues, yellows and whites. She could make out some Santas as well as several reindeer and an army of snowmen. There were also a few Nativities and a bunch of stars shining below them.

It was a Christmas Eve tradition though no one knew why everyone started to wait for the bells to ring to turn on their lights. Noelle had discovered how beautiful they were from that particular overlook and that’s when she had met Kris. And now they were on their way to becoming friends.

“Beautiful,” he said.

She smiled. “It is. People are definitely missing out.”

“I agree,” he replied. “But I hope they don’t catch on. I like this being our own private thing.”

“Me too,” Noelle agreed.

Kris hopped off her hood. “Well, now that we know each other’s names and that our birthdays are so close together, care to join me for my birthday drink?”

“I’d love to.” She hopped off as well. “Where are we going?”

“Just follow me. It’s not far away.” He headed toward his car.

Noelle smiled before catching sight of his thermos. She held it up. “Do you want this?”

He grinned, leaning against his door. “Give it to me at the bar. That way I’ll know you will follow me.”

“Don’t trust me?” She leaned against her car again, grinning at him as well.

“I do,” he said. “But a little insurance never hurt, right?”

Noelle laughed and placed the thermos in her car. “See you there.”

He nodded, getting the car. Together, they turned on their lights and soon pulled away from the spot. Behind them, the Christmas lights twinkled and beckoned them to a night they would never forget.


September 4, 2017

One Last Summer Fling

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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The lake looked beautiful in the setting sun.

Holly sat on the end of the dock, her feet in the cool water as she watched the pale yellow sun dip beneath the trees that lined the lake. The sky was lit up in a beautiful orange color that was starting to turn to a dark blue color. Soon the stars would appear as well as the moon.

She sighed, letting a cool breeze hit her face. It would be time to head in soon before the bugs came out and began to bite her. For now, though, she could just enjoy the pleasant summer night. There weren’t many left.

“Good evening,” a deep voice said, interrupting her musings. Opening her eyes, Holly saw a man about her age row up to her in a little rowboat. He had sandy blond hair and warm brown eyes that matched his pleasant smile. His short sleeves revealed well toned arms and she wondered if the rest of his body matched it.

Taking a deep breath, Holly smiled at him. “Hello there. Out for one last trip around the lake before it gets dark?”

“I guess you can say that,” he replied.

She tilted her head. “What would you call it?”

“Me finally building up enough courage to talk to the beautiful woman across the lake,” he said with a smile. He held out his hand to her. “I’m Jake.”

“Holly,” she said, shaking his hand. “Nice to meet you.”

“So, care to join me for a trip around the lake?” he asked. “I promise I don’t bite.”

She bit her lip as she considered his proposition. “My mother told me not to accept rides from strangers.”

“Good advice,” he agreed.

“But I don’t always do what my mother says,” Holly continued, sliding into his row boat. It teetered a bit but Jake managed to steady it.

She leaned back, trying to look seductive. “So, where are we going?”


April 24, 2017

April Showers

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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She laid on her couch, wrapped up in a soft blanket as she watched the rain hit the bay window in her living room. The pitter-patter of the drops against the glass was the soundtrack for her afternoon and she sighed, content.

The door opened and closed, sending a cool breeze through the house. She raised her head as she heard someone kick off their shoes, muttering under their breath. “I feel like a drowned rat,” her husband called out.

“All you need is some dry clothes,” she replied, not bothering to look up. She remained focused on the window.

He walked into the room and kissed her forehead. It sent a shiver through her body as his icy skin brushed against hers. “You need something warm,” she said.


February 14, 2017

Be Mine Valentine

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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Red and pink dominated the office, with hearts dangling from the ceiling and flowers on nearly every desk. It seemed Dolores went all out this year and Grace sighed as she set her bag down.

“Happy Valentine’s Day!” Dolores chirped, coming up behind her. The office manager was dressed all in red and had pinned white bows with red hearts in her brown curls. Her glasses were perched on her nose as her blue eyes took in Grace. “Any plans?”

Grace shook her head. “Quiet dinner at home, some wine and the least romantic movies I can find.”

“Come on. Where’s your Valentine’s spirit?”

“There’s no such thing,” Grace replied, sitting down. “There’s a Christmas spirit, but no Valentine’s spirit.”

Dolores huffed. “With that attitude, you’ll never have a Valentine.”

“Maybe I’m not looking.”

With the way Dolores reacted, one would’ve thought she had just confessed to murdering puppies. She clutched her chest and her blue eyes went wide as her mouth fell open. “Don’t you want love?”

“I do,” Grace said. “Just not for some stupid commercial holiday.”

“It’s not a stupid commercial holiday.”

She gave the older a woman a look. “Please. Spare me.”

“How is this a stupid commercial holiday and Christmas isn’t?” Dolores challenged.

Grace sighed. “Can we not do this? Can you just accept that some of us aren’t as gung-ho for this holiday as you and leave us be? Please?”

“Or what?”

“Or I’ll report you to management,” one of her colleagues, Dan, said. He peeked over the wall separating their cubicles, eyes focused on Dolores. “This has to be borderline harassment.”

Dolores pulled back, sniffling. “No one appreciates this holiday.”

Before either Grace or Dan could say something, she stalked away. Leaning back in relief, Grace looked up at her savior. “Thanks for that.”

“You’re welcome,” he said. “There are a few of us grumps but you seem to be the only woman who isn’t hiding her disdain for today. I think that’s why Dolores focused on you.”

She sighed. “Great.”

“Don’t worry. I think I scared her off.”

“Good. Maybe I can get some work done,” Grace said, finally logging into her computer.

He wished her luck before sliding out of sight, returning to his own work. She smiled, diving into her tasks for the day.


April 18, 2016

Spring Fling

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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How about another little short story, hmm?

She blames it on the sunshine. On the warm breezes and light floral scent in the air. It went to her head, she tells herself.

It happens in late April. She goes to the park for a walk, to clear her head after work and enjoy the fresh air. As she walks around the lake, she spots him. He is jogging, earbuds planted firmly in his ears. She watches as he stops, stretching against a bench. Licking her lips, she openly ogles at his muscles and how they ripple under his thin t-shirt.

She knows it’s shallow but she’s allowed this. That’s what she tells herself. After all, she isn’t hurting anyone. It’s not like he’ll ever know. He doesn’t even know she’s there.

When he starts running again, she decides to head home. As she walks, she hears the unmistakable sound of sneakers slapping against the pavement behind her. She moves to the side to let the jogger pass, but they don’t. The sound keeps pace with her.

Confused, she stops and turns around. The jogger is there, grinning at her. “Hello,” he says.

“Hi,” she replies, feeling brainless.

“I saw you watching me.”

Her cheeks burn. “Oops. Sorry.”

“Oh no,” he replies. “It was quite flattering.”

“Still…I didn’t mean to stare.”

“Well, I do.” He crosses his arms as he leans back, eyes sweeping over her.

A thrill courses through her. “I hope you like what you see.”

Is she flirting? She never flirts. What is coming over her?

“I certainly do,” he replies, stepping closer. “And I hope to see more of it.”

Well, he definitely is flirting. And she likes it.

So she steps closer to him. “Well, I guess that can be arranged.”

“Glad to hear that,” he says. “Though I wish I had a business card to give you.”

“Don’t worry. I do.” She reaches into her purse and pulls out a crisp white card, handing it to him.

He takes it and nods. “I’ll be sure to give you a call…Caroline. What a pretty name.”

“Thank you. And do I get to know yours?”

“Maybe,” he replies, winking. “Or maybe I’ll just keep you guessing. Add some mystery.”

“How will I know it’s you when you call?”

“Good question. I’ll call myself Mr. Jogger. How’s that?”

She shrugs. “I guess that’ll work.”

“Then I’ll talk you you later, Sweet Caroline.” He winks and starts jogging again, passing her.

Caroline rolls her eyes. But she smiles. He is tall, dark, handsome and mysterious. She knows he’s going to break her heart. It just seems to be his way.

But she’s going to enjoy it while it lasts.

Smiling, Caroline turns her face to the fading sun and heads home with a bounce in her step.

February 8, 2016

Snowed In

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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It was one of the biggest storms they had seen in years. The news and weather channels were following it for days. Everyone in her office had been as well, especially as they weren’t sure how early the storm would hit. It might hit on Friday, forcing an early closing. Or a snow day if it hit early enough.

Carrie hoped that didn’t happen. There were too many reports that needed to be completed by week’s end. She needed to be in all weeklong, including Friday. And so she kept watch, praying that if it was to hit, it would be over the weekend.

“What’s the latest reports?” her husband Tom asked. He sat down next to her on the couch, handing her a mug of coffee as she watched the morning news.

“They’re still saying the snow will start by midnight. We should be able to get through the work day with no problem,” she replied.

Tom nodded. “Good. What do they say about the actual storm?”

“We should bunker down and not plan to do anything this weekend.”

“I’m okay with that,” he replied, kissing her cheek. “Can you imagine everything we can do here in the house?”

She chuckled, leaning into his embrace. “I think you only have one thing on your mind.”

“Guilty as charged.” He kissed her neck. “Do you have any objections?”

“Absolutely not.” She finished her coffee. “I should head out. See you tonight?”

Tom nodded. “Get gas. Do you want me to pick up anything from the store?”

“I think we’re covered. Maybe just some more milk and bread.”

“The snowstorm essentials. Got it.” He kissed her. “Have a good day, my dear.”


December 25, 2015

I’ll Be Home For Christmas

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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He had never missed Christmas. Not since he he had met her, not since he married and not since they had their three beautiful children. And he wasn’t going to let some snow storm ruin his perfect record. He was getting home come hell or high water.

Of course, a snow storm did prove a daunting obstacle.

Chris Anderson sat in the airport, watching his flight get pushed back more and more. At the rate they were going, it was likely that his plane wasn’t going to take off until after Christmas.

His darling Lucy had been very understanding when he had called. “Don’t put yourself at risk,” she told him. “If it’s too dangerous to travel, don’t. We can always celebrate Christmas another day.”


October 27, 2014

The Cemetery

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm

Most people are scared of cemeteries. Probably because most people are scared of death. Cemeteries are a big reminder of death.

People are also scared of silence. Cemeteries are silent. Which is why Julie liked to go to them. Every Saturday, without fail. Like this Saturday.

She walks along the black iron fence, clutching a book in her arms. There is no one inside. She doesn’t even see the caretaker. Probably taking a long lunch. Good. She likes being alone.


November 3, 2013

Meeting His Majesty

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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Last time, Kate and Matt were reunited in a castle underneath the sea. They spent a night fighting their growing attraction to each other and were summoned to appear before the king of the merfolk.

Their guide floated along down the hallways, bending in the water around corners so fast Kate feared they would lose her. Matt placed a hand on her back, making sure they wouldn’t lose each other. Her heart sped up at the feel of his skin against hers for the flimsy material did little to cover her. It gave her a push to keep up with the guide.


September 8, 2013


Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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Matt and Stormy are lured underwater by fireworks in a pond. They come across a mermaid castle and hope to be reunited with Kate.

Matt floated through the coral gates of the mermaid kingdom, awestruck. Around him, mermaids and mermen swam about, going about their daily activities. Carrying clams and fish, playing music on instruments carved from coral, and more than he could take in at once! It was all amazing!


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