Years ago (30 to be exact), I began writing a Historical Christian Romance, but I had a newborn and a three-year-old. I wrote about five chapters and set it aside. Off and on through the years, I picked it up and wrote a little bit, yet it always ended back on the shelf.
I picked up my novel writing again a little over a year ago. An 80,000 word novel is a daunting task, but I’m nearly there with about 68,000 words. Yay! I have been taking writing courses online through the Jerry Jenkin’s Writer’s Guild, attending writer’s webinars, and taking various other online classes. My hubby Kevin, a grammar geek, is one of my alpha readers. With dyslexia, I definitely need an extra set of eyes to look for funky words, grammar, and whatnot.
Other writings endeavors include:
* A devotional, based on 31 original worship songs
* Poetry and lyrics chapbooks.
* Short stories
* The first chapter for my next book
* Writing tips
* And, of course, music
Here are a few of my short stories:
As many of our friends and relatives have to evacuate their homes, my heart goes out to them and to all those affected by the fires here on the west coast and neighboring states. I’m praying for you. May God give you peace and comfort.
A short story – Kaci Rigney
It’s a dark morning; there is a chill in the air after a weekend of soaring 110 degrees-plus temperatures. Kathleen stirred and reached across the empty bed and opened her eyes. Why is he up so early? Sliding out of bed, she turned on the bathroom light, instinctively covering her eyes from its bright glare. She quickly arranged a ponytail, brushed her teeth, and washed the sleep from her eyes. Back in the bedroom, she glanced at the clock. Eight o’clock? Good grief, why is it so dark? She pulled aside the curtain. An orange hue penetrated the room covering the white comforter.
What the heck? She thought, closing the curtains and opening the bedroom door to a dark hall. Turning on the light, she headed to her husband’s office on the other side of the house—the glowing dark orange peering through the living room blinds.
“Why’s it so dark?”
“I turned off the alarm, check outside.”
Opening the back door, she stepped out. Ash floated around and covered whatever it touched. Kathleen faced the eastern skies but couldn’t see the morning sun. Her heart lurched at the eerie sight.
“Where’s the fire?” she asked, entering the house.
“Close. We need to get our go-bags ready. I’m emailing my boss right now.”
Our house. Our things. What will we take? What if we lose everything?
“Kath, did you hear me?” He asked urgently.
“Yes, sorry. I’m gonna take a quick shower. Do you think I have time?” She asked numbly.
“Yeah, but hurry. I want to load as much as we can in both cars. We have some boxes in the garage, I’ll grab them while you get ready.”
“Kath, we’ll be OK. Come on, get ready.”
She hurried into the bedroom and turned on the news. Turning up the volume, she listened to her favorite news anchor.
“A feeling of foreboding falls across the land as fire spreads its blazing path across the state. First responders airlift frightened people trapped in its wake. Animals of the wild roam towns with no place else to go. Ancient oaks and sequoias, amongst other flora and fauna, are lost in the aftermath. The whole west coast is full of smoke and ash, as the many fires sweep through the land.”
“Gale force winds fuel the fire’s spread as firefighters from all across the United States come to our aid, battling the blazes. Scorched hills and trees line the highways and byways, evidence of fires contained. But, acres upon acres of smoldering and scarred land from Washington to Mexico burn with no end in sight. Whole communities are forced to evacuate the infernos threaten entire cities.”
In a mere two hours, the cars were full. Laptops, family photos, rare books, favorite collectible items, a few instruments, and Kathleen’s original music were among the precious few boxes. For the next hour, they raced through the house, taking photos of everything they could.
“So many boxes in the rafters. We don’t have time. The sirens—” Alan said.
Panic greeted them as they hurried to their vehicles—neighbors shouted—a neighbor’s child cried, searching frantically for Fluffy, her cat. Alan and Kathleen took a final look at their home.
Alan turned on the walkie-talkies and handed one to Kathleen. “Listen up, I don’t want to lose you.”
“I will. I love you, Alan.”
“I love you, too, Kathleen.”
They got in the cars and weaved their way through the horrible traffic. Friends, opening their home to them, waited fifty miles north.
“Dear God!” Alan said through the walkie-talkie.
Kathleen looked in the rear-view mirror as tears slid down her face. A wall of flames followed in their wake, burning, one by one, every home on their street.
“Don’t look, Kath, just stay with me. We’ll be OK.”
“Alan, our house!”
“I know, babe. But we got out in time. We’re alive, and we have each other.” Kathleen followed her husband in a daze, while Alan prayed through the speaker, “Oh, God, we plead for mercy, in Jesus’ name. Send rain. Help the firefighters. Please, protect us. Sovereign God, heal our land,” Alan prayed, thankful to be alive.
They’re crouching outside the door, calling you, “Let us in.”
You love them and hate them at the same time. You want to; the desire is strong. The fun, the excitement, the thrill calls you. But, you know the guilt, the anguish, the self-loathing that will be a result. It would be best if you did something else to get your mind off of the scratching at the door, the niggling at the senses, the whispered enticements.
“It will feel good.” “Come on, who could it hurt?”
You walk to the door and stare at it, listening, wavering. Turning, you sit with your back against it.
“Yes…” they say, with excitement.
“No,” you hear with compassion.
You look at the doorknob, waffling.
“Come on, let us in. You know you want to.”
You get up and put your hand to the knob.
Quietly, you hear your name. Then, the kind voice says, “Read it.”
“No, don’t read it! Come and play,” urgently, they call out. “Don’t listen to him.”
You walk to the table and pick up the book. You know where to find it—near the beginning.
“Did he really say that? Come on, come with us.”
You open it to the beginning and turn the first page and the second.
“Please, read it,” he says again.
You glance at the door, book in hand, page open. The struggle is great. You look down at the book—the words stare you in the face.
“…sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
You stare back at the door. What will you do?