Archive for the ‘Short Stories’ Category

A New Year’s Greeting

By Brent King On January 1, 2016 2 Comments


Crisp and cold, the Old Year ebbs

Still alight with Christmas joy

The streets stretch out before me

My breath steams along strings of color

That etch eve and doorway on my path

Before it ascends to the stars


Swagged windows frame vigilant candles

That invite me in

I tiptoed through each Advent house

Surveying crèche and tree

In alcoves scarcely large enough

To hold their cheer

They glow there just for me


Darkened houses stand between

Where Christmas never falls

The Old Year stumbles and I pause

Before their melancholy

Yet others, not quite dark, hold out hope

With antique strings of light from years gone by

Peering through the trees


Homes, ablaze with color, paint the lake

Beckoning the hour

Wreaths and canes line wrought iron fences

That swaddle me in light

I turn the corner toward the frigid stars

And meet the New Year


A Final Meeting

By Brent King On November 30, 2015 No Comments leaves shifted and gathered against the tombstone. The last glow of evening highlighted the script:

Ebenezer Scrooge

My father laid his arm across my shoulder and squeezed. “It’s nice they got it here so soon. It’s a fitting tombstone Tim, for a great man.”

“I’ll be along soon,” I said.

Dad disappeared through a host of headstones, silhouetted against the western glow. I squinted through the twilight, shivered, and pulled deeper into my overcoat.

I cocked my head. What was that? It came to me across the hills, distinct and drawing nearer on the evening air: the rattle of chains.

“Timotheeee Craaaaatchit…”

An unearthly voice drifted toward me across the monuments. I stepped back toward a holly tree, as if it could protect me.

“Jacob?” A whisper is all that escaped me, and a chill spread through my

I Missed You Too

By Brent King On April 11, 2015 2 Comments

10489869_698011390234885_1517357255450773782_nHe steps toward me, down the middle of the prep school campus road. I am the last to greet him. His grin spreads cheek to cheek, eclipsing his new suit.

Time Stops

His two-year-old eyes sparkle above pudgy cheeks in front of our Christmas tree. He peddles round our house on his first bike. Adolescent arms are quick to greet me at the door. I run behind him at the beach, hike before him on the trail, and swim with his arms around my neck.

Devotion shines in his eyes as he comes. His muscles ripple beneath. My heart skips a beat. Is this a dream, this Pomp and Circumstance? Or is this the man my son had grown to be? What is it in his way that draws me so? What is it in his eye


By Brent King On February 16, 2015 2 Comments

City of Light 2I gazed out on the evening from Nansen summit. Affluent homes stretched out in tidy neighborhoods around me. As my eyes wandered through driveways scattered with German cars beyond my means, my mind followed suit. It moved from the image of The Scream, which had just sold for one hundred and twenty million, to the opulent urban high rises on the horizon. The rumble of a leer jet above me interrupted my reverie.

“I wonder what it would be like to be rich?” I asked myself.

“But you are rich.”

I jumped and spun to see a handsome young man standing near me. He grinned.

“Sorry to startle you,” he said, “but I couldn’t help overhearing you.”

I surveyed him from his Vans to his tussled hair. “It’s no big deal,” I said.


An Interview with Ebenezer Scrooge

By Brent King On December 22, 2014 1 Comment

ebenezer-scrooge_optI rapped lightly on the swagged entry of the townhouse. A gaunt man in a robe opened the door and peered out.

“Mr. Scrooge?” I asked.

“Your servant sir,” he said.

“I’ve come for our interview.” I held up my pen and notebook. “Remember—for school?”

“Ah yes.” He opened the door wide and embraced me. “Come in my son. I didn’t recognize you at first. Old age does something to the eyes. I am glad you’ve come.”

I stepped into a room with high ceilings and rows of books. Mr. Scrooge ushered me to a high back chair near the fireplace. He settled across from me. The firelight flickered in his eyes.

“Where shall we begin?” he asked.

“With a confession,” I said. “No story has made such an impact on me as your story. I have no doubt that

Christmas Presence

By Brent King On December 15, 2014 No Comments

Angel Topper_opt-2Amber was exasperating. She stood in the living room with a box marked “Christmas” and gazed at me with a sweet smile.

“Honey,” she asked, “can you help me put this angel on top of the Christmas tree.”

The word Christmas flew at me like a weapon. I ducked and waited a moment.

“Sweetheart,” she said again, this time a little more as if I were neglecting a wedding vow.

I scowled past my book.

“You know how I feel about Christmas,” I said, “about religion of any sort for that matter. It’s just a fantasy conjured up to comfort and control the masses. It’s not the real thing.”

“But Chris,” she said, “you don’t have to think of it that way. It can just be something fun for us to do together.”

Her eyes widened as she used all her skill to

A Christmas Proposal

By Brent King On December 8, 2014 5 Comments

mary-and-baby-jesusMusic surrounded me as I nestled beneath a blanket on my sofa. Strings of lights danced around my vision. Lost in the glory of another place, I blended into the ambience of a Christmas night. I chased rhythms and wonders to the borders of my imagination until the light glowing above my crèche arrested my eyes.

It’s luster shone on the manger there. As I gazed on it, it grew brighter as the vibrancy of choirs and orchestral strings swelled around me. Its brilliance filled the room.

I gasped. The splendor filled my lungs, my mind, and my soul. I squinted against the vision from behind a forearm.

“Arise, favored one of God,” a voice said.

“Arise?” I asked. “Where are we going?”

“On a journey,” the voice said, “a journey that began before you were born, a journey

Dad’s Father Christmas

By Brent King On December 1, 2014 No Comments

“The gospel has not abrogated legends.
It has hallowed them.” – JRR Tolkien

Bowing-SantaIt happened one Christmas when I was a boy. That year I spent most of December sick. I passed the hours at home reading books and, of all of them, my favorite was The Polar Express. I remember how my heart would swell when I came to the end, and I’d whisper, “I do believe.”

That Christmas my dad spent hours in his workshop. When I would ask him about it, he would grin and say, “Something special.” Then one evening, a week before Christmas, he entered the house carrying something draped in a sheet. Mom, sister, and I gathered around him as he set it down next to the tree and uncovered it.

He chuckled. “Merry Christmas.”

For a moment we

The Empty City

By Brent King On November 17, 2014 1 Comment

new-jerusalemLight shone everywhere. It shafted through the exalted spires and gilded windows of countless tiers that stair-stepped to the heavens. Beams shown through gold walls and halls, igniting the city like a diamond. Fire filled the urban heights. I had never seen such a place! Its architecture defied reason.

Yet something was wrong. As I strolled along the street, looking up and down, it came to me. The metropolis was silent. The glittering streets and broad squares were empty.

Well, almost empty. A lone figure moved toward me along the artery. As he approached, brilliance hid his features, and I shielded my eyes. After a moment I braved the light. He was tall and gazed into the distance.

“Look at it Brent,” the Brilliant One said. “It’s a shining gem of perfection, glowing in my heavens.”

He touched my shoulder and smiled.

“It, it

Body, Soul, and Spirit: A Short Story

By Brent King On October 26, 2014 2 Comments

What follows is a short story that I’ve written about death—in the spirit of Halloween, no, in the spirit of Cross…

Cemetery SunsetThe lid of Derek’s casket reflected the colors of the evening sky as it disappeared into the ground. I lingered, watching the blurry forms of machines fill the gaping hole with earth.

“Do you know where Derek is?”

I jumped at the voice behind me. A stranger’s eyes met mine.

“You startled me,” I said. “I didn’t see you there.”

“Most people don’t,” he said.

I cocked my head and squinted at him in dwindling light.

“It’s all in my job description I guess.” The stranger smiled. “One would think that Derek’s mother should have seen me standing by his side.”

“You mean,” my voice quavered, “you’re his guardian angel?”


I shrank closer to the tomb. Was this

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