Hey Everybody! Sorry for the lateness on an update for my main story, "A New Journey." If you follow it, then you knew I went through three months from Hell during the summer, but the good news is I survived and am now an Officer in the United States Navy! I'm very proud of this accomplishment, and thankful to God for seeing me through, but the downside of this adventure is that it takes a lot of free time away. As a result, I'm struggling on the next chapter.

However, if you are a fan of mine, you also know that the Christmas season is absolutely my favorite setting for AAML stories; likely because I see it and the summer as the definite romantic highlights of the year. So I decided to take a break from racking my brain for the next chapter to ANJ and just write some one-shots.

I'll warn you now, though, that these won't all be AAML. I'm working on a personal story of my own, and I want to test the waters on some different narrative devices that I've seen. So these chapters will all be written with different voices, perspectives, and scenarios. Most will be Ash and Misty, but some will be just Ash, or friendship-centric. The common link? They'll definitely all either directly involve the Christmas season, or use it as a backdrop.

So please, read, relax, and let me know what you think – good or bad – when you're done reading a chapter so I can improve.

Always yours,

TL


The blessed are witnesses to those rare moments that stop time. Moments that verify the truth of the soul and pronounce the human experience as unique in the universe.

The fire was lit. Their shadows were flickering against the wall. Sweaters were on; jeans too. Shoes had long been abandoned, but socks remained pressed against the thick carpet. A waft of hot chocolate permeated the atmosphere – and though it had done so for hours, with every new breath it stimulated the lungs all over again. The only other lights on now were the whites on the tree and the glimmer in their eyes.

Because they knew what this was. We all do. It's one of those moments. A moment for which poets lack articulation if caught in its throws.

The crackle of the fire and the soft slumber of the world. There was snow. There was warmth; a glance. Gentle laughter, and ever-softening voices. The cusp of a conversation – the breach from friendly to something more. Their heart hammered as they approached its surface.

These are the times those moments are made. A culmination to this point where we become something more. We're more eloquent, more graceful, than we've never been, despite the stakes. We don't bow to the moment's pressure because its beauty gives us courage. The same courage that drives man to fight and explore brings him to love.

They're moving closer. It's a slow dance; ice on a windowsill.

You can't rush these moments. That's the law God laid at the universe's foundation. In exchange for these precious few pauses in all the world's history, you cannot rush them. Nor should you want to. Because one day we'll be gray, and in our final breath our hearts will return to this scene.

They think this, even if they don't know they do. Because it's a truth instilled so deeply in the soul it doesn't need recognition. It's an instinct, and they feel it.

Just like he feels her hand; and she feels his.

And as the shadows lean in, the world waits.


Author's Notes: I generally avoid grandiose prose. I never feel worthy of writing them; they feel reserved for people who lived a life worthy of them…if that makes sense? But this story is about trying new things, and I tried to capture the moment like a painting: giving the reader as much as I dared while not taking away the magic. Let me know what you think.