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The Journey

The Journey

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The Journey

114 página
1 hora
Oct 12, 2020


There are some who are blessed to hear the Divine voice. Stephanie Holmes is one who does hear. Like a modern-day Job, she is a reluctant traveler who follows an extraordinary path during a freak snowstorm that leave her and fiance, Daryl, stranded in the mountains of East Tennessee. On Christmas Eve, no less!


And is it mentioned, she is eight months pregnant? 


Daryl Robard knows these mountains from one side to the other. He grew up here. Wants to come back home and have a life here with Stephanie. And that life -- that future he desires -- starts now. He's certain he can find them shelter from the snowstorm.


But Stephanie is reluctant to trust him or God. This is more than just a journey home. It's a journey of faith.


For both of them. 


With roads closed, their vehicle ditched in a snowbank and snow piling up all around them, Steph's faith is tested. And now she must choose.


Does she trust the man she loves -- and the Most High Power he strongly believes in to make it through the night? Or do they die? 

Oct 12, 2020

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The Journey - J.D. Wylde


Chapter 1

It might be Christmas Eve, the season of miracles and a time for rejoicing with good tidings of glad cheer, but Stephanie Holmes didn’t feel the holiday spirit. At least not at this moment. And she placed the blame for her less-than-charming mood solely on the reindeer. The rogue beast that had shot out of the woods – not once, but twice – and had put this whole hideous chain of events into motion.

Glad tidings of good cheer? Bah humbug!

Where was a gun when she needed one? Not that she could kill a deer. She couldn’t kill anything. Not even the attitude-riddled spider that lurked in the corner of the bathroom and dropped from the ceiling to scare the bejesus out of her when she brushed her teeth.

But she wouldn’t mind a little smack-down, face-off with this last white-tailed wildebeest that had crossed their path. You know. A little Woman versus Wild.

Okay, so that was just the residual anger talking.

The only deer Steph wanted to get up close and personal with was the one she and Daryl passed by every day this holiday season as they walked up to their apartment in Columbus, Ohio. The one with the twinkling white lights attached to its cute metal-framed body. The one who cheerfully nodded his head up and down – even when Mrs. Martin’s Chihuahua lifted his leg on him. 

The one she hoped to see again, if they survived this journey.

You know, Daryl. Santa should keep a tighter rein on his beasts of burden.

And I should have kept a better hold on the wheel. He reached out. Gently touched his gloved fingers against her cheek. I’m sorry, Steph. He inhaled a deep breath. Slowly exhaled it in a foggy mist. I could have hurt you.

But you didn’t, she told him, rising on her toes, to brush a kiss against his mouth.

Or the baby, he went on, not showing himself the same leniency, compassion and understanding her always showed her.

But you didn’t, she told him, fisting the front of his jacket in her hands. We’re okay. She pressed her gloved palm against her rounded belly. We’re all okay.

He nodded his head. At least she thought it did. The sky was quickly losing any of the pale light it clung to while the snow storm from hell raged all around them.

She pulled her woolen hat further down over her ears, hunched her shoulders against the cold as she pulled on the zipper of Daryl’s parka. The only coat in their combined wardrobes that fit her now. 

She dug in the pocket for her cellphone. Pulled it out. Glared at the screen.

No service.

She held it to the darkening sky. Turned it left and right. Took a few steps away, repeating the process.

There’s no cell service, Daryl, she stated the obvious. What she’d known since they’d left the nearest town and started up the mountain.


It was bad enough being this far away from Columbus, stuck on the side of the mountain out in the middle of who knew where, but, No cell service. Did you hear me? There’s no cell service.

Daryl Robard, the man she loved, only grunted.

At least that’s what she thought he’d done.

I’m a little busy back here, he informed her.

And she supposed he was.

The top half of him was buried waist deep in the back of the Jeep where he was unpacking his gear and repacking their essentials into his backpack. Essentials which she hoped included her makeup. Her toothbrush. Her hair dryer. And the secret stash of Hershey bars she’d rolled up in her spare underwear and stuffed into the side compartment of her overnight bag.

Don’t forget my camera, okay? she told his back, patting a gloved hand against its padded broadness. I really need that.

She loved photography. And much as she hated being here, she saw opportunity for some amazing shots all around her. Not that she would ever admit it.

She got a grunt for a reply.

He pushed his way back out.

She stepped back a step before initiating the interrogation.

Did you get my camera?

Yes. I got your camera.


His eyes narrowed.

"Yes, I got our toothbrushes. And toothpaste."

She ignored the touch of annoyance.

Did you get my makeup?

"Yes. I got your makeup."

And with that announcement, he zipped up the backpack ending the interrogation.

She didn’t see an electrical cord that would confirm he’d packed her hair dryer. Didn’t smell any chocolate either, which was sad. Really sad. The urge for chocolate was more than a need these days. It was a craving.

You need anything else? he asked, slipping back on his leather gloves.

What she needed was to be back in Columbus. Not stranded on a deserted mountain road in Who-knew-where, Tennessee. She opened her mouth, wanting to remind him of that yet again; but Daryl held up his hand. Stopping her before she uttered one word.

"Here, Steph. Do you have everything you need from here?" he clarified, reading her mind and silencing her whine before she even got started.

And it’s nobody’s fault, okay? Things happen. It’s not the best of days to be traveling.

He tugged the hood of his olive-green parka up over his dark, wavy hair. A sure indication the subject was closed.

We should have—

He gently pressed one finger to her lips.

Stayed home, she talked around it.

But we didn’t, did we? he quietly replied.

There was no arguing, accusations or laying of blame. He was amazing that way.

You ready? he asked instead.

She gave one fleeting glance into the back of the Jeep. Where her Hershey bars were still stashed in her overnight bag. Which was staying behind.

Maybe we could...

We can’t, he quietly told her, as he pulled the straps of the camouflaged backpack up onto his broad shoulders. I thought I could get us through.

But, she protested.

She really didn’t want to leave the safety of the Jeep, even though she knew that, with it listing half-buried in a snowbank so close to the edge of the drop-off, it really wasn’t a safe place to stay.

Daryl was right.

Much as she hated to admit.

The road will be closed off at the bottom, if it’s not already. Nobody’s gonna be coming up.

In other words: they were all alone.

No one was coming to rescue them.

She slowly breathed in. Sighed out an exhale just as slow. 

He took her hand. Started walking.

I still blame Santa and his deer, she muttered under her breath, as she walked with him.


Okay, so maybe the deer that shot out onto the interstate, the one which had caused the chain reaction pile-up that had brought the holiday traffic to a snarling stop did not belong to Santa. And maybe he was no more to blame than the freak winter snowstorm that was bombarding this area, blanketing it in huge, drifting mounds of snow.

But Steph would bet he was related to the beast that had shot out in front

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