Hello friends and happy Valentine’s Week!

I hope you were able to have a good week so far whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not. But we all know the best part about this time of the year…the candy sales!

So. Much. Chocolate!

Here’s a secret: if you like specific candy that only comes out for specific seasons, go ahead and play your prepper card to buy a few extra boxes. For the stash, of course.

Personally, I love Brach’s Tiny Conversation Hearts. Yes, I understand that almost everyone says they taste like chalk but I disagree! This brand in particular actually has flavor to each color.

So I buy a few extra because that’s what peppers do!

Anywho, this week, my original plan was to show you all my BugOut Bag and its contents but I decided to switch this week with next week’s plan. So instead, you’re getting another short story that I believe fits this week better.

Around this time last year while I was still in the SOKW program, we all were asked to write a flash fiction story inspired by the Kingdom Writer’s winter contest. The theme was “Disrupted” and the result was one of my favorite short stories I’ve written.

Without further ado, I present to you:

Disrupted Morning

Julia Cartwright peeked around the corner to inspect the open living room. She glanced back over her shoulder then took a moment to listen.


She took a tentative step across the threshold, her bare toes connecting with the cloud-like rug she bought last month on a whim.

“Mark?” She called out.

Her husband must have left before sunrise to meet up with his friends at their deer blind. Julia had stayed up late the night before finishing a few cleaning projects in order to free up a few hours today so she had slept in this morning. 

She walked to the front window and pulled the curtain aside. The space for Mark’s truck sat open and empty. A new thin layer of snow covered the concrete as more flurries floated from the sky.

A wide grin spread across her face and Julia rushed back to the kitchen. She placed a blueberry bagel into the toaster and began preparing her favorite coffee drink–iced cold brew with sweet cream and caramel flavoring. The toaster popped up and she placed the bagel on a plate with a helping of cream cheese spread, topped with a few chocolate chips.

Julia returned to the living room and placed her breakfast on the squat table beside the loveseat in front of the front window. Her favorite spot in the whole house. 

From the large basket in the corner, she grabbed the softest blanket they owned. Julia settled onto the loveseat wrapped in comfort. She sat sideways with her feet on the couch and the blanket draped across her lap and legs. With the coffee in hand, Julia took a few moments to bask in the quiet and watch the snow fall.

Still in her pajamas and her hair in a messy bun, Julia smiled at her favorite type of day. Quiet and slow.  

She and Mark had been married five years now but with both of them working full time jobs, Julia found that quiet days were not easy to come by unless planned ahead of time. During deer season, Mark would be gone for hours on the weekends giving Julia a chance to create these quiet days.

Today was the first quiet day she had been able to plan in a month.

After a few sips of coffee and a bite of her bagel, Julia opened the book she had bought a few days ago to the first page. She dove head-first into a retelling of Robin Hood but of a young woman hunting deer in order to feed the poor people of her village. Julia absorbed the words, taking in the emotions and thoughts of the characters. She ate her bagel in slow intervals. The ice in her coffee melted over the next hour, watering down the cold brew but Julia didn’t notice.

She was at the point where the young woman in the story was sure to be revealed as the deer thief when the ringtone on her phone blared through the silence. Julia nearly leapt from the couch and the book flew from her hands.

Julia took a moment to adjust her breathing and return to the present time. She grappled for the phone on the floor as it continued ringing. A picture of Mark’s face filled the screen.

“Hello?” She answered with a croak to her voice. 

She cleared her throat as Mark yelled in response.

“Baby! I got it!”

Whoops and congratulations sounded in the background.

“Got what?” She asked.

 Mark yelled over his friends. “That twelve-point buck we saw last weekend! I got it!”

Julia pulled the phone from her ear but the noise still filled the air.

“I sent you a picture!” Mark continued.

An alert sounded and Julia opened the messages tab. A photo appeared of Mark grinning from ear to ear as he held the dead buck’s head up, the antlers positioned so she could count the points.

“That’s great, honey! It’s a beautiful buck.” Julia said as pride filled her chest.

“The boys and I are gonna take it to Joey’s. I should be home later.” 

“That’s fine.” She replied. “Take your time and celebrate.”

“Love you, baby!” 

She could hear the smile in his voice and feel his joy reverberating through the phone.

“Love you, too.”

The call ended and the living room returned to silence. Julia smiled and snuggled back under the soft blanket, thankful for a couple more hours to finish her story.

I really enjoyed writing this story. I envisioned a calm, quiet winter morning I’d like to experience one day, and also be happy to be interrupted by a loving husband because he’s excited about something.

Warm and fuzzy inside, I tell you.

We all submitted our stories to the contest. Although I didn’t win, I still enjoyed sharing a story about a happy disruption instead of one that may be jarring or dark. Which is what my classmates expected from me. I laughed when they told me of their disappointments that the husband didn’t at least get hurt.

Honestly, this was the story I needed at the time.

I hope you enjoyed it too!

Next week we’ll jump right into my BugOut Bag and I’ll finally get to share what I have ready to go if an emergency arose.

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Until next time, Happy Prepping!