Monday, 17 December 2018

Riley: Christmas Wishes Special Delivery

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Warning: Character Sketches Contain Spoilers

Riley: Christmas Wishes Special Delivery by Mary Manners

Riley rounded a curve and pulled alongside the detached garage that had, back in the day, doubled as Gramps’s workshop. He killed the SUV’s engine and leaned back in the seat, and sighed. He’d made it… he was back in Maple Ridge for the first time in nearly a year. This time, he planned to stay for more than a few nights. How much longer, though, he wasn’t sure. He stretched his legs and the knots of tension from his spine, as the wind whispered and tree limbs sang a mournful melody, mirroring the state of his heart. Gramps was gone.

Riley is a troubled young man, at the top of his field but needing a break from it. His heart is heavy as he approaches his childhood home, guilt eating at him for missing his grandfather’s funeral the month before.

“Hey, buddy.” Riley dropped to his knees, wrapping his arms around the loveable mutt. His muzzle was sprinkled with a touch of salt-white, marking his advancing age, and he moved just a bit slower than Riley remembered. “How’ve you been?” Moose nestled against him as if it had been decades instead of months— now closing in on a year— since the last time they’d seen each other, pushing his meaty jowls into Riley’s chest. The burly mutt wore a generous red velvet ribbon, tied into a large bow at the top, around his neck.

He loves animals and is glad to see his old dog Moose. Who he is not happy to see, however, is his former best friend Kaylee. He hasn’t seen her since that day he’d stormed off, blaming her for her father’s negligent driving. The accident had taken his mother.

“I’m not angry.” Yet, the truth of her words seared a hole through his heart. He struggled to quench the inferno as she poured two cups of coffee from the sputtering carafe, handed one to him. She’d dislodged a chink from his armor, a brick from the fortress of his resolve to leave the past where it belonged—firmly in the past. Now, he felt off balance, lost as if he’d just turned onto an unmarked road and plowed through potholes. He’d meant to talk to her, to tie up loose ends and move on, nothing more. But the longing in his heart failed to come to terms with the logic in his head.

Now it’s Christmas and Riley’s had a change of heart, melting when Kaylee explains how she’d needed him back then, and had missed him so much.

Is there a chance she will ever need him again?

Merry Christmas!



Columnist: Robin Bayne




Robin Bayne is the award-winning author of 14 novels/novellas, along with a variety of short stories, articles and devotionals. You can catch a weekly devotional for writers on her blog each week a different well-known Christian author is featured.  She works a day-job in community bank lending and lives in Maryland with her husband of 23 years.


Robin will be writing about fictional characters or their creators who catch her attention for one reason or another, and she would love to hear your opinion on them as well.

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