The Girl on the Island

A young girl stood on a beach, watching the water lick at and swirl around her bare feet. But instead of glimpsing her obscured reflection in the undulating ripples, she beheld visions of sorrows she had experienced and outcomes she wished had been different.

The sea foam receded as her thoughts deepened, and she didn’t notice the rectangular object that was wedged in the sand alongside her until she stumbled over it.The Girl on the Island

The object clanked open, revealing a small sack and a damp piece of parchment. She snatched up the items before the waves enveloped them again.

Weighing the rusty, dented box in her hand, she scanned the ocean and the bridge to the mainland for any sign of ships or travelers. The container was much too heavy to have floated, and she wondered how long it had lain there and who had lost it. She examined it for identifying markings, but couldn’t find any, so she tossed it back into the water. Then she untied the sack. Inside were some kind of pellets—perhaps seeds.

She unfolded the parchment, expecting whatever message it might have contained to have washed away. To her surprise, however, the ink was smeared but legible. [Read more…]

Profile photo of Brianna Storm Hilvety
Brianna was born with a rumble in her veins. She finds the tap of a keyboard to be soothing like the pitter-patter of rain. She has been a writer for a decade, a freelance editor for a few years, and a bibliophile from the moment she pronounced her first syllable. Proudly a Silver Member of The Christian PEN, she serves on their team as graphics coordinator. She exudes her passion for speculative fiction and helping young writers by being on the staff of Castle Gate Press and Kingdom Pen magazine. When she isn’t poring over words, she may be spotted shooting her Canon, riding The Breeze (an all-terrain vehicle), or romping with her dog, Zookie. Purple is her signature color, and she refuses to recognize all other claims to it.

Healing

By Greta Dornbirer

On my thirteenth birthday I met my true love. I invited my entire class, maybe one hundred kids in all, to my birthday party. I thought it would be fun if everyone brought their favorite book to discuss. That was my mistake. The popular kids never read books—either they were too stupid or they didn’t consider it “cool.” The bullies, who my mom made me invite, were definitely too stupid to read, and they thought that everyone else had to be just as dumb. So they stole kids’ books at school, including mine.healing

The normal kids tried to stay out of the bullies’ way. Many of them didn’t like to read because they were scared of what the bullies would do to them. One time the bullies forced a kid who had been reading Robinson Crusoe to flush his book down the toilet. Of course that clogged the toilet, and the poor kid got doused with disgusting water.

I was one of the odd kids—or the nerds, as the bullies dubbed us. My best friend Neal was a nerd too, except he was a science nerd, not a book nerd like me.

Neal showed up at my party with his favorite book on how to blow things up. I hoped he wasn’t planning on demonstrating what he’d learned from the book. Next came Chealsie, a known theater nerd. She brought a book on how to act well. Then I waited…and waited…and waited for the other kids to arrive. But they never did. [Read more…]

The Rebel and the Princess: A True Story of Two KeePers

Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful Princess in the kingdom of Indiandia. Her parents taught her all that it meant to be a princess and prepared her to one day meet and marry a prince from a nearby land. They warned her about rebellious men who would seek to dethrone her future rule and tarnish the kingdom, and so the beautiful Princess vigilantly guarded her heart.

rebelandtheprincessOne day while on a stroll through the kingdom, the Princess happened upon a peculiar sight: a Rebel who acted like a knight. How strange! He looked just like the kind of man her parents had cautioned her about. But he was…different.

Occasionally the Princess would venture out of the palace to observe the Rebel as he tried to stir up the populace in surrounding towns. To her amazement, he did not speak against the kingdom, or in favor of rebellion. On the contrary, he strove to spur the people toward loyalty.

The Princess had to know more…

She followed the Rebel to an enclave on the edge of the kingdom where he resided. Although she wore a disguise, the Rebel suspected her true identity from the moment they met.

Unfortunately, the Rebel’s enclave was slowly being taken over by enemies of the kingdom. Together the Princess and the Rebel fought to maintain the purity of the haven, but it was a lost cause.

The Rebel was soon called elsewhere, and he left the enclave for good. The Rebel and the Princess parted ways… [Read more…]

With Their Faces Toward Destruction

By Timothy Young

After I had been stricken for many days, I laid down in the shadow of a rock and fell into a restless sleep. I had slept here before, but it had been some time ago.facestowarddestruction

As I slept, I dreamt of a fair country, or it seemed fair at first. Then I realized that something was wrong with my vision. From the high perch through which I viewed this fair-looking country, I saw two armies approaching one another. From one teamed hordes of evil: dragons, goblins, giants, and loathsome men corrupted by outside forces, but also their own innate evil. Above their camp floated pennons of all colors, some as black as the heart of their leader, others red like the blood that these fiends were intent on shedding, some of purple and other rich colors alluding to nobility and wealth, and even a host of white banners that resembled the other camp’s banner—except these were stained with filth or torn and shredded.

The other camp displayed a single white banner, so pure that it seemed as if it were freshly bleached, even though it had been there from ages past.

I began to make comparisons of numbers, but the numbers were such as to defy computation, and I decided to take a closer look. My eyes were drawn to the side that had but one banner, as they appeared smaller in number, and I wished to know how they encouraged themselves. [Read more…]

Learning

“What is it like—saying goodbye?”

Her eyes misted as her mind tumbled backward, down spiral staircases and through doors—some which were locked, some open, a few dark, and yet others inviting.The winds of change were blowing behind her. The winds that pushed her forward—the winds that sometimes made her forget.learningstory

“It came very quickly—faster than anyone could have convinced us it would,” she said, pressing her steepled fingers into the bridge of her nose. Her eyes closed slowly, and a smile spread across her face. “It was beautifully heart-wrenching in the best sort of way… like the last day of Kindergarten when you believe for a day that you’re not a child anymore because your best friend told you boys have cooties and your mom told you to act more grown up after bullying your sister off the swing set yesterday—but really you still are a child, you just don’t know it. You cry because you think you’ve lost something that you’ll never find again—and in some ways you have, but—“

Her fingers wandered across the table, pausing as she drew in a deep breath and opened her eyes, “Then you realize that it’s not so hopelessly dark and scary that you can’t go on. Which you do, because that’s what people do—what we must do.”

“Do you remember all of them, then? All of your goodbyes?”

She sighed. “I do.” And she did. She remembered imagining her tears filling mason jars and, with trembling hands, placing them on shelves etched by sweet remembrance and colored by time’s sometimes-gentle aging. [Read more…]

Profile photo of Sarah Spradlin
If you’ve ever emailed us at KP, you’ve probably “met” Sarah—a passionate storyteller with a huge heart that loves Jesus and everyone she meets. Sarah grew up in Georgia with her mom, dad, and little sister, Merry, where she attends the University of Georgia, majoring in International Affairs and Agriculture Communication. When she graduates, Sarah wants to help people all over the world succeed in the agriculture industry and tell the all-important story of the farmer. She joined the Kingdom Pen Team as Secretary in September 2013 and now serves as the Director of Community Happiness. Sarah has been homeschooled, private-schooled, and graduated from Madison County High School in May 2015. She attended Summit in July 2015. She’ll read pretty much anything (if she had to pick, though, her favorite author would be Frank Peretti) and has tried her hand at pretty much every kind of writing out there, though she likes writing fiction and poetry best. But because writing bios is a struggle, if you really want to get to know Sarah, shove some words in her general direction via the Forum, on one of the many social medias down below, or through the KP e-mail: kingdompenmag@gmail.com.

A Blade of Grass

It was his very first spring; he was a young sprout and that day started out perfectly…

Blade looked up at the breathtaking sky. Beautiful, hardly a cloud covering its perfect canvas. “Isn’t it a nice day?” he asked his brother, Root who stood tall by his side.

“Yeah, sure,” Root replied in his usual disinterested drawl.bladeofgrasspinterest

A ladybug passed Blade’s line of sight, and he watched it land on a lovely, tall stalked dandelion.

His roots tingled with excitement. It was Dandy. She had sprouted the same day as him, and he had loved her ever since she was a bud.

As the fat bug tickled the golden flower’s face, she laughed, and as that joyful melody rang out, Blade couldn’t help but smile.

Then it happened. She glanced his way. “Hi!” she said looking down at him.

 What do I do? She’s talking to me! Blade thought in a panic.

“You’re Bean, right?” she asked.

He glanced around then looked back at her. Maybe she’s talking to someone else. Bean? There aren’t any Bean’s around here. “Are you talking to m-me?” He stuttered.

abog4

She giggled as the lady bug crawled down her stalk. “Yes, silly. I don’t think anyone else around here has got a name like that.”

“No, I guess not.” Blade wanted to tell her that his name wasn’t Bean, it was Blade, but the way she said it made him wish that it was.

“Not that I don’t like that name,” she continued, “It’s cute.”

Some of the other weeds and grass in between them snorted in amusement and Blade blushed slightly.

“Thanks, I guess. Uh… your name is Dandy, right?” Blade asked, trying to pretend like he wasn’t sure.

Dandy nodded happily, making her short petals bounce up and down. “It’s not the most original name for a dandelion, but I think it’s pretty.” She said.  [Read more…]

Profile photo of Hannah Carmichael
Hannah Carmichael has been writing short stories since she was seven and has been drawing ever since she first discovered that pencils aren’t food. She hopes to become a published author and illustrator. She is currently working on editing the sequel to her first work in progress along with planning her next.
Hannah was fully homeschooled from square one and currently floats in that odd void between graduation and college.
Her main goal is to write for the Lord and bring hope into the darkness that is our world through her words and artistic creations.

Honor Before Prejudice

By Jackson E. Graham

Scotland, Early 1298. One mile south of Neidpath Castle. honorbeforeprejudice

Failbhe (FAL-uh-vuh) Fraser rode on horseback through the small fishing town of Peebles. The sun cast joy upon all who walked under its rays, a temporary break in the usually dreary Scottish weather. The River Tweed’s flowing waters roared in the distance. Failbhe was a fit man of twenty—a Scottish knight from Neidpath Castle. Brown hair flowed down to his shoulders, and penetrating eyes of emerald scanned the surroundings. Woven in his family’s colors, his woolen shirt was partially obscured by the thick, dark cloak he wore. He headed for Traquair House to deliver a message to the Laird. The main road—no more than a dirt path—carved a straight line through the town, with houses and shops cast to each side. Townsfolk walked to and fro absentmindedly, going about their business. The weathered wood structures reminded Failbhe of the tool sheds dotting the courtyard of Neidpath Castle. Traveling incessantly since sunrise, his legs tired of the monotony of riding in the saddle. Failbhe’s gaze fell upon a large wooden sign reading “Tavern Murray,” hanging above the entrance to one of the buildings. Failbhe paused. It was not a place he would choose to visit, but thirst resolved the matter. He cautiously entered the tavern, keeping an eye out for troublemakers.

Failbhe pushed open the ramshackle door and blinked a couple of times to adjust his eyes to the dim light. Numerous lanterns hung from the ceiling, candles sputtering. Twenty mismatched tables crowded the room. Smelling the heavy odor of fish in the room, Failbhe wrinkled his nose. The customers were regular townsfolk, mostly fishermen, farmers, and tradesmen. A loud laugh exploded from one sitting near where Failbhe stood, and he instinctively put several feet in between the man and himself. As he settled down uncomfortably on one of the rather hard stools, a large man with a stained apron approached.

“What can I get for you this fine afternoon?” the man asked. A scraggly beard clung to his haggard face. Failbhe glanced at him. [Read more…]

Only A King

By Emma Travis

He loved his kingdom.  Every earthly ruler who had ever taken up the scepter had looked to the stunning beauty of his dominion and yearned for it in their hearts.  The crown upon his head was not taken lightly, nor considered a mere decoration.  To the king, it was a seal.  A promise and a binding oath.  His people would be safe.  He would lead them in every attack, be the last to leave in every retreat. onlyakingpost

The thousands, millions of lives that looked to him for guidance were struck every time they laid sparkling eyes on their king.  He wasn’t haughty.  Nor was he arrogant.  Without a word nor any sound, he made it overwhelmingly clear that he loved his people.  In his heart, he felt the zealous and passionate love that could be found in a new father, looking down at his newborn child.  None could describe the depth or strength of a father’s love.  A king’s love.

 

He was looking out over the land visible from his palace, a castle beyond anything that mortal men had ever dreamt of before its ancient construction.  Towers stretched upwards as if they would pierce the sky itself.  Banners were waving on a gentle wind, the colors easily visible: a lion, regal and fierce, embroidered in white and gold.  Fields of wheat, waving like liquid sunshine, were rippling far below, contrasted to the vibrant forests just beyond them.  He looked silently upon the land unparalleled in its beauty, but grief, not peace, was in his heart.

He knew that the prince from the east was causing pain among his people again.  The bold, defiant knight had defected from the king’s household and tried to overthrow him.  He had little known then that this king was not to be overthrown, but the fact was now widely recognized with fear and trembling after observing the prince’s fortunes.  The knight had been defied and defeated by the king himself and banished forthwith from the kingdom of his origin.  More than seven-hundred of the king’s lower knights had defected with him and had established themselves in the neighboring territory to the east.  Raids and terrorizing attacks had been constantly coming in waves against his dear people.  More counterattacks had been issued, and the prince’s forces were always pushed back.  Always. [Read more…]

The Day Santa Wore Carhartts

By Rosey Mucklestone

 

Hey Robby,

Mind being the Santa for a day?

I have family in town a day and can’t make it to work.

The costume is in my locker.Santa Carhartts Pinterest

Thanks buddy.

You’re the best,

Harry

 

 

Rob stared aghast at the note left for him.

Emma looked up from her desk and blinked at Rob with her dinner-plate eyes.

“Is anything wrong?” she asked, “I didn’t think you’d mind.” Rob mumbled under his breath and stalked over to Harry’s locker. His nimble fingers slid the lock in place and the door practically burst open, smacking him in the nose. He groaned and leaned his head against the wall for a second, then, taking a deep breath he picked up the main piece of the costume.

“I hope today doesn’t turn out to be busy,” he muttered, holding the enormous Santa suit up to his lean frame.

“Oh, no!” said Emma brightly, “This looks like it’ll be the busiest day this week!”

 

“Great, Em. Thanks.” I’ve prepared myself to substitute for a lot of jobs, but I never thought I’d have to be a Santa. [Read more…]