Monday, February 27, 2023

Needed Inspiration

 "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." — Mae West

"Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."– Thomas A. Edison

"If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things."– Albert Einstein

"Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."– 

Babe Ruth

Wednesday, February 15, 2023



Photo by Kaleb Dortono on Unsplash


 The winds howled and tore all the warmth from the cave, as though their only purpose was to press the deep, frigid Arctic air into even the smallest crevice. I huddled under three blankets in a sleeping bag built for extreme temperatures. Yet I still felt the chill. But the sound, the whistling and whooshing, the cracking of countless branches, and the crashing of the large icicles, ice on ice, from the frozen waterfall, haunted my waking dreams.

Even though I'd sought shelter in a cave surrounded by solid rock. I was convinced the winds were hunting me. The beast from Alaskan legends, Kushtaka, had found a way into my shelter. The shapeshifter had turned to deadly frigid air and was seeking his prey.

Was it Kushtaka's purpose to destroy the last shred of warmth in existence on this mountain of pure ice? Was I the interloper? A passenger on a downed plane in the Alaskan Triangle. Was I the unwanted trespasser on alien land? I tried to push such silly thoughts from my mind, but the way darkness had fallen and the storm had arisen was unnatural.

Was the disappearance of my fishing pole under the ice a playful otter? Or the sudden howling whistle and the change in temperature, the supernatural work of a mythological beast, or an imagination run wild with fear and grief?

Surreptitious squalls twisted and coiled around my rock abode to extinguish the fire. My only genuine warmth. I'd built it with the last of the wood Chet had cut for me before returning to the crash site. Two days past his time of return didn't offer me hope. Instead, I felt a profound sadness and the hollowness of loss. I knew with certainty that I would never see Chet again.

The wind gusts became more violent as though they recognized their victory. Kushtaka had found me. A woman alone, vulnerable, and afraid. The perfect plaything for the mythological creature intent on torture.

Weakened by loss, fear, and hunger. I was the ideal victim. Had I already given up?

The bright orange flame of the fire shrank with each gust. Is it possible for a fire to surrender? I swear I saw it bow to a stronger foe without a crackle or hiss of attempted bravado. The flames died or burrowed under the cold ashes until their bright colors faded to black, gray, then solid white. Testament to the hue of the Snow God.

Is that how Kushtaka saw his role? As an Ice God defending his territory from any hint of warmth?

I watched the flames die, knowing with certainty that Chet had also left this existence. My tears froze the instant they fell. Ice crystals stuck to my exposed skin like newborn babies seeking sustenance. I tried to brush them away, but more formed until I had no more tears to give. I held them in my hands until they were again part of me. Absorbed into flesh.


Ice against ice.

Salvation abandoned me. A piercing chill deeper than any I'd ever felt encircled me. Moving from the outside in until I was completely absorbed. Shrouded in ice.

At first, it was stinging, almost burning, then so bone-chilling I wondered if my insides would shatter like the ice cycles. Profound shivers took control. I was sure I put out enough energy to run a small generator. But even that lasted only a short time.

Eventually, my body relaxed into the Ice God's embrace. Into a faux warmth, but just the sustenance I was seeking.

All along, it had been right here.

Deep inside, the glacial frostiness of this massive beast that held me so delicately in his arms. He wasn't fierce or unkind. He offered himself, and I sensed his concern. Felt the purest of love and surrendered wholly.

I closed my eyes.

The beast held me intimately. Naked. Free. No more restraints or fear. No more feelings of abandonment or loss. Everything was gone, just like the howling wind.

I embraced the Ice God. And let go of my last ember of warmth. My final exhalation danced, twisted, and swirled in a kaleidoscope of brilliant colors before crystalizing into ice crystals in a flash of brilliance.

Just as the Ice God enveloped me in the warmth of pure love...


721 Words

Yolanda Renée Stout © 2023


 TAGLINE: Surrender does not mean giving up.

This is an excerpt from the 7th book of my Alaskan Series. Murder on Mount Fairweather. Where survivors of a plane crash are fighting to survive the elements, hungry wolves, and the mythology of the Alaskan triangle.

Kushtaka or Kooshdakhaa. Are from a Tlingit myth that claims the Kushtaka is a shapeshifting otter-like creature that lures people into the wilderness, sometimes tricking them to their deaths.


Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Is it too early?

The Daffodil

so beautiful

the first of spring

it means everything

to all arising

the ruin of winter

a bright new dawn

the seeds of tomorrow

awaiting root

passion ignited

love blooms

seeds rooted

the cold booted

beauty and growth

in God's green Earth



and all that's between

like the Daffodil

it all began

in the spring.


YRS © 2023