Friday, February 20, 2015

Fire in a Storm—Faith under Fire

by Guest blogger Angela K Couch

There is something about finding the perfect title for your story, and then wondering if most readers will see the depth and, even more importantly, how it applies to them. Fire in a Storm is a short story I wrote that recently released in the anthology Out of the Storm. Set in 1934 USSR at the peak of religious persecution, there were definitely literal fires and storms.

In just over ten years the number of Russian Orthodox churches alone dropped from 29,584 to less than 500. Fire. Dynamite. And sometimes just sledgehammers.

All Christians felt communism’s growing resentment. Hundreds of thousands were arrested, imprisoned in work camps, and murdered just for trying to practice their beliefs. Aren’t we glad we don’t live in that time or place?

And yet that is only the surface. What would it have been like to be raised or just live in that time and place? The school curriculum mocking your belief in God. Marxism, and by extension atheism, the accepted reality. Education and science voiding God in the minds of your peers.

How hard would it have been to maintain faith in that storm? How much harder to find it?

Blurb: “Fire in a Storm”

USSR 1934 / He was secret police, and he knew his purpose. Religion was the enemy and God, the deception. Then a glimpse of gold and silver, and the woman who wore it, threatened everything he trusted.


Pavel vaulted through the gap in the window, one hand pushing off of the heavy woolen coat that had been placed over the shards of glass. He met the ground as one of the other officers raced past. The man jerked, bringing his weapon to bear on Pavel.

“Avoid shooting just anyone, please,” Pavel grumbled, pushing him aside. “Where did the other priest go? That was him, wasn’t it?”

“I think so,” the officer nodded. “He disappeared behind the church.”

Pavel sprinted to the back of the building. Shivering as moisture ran down his neck, he pulled his coat’s black leather collar tight. The hiss of light rain meeting fire did little to hinder the growing blaze. He scanned the narrow canal and the aspen grove beyond. Seeing nothing, he crouched to examine the bank. The ground had been disturbed, a hint of grass ripped — probably by a shoe sliding downward. Straightening, he followed the canal to a rotted footbridge, fallen in halves to the bottom. He jumped in, sending up a spray of mud and water as his boots sank into the shallow stream. Pistol ready, he pulled up one side of the waterlogged structure. There was a feminine gasp.

“Anything?” An officer called from the edge of the grove.

For a moment, Pavel couldn’t pull his gaze from the two pools of terror shadowed by long lashes. The girl, almost a woman, was undoubtedly the priest’s daughter. They had been told there was one, but though his duty was clear, how could he bring himself to do it?

Angela K Couch is a writer of historical romance from Alberta, Canada. She grew up listening to her father read chapters from his novels and decided young she would follow his path. As a passionate believer in Christ, she can’t help her faith from permeating the stories she tells. Besides writing, Angela enjoys martial arts, painting, gardening and chasing after her three sweet munchkins. She is forever grateful for her supportive husband!, Facebook, Amazon, Goodreads, Twitter, Pinterest.


  1. That one was yours? I read it as a judge during the contest. It was my absolute favorite. What a *great* story!

    1. Yep, that was mine :) Thanks! I really am glad you enjoyed it!

  2. A very hard time and much easier to read about than to live thru. I ponder that as we face today's world and think: how will I stand if faced w/similar situations? Your book sounds good!

  3. Thanks for the peek into the history behind your short story, Angela. I think it's great proof how God can help His people weather any storm.

  4. Excerpt was so interesting! want to read this :)

  5. Thanks everybody! I do hope you enjoy this story and this anthology. There are some great stories included--like Crystal Barns' Husband Hunting :)