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The Mission

by T. Turner 5 years ago in family
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A Short Story

I couldn't afford to lose her again. I already felt the loss and I couldn't stand to go through it again. So I fought, I fought hard. I would go back home to my wife. I would see her face again, feel her lips against mine. My arms would wrap around her waist and pull her close I would not lose her and I would not lose my children. If anything else I would make it home for them. All of them.

My back pressed against the wall my gear digging into my back to the point of pain. I held my gun to my chest and took a deep breath. There was only one way. I peeked around the corner to see if there was anything waiting for me, there was no grim reaper to meet my demise. I aimed and surveyed the area, nothing. I lead my team mates, slowly down the dimly lit hallway clearing this part of the building.

There were two exits and gun shots had not been heard so I knew they were still in the structure. We pressed our backs against the wall. just like before. The tension so thick it was almost like a brick wall. We pushed through.

I peeked around again and a gun fired, and thankfully missed me. My heart raced and it was hard to breathe. Suddenly I was in my house and my wife was clutching her chest, tears streaming down her face, an anxiety attack. This was the day I told her I was being deployed.

I was shot back to the present and I looked at my team mates, shock and determinations written on their faces like a plague. We all knew this is what would hold on to our lives with an iron grip.

"Daddy, you're a soldier?" My son asked.

"Yes, buddy I'm a soldier," I responded.

"So you're a hero, daddy?" he asked. He looked up at me from his drawing of the avengers. I chuckled.

"Not really,"I said. I really didn't see it like that I was just a man with a family. I didn't have any super powers or anything like that. Just an Army man.

"But you're in the Army, you fight bad guys, that makes you a hero," he stated.

"Okay but I don't have super powers," I retorted.

"Batman doesn't have super powers but he is still a hero," my son said.

"Touche," I said. My boy smiled and went back to drawing and murmured

"Just don't let the joker get away, daddy, he does bad things, very bad things," my son said.

I nodded in the present, and my team mates understood we took a shot around the corner as rookie reported our findings.

"The assailants have been found, repeat the assailants have been found." You could barely hear him above the shots. He gave our location.

"We're storming through the back exit, hold them!"

We heard the door bust wide open and more light reflected off the walls into the hallway. I had no idea we were so close to the end. It felt more like a dungeon or labyrinth that you see in a fantasy movie. One that made it seem like hours went by in just a few seconds.

We crouched low and kept shooting a couple smoke bombs to blind them. More shots were fired. Then as if God himself heard my personal prayer to have this conclude it came in through the radio.

"They have been apprehended! Repeat they have been apprehended, cease fire!" My team let out a sigh but held our stances as we rounded the corner and cleared the remaining parts of the hallway.

"You missed one," came the thick accent closer than I would ever imagine comfortable for anyone other than my wife. A shot was fired and I felt pain immediately and black spots came into my vision as another round rang in my ears, and another and another. I had no idea who was firing or what was happening, I just know that I was down and it was hard to breathe.

"Come with me."

"What?" I asked. I was still in my gear but I was no longer in battle. I would have pointed a gun but that was gone. I was just in my gear. I felt naked and vulnerable.

"Come with me," he said again an accent bled into his words that I recognized as Mexican. I looked at him he had olive skin, green eyes, and short dark hair. His features were rounded but thin. His hand showed signs of a working man but were now faded.

"Who are you and where am I?" I was defensive and slightly angry.

"I'll give you a hint," he said and amusement filled his familiar green eyes as he circled me.

"Before you left for this mission, you prayed, for you to be watched over, to be protected," he said. I remember my wife and I kneeling at our bed and she was crying dark circles around her eyes as she sobbed her prayer for me. But how could he know that?

"Please God send some one to look after him, please guard him keep him safe for me...," she said over and over even after she thought I fell asleep.

"I am that someone...," he said.

"We haven't met, I was hoping we wouldn't for a long time," he said. He was looking down saddened this time when he spoke.

"Will you please explain this to me?" I asked. Annoyance was deep within me I wanted to know where we were and wanted to know who he was. Also, I needed to know why everything was white. He sat me down on a bench that somehow just appeared.

"You have taken care of my great granddaughter well...," he finally said. Then it clicked that his eyes were familiar because they were passed on to her. I was...

"No," I said. "NO," I repeated.

"I have to get back to her I have to get back to my children!" he smiled.

"I was happy the day I was there and you called them yours," he laughed.

"How can you even talk to me," she said. "You spoke nothing but Spanish."

"God is funny that way. You see what I think and hear. The same for you because we need each other right now. When I knew what was going on I asked to be here," I said. My hand went to my head as if I was trying to hold it up. It passed over my face to wipe off tears that weren't there. I couldn't be dead.

"You're not," he said. "You're here to choose," he said. His hand patted my back and I looked because I could actually feel it. My gear had disappeared and was replaced by jeans and a t-shirt. His hand was warmer than what I expected for a dead man.

"I have to get back to her, I have to get back to them...," I said softly.

"Was hoping you would say that," he said. "Close your eyes," he said. I did.

When I opened them again, my wife was next to me.

"Where am I?" I groaned. My throat hurt and it felt like everything was in pain. She gasped and started to cry, this time they were tears of joy.

"You're in a hospital," she said. Her voice was the most beautiful thing I ever heard at that moment. "You were shot and they had to do a bunch of surgeries. You were in a coma and they brought you back home, mostly because I whined about it but they made it happen."

"How long have I been out?" I asked. By this time nurses were coming in and rushing around trying to do who knows what.

"About six months babe... you were gone for six months," she said. I never thought I would see it but I know something had died inside my wife. I know it did because I saw it come back to life.


About the author

T. Turner

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