The dizziness was more than he could bear. After a moment of sitting, he tried to stand. His knees began to wobble, but he was able. His head ached. His body ached. He felt blood flow down his leg as he put one foot forward.
Doing his best to ignore the pain, he continued walking.
“Mom, when Daddy gets home, can we all do something?”
Virginia smiled; she loved some of the ‘unusual’ ideas that little Suzie would come up with. “What’d you have in mind?”
Suzie thought for a moment. “Ice skating.”
Virginia laughed out loud. “Ice skating?”
Big brother spoke up. “You don’t even know how. And besides, you’re too little.”
“Am not.” She looked over at her mother. “Am I, Mommy?”
Virginia turned and gave her oldest a ‘look’ before answering. “Well, maybe it’s something your father could teach you.”
Big brother Charles spoke up again from the back seat. “How many days till Dad’s back, Mom?”
She breathed in a heavy sigh before answering. “Three more.” She understood her husband’s responsibility to his work. Still, she so wished he was here; that they were all together.
The last remark from Virginia left the three inhabitants of the car lost in their own thoughts.
Virginia stared at the road in front of her, amazed at how dark it was on this cold December night.
The car continued to roll down the two-lane highway.
His mind raced back.
This mission, this…battle, was one of the worst that he could remember.
The time of preparation…a ‘testing’ that had been the most strenuous to date. He’d felt ready, and still, the enemy had fought, and fought…and fought.
The pain returned, and he tried his best to focus on the Master.
The Master always has a plan, always has a reason. Nothing is by mistake.
Concentration suddenly gave way to unbearable, excruciating pain, and down his body went. Again.
The last thing he remembered before slipping out of consciousness was a beam of light.
Light. Peace. Safety…
The car came around a wide turn in the road.
It was Charles who first saw the shape. Saw it a split-second before Virginia did.
“I see it.” She hit the brakes. Hard. The car came to a stop, inches in front of the body.
Little Suzie peered over the dashboard of the car. “It’s a man. Is he…dead?”
Virginia looked at her son in the back, and addressed him. “I’m going to take a look.”
Suzie started to cry; a small, muffled sound.
Charles took over as he leaned over the front seat and touched his sister on the shoulder. “It’s okay, Suz. I’ll be right here.” He looked at his mother. “You sure?”
Virginia stared at the body as she spoke. “He hasn’t moved.” She turned and looked at Charles again. “We have to do something.”
“I could go.”
“No.” She snapped. “I’m sorry. I just think that you should stay with your sister. I’ll be fine.”
“Maybe we should call the police.”
Virginia shook her head. “There’s no time.” She looked at both of her children. “I’ll be okay, really I will. God will protect me.”
Virginia Preston opened the driver's side door, and got out of the car…