Danny wiped the frost from inside his bedroom window. “I hate winter.” His cat looked up at him and yawned. She was curled at the foot of his bed basking in the first morning light.
He leaned back in his computer chair and looked toward the hallway; nobody was stirring on a Saturday morning, but he could smell coffee brewing Mom musta put the coffee on the automatic timer last night . He was now the oldest male in the house since his father passed away.
Danny hadn’t slept well; indeed, he hadn’t slept well in eighteen months. Although he was at home in his own bed, safely tucked away in the Appalachian foothills, his dreams were still in another place; his nightmares constantly woke him.
He pressed his palms to his forehead. “Hey, Jesus, you had your chance, why didn’t you take it. You wait’n to blow me away some other time, what do you want with me?”
“Maybe he has other plans for you.” Angela McGee stood in the doorway.
“Mom, I’m sorry, I didn’t know you were up.”
“Coffee’s on, come on in the kitchen; Luke is coming over to get you and your brother. He wants to go shoot some birds, I didn’t know, maybe you’d rather stay home."
“Naw, I gotta get out of the house, been sittn’ here for three days. I’ll go wade around in the snow with those idiots, but I don’t think I will shoot any birds, I ain’t even got a license.” A week ago I was carrying a sixty cal around in a swamp, now I am going to watch these guys shooting popguns at birds.
Minutes later Danny and his brother were seated at the kitchen table. As usual Angela opened her Bible during breakfast. The morning meal was always one of devotion and Bible study. “Okay, what’s on tap today Mom?” Danny took a big swig of coffee.
“Boys, listen to this. From first Peter, ‘And who is he that shall harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good.’”
William held a piece of bacon like a wand. “That’s it, ain’t it mom, Danny is here because of him being one of God’s people.”
“I like to think so William, how about you Danny, any thoughts?”
“Naw, mom, I’m just lucky and grateful to be back here.”
They finished breakfast at the same time Luke, the neighbor showed up at the back door of the McGee farmhouse.
Ten minutes later, Danny, William, and Luke were crossing the snow covered yard and headed for an unplowed cornfield across the road. Major Henry, Luke’s dog, sprinted across the snow and jumped over the barbed wire fence.
“Dog loves winter.” Luke whistled for his dog to stop.
The two hunters walked on in front of Danny; William walked to the right and Luke to the left until the two were several yards apart. Major Henry ran ahead and flushed out birds. Everything was text book until William stepped in a hole.
Danny saw William go down and started to yell but whatever he might have said was covered up by the report and echo of William’s shotgun.
Blood began to cover the snowy ground. Danny immediately ripped through William’s jacket and pulled William out the hole.
The blast had cut through William’s side and blood was gushing from William’s arm. Danny pulled off his own boot and used his long sock to create a tourniquet. “Luke, go get the Jeep out here! Get mom to call the hospital, we’re coming in.”
Luke ran across the field, Major Henry at his heels. Minutes later the powerful 4 wheel drive vehicle was flying down the highway toward the hospital with Danny, Angela, William, and Major Henry.
Dr. Smith stood in front of the McGee family giving them some good news. “He will be okay, going to be out of commission for awhile, but we saved the arm, and whoever put on that tourniquet and compress saved his life.” Smith looked at Danny. “Where’d you learn that?”
“I was a first responder until a week ago.”
“Well, God sure had a purpose for you and your training.”
Danny’s mother looked at the M.D., tears were in her eyes.
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