Fourth of July

“Ugh!  I’m so mad.”

“Settle down, Darrin it’s not that bad.”

“Not that bad!  Janice, they took twelve children.”

“Well, that’s not completely true.. it wasn’t just children.”

“Please, don’t…” Darrin turned, loaded his crossbow.

“You’re not joining the Army.  You have children to protect.”

Darrin looked at his wife.  The words struck him but the sound of all those children screaming incited him and his nose flared.

“What about those other children?  Who is going to protect them?”

Janice stood silent.  She knew many other families had little.  Darrin was a protector.  The best.  “If you leave…” she began.  “That leaves us vulnerable.  The best of our community is in the Army.  They are fighting.  Their families are vulnerable.  All of them.”

Darrin set the safety on the crossbow and hung it at his side.  He struggled to think of something to say.  The screams muted slightly.  “You were there,” he began.  His eyes getting cloudy.  “The Pterodactyl came in then the Harkins.  They knew we were celebrating our freedom.”

“Darrin,” Janice began gently.  “The war is over.  The creatures are now a way of life.  There are so many of them left over.  There are teams on top of teams removing them.  This family needs you.”

Darrin growled and pushed past her.  His daughters Sarah and Tracy stood within the kitchen.  The sadness plastered upon their faces.  “My god.”

“I lost my best friend, daddy.”  The youngest, Sarah said.  “I don’t want to lose you.  They both hugged him and Darrin stood motionless.

“There is a greater good here,” Darrin said, his will almost broken.  “The recruiters haven’t called you Darrin,” his wife reminded him.  “If they needed help they would call you first.  They all know you.”

A tear fell from Darrin’s face as the family embraced

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