Friday, December 23, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 23

The two teenagers walked down the sidewalk sometimes walking through the snow where it had not yet been shoveled. Kristy slipped on an icy patch and grabbed onto Caleb to keep from falling down. Their eyes met and she quickly let go. How embarrassing.

“So, according to your dad, I have a lot to thank you for,” Kristy said as she brushed a few strands of hair out of her face.
“Oh well, I did what I could,” Caleb said modestly. “I saw what happened and was able to figure out who the criminals were. Any good citizen would have done the same.”
“That is true,” Kristy said, “but I wasn’t referring to that. Your dad said that you were there when I and Emily were getting attacked. He said that you confronted the kidnappers and tried to fight them off. Apparently you got a nasty blow to the head for it.”
“Oh that,” Caleb said. “That was nothing. I wasn’t even able to do anything, so it really doesn’t even count.”
“You’ve heard the phrase ‘It’s the thought that counts?’” Kristy asked. “Well this time it’s true. I don’t know how many of my friends would have done the same thing if they were in your situation. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” Caleb said. “But don’t go making a big deal out of it. It was nothing, really.”
“I have a question for you,” Kristy said. “I don’t know many people that would have put themselves in danger to try to help me, and I don’t even really know you, so why did you do it?”
“Now that is an interesting question,” Caleb said. “I don’t really know, or rather there’re a lot of possible answers that question. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Now that I think back on it, I believe that God was pushing me to do it.”
“God was telling you to do it?” Kristy asked. “What god are you talking about, and why would he want you to try to protect me?”
Great, Caleb thought. He’d been talking to Kristy for less than five minutes, and he’d already gone and probably blown any chance that he might have had with her. She probably thought that he was a fool. Oh well, if he was going to be a fool, it might as well be for Christ.
“Based on that question, I take it that you don’t go to church,” Caleb said; Kristy shook her head. “But you’ve at least heard about Jesus, God, the whole Christian thing?”
“Yeah, I’ve heard a little bit, but not much,” Kristy answered. “I never really understood any of it.”
“Well, today’s you’re lucky day because I can explain it to you,” Caleb said.

******

            Regis sat in the front passenger seat of the van. It wasn’t a dark van, that was for amateurs who wanted to draw attention. The van that he was currently in was lightly colored with the decals of a lawn care company on the sides. Sure given the season and the snow on the ground it was a bit out of place, but most people wouldn’t give it a second glance.
            His unit was in the back of the van ready for action whenever he gave the signal. They hadn’t taken any big guns for this chore. Actually they hadn’t taken any firearms at all. This was supposed to be a fairly simple mission, snatch and run, and the guns might have attracted unwanted attention. The only weapons in the group were pocket knives and a single fixed blade. That would belong to Sam, of course. He had his quirks, but he was the best man that Regis had, so he accommodated his eccentricities. All of the men of his squad were good, it was only that Sam stood out above the rest.
            The new guy, on the other hand, was a completely different story. Regis had never worked with him before; in fact, he didn’t think that he had ever been on an assignment before. Well, this was about as good of one for him to be broken in on as there ever would be. The chances of failure were so minimal that he couldn’t hardly mess it up.
            Two teenagers rounded the corner, and Regis pulled the picture from his pocket. The girl looked to be the same as the one in the picture, but he couldn’t be certain. He handed the photo to the driver and pointed the girl out.
            “Is that the same one that is in this picture?”
            “I would say so,” the driver said after a moment.
            “Good enough for me,” Regis said as he stuffed the picture back into his pocket. “Alright, get ready,” he said to the men in the back of the van. “We have two people approaching the van on the sidewalk. The one nearest the van is a male; we don’t want him, I repeat, do not take him. The one that we want is on the other side of the sidewalk. Grab her and we can leave.”

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