“So basically what I’m saying is that I didn’t know if you were saved and I didn’t figure that you would here too much evangelization where those people were taking you,” Caleb finished. “I guess I did it so that you would have another chance to receive Christ since, you know, I don’t want to see you die and go to hell.”
“That’s actually one of the nicest things that I’ve ever heard,” Kristy said. Caleb stepped over a shovel and thought with a bit of irritation that people should pick up their tools when they were done with them.
“So what do you think?” Caleb asked Kristy. “Do you have any questions about what I said?”
Kristy was about to answer when the door of the van that they were passing flew open. A bear of a man jumped out and shoved Caleb to the side while another two grabbed Kristy and began to pull her toward the vehicle. She screamed and struggled, but she was no match for the men who held her.
This was not happening again, Caleb told himself. This time, he was going to do something tangible, something that actually worked. He lowered his shoulder and slammed into the gut of the man who had shoved him. The force of the hit surprised even Caleb, and it was enough to knock the man back against the van. Caleb swung with his right fist, smashing it as hard as he could into the jaw of one of the men who was holding Kristy. The man’s eyes glazed over, and Kristy was able to jerk away from him. The other kidnapper was just distracted enough for her to break free from him as well.
Kristy ran toward Caleb who was backing away from the van as quickly as he could. His first onslaught might have succeeded, but that was only because he had had the element of surprise. If he was attacked by these gorillas, he was definitely going to lose. Grabbing Kristy’s arm as soon as she reached him, he turned around to flee, only to find himself face to face with two more menacing looking men.
“Look kid, I know that you think you’re being heroic and all, but you can’t win,” one of the kidnappers said. “There’s five of us and one of you. We’ll crush you if you don’t give her to us.”
“There is absolutely no way that is going to happen,” Caleb said. He was trying to keep an eye on both groups of people, but it wasn’t working very well. None of them appeared to be advancing at the moment, but that couldn’t last for very long.
“One last chance, kid,” the kidnapper said. “Give this up and let us take her, or we will destroy you, that I promise.”
“You’re certainly welcome to try,” Caleb said. Somewhere deep inside of him a confidence was growing. He knew that it was not because of what he knew that he could do. This had to be from God.
“Very well, you have chosen your own fate,” the man said and motioned for the other kidnappers to advance. Caleb shuffled his foot backwards and felt the shovel that he had avoided less than a minute earlier. He raised his foot and stomped as forcefully as possible on the blade of the shovel and turned just enough to catch the handle in his hand as it flew upwards. Not fully aware of what he was doing nor exactly sure how he was doing it, Caleb swung the shovel toward the head of one of the men in front of him. It smacked into the man’s skull with a thud, and he collapsed like a sack of potatoes. Without waiting for a second, Caleb half spun half sidestepped around Kristy as he swung the shovel again, smashing it into another man’s knee. There was a crunching sound, and the man fell to the ground screaming. His job satisfaction was probably at an all-time low right now.
Caleb was afraid that if he actually tried to do anything, he would mess himself up, so he let his body continue to move of its own accord. The handle of the shovel slid through his right hand as he dropped it and gripped the blade of it in his left, bringing the makeshift shield in front of his body just in time to catch a blow aimed at his face. The man delivering the punch howled in pain and grabbed his fingers with his other hand. Caleb slammed the shovel forwards into his face, silencing him.
Two men were unconscious now and a third was incapacitated with a shattered knee. That left only two kidnappers, and Caleb turned quickly to face them. One of them had pulled a switchblade from his pocket and was advancing on the teenagers.
“I’m going to gut you like a pig,” he growled at Caleb. The boy ignored the comment and coolly watched as the two remaining attackers circled apart. With a burst of speed, he stepped towards the one with the switchblade and swung the shovel at him. The man jumped back away from the blow, and Caleb spun around to face the other man. He felt a sharp pain in his gut; the other man was inches from his face. Looking down, he saw the handle of a large knife sticking out of his stomach. Stunned, he staggered backwards away from his attackers. The man jerked his knife free with one hand and grabbed Kristy by the hair with the other.
Caleb hardly noticed what was happening as he stared with disbelief at the large hole in his midsection. This wasn’t supposed to happen. This time he was actually going to succeed in protecting Kristy. Apparently not, and he was going to die in the process. He looked up and saw the two men attempting to force Kristy into the van. She was resisting, but that would only last so long. She wasn’t strong enough to actually contend with them.
Something inside of Caleb hardened at the sight of the two grown men and Kristy. There was no way in heck that he was going to let this happen. The pain in his gut didn’t seem so bad anymore, and he was able to climb to his feet and lurch towards the van. He attacked the man still holding his fixed blade knife first leading with a jab at his throat. As the blow connected, the man let go of Kristy. Caleb captured the hand hold the knife and slammed it back into the van. The fist still clenched the blade, and Caleb, empowered by adrenaline, forced it backwards toward the weapon’s owner. Whether it was Caleb’s apparent super strength or the fact that the kidnapper was still stunned at the attack of a boy that he thought was out of the fight for good, the knife bent backwards easily. Caleb slammed it with as much force as possible into his opponent’s shoulder, feeling it slide for several inches before coming to a jolting stop against his shoulder bone. Caleb didn’t wait but pressed his advantage, bringing his knee up twice into his opponent’s stomach. Releasing the man and grabbing his head, he brought his knee up hard for a third time, this time into the kidnapper’s face. The man dropped to the ground.
Caleb spun on his heels. There was but one man left, and he was going to take care of him too. He was instantly crowded by a massive body, and for the second time in his life felt the terrible pain of a knife being stabbed into his body. He froze for a moment, unable to comprehend exactly what had just happened. The knife slid free, and the man stabbed it again. With reflexes faster than he ever knew that he had, Caleb grabbed the man’s arm and forced it sideways. With his other hand he grabbed the man’s throat and began to push him backwards as fast as he could. The kidnapper’s heels caught the shovel that Caleb had dropped earlier, and he fell backwards. Caleb followed the man down keeping a tight grip on both his knife hand and his throat. He punched the man once in the face, then planted a single foot on his knife hand and reached for the shovel. With as much force as he could muster, he swung the makeshift weapon toward the kidnapper’s head, knocking him out.
Caleb looked around in shock at the five bodies that lay around him. His adrenaline was wearing off, and the the pain form his knife wounds came back in full force. He placed his hands over the wounds trying to staunch the bleeding, a task that he knew was useless. The snow around him was already stained a dark red with his blood. Suddenly weakened, he sank to his knees in the snow, then fell forward on his face. The light faded from his eyes, and he was gone.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.