The Sacrifice | By: Jacob Trask | | Category: Short Story - Action Bookmark and Share

The Sacrifice

Never in my 26 years had I ever witnessed anything so horrible, so nerve-wracking, so heart-wrenching as my wife’s pale white face drenched in tears and her screams penetrating my mind. It was as if her ice blue eyes were piercing my soul and searching me for the words, “Everything will be fine.” I couldn’t say it. The words were stolen from me by the woman standing next to her coaching her to breathe and push.

“Everything will be fine,” she said looking back nervously at the male doctor next to her.

“Just push. A little longer,” he said to my wife. The two doctors looked at each other with unsure expressions.

“What do you think,” said the female doctor, “C- Section.”

“No we don’t have enough time.”

He looked at me and his lips said the words but nothing came out, “I’m sorry, there’s nothing we can do.”

My wife’s shivering hand grasped mine. Our eyes connected and she said, “I love you.”

I couldn’t say anything. She stopped shivering and the warmth left her hands. And the only sound of a new born crying was in the room next to us.

September 6, 2007 was the day that my wife and new born son both died. A day I’ll never forget.


As I stared out the small window of the truck, my hand rubbed along the patch on the left side of my chest that said US ARMY. Dust filled the air as our two ton truck rolled along the hot dirt of the Afghanistan desert. Sitting on my right was Sam Hood. Sam was a 18-year-old short athletic kid who devoted his life to saving people from terrorism. He had dark, oily skin and a fade hair cut. His fingers drummed against his knee as he breathed heavily.

“You alright private,” Captain Lopez said to Sam in a mellow tone.

Everyone directed their eyes to him. “I get car sick easily,” Sam said. A few guys chuckled as I removed my canteen from my belt and took a few gulps of water.

“You know,” a man named Spencer said, “There hasn’t been an attack in three-” A crash of thunder pierced every one’s ears and was followed by numerous shells and shrapnel zooming through and past our truck. I reacted immediately by busting through the door and slamming against the dirt. I heard many following behind me as I crawled around to the back side to where the we could find safety. I rose to my feet and backed into the truck. The others turned the corner right behind me. “We need to get to those tanks,” he pointed to a fleet of tanks about 15 feet ahead of us. “We’re gonna go two at a time. If you lose your partner don’t go back for him.” The thought of a man dying right in front my eyes made me shudder.

The first two dashed through and as soon as he could get some speed he dropped with a thud and didn’t move. His partner zoomed without even a glance back as the next two moved on. Pairs kept moving and every other two a man would fall. After ten minutes it got down to the last two: Sam and I. I glanced and him and he looked at me with nervous puppy dog eyes. I grabbed his hand just like I held hers, and took off. We stumbled along as fast as we could. I didn’t let go of his hand as I felt his weight drop and slow me down. My head jerked back and my eyes met his. He stared at me with tears in his eyes and I looked at his leg. It was gored badly and bleeding horribly. He let go of my hand and screamed, “GO!!!” I let go and scrambled to the other men and slid in the dirt.

“Oh my god,” Lopez said with a disturbed look on his face. He was gazing at Sam, who was still crying and screaming an unidentified name of a woman at the top of his lungs. I fought my want to keep my eyes on Lopez and looked back at him. I saw the face of my wife, crying and screaming like two years before and fought the urge to burst into tears.

Sam wasn’t married, he was dating. He was gonna go to college when he got back. He was a great basketball player. He had a whole life ahead of him. I was getting older. My wife and child were dead, and I had no money to get to college. Who should live.

I wanted to see them so badly, which meant there was only one thing to do. I found myself rising to my feet and sprinting to Sam. I grabbed him by the shirt and flung him to the spot where the rest were. Lopez grabbed him and tended to his wound immediately. An indescribable pain shocked through my spine as I fell to the ground. More shocks came and went and then there was no pain at all. My eyes closed slowly and I knew I was going to see them again.

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