Today is a little bit different from the other posts we’ve done so far this week. Joining us today is Abigail Harris.
She is sharing with us a piece of fiction she wrote.
But first, how are your preparations for Memorial Day coming?
Yesterday my family and I pulled out our patriotic decorations and wisked through the house, leaving a wake of flags and all things red-white-blue.
I finished making paper remembrance poppies for us to wear. They actually turned out better than I was hoping.
Do you decorate for Memorial Day? Let’s chat about it in the comments!
Written by Abigail Kay Harris
Caleb Winters unfolded the letter in his hand slowly. The worn paper fluttered in the wind as his eyes trailed from the first to the last painstakingly penned word for what must be the thousandth time.
Hey, little brother!
Guess what I’m doing? I doubt you can, so I’ll tell ya anyway. I’m shipping out. Now, I know you’re likely saying “no!” and “please don’t go!” or something equally as silly. Well, I wanted to let you know that it’ll be all right. We’re going to be fine. Me out there and you back home.
I just want you to promise that you’ll be good for Mom. Help about the house. Don’t let the girls get too into their heads, all righty? You know how they get.
Anyways, with our darling (read insane) expecting sister is likely too busy preparing for her baby to be of much help so I want you to help with the little kids. Mom’ll need the help, you’re the man of the house and this is me trusting that everybody back home will be safe in your hands.
It’s all good, little man. I know you can do it, just checking ya know? You know why, right?
I’ll be home before you know it.
P.S. The answer is because I love you, that’s why I’m just checking. And more than me, Jesus loves you and God’s got you and I in His loving hands. He’ll never leave nor forsake you or me. Got that, my soldier boy?
The words were well known, and long ago memorized, yet Caleb couldn’t help, but read them again. Though his eyes were quickly descending into a vacant stare toward the town hall in the distance. Rubbing at his chest, he allowed himself to sink into the old memories with lips pressed firmly together.
“Caleb, boyo, my brother, little guy, come on! We gotta go!” Avery’s loud voice rang out from where he balanced on the edge of the stair’s railing. His dark eyes sparkled and a large grin gave off a deep happiness that Caleb hadn’t seen in his brother for too long. His older brother had been babbling of the plans he’d made for a brother’s birthday night out since the week before once their mom gave her permission. As Caleb hurried down the stairs with a bounce in his step, the young boy couldn’t help, but giggle as his older brother swept him up into a hug with a roar and tickled his stomach before lifting him to his shoulders. “Good to go, little cub?” He asked.
“Yes! Ready and raring to go.”
“Thatta boy! Race cars here we come!” The older brother shouted while the younger giggled even harder. “We’ll be there fast as you can say ‘ready, set go!’”
“Go, go, go. We’re ready to launch!” Caleb shouted with a wave to their mom when Avery strutted past her with a kiss on the cheek from each son before they bound out of the house for the truck Avery had scrimped and saved for the summer before. Avery slammed to a sudden stop at the back passenger down, letting Caleb down with a swiftness that should have upset them into the muddy puddles beside the driveway if it weren’t for his quick reflexes. “Okay! All happy six-year-old boys who are only a day away from seven ready to buckle up?”
“Sir, yes, sir!” The boy beamed as he scrambled into his seat. Avery grinned and ruffled his little brother’s hair, helping to fasten the buckle earning himself a growl.
“Eesh, little man, it’s all good. I know you can do it, just checking. You know why?”
The young boy rolled his eyes, “Coz you love me?”
“Bingo, boyo! You know who else loves you?”
An eager nod was given this time, “Jesus! And I’m a soldier for Jesus. I’ll be a soldier when I’m big too!”
“Spot on, my little soldier boy!”
Eyes dry, Caleb blinked back into the present with a jolt as he heard sirens whaling across the street. Shoulders slumping, Caleb gave a deep sigh then pulled in a slow and agonized breath of the warm nearly summer air. The call to be a soldier had begun when he wasn’t even able to walk. The sight of his hero big brother and his somewhat okay father both fighting for the betterment of their country and the protection of their family had been all he knew.
Wincing at the way he’d lost the both of them in the end, he scrubbed a rough hand over his face. Tilting his head back, he allowed himself to rest against the sliding of his new house. It wasn’t a home, not yet, and it may never be, but according to his big brother, he always had a Home in Jesus.
Even now, as he grieved the loss of his nearly idolized big brother who had been gone much too long.
Shaking fingers turned the worn and aged paper over to the tear stained side that held Avery’s final words to Caleb.
There may come a day when I’m not there with you, or out here fighting. But I can promise you, my dear little brother, you’re never alone.
You’ll never not have a Home in Jesus even when you’re alone in the world. God is there ready and waiting with open arms to take your hurting heart.
This may not be what you want, little soldier boy, but we’re never truly lost when we know him. Remember that when I’m gone for a time or until eternity.
I promise you have a Home in Him.
Forcing himself to take a deep breath, Caleb whispered a prayer of thanks for promises that held true and stood on numb legs. He shoved the propped up window open, leaning over to step off the roof and back into the house when he heard a laugh from the street. Turning around once in the house, he saw a boy waving at him. He returned the wave and shut the window once the boy had turned.
Maybe it wasn’t home yet, and his brother was gone, but the truth was he wasn’t alone even when it felt like it.
He always had a Home in Him whose promises were true.
Avery had been called to die for his country, Caleb had been called to honor that sacrifice. He would fulfill that calling until his last breath.
Abigail Kay Harris is a daughter of the King with a personal degree in book-nerdiness. A sister to seven, her passionate love of the written word and deeper meanings hidden in normal things leads her to spend her time reading, writing, using sarcasm, and defining obscure words. When she’s not chasing words, she enjoys watching shows, classic romance movies, tea, sunrises, and the outdoors, especially mountains, beaches, and forests. She runs beyondthebookery.com/ a small press, bookstore, and boutique all in one.
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A. M. Watson
2 thoughts on “Caleb’s Call Short Story//Forever We’ll Remember”
I loved this story! It’s a great prequel/companion to the Everly, Justice, and Caleb series.
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Thank you so much for allowing me to take part in this countdown. It was an honor to share this story for Memorial Day.