Sacrifices

He knelt at the crossroad. The crossroad he had searched long and hard to find. Not many towns have dirt road crossroads any more, and that was what he needed. Danny looked up at the moon, still on his knees and said a prayer. Rather ironic to be praying considering what he was about to do, but he prayed nonetheless. Prayer completed, he stood up, moved the small wooden box and began to dig. It was going to be a long night. But it would all be worth it in the end. That’s if this worked. His shovel hit the ground, sending vibrations up and down his body. Not a soul in sight on this desolate road. It was almost symbolic, Danny being at a crossroad. It seemed to symbolize the metaphorical crossroad he arrived at that led him to this one. He knew what he had to do from the moment the idea came to mind. He didn’t hesitate for one second.

They were six years apart, and growing up, the age difference came into play. Arguments and fights were rife, but that is to be expected with small young boys. Coming into their teenage years their bond as brothers grew. They became increasingly close, standing up for each other whenever the need presented itself. They were inseparable. That is, until the greatest separation came into play. The funeral was going to be held over the weekend. Three days from tonight. The night Danny set to work at the crossroads.

Having dug a deep hole, Danny opened the box and removed the knife. Sliding it over his finger, he let the blood fall into the box – covering the various artifacts he had stowed in it. Dropping the knife in the dirt, the box was closed and lowered into the hole. The scarlet drops on the knife gleaming magnificently in the glow of the moon. Pushing the dirt with the shovel, Danny filled in the hole. Now, all that was left was to wait. He wasn’t sure what exactly he was waiting for, but he felt he would know when it happened. Again, Danny found himself looking up to the moon and praying. The content of his prayers was for this to work. That and forgiveness. Lastly, he prayed everyone would understand what he did.

…………………………………..

“It’s a miracle!”

“Someone help him up.”

“Get him some water and get him out of there!”

Adam looked around confused. He had no idea what was going on and why all these people were here. And more importantly why people were crying.

“Mum?” Adam enquired.

“Get Maria! Get Maria!” Came the reply to his enquiry.

Adams mother burst through the crowd around him, sobbing and clutching at him.

“My baby’s okay. My baby’s okay!” She babbled.

“What’s going on mum? What’s the matter?” Adam asked.

“Honey. We thought we had lost you. After the accident and the hospital, we thought we had lost you.” She said before dissolving to tears again.

“I don’t remember anything Ma.” Adam admitted.

Maria held her son and wept. Adam looked around and came to a stark realization.

“Mom, what am I doing in a coffin?”

………………………………….

Danny knew what he wanted to do as soon as he saw the tears streaming down his mother’s face and heard her utter the words, “It’s your brother. There’s been an accident.”

His world came tumbling down immediately. He felt dizzy and everything started spinning. His mother grasped him in her arms and held him to prevent him from falling.

“Where is he? Let me see him. I can help him.” Danny said. His voice trembling as the tears began to flow.

“I was just at the hospital Danny. He’s gone. Adam is gone Danny.” Maria said through guttural cries.

Danny felt numb. He emancipated himself from the hug of his mother and bundled back to his room. Slamming the door closed, he booted up his computer and punched in the URL for the website he had seen adverts about. Wiping the tears that poured from his face, he fumbled for a pen and made notes of all the things he’d need. He paused. This must be a joke. There’s no way his mother is being serious. Adam is fine! He talked to him an hour ago before he went to play basketball at the Health Center. Shutting down his computer, note in pocket, Danny rushed out the door to his mother to find out where his brother was.

The lights of the hospital were bright. The smell of the hospital made Danny feel nauseous as he walked the halls towards the room. Adam was lying on the operating table when Danny got to the hospital. They had cleaned him up and done all they could to make him somewhat presentable. The nurse that ushered Danny in had to hold him up as his legs gave out. He walked slowly to his brother. Tears once again streaming down his face. He hugged him tightly, kissing him gently on the cheek. He knew what he had to do.

Seeing his brother there gave Danny the push he needed to seek out the crossroad. He had collected everything he needed and the crossroad was the final piece to the puzzle. Collecting each artifact, he didn’t have second thoughts at all. He knew what he wanted to do.

……………………………….

Finishing his prayer, Danny was startled by the figure of a man near the hole he had dug. Walking over, he knew it had worked. The well-dressed man acknowledged Danny, offering his hand. Danny took it, and the man spoke. “You’ve done a great deal to arrange this meeting… What is it you seek?”

Inhaling deeply, Danny made his wish known.

“I want my brother alive again.”

Smiling, the man told Danny, “In order for the dead to rise, the living must fall. If he lives, you shall not.”

Danny needed not one second to decide. He nodded in agreement. He would do anything for his brother. He just hoped everyone would understand.

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