His Last Breath

Two eight year old boys by the name of Jacob Black and Ethan Black was outside in the front yard playing with their twin sisters Rachel and Rebecca. Jacob was chasing his sisters with a worm he had dug up from his mother's garden. Ethan was sitting on the porch laughing at the scene in front of him.

A black sedan turned the corner onto the driveway as they drove towards the house, dust kicking up behind it. All the kids stopped to look as the car pull into a stop. Jacob dropped the worm and watched as a man in a all black suit and hat with a lot of shiny metals hanging from his suit walked up the walk way towards the house.

Their mother, Sarah, opened the door and approached the man.

"Mrs. Black I'm General James Antle. I am sorry to inform you that you're husband Billy Black was lost in battle." The man stated. Then the kids watched as their strong will mother broke down and cried. The man pulled her into a hug.

"I'm so sorry Mrs. Black. I hope you know that you're husband served his country with true honor and pride. I'm so sorry for your loss."

Their mother cried and cried into the man's shoulder. Jacob turned to look at Ethan and he turned to look at him. Rachel and Rebecca looked at each other. The kids knew that something was seriously wrong with their dad. They all ran up to their mother and the man.

"Mommy, is Daddy okay?" Jacob asked his mother. Sarah removed herself from the man's shoulder and turned to her kids. She was trembling as she try to spoke.

"No honey, your dad is not okay," she stuttered out as she kneeled to the ground and all four of her children ran into her arms.

She cried holding onto her children for dear life. As of that moment, they were the only ones keeping her somewhat strong. Her kids held onto her and tried to figure out what had happened to their father.

"Mrs. Black, your husband left this letter with us. It was said to give to you if he never returns." Their mother pulled away from them wiping her tears away as she grabbed the white envelope from the man.

"Again I'm sorry for your lost Mrs. Black. The funeral arrangements had already been made and taken care of. This envelope will explain everything of the funeral process and includes a list of people to be invited. If there's anyone else you like me to invite please do call the number on the list. I'm here to help you and your family through this grieving time. Anything you need please let me know."

Sarah Black nodded and took the letter from the man and he walked away and back into his car and it sped away. Sarah ushered the kids into the house as she walked into the kitchen. All the kids sat down and waited on their mother to explain what had happened to their father. Jacob stood up after 5 minutes not hearing from his mom. He walked into the kitchen to find his mother on the floor crying into the phone.

"Harry… he's dead Harry… he's dead… I have no idea what I'm going to do without him," he heard her whimpered into the reciever. He can hear Harry try to soothe her as he said he was on his way. The dial tone went dead as Harry hung up and was rushing to their house. He watched as his mother sat on the floor crying her eyes out.

"He's dead….he's dead…." Those words rang through Jacob's ears. Many thoughts ran through his brain as he processed what he just heard. He shook his head and refused to believe that his father was dead. He felt tears start to spill over his eyes and he ran out of the kitchen and down the hall into his and Ethan's room. Her brother and sisters got up abrubtly as they saw Jacob run into the room. They knew that at that moment, nothing was ever going to be the same.

A few minutes later, Harry Clearwater was knocking on the door. Rachel opened it. She looked up at Harry and Sue carrying their little bundle of joy, Leah.

"Sue, she's probably in the kitchen," he said and she nodded taking Leah in her carriage with her into the kitchen to consult her mother. Harry looked around the living room. He spotted Rachel, Rebecca, and Ethan but Jacob was no where in site.

"Racheal where's Jacob?" Harry asked.

"He ran into his room," Racheal pointed in the direction of the room. Harry closed the door and walked slowly into Jacob and Ethan's room. He knocked first and was answered with a 'go away' and a muffled cry. Harry opened the door and there Jacob was lying on his bed with his face in the pillow crying.

"Jake are you okay?" Harry asked stepping into the room. Jacob looked up at him with red puffy eyes and tears streaming down his face.

"Is it true? Is he dead?" Jacob asked. Harry walked over and sat down on the bed next to Jacob. Harry simply nodded and Jacob burst into more tears. Harry pulled him onto his lap and wrapped his arms around him.

"Shhhhh…..shhhh…it'll be okay Jake. It'll be okay," Harry whispered as he tried to comfort an eight-year-old boy who he knew was going to be scar for life. Ethan, Rachel, and Rebecca watched the scene unfold in front of them. Tears streamed down their eyes as they realized that their father was never coming back.

Two days later, dressed up in black, they all went to the funeral. Their mother cried for two nights straight. During the day she would stay strong and cook and keep herself busy so she wouldn't break in front of the kids. But at night, they can hear their mother break and cry herself to sleep. Sue and Harry were over during the day to help her with funeral arrangements. Charlie Swan would check in every so often. Jacob refused to talk to anyone.

As they stand there in the graveyard and the guns rang one last shot and they lowered Billy Black into the ground. One by one people came over and picked up a handful of dirt and dropped onto the coffin that had disappeared six feet under. Charlie wrapped an arm around their mother and walked away with her. Rachel, Rebecca, and Ethan turned to follow their mother. Jacob stood where he was and watched as men shoveled dirt into the hole that his father was laying in.

Ethan noticed his brother and turned back to get him.

"Jake?" Ethan asked. Jacob continued to stare and stood there till the hole was covered up in dirt. Ethan watched waiting for Jacob to budge. Jacob closed his eyes and released a breath that he seemed to be holding onto. He turned to face his brother.

"Let's go," he spoke his first few words in two days and walked away with Ethan towards the car. Never once did he look back.

AN: Inspired by This Ain't Nothin' by Craig Morgan. RxR