Another great week with some exciting new entries!

This week's authors included:

Check out all of the stories here!

A huge thanks to judge @rastrohman


Honorable Mention
Cara Michaels
It seemed like a typical sacrificial offering, but reading that his mother was saving Aisling was brilliant. Love it!

Stacy Bennett-Hoyt
Totally didn't see that coming, and a great story all around. It had a Stand By Me feel to it!

The Winning Story

Every year, we remember the sacrifice – my buddies and I. And I don’t have to write it on my calendar to remember it, even now almost forty years later. I can't say that I remember much of my youth anymore, but that day – February 27, 1973 – is forever branded on my soul.
It had been an unusual winter in Maine with on-again off-again freezing temperatures that made the ice on the lake unpredictable, patchy and dangerous. It was sunny so five of us went skating: Charlie, Don, Greg, Buddy and me. They were my gang, back before gangs were something to be feared. We were 12 that year, an age where our invulnerability was legendary, at least to us. My brother, Sam, and his friends were there, too. They were a few years older and were trying to snag some dates for Friday night.

And then, it happened: The ice broke.

Now, Sam was an Eagle Scout, and I don’t mean just a Scout for the badges or the derbies or any of that stuff. Sam was an Eagle Scout because God wove the Boy Scout Creed into every fiber of his being. When that ice broke and the lake swallowed up a kid, he was the first one there. Sam jumped right in without thinking twice. Goddamn, that water was cold!

His best friend, Darren, slithered up to the hole, and grabbed Sam’s hood to keep the undertow from taking him. But Sam couldn’t find that kid. Not one to give up, he dove under to look deeper. My brother was a great swimmer and he managed to go down and come back up to the hole four, maybe five, times before he finally found that kid and dragged him up by an arm.

The kid must have swallowed a bunch of water. He wasn’t breathing when they got him up, his skin icy and pale. Sam and Darren tried to get him out of the water but the worst was yet to come. Just as they got his limp body up on the ice, the ice under Darren gave way, throwing him in, too.

By that time, the rescue squad came with their ropes and life vests. They crawled out to the hole which was getting larger as the two older boys struggled. One rescue worker dragged the kid to shore and got him breathing again. I don’t know how that was possible after all that time underwater. It was a damn miracle. Darren got out, too. But not Sam. Somewhere in the cold dark water of that lake, they lost my Sam. He was the best brother a boy could have and not a day goes by I don’t miss him.

I live in California now, but I fly back every February 27th to visit the lake where Sam died. And no matter how my mind wanders with age, I will never forget that day because I was the kid Sam died to save.

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