Friday, February 6, 2009

Heidi's Hero

The rest of this month is going to be dedicated to the sanctity of human life. I sincerely hope I don't loose too many of my readers, and I doubt I will, but I can't stay silent when I consider those who are defenseless and have no one to protect them.

My first offering in this series is a short story titled, Heidi's Hero. This is a bizarre story, even by my standards, so I anticipate a flurry of comments. They should be fairly interesting, if I know my audience. Oh, and as a special treat, I'm going to post the entire story. I couldn't find a spot to break it up, so I just unloaded the entire thing at once.

Heidi’s Hero

Jack was an ordinary man. He had a family and a regular job. He paid his taxes, he voted at every opportunity, and he watched every Super Bowl. According to society, Jack was the life-blood of mainstream America. However, Jack had a problem.

A peculiar change overcame him when he saved the life of a small child—a seven year old. He was walking his dog on a lazy, Saturday afternoon when he noticed a woman walking sporadically, dragging a little girl by the arms. The girl was whimpering, almost inaudibly, but willingly submitted to her mother’s harsh demands.

Jack grew curious as he watched the woman drag the girl into an alleyway, between two large, forbidding buildings. He followed quietly; his one vice being nosy. His curiosity transformed into horror as the woman produced a pistol from her purse and held it to the girl’s head with shaking hands. The girl’s eyes pleaded for mercy that would not be granted, for her mother cocked the pistol with grim determination.

Springing from the shadows, Jack tackled the woman and started wrestling her for the gun. The woman squealed, out of either fright or defiance, and counter attacked with a martial arts maneuver that sent Jack spiraling face first into the concrete. The woman quickly climbed to her feet and retrieved her pistol, lifting it to the girl’s head. Jack, shaken by the blow, staggered to his feet and charged the would-be killer again. He caught her on the chin with a closed right fist; the woman dropped to the ground, but refused to yield her weapon. He threw himself upon the woman and started to restrain her, but the woman screamed again and managed to position her body where she lay on top of Jack. Ignoring Jack, she lifted the pistol and squeezed off a shot that clipped the little girl’s pigtail.

The girl shrieked in terror, but stood frozen in place. Jack yelled at her to run, but she was a statue, a tribute to terror. The woman recocked the pistol and held it level again. Jack, out of desperation, grabbed the woman by the head and twisted her neck with a furious effort. A grinding, popping, sound, and the woman was dead, her body twitching as if stung by a thousand invisible bees. As her dead fingers yielded to her nerves, the pistol erupted again, and it was flung halfway across the alley. Jack threw her lifeless body aside and ran to attend the little girl. Pedestrians on the street had heard the gunfire and were shouting to dial 911.

Jack became a celebrity. He was the lead story in every legitimate publication through out the world. He was dubbed “Heidi’s Hero,” after the little girl he saved. The change that overcame him was immeasurable, it even him was caught unaware.

Here is what happened: Teresa Carol, the girl’s mother, was a woman heavily taxed with burdens. She grew up under an abusive hand; a series of scars that even time could not heal. Teresa was never married; she bounced from one meaningless relationship to another. The more relationships that exploited her, the worse her behavior became. Then came Heidi, an unwanted child in an unwanted life. Teresa, upon learning that she was pregnant, tried to have an abortion. She went to a clinic and sat down with the counselor, who was concerned about Teresa’s well being. The baby was going to be a terrible burden on a woman that wasn’t even stable herself. The baby would most likely grow up dysfunctional, and therefore, deserved to be spared the anxiety of repeating her mother’s life mistakes. Teresa was in trouble, and only an abortion could save her. Her counselor quickly surmised that Teresa must act now, or it would be too late. She agreed to have the procedure—until she discovered that it cost money. When the procedure cost more than she was able to pay, the counselor promptly dismissed Teresa until she could produce the funds.

Devastated, Teresa returned to her pregnancy and determined to find a buyer for her baby. However, Teresa had not realized the emotional attachment she would have for the child. No one had ever loved Teresa; maybe this child would love her.

After Heidi’s birth, Teresa realized love for the first time. Truly, she could not sell her baby. However, as time passed and Heidi became a burden, Teresa decided that child rearing was too hard for her. Her boyfriends would yell at Heidi and some of them would shake her when she cried. Secretly, she started to hate Heidi for invading her life. The baby was a terrible burden, just as the counselor had predicted. Teresa wasn’t a good mother. She simply wasn’t ready. After all, she wasn’t very old herself. She kept remembering the words of the counselor, “The baby will grow up as dysfunctional as you are. Is that what you want? We must embrace the truth that the procedure is the only option that really works. You are not ready to be a mother. Fortunately, you still have time before you become a mother. Act now, get yourself out of trouble, do the responsible thing.”

For seven years, Teresa heard these words echoing in her sleep until she became obsessed with them. If she simply ended Heidi’s life, then her problems would go away. After all, Heidi was not a woman until she grew older. She served no real part in the community; she was only an added burden. To perform the procedure on her is the only responsible thing to do.

The next morning, Teresa took Heidi to the abortion clinic and asked to have the procedure done for Heidi. The counselor looked at Teresa and then at Heidi for a very long moment. “Are you telling me that Heidi is in trouble? At such a young age?”

“Yes, and I believe that a baby in my life would be too much of a burden. I am not responsible enough to raise a child. I am in trouble and I need you to help me. Will you help me? I have the money.”

The counselor nodded gently. “Oh course dear, of course. We have never done the procedure on a child so young, or small, but it seems to start earlier all the time these days.” She shook her head as if scolding young girls for getting pregnant. “Of course we can help you. How long has, I’m sorry, what is the little girl’s name and age?”

“Heidi, age seven.”

The counselor looked cautiously at Teresa. “And you think that Heidi is pregnant?” She quickly brushed off the question before Teresa could answer her. She could see the potential to make some quick cash on her. “Of course, you realize that this is a special procedure that we have never done before. It will cost much more than normal, after all, the child is so small.”

Theresa nodded. “My boyfriend gave me one thousand dollars to take care of Heidi. I am really not sure, but he could be the one responsible for her.”

The counselor shook her head. To realize that this woman allowed her child to be molested by her boyfriend, why, there should be a crime against that.

“Where should I leave Heidi?”

“I’m sorry? I don’t understand.”

“Where should I leave her so you can do the procedure? I need to meet my boyfriend soon.”

“Well, we can do it now, in just a few minutes.”

Theresa’s eyes watered. “I promised myself that I wouldn’t cry.” She dried her tears with a tissue. “Heidi, I love you and I will miss you a lot. Bye bye.” She turned to leave.

The counselor jumped up. “Ma’am? You can’t leave such a small child in here by herself. You will have to accompany her for most of the procedure.”

“I don’t want to watch Heidi die. I think it would be too hard.”

In a moment of clear realization, she grasped that she was negotiating euthanasia, not an abortion on a seven-year-old. “I think that you have misunderstood, we can’t help you with your problem. Please leave immediately.”

“But you said that an unwanted pregnancy can be terminated. You said that I was not responsible enough to raise a child.”

“Ma’am, this child is a living person, you can’t just kill her!”

“But you told me that my baby was alive, but not a person, just tissue. Heidi is alive, she is tissue. I don’t want her; she is an unwanted child. What is the difference?”

“Ma’am, please leave my office.”

Theresa, thoroughly confused, approached a drug dealer she knew and offered him a thousand dollars for a gun. He accepted her offer and she started walking down the street with Heidi, looking for a place to kill her daughter, to terminate her existence. That is when Jack got involved in Heidi’s life.

Jack had never done anything in his life that impacted society. He had always lived an average life, under average circumstances. He had always imagined that if he had served in the military during a war, he would have been awarded the Medal of Honor. He was always burdened by a strong sense of civic duty that he owed more to America than America had given him. He could feel tears invade his eyes every time he heard the National Anthem. He was a patriot down to his red, white, and blue ties.

He was intoxicated by the feeling he experienced when he saved Heidi’s life. He wasn’t struggling with pride; rather, it was a sense of accomplishment that ignited in him a desire to be excellent again.

Jack was also a very moral man. He would not steal, not even a pen from his office. He hated thieves, for they took what they wanted with little regard for others. He despised liars. He felt that a man must represent the truth, no matter what it cost him. Truth was a matter of conviction, a brand that was burned on his heart.

He also loved life. He loved children—especially babies. He loved the way new babies were perfumed with life, how it enamored them. Once he watched a news story about a family that burned cigarette holes in their baby’s stomach, and became irate. Even irrational.

It would outrage him to see an abusive hand placed on a child. Jack also hated abortion. He believed in the sanctity of human life. He believed that any abortion was a matter of murder, and any doctor that performed abortion should be treated as a war criminal. Even in the cases of incest and murder, abortions were unjustifiable homicides.

Jack had walked in the light of a hero, and could see only what a hero has eyes to see. He saw an opportunity to be a hero again. He would fight for those that were unable to fight for themselves. He would prevent the silent scream, even if it ment his own life. He started a crusade to end the world of abortions.

Jack attempted to reason with the abortion doctors, but they refused him an audience. He pleaded with them to stop murdering unborn babies, but his words fell on deaf ears. He surmised that the doctors were too influenced by the money that was in abortions to be objective. He would have to take another approach. However, the politicians seemed to avoid him. He joined lobby groups, but accomplished nothing. He wrote letters, but received no answers. The Republican platform praised his voice for speaking out, but was powerless to change the laws. The religious community hosted him on their television shows and promised to pray, but did not act with him. He was determined to find a way to stop the madness of abortion. He would find a way…


Perched just above an abortion clinic with rifle in hand, he waited for the doctor to step out of his BMW. Jack had a perfect angle for a kill; one shot was all he needed. He allowed for distance, he allowed for wind, and then calculatingly squeezed the trigger. The doctor was standing before his Maker before he knew he was dead. This was a doctor that Jack had plead with to stop the murders. The doctor laughed at him and called him “just another wacko right-wing religious nut.”

Jack was stunned at how easy it was to defend the unborn babies unable to defend themselves. The news swarmed the story like flies searching for a pile of defecation. Jack watched the news. He watched an interview with a prominent pro-life speaker who estimated that the assassin had saved potentially thousands of unborn lives. He disagreed with the action taken, but was thankful for the babies whom that doctor “would no longer rip in half and suction through a tube.” Jack also watched an interview with a doctor that publicly condemned the unknown terrorist. The doctor swore an oath, on public television, that he would stand up for the rights of the woman, and work overtime to make up for this injustice. He called on all abortion clinics to increase their working hours to accommodate the violated women, who must also fight for their rights.

Jack wasted no time in closing the doors of that clinic, at lest for a few weeks. Terror engulfed the world, as doctors were being shot all over the Untied States. Three doctors were shot on the same day by three different men. All of whom were arrested that same day. Conservatives had declared war on abortion.

Women were terrified to attend the clinics, for one woman was shot as she exited a clinic in Alabama. Jack would have never killed the mother, for he felt that she was a victim also. Jack now used his public stance to make a television appearance. He declared that the killing of the women must stop, for they had been lied to by the government and by the press. They were victims of the money hungry abortion industry. He made no mention of the doctors slain. He, too, rejoiced that so many babies had been spared.

The media crucified Jack that night. He was labeled a terrorist. What right did he have to endorse the murder of the doctors, who were only providing a public service? The laws of the Untied States allowed for abortion, therefore it was a just practice. A woman has the right to choose what to do with her body, and no one else could say anything about it.

Jack decided to give a rebuttal. He pointed out that Teresa had the right, under the abortion laws, to choose freely whether or not Heidi would live. What difference did it make if Heidi was breathing the atmosphere? A mother should have the right to choose, regardless of the child’s age. He spat sarcasm at the media and the pro-choice community. They hated him for it. That night, as the war raged across America, Jack was shot, through the head, by a sniper shouting, “Freedom to the people!”

And with that, I close this dark, depressing story. I ask you to stop and leave a comment, even if it's to say you won't be back for another visit. Thanks for stopping by!


sharilyn said...

hmmm. so much in here. such sadness and heroism...or not. it's one of those stories where one wrestles with whose side one should take... the good guy becomes the bad guy but is the good guy but is not. it's the age-old question of 'does the end justify the means?' i'm torn. and must ponder this for awhile.

killing the doctors is no more right than killing the unborn babies. it is still murdering, though the doctors are not innocents. we must be careful not to take God's place in meting out justice, but we must do all we can (and then some!) to fight for those who do not have a voice and cannot fight for themselves.

your point of the mother wanting to "abort" Heidi's life once she was born was a very poignant and sobering angle on the abortion issue. i greatly appreciate that perspective, as it is the truth of the matter.

i just wish Jack had not decided to kill the was effective in stopping some abortions but i don't believe it is the right way...

good for you, travis, for being courageous enough to address the issue...

Gwen Stewart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gwen Stewart said...

I read it. Like any good author you present a story--and through it an idea--and leave us to draw our own conclusions. My conclusion? I find the killing on both sides agonizing.

I agree with Sharilyn...Heidi's mother wanting to "abort" her at seven was a great point and poignantly shared.

Clearly "an eye for an eye" is represented here. It is Biblical, and so doesn't offend me. Does it challenge me? Oh, yes. But if I'm not being challenged by Biblical Truths and principles, I'm not walking with Christ, in my opinion.

So thank you for these challenging thoughts. I will most certainly be back to your blog.

Travis said...

Gwen and Sharilyn-
This has never been one of my favorite stories. In fact, I think it's my least favorite. My wife has often asked me, "why did you even write it?" I don't have a quick answer for that. It's an important topic. The warrior in me wants to endorse the idea of killing those who intend harm. But I can't do so. I have wrestled with these issues for many years.

I used to picket abortion clinics in my college days, and I saw so many horrible things. I saw Christians throwing blood on the girls as they were escorted into the clinics. It's hard to remember that God still loves those women -- as much as He loves the babies.

Thanks for your comments. I will be continuing this topic for several weeks. I appreciate your support.

Dave said...

I've read this one before, and it's interesting to see how differently I responded this time. It's interesting how my mood and/or current attitudes and situations change how I view each of their situations.

I know this is a morbid story, but I agree with you that it is an important topic (even though I didn't do a thing at church last month for Sanctity of Life week).

On another note, I gave up trying to figure out why you do things a long time ago. It's nice to know that Sarah why you do things either. :-)

Dave said...

typo correction:

It's nice to know that Sarah doesn't know why you do things either.

Travis said...

Sometimes I'm not even certain why I do it. Most of the time I regret it! Thanks, Dave.

Amy Deardon said...

Travis -- you have a great point with the mother who wants to *abort* her 7 year old. IMHO I'd stop the story there, with Jack's rescue.

Tracy said...

Powerful and provacative story, Travis. There is such tragedy because of abortion and you covered much of it here. I believe the tide will turn, and Roe v. Wade will be overturned, but it will be a (figuratively) bloody battle to get there.

In part, I agree that the mothers are victims too. Young girls are conditioned to believe from H.S. and maybe even Jr. High now, that it's not a baby, it's just tissue. If they had the truth, if it was really about choice and the real info and options were given to these mothers, I think most of them would choose life. There is much work and prayer yet to do.

Kate said...

Finally took the time to read this story.

I know that you are strongly pro-life, but after reading the story I am more focused on the right wing nut and my anger towards such actions. If the guy wanted to fight the horrors of abortion, why didn't he become a sex educator for teens? Why didn't he start a low-cost adoption agency so I can afford to adopt the unwanted babies?

Because of the incest comment, I just have to put this out there. I am pro-life, but believe that abortion should be legal in the extreme cases for at least the first trimester - even if I hope that I personally would be able to see the pregnancy through.

If you made a choice to have sex, I think you give up the choice to abort the always possible outcome, a baby. BUT a girl/woman who has been raped didn't make that choice. She was the victim of a violent act. That girl/woman should be supported unconditionally.

Travis said...

Thanks so much for stopping by. I so value your thought and opinions; you add so much to the conversation.

You're insertion that Jack should have become a proactive element is so true. I wish more Christians would step up to make adoption a vialble option--especially as it's soooo expensive to do so.

You are right of course. Right wind nuts are just as dangerous at left wing soclialists. Jesus lived in a day when babies were left to die by laying them in the open air and allowing them to die from exposure. Tragic...

These issues are not unique to us.

Tracy--you used the right word. Tragic.

Amy- You can plainly see why I don't particularly enjoy this story. It's a tragedy on so many levels. It would make a much happier story to stop with saving Heidi. But, this whole topic is unpleasant and tragic.

I do want everyone to understand that I don't endorse killing abortion doctors...

Avily Jerome said...

If only more people would grasp the concept that the baby inside the womb is as much alive as little Heidi!

Sadly, I can't say I completely disagree with the route that Jack took in the end. Not that it makes him right, but in a sense, justice was served. How sad that it takes a story like this to point out what's wrong in our world!

Travis said...

Trust me, I know how tempting it is to sympathize with Jack. It's hard to reconcile the concept of abortion and our desire to end it. I made the decision years ago that if need be, I could take another's life if it would save someone else's.

However, it's a quantum leap to go from defending someone and shooting an abortion doctor. Again, I can understand how Jack got to where he was, but I'm not ready to endorse his actions.

Thanks for stopping by. I value your thoughts tremendously!