Matthew found four terrified children in the streets of his war-stricken town. They had no knowledge of the whereabouts of their parents so he took them in. The children wept profusely. “You must remain silent, they will hear us,” pleaded Matthew. Just then someone knocked on the door. Matthew tiptoed to the door and checked through the peephole; he was taken aback. “Enemy soldiers!” he murmured. Matthew ran to the back of the living room towards the fireplace. Using all his might he pushed the fireplace aside to reveal a secret passage. The knocking on the door was getting louder by the minute. “Listen carefully children,” said Matthew and handed one of them a torch. “This secret passage leads into the woods. Make a run for it till you come across a river. Then follow it down stream to safety. Whatever happens, don’t stop and don’t look back.” The children crept into the passage and Matthew slid the fireplace back into its original position to conceal the passage. By now the soldiers were banging on the door. Matthew used his big frame to hold the door shut. He was as strong as an ox! Four soldiers couldn’t force the door open, so they started firing at the door. One bullet hit Matthew in the thigh. He screamed in pain and stepped back. The soldiers made use of this opportunity and barged in. But Matthew was determined to give the children time to escape so he attacked the soldiers. He punched the first soldier in the face. He kicked the second and the third and held the fourth in a neck lock. But the soldiers teamed up against him and one of them kicked him hard in his abdomen. Since his leg was already injured, Matthew was unable to stay on his feet and he twisted and fell. His face smashed into the glass window shattering it into pieces. Shards of glass were embedded in his face and blood flowed uncontrollably from the wounds. But when he looked up, he caught a fleeting glimpse of the children escaping into the woods. A smile appeared on his face. He stood up again and turned towards the enemy soldiers. A smile on his face and the calmness in his eyes infuriated the soldiers. Angrily, one of them picked up his gun and emptied six rounds into Matthew’s chest. With a loud thud, the big frame of Matthew fell to the floor. While three soldiers checked the rooms to make sure the house was empty, one curious soldier walked up to the window. Carefully avoiding the broken edges, he put his head out to see what made Matthew so calm. He saw nothing but the woods and heard nothing but the rustling of leaves, so he stepped back. “All clear?” he asked the other soldiers. “Yes, we are good to go,” said the other three and the soldiers left the apartment.   Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!