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Zach was out of his beach chair and running hard and fast, intent on saving his son, vision narrowed to tunnel focus, in a fugue where distractions and diversions did not exist. He was almost upon Bryan and his son’s captor when he heard the patter of racing bare feet beside him. In a fury his head turned, fists cocked, adrenaline spiked, ready to pummel whoever dared get between him and rescuing his son.

“Zach!” he heard someone scream. “Zach!” the voice repeated, “What is it?!” Enrique demanded.

Zach raced on, his lumbering form challenging the waves ferocity as his feet smashed step after step as he zeroed in on the man who held his child. “Him!” he roared, pointing at Joseph. “Him! He has my son!”

Enrique surged, running point of the three young men who followed in close pursuit. “Stop him! Stop him!” Enrique called over his shoulder, adding, “He’s got Bryan!” before turning his head forward and screaming, “Bryan! Bryan! We’re coming! Your dad’s right here!”

Joseph looked up from his play with his son and saw the stampede of men rushing his way. He heard voices screaming out his son’s name and saw fury in the eyes of the onslaught. “Beth! Beth!” he screamed, “Get help! Run!” turning his back to the approaching attackers as he lowered the arms that held the burden of his son, Joe flipped Brian midair so he would hit the surf feet first and then sprung into the air, spinning 180 degrees to face the human deluge which seemed intent to pour over him. Joseph, his son dazed and defenseless at his feet, stood at an angle, his body turned to present a minimal area for his attackers to strike and raised his left fist just below chin height as he pulled his right fist back, fully prepared to kill or die in order to protect his son from the deranged mob that was swarmed toward them.

Joe heard Beth’s voice scream over and over but his brain held no comprehension of her words. No matter what happened next he would protect his son or die trying. His head swept right to left, taking in the pack of human curs, his eyes reaching the shore and his head twitching as he saw Beth in front of rather than behind him.

Beth, holding Bryan who Joe knew was at his feet. Bryan who cowered in fear, his son having no comprehension of what had caused his father to throw him to the ground and turn from loving and playful Pabbi to a man ready, willing and able to use maximum force in defense of what he held most dear. Distracted by Beth for a split second he found himself ready to fight the men who split and surrounded him and Joe prepared to deliver mayhem even as he wondered how and when his wife had transported their son to safety.

Focused on the fight Joe heard Beth scream what sounded like, “Zach! No! That’s Joseph!” as the largest of the five dove low and tried to take him out at the knees.