Merry Christmas Everyone – We’re Having a Great Time in Orlando

Beautiful Things

 

What is Beauty?

Some say beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Some say beauty is skin deep

What do you say?

A wise person told me once that beauty can be likened to a  package which contains external looks, the heart, and personality and we often get carried away by the external that we miss the internal contents.

I think that we are all capable of being beautiful so do something beautiful this Christmas – be kind, loving and generous with your time.

 

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Blood Borne Connections is part of the GLL Publishing Collection!

 

 

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Despite all odds: A Dream Fulfilled Part 1

Despite all odds: A Dream Fulfilled Part 2

Truths, Lies And Untold Secrets

Blood Borne Connections

U Murder U (Suicide)

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GLL Publishing – Great Time in New York, New York

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Blood Borne Connections is part of the GLL Publishing Collection

 

 

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Ebooks from GLL Publishing available at Amazon, Smashwords etc – Books also available via http://www.gllpublishing.com

Despite all odds: A Dream Fulfilled Part 1

Despite all odds: A Dream Fulfilled Part 2

Truths, Lies And Untold Secrets

Blood Borne Connections

U Murder U (Suicide)

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Chapters 1 – 14 of Blood Borne Connections

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Chapters 1 – 14 of Blood Borne Connections have been published on this blog

Let me know what you think

 

Two Plants

Ebooks from GLL Publishing available at Amazon, Smashwords etc – Books also available via http://www.gllpublishing.com

Despite all odds: A Dream Fulfilled Part 1

Despite all odds: A Dream Fulfilled Part 2

Truths, Lies And Untold Secrets

Blood Borne Connections

U Murder U (Suicide)

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https://www.facebook.com/gllpublishings.co.uk?ref=hl

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Blood Borne Connections – Chapter 13

 

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Chapter 13

 

‘Tatiana’

 

On the bus that took us from Czechoslovakia we were shown our passports, we all had new names. According to my passport my name was now Tatiana Nikols. I didn’t question this, none of us did. Neither did we question how the passports were obtained so quickly, we were so happy to be chosen, so happy to be going to a new life that you could have called us Humpty Dumpty and we wouldn’t have bat an eye. ‘Bat an eye’ – what does that really mean? How does one bat one’s eye? This is not something that we readily say back home. I heard Tommy, one of the eight men who guards us tell Hanna this. Hanna is one of the girls who traveled from the orphanage with me; she is the same age as me but looks much older and is more physically developed than me. Tommy told her that he wouldn’t bat an eye if she died. He had raped her so many times and she had tried to kill herself so many times and on the last unsuccessful attempt he said this to her as she lay on the ground covered in blood that slowly seeped out of a new cut on her wrist. He became hysterical when he found her that day, the other men tried to calm him down but he wouldn’t listen to them. He tried to beat her but they wouldn’t let him so he spat on her. Two days later he was begging her for sex and when she said ‘no’ he raped her. How can you spit on someone one minute then want to sleep with her the next? You spit on something when you think it is dirty and beneath you. If this is what you think, is it not logical that you would not want to touch that thing?

 

America is a capitalist country. Growing up in Czechoslovakia you are told that capitalism is bad and corrupt. You are told that too many people have too many thoughts in a capitalist country and nothing substantial in their thinking. Their thoughts lead to confusion and a division between the rich and the poor. The rich have too much money and too many cares and the poor have too little money and care about nothing in their attempt to get rich. This is why the poor readily kill and steal in their attempt to be rich and then they get rich and they have too much money and too many cares, so much so that they wish they were poor again. It’s hilarious! This is a word I picked up from Hanna. She says that life is hilarious and if she weren’t always crying in pain she would be laughing at her good fortune of being in America – the cause of her pain! Hilarious!

When we first arrived in America we were moved from one house to another, several times and we immediately saw the difference between this country and ours as we were driven in a van with darkened windows. The skyscrapers – the fast food restaurants – the big cars – the big houses – the homeless people who lived out of supermarket carts – the overdressed shops – the underdressed women. It was very different from Czechoslovakia. The music was so different. We would spend hours watching music videos on the television, our favorites were Whitney Houston ‘Saving All My Love’, Debarge ‘Rhythm Of The Night’, Foreigner ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’, Kool &The Gang ‘Cherish’, Ashford & Simpson ‘Solid’, Madonna ‘Crazy For You’, New Edition ‘Mr. Telephone Man’, Billy Ocean ‘Suddenly’, Sade ‘Smooth Operator’, Jermaine Jackson ‘Do What You Do’ and Tina Turner ‘Private Dancer’. I loved Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ and would watch it over and over again when it was played on the television. We were fifteen and sixteen year old girls exposed to music we had never heard before and we would dance and dance. We didn’t know the words but the videos spoke their own language and we would sing along as if we did know the words. Although short lived they were fun times that united us and gave us something to talk about and write about. You see we were encouraged to write letters to our siblings and friends back in the orphanage. I wrote long letters to Tereza, Leona and Eduard. I told them my name was now Tatiana as this was more Americanized. I also told them about the many things we had seen, the food, the television shows and the music. I tried to describe the things I saw as best as I could in detail so that they would feel as though they were here with me, and seeing what I saw. We were given a Post Office Box address to give them so that they could write to us. I remember waiting for letters from home but never receiving any. After a few weeks of being moved from one house to another the blonde American woman came to the house we were in and told us that we were all going to a final location. We were all excited about this and packed our few belongings.

The say evil has a humorous side and just before it strikes it can’t help itself; it lets you know it is coming. Moments away from our final location we were told the sad news of Mrs. Svobodová’s death and told that we should work hard and do our best to make her proud of us in America!

Our new home was a large three-story house with many darkened windows. There were no other houses next to it on either side, it stood alone, almost sinisterly so. From the outside it looked like a house that could accommodate many families. Once we got inside the house the doors were locked and bolted and the men who guarded us immediately changed in the way they behaved towards us. You see when we first got to America we were told that these men were protecting us from the corrupt American men who exploited innocent girls like us. We were told to regard them as bodyguards and that they didn’t understand our language and as such we should avoid interacting with them, but if we had to speak to them we were to speak only in English. Hanna noted that when we spoke in our language some of the men would stop talking. She suspected that some of them could understand and speak our language and didn’t understand why they pretended they couldn’t. In our first weeks in America they hardly spoke to us and they never touched us; they acted like we were their little sisters. Once the door of the new house closed behind us they grabbed hold of us and pushed us down steep stairs into a large room in the basement of the house. We screamed, we cried, we tried to make sense of the sudden change in our treatment but the men told us to shut up and do as they said. They took our belongings from us and locked us in the room, which was dark and smelled of urine and vomit. I remember feeling sick and trying to hold my breath but everywhere I turned the smell followed and made my insides churn. We were kept in the room for two days with no food and a dripping tap as our only source of water.

What did we do during this time? We sat on the cold floor and waited. You have to understand; none of us knew what was going on, our upbringing in Czechoslovakia had been very sheltered in the orphanage. Communism had sheltered us from the wicked ways of so called modern civilization. Of course we cried and cried, some of us banged on the door and begged to be released, begged for food and begged for mercy. For two days we were ignored. It was during this period that I learned something; I learned that Leona had been the first girl selected by the American woman and she had turned the woman down. Despite the American woman begging her and offering her money, Leona had refused to go with her because she said that the woman did not look sincere. She had told the American woman and Mrs. Mertle that she had prayed to God for direction and God had shown her in a dream that the American woman was not to be trusted. I cried when Hanna told me this. I cried when I thought about what I had said to Leona, how I had accused her of being jealous because I had been chosen and she hadn’t and I cried when I thought about the fact that I might never again see her, my sister or Eduard, we would never again be the four musketeers. I would die in this dark cold basement from starvation. Looking back that would have been a luxury compared to what lay ahead.

On the third day, the men who had guarded us during our first weeks took us out of the room one by one. I don’t know what scared me the most, the fear of seeing a girl taken and knowing that it would soon be my turn or the thought of what they were going to do to the girl they had taken and what they would do to me. One of the girls had said during our two days in the basement that they were going to kill us and sell our organs – again that would have been a luxury.

I remember two men grabbing my arms and pulling me out of the room, I remember being blinded by the light as I was dragged up the stairs. Then things start to get blurry. I was dragged into a room and told to take my clothes off when I refused I was slapped several times. I heard girls screaming from different areas of the house and my mind froze with a fear that I have never felt before. Hands ripped and pulled off my clothes and threw them onto a pile already on the floor. One of the men held a hand over his nose while another one said I smelled like shit and needed to wash. I was pulled naked out of the room and thrown into a room with a shower. I was told that I had two minutes to wash and that I should make sure I washed in-between my legs and my mouth properly. Amid the instructions I heard screaming, I heard shouting and I heard the quiet sound of someone weeping as if her heart were being shattered. It took some moments before I realized that the quiet weeping was coming from me. I could taste blood in my mouth from where I had bitten myself when I was repeatedly slapped. I tried to pick up the soap from the floor but my hands were shaking so much. I had never been naked in front of a man and I felt ashamed at this. I felt ashamed and scared. The men were looking at my body and grinning at each other. They told me to hurry up or they would ‘do me’ right there. I didn’t know what they meant but from the evil glint in their eyes I knew that it wasn’t good. I remember picking up the soap and standing under the shower, the water was freezing and I washed quickly thinking that if I did this I would be given some clean clothes and some decency. I brushed my teeth and someone threw a towel at me. I used the towel to cover myself and the men laughed at me and called me a stupid bitch. All this time I knew I was so hungry and cold but the fear in my heart seemed to paralyze my brain. Someone pulled the towel off me and threw it on the floor. I was dragged out of the room naked and taken to a room filled with about ten men. Music played in the background; it drowned out the noise of the screaming girls.

“Have you slept with a man before?” A man I didn’t recognize asked me in my language.

Hearing my language from this man made me cry. I spoke to him in my language, “Please help me, I only came to America to-”

He slapped me, “Answer my question bitch, have you slept with a man before?”

“No,” I replied stunned.

“If you are lying I will know and I will kill you and I will send one of my men in Czechoslovakia to go to the orphanage and kill your little sister, Tereza.”

I panicked at the mention of my sister’s name, “It is true!”

“I know everything about you so tell me the truth!”

“It is the truth, I have never slept with a man,” I begged.

He turned to the men in the room, “Okay gentlemen we have a virgin here; two hundred bucks for two hours!” He told them in English. I saw what looked like money being waved in the air and then I was handed over to an old man with very little hair and a fat gut. He told the man who had sold me for two hours that he would add ten bucks not to use a rubber. The man called him Emilio Russo and told him to make it twenty bucks. He nodded gave him the money then smiled at me and walked out of the room. Two men dragged me out and we followed the old man up the stairs. The screaming seemed to intensify with each step I took. I heard girls screaming in my language, in Polish, in English – girls like me, begging for their lives. Terrified, I was taken into a room with a bed, a sink and darkened windows. The two men dragged me towards the bed and threw me down. They laughed as I struggled to get up and mocked me as I tried to run. They grabbed me and held me down on the bed. I could hear my heart pounding as fear stole my breath and paralyzed me. The fat bald man called Emilio Russo, took off his clothes slowly and smiled at me as he did so. I begged and I cried, I told them that I was only fifteen but the men holding me down told me to shut up. Naked, Mr. Russo climbed on top of me and I screamed. I screamed at the pain of his thrusts. I cried and begged him to stop but he wouldn’t stop, the men wouldn’t let me go. I screamed until my throat ceased and shock took control. When Mr. Russo had finished the men who had held me down took turns in raping me. They did things to me that I cannot bear to think about and as you are reading my thoughts you will not read the things they did. When they left the room I was battered and bleeding. My face was swollen and my lips cut  from where they had punched me several times and . . . I was angry . . . Before I came here I had plans! Plans that I would one day meet a young man and flirt a little, fall in love, have a first kiss, hold hands, go for walks, get engaged, get married, give myself to him on our wedding night, have children and live happily ever after. I had plans! I had dreams!

These animals had taken my plans and destroyed them, contaminated them. Who would want me now? My innocence had been taken away by a man old enough to be my grandfather, a man who had lived his life to old age and had now destroyed my young life. I was angry . . .

I had to clean myself up. The pain was unbearable as I held onto the bed and walked slowly to the sink to get some water to wash myself. I stood by the sink with a wet towel and tried to wipe away their dirt and their smells. When I had finished cleaning myself I looked around the room for some clothes to wear; there was nothing. I heard the door open and frightened I backed away. The man who had sold me walked into the room; he had some clothes, some food and some tablets in a transparent bag in his hands. He placed them on the floor and talked to me in my language. He told me he had paid a lot of money to get passports for us in the Czechoslovakian black market and spent many Koruna (the currency in my country) for us to be taken across Europe to Yugoslavia and then brought to America. He said that he needed to make sure we repaid him all the money he had spent and that it was only fair that we did so. He asked me if I was hungry, if I wanted to wear some clean clothes and take some drugs to stop the pain. I nodded. He told me that I must listen to him and obey him. He said I was chosen like the other girls because I had family that they could get to in Czechoslovakia if I disobeyed him. He told me he had someone in the orphanage watching my little sister Tereza and he could easily arrange for Tereza to be brought here and go through exactly what I had just been through and that afterwards he would kill her in front of me. My heart froze when he said this because I believed him. He had mentioned my sister’s name three times today and I knew he could do what he said – when someone mentions someone’s name three times in relation to a bad thing it is seen as a bad omen in my country. He undid his belt and told me to get on my knees in front of him. When I didn’t move he walked over to me and punched me in my stomach then dragged me by my hair around the room. I cried and begged him to stop but he told me to shut up, he told me that when he spoke to me I had to obey him before the words were out of his mouth. He told me his name was Vitto and he owned my ass. Then he pushed me down on the floor in front of him and unzipped his trousers.

 

 

Ebooks from GLL Publishing available at Amazon, Smashwords etc – Books also available via http://www.gllpublishing.com

Despite all odds: A Dream Fulfilled Part 1

Despite all odds: A Dream Fulfilled Part 2

Truths, Lies And Untold Secrets

Blood Borne Connections

U Murder U (Suicide)

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https://www.facebook.com/gllpublishings.co.uk?ref=hl

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Blood Borne Connections – Chapter 11

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Chapter 11

 

‘Tat’ána’

I was born Tat’ána Nováková in Czechoslovakia in March 1970. My parents, Jakub and Kateřina were both schoolteachers in a small town not too far from Prague. My father, he taught History and my mother, she taught English. In the 1970s Czechoslovakia was under a communist regime and had been for many years. There was a lot of unrest as many people were against the communist regime. I remember my father telling me of a time when things were not so severe and most people were happy. I was about six years old at the time. When I asked him why all the people were not happy, he said that ‘you cannot please all the people all of the time’. That is the closest translation of what he said in my language into English. As a historian, my father had studied the creation of Czechoslovakia in 1918 and taught about men like Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk who became the first President of Czechoslovakia in November of 1918. He often told me how the Czechs and the Slovaks united to form the country despite the cultural, historical and religious differences they had. I used to love listening to my father talk about my country and how proud he was to be a Czechoslovakian. I think my mother shared his love for the country but not for the government of the country and was very verbal about this. My father often joked many times that she was strong minded in her ways. During that period, many people had been arrested for trying to oppose the communist government and my mother often said that she thought we should leave for the West and live in a Democratic country, where the people were free and had a voice.

What are my earliest memories of my home? At three or four years of age, I remember the green grass of summer and the fresh fruits. I remember running in a field near our home and thinking that I could run to the end of the world because the field was so big and no matter how fast or how long I ran, I never got to the end of it. (Looking back, I must have been running in circles). I don’t recall many children in the area I grew up in. I had no cousins that I visited; there were no grandparents who visited us. My parents seemed to live a life where they were the only person in each other’s life and I was part of both of their lives. At three or four I didn’t notice how isolated we were because my parents were sufficient for me. Sufficient is a new word I learned not long ago; it means enough. I think it is because of my mother’s vocation that I have grown fond of learning new English words and using them in the right fashion. Sometimes I have problems because I use words that people here in America do not fully understand. One of the men who guards us calls me ‘Little Miss Big Words’. I will come to the men who guard us later. So back to my early life—when I was seven years old my mother had a baby girl. She was born on the fifteenth of October and called Tereza, which is her name day on the Czechoslovakian calendar. I don’t know if you are familiar with how children are named in my country. Let me explain how it works. There are three hundred and sixty five days in a year and each day has a name attached to it. If you have a child on a particular day you have to call it the name attached to the day. A special permission form is required from the authorities to give a child a name that is not on the Czechoslovakian calendar. Let me think for a few moments . . . yes that is correct, I have explained it how it was explained to me. My sister Tereza was like a little fat ‘moving’ doll that ate and ate then slept and I loved her. I couldn’t wait for her to grow up so that we could play. For some reason I thought that she would grow up and I would remain the same age then we would both be seven and would play outside in the green field together. Why did I think this? It is strange looking back that I would think this—they say innocence is a buffer that protects you from harm. Life, while I waited for Tereza to grow up, was the same. My parents loved us both equally and they showed their love openly. I spent time with my father learning about the history of my country while my mother took care of Tereza. My father loved our country and he loved to teach me the history of our country and other countries of the world. He was not always in work because of the conditions of the country and because of a lot of mistrust among people. A number of small groups tried to oppose the communist government but they were quickly squashed. I remember how happy my parents were when the first organized opposition called Charter 77 appeared in January 1977. Even though it wasn’t a political party as such it had many people sign their names to it and it posed a threat as it offered independent thinking, which opposed the communist rule. Many of the people who had signed their names to it were arrested, interrogated and dismissed from work. The government closed schools and churches that they thought were teaching anything which contradicted what they dictated. Communism says that everyone is equal and should live in a classless society. It dictates that there are no wealthy people and no poor people but communal ownership among all people. It not only says this, it stops anything that contradicts what it says from contaminating the minds of the people it controls. Television, radio and newspapers are either banned or controlled. Is it good? I’m only fifteen and haven’t lived long enough to make a decision on that. What I can say is what I saw: communism takes away the individuality of a person. It strips them of their voice and it strips them of their thoughts; it tells them what thoughts to think and how to think those thoughts. In a way it can leave a person without responsibility for their actions and free to do things that are wrong and free not to do the things that are right. To some people it is good and to others it is not good. As my father said ‘you cannot please all the people all of the time.’

My parents were killed in a car accident when I was ten years old and my sister was three years old. We had no family to take us in so we were placed in an orphanage

 

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Blood Borne Connections – Chapter 8

Blood Borne Connections - book cover

 

 

Chapter 8

 

“Are Catholics Christians?” Dorothy asked.

Julius studied her for a moment not sure where her question was leading. “Why do ask?”

“My husband used to hit me, abuse me, lie to me and cheat on me. Each time I told him that he wasn’t behaving like a Christian he would say that he wasn’t a Christian, he was a Catholic. I’m a Christian and I thought that Catholics were Christians. I used to pray and pray to God to make him change, to make him love me the way I loved him but God didn’t change him . . . nothing changed him.”

“I’m a Christian and I was raised in the Catholic Church. Last time I checked, Catholics are Christians. My wife grew up in a Pentecostal Church. I find it more charismatic than the church I grew up in but they more or less preach the same thing. I believe it’s all about one God, one Word and one Love – it’s not about a denomination. People think a church is just a building what they don’t see is that the real church is the people inside the building and it doesn’t even end there, it’s also about the relationship those people have with God. We are supposed to do the right thing, not by force but because we want to. We all have free will and we get to make our own choices. It’s because of free will that God doesn’t force people to change. I believe that God creates situations for people to change but ultimately it’s down to the individual.”

“You asked me if I killed my husband, the truth is he killed me . . . he took my life and destroyed it.”

“Give me your hand.”

“Why?”

“My mom used to do this to me when I was younger and I used to think that things were hopeless. Come on, give me your hand and look at me.”

She reluctantly gave him her hand and looked into his eyes. He sat holding her hand and looking at her. Without breaking eye contact, he picked up his coffee cup and placed it on her hand. It took a few seconds for what he had done to register. He smiled when he saw her frown, snatch her hand away then jump back startled and rub her hand.

“Owww, what . . . why did you do that?”

“Do what? I thought you said you’re husband killed you. If you were dead you wouldn’t have felt that.”

“You burned me to show me that I’m still alive?”

“No, I burned you to show you that you’re not dead. Where there is life there is hope and where there is hope there is usually a long rope to use with faith and climb out of a situation. You said your husband abused you and hurt you and that you prayed and prayed for God to change him. Did it ever occur to you that God heard your prayers when you first prayed and that maybe God has changed something in your life, maybe He has changed you?”

Moments passed as she stared at him; his words brought clarity to her soul – tears glistened in her eyes. “I didn’t kill him,” she finally sobbed, “God knows I wanted too. I had the knife in my hand and I was ready to stick it into his heart but I thought about his mother and what it would do to her. How my using the knife might hurt her.”

“I don’t understand,” Julius frowned.

“I was standing above him when I looked at the knife. In the middle of all the madness in my head the knife seemed to have a bizarre calming effect on me. You see, it was part of a set his mother had given to me for Christmas some years ago. I really care about his mother; she has always been kind to me. I’m an orphan and his mother is the closest thing to a mother I ever had. She told me to leave him when he first started to hit me but I wouldn’t. I had this strange thought when I was looking at the knife – if I stabbed him and he died his mother would think that I hated her, not because I had killed her son but because I had used the knife she had given me. I didn’t want her feeling bad so I stabbed the pillow next to his head. I was about to leave when I thought I’d better move the knife away from his head in case he turned in his sleep and cut himself. I tried to get the knife out of the pillow and ended up cutting my hand and getting blood all over the pillow and bed sheets; there was so much blood everywhere. Then I had this idea. I knew that he was paranoid about being abducted by aliens. His mother told me once that when he was younger she had to work most nights and his father had to watch him, his brother and sister. Well, his father would bring women to the house when she was at work. Nigel used to get up some nights and wander around half asleep so his father told him that if he didn’t stay in his room aliens would get him. He would tell Nigel horror stories of how aliens had taken people away and experimented on them by eating their brains. His father was a mean man. I guess theirs is the case of like father like son. For some reason Nigel kept on wandering around in the middle of the night half asleep, so one night his irate father decided to teach him a lesson. He put foil paper all over the basement, draped some dummies with silver material and placed some flickering lights around the room then he carried a sleeping Nigel from his bed to the basement and put him on sheets stained with red ‘blood-like’ paint and locked him in there. Nigel woke up and thought that he had been abducted by aliens. He banged on the door for hours but his father refused to let him out. That night traumatized him. He never left his bed at night again. Now he hates the color silver and flickering colored lights and he can’t touch foil paper without hyperventilating-”

“Are you serious?”

She nodded, “Guess how I found out?”

“How?”

“One day in the early days of our marriage, this is going back a few years, I made him a sandwich and wrapped it in foil paper to keep it fresh. I left it on a dish by the window because he was having a nap. It must have been about thirty or so minutes later when I heard him screaming and shouting. I ran upstairs to see what was going on and found him cowering on the floor next to our bed. Somehow, the sun and a mirror on the wall were reflecting light off the foil paper and different colored lights were flickering on the wall. When I managed to calm him down he told me he thought the aliens had come to get him again then he cried like a baby and insisted I get rid of the foil alien on the dish. To keep him calm I played along and made a big effort of putting on some rubber gloves, un-wrapping the sandwich and holding the foil at a distance as I took it out of the room. I called his mom afterwards and she explained what his dad had done when he was a boy. That’s why I did what I did today.”

“What did you do?”

“I capitalized on his fear. I had a stash of foil paper which I scattered around the room. I put some on the pillow next to him and left the knife lying in the blood on the sheets. I figured that his drug-induced mind would take care of the rest. He was always using drugs. He would spike Indian hemp with LSD or heroin. I used to think that the drugs made him mean but I think that he was just born that way. When you marry someone you never expect they’ll end up hating you.” She paused as she struggled to control her emotions, “I used to be so scared of the thought that ‘he hated me’ that I buried my head in the sand. I was desperate for love and affection, I did everything he asked me to do but he still hated me.” She froze when she realized that she was being held gently in strong arms.

“You’re free,” Julius told her. “Hate has no power over you as long as you don’t hate in return. I learned that lesson years ago. His hate has nothing to do with you and everything to do with him. You could have killed him but you didn’t; you made the choice not to – despite his hate. He can’t hurt you any more, Dorothy.”

“Nigel said I was a reject because I grew up in an orphanage. He said that I was useless and no one would ever love me. He said that I was a dumb hill-billy. He said-”

“Shhhh, shhhh, forget about what he said about you. What do you say? What do you see when you look in the mirror?”

“I don’t understand.”

“When you look in the mirror do you see the person he says you are or do you see you?”

She shrugged.

“Do you want to know what I see?”

Again she shrugged.

“I see you. I see a strong, attractive and very smart woman. You’re compassionate and loveable. My wife has nothing but good things to say about you and I trust and respect her judgment. I say you’ve been through the worst, now, you deserve the best. You just have to see and believe that things can and will get better for you, Dorothy.”

“How . . . how do I do that?”

“Start by thinking of his words as poison and detox your mind of them, get rid of all the negative hurtful things he said and did to you – then take one new day at a time.”

She looked at him, desperate and confused, “I want that so badly, I just don’t know how to do that.” Silent tears coursed down her face.

Julius studied her for a few moments, “When I was seven years old my maternal grandfather told me something that I have never forgotten. He said thousands of years ago there was a man who was really old and he didn’t have any children but he had great faith in God. One night God took this man outside and told him to look up at the sky and try to count the stars in the sky. Even though this man was old and his wife was also old and past child-bearing age, God told him that he would give him as many descendants as there were stars in the sky. My grandfather said when the man looked up at the sky that night because of his faith he could see how many descendants he was going to have, they were like lights shining in the sky, but not only that – he could see me. My grandfather said I was one of those stars and I had to believe that I was created to be a light and help others. You were one of those stars, Dorothy, and you have to believe you were created to be a light and help others. Darkness and negativity can’t survive in the light – so let go of all the things that have caused you so much pain and embrace the happiness you deserve. With the happiness comes love and the need to help others, I can see it in you, you just have to see it as well.”

“I don’t understand?”

“With all that you’ve been through, you took the time to help my wife and son Dorothy. I can see the goodness in you and I will do whatever it takes to make you see it as well, whatever it takes.”

 Unbeknown to Dorothy, Julius had just spoken words that laid the foundation for a change in the course of her life.

Dorothy felt an unfamiliar feeling take over her – people who knew her, like her mother-in-law and Juanita, had told her similar things in the past but she had thought that they were just being kind. This stranger had nothing to gain and didn’t have to be kind. He didn’t have to hold her in his arms until she stopped shaking. He didn’t have to comfort her as she cried. He didn’t have to say things to her that made her believe her life could change . . . but he did. “Now I know why Cara married you,” she said after a while.

Ebooks from GLL Publishing available at Amazon, Smashwords etc – Books also available via http://www.gllpublishing.com

Despite all odds: A Dream Fulfilled Part 1

Despite all odds: A Dream Fulfilled Part 2

Truths, Lies And Untold Secrets

Blood Borne Connections

U Murder U (Suicide)

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7

 

 

Blood Borne Connections – Chapter 4

Blood Borne Connections - book cover

 

Chapter 4

 

He farted. All the pungent gases that had accumulated deep within his bowels were released in one loud bellow. He waited for a brief moment and then did what he loved to do: he inhaled the aroma. He savored the carbonated garlic and refried beans and let his senses wander merrily among the toxic levels of hydrogen sulfide. Even though he knew she hated him farting in bed, he didn’t care. It made him feel exhilarated and alive; like a ‘man’s’ man. He rubbed his large, blotchy red belly then patted it in appreciation for a job well done. He smiled to himself at the thought of her lying next to him and covering her nose or, better still, holding her breath until the rich aroma dissipated. ‘This is indeed a man’s world’, he thought to himself as he held back the laughter that bubbled deep within him. He waited for her complaints and moaning but none came. She didn’t even move. All the years he had treated her mean to keep her keen had paid off with interest. She was now like a little mouse – so anxious for a morsel of cheese that she would do anything. He slept around just like his daddy had done and came home reeking of the evidence and she had given in and stopped fighting and complaining. He took her money and spent it on whatever and whomever he chose and she kept quiet. He had trained her well. He sighed contently. Today she was going to get a loan for him in her name because his credit was bad. He told her that he needed the loan to start a business with a friend in San Diego but in actual fact he was planning to take nineteen year old Tatiana, a girl he had just met, to Disneyland in Anaheim. She had not long arrived from Czechoslovakia and had not yet been to Disneyland. She had said on the night he had met her at the ‘Singles’ bar he often visited that ever since she was little she had dreamed of going to Disneyland and seeing the real Mickey Mouse. So far nothing had happened between them but he figured that if he obliged her and fulfilled her dream, she would have to oblige him and fulfill one of his dreams. He had no qualms about using his wife’s hard earned cash or the money she often borrowed for him and had to pay back in monthly installments, to pay for his extra-marital affairs. As far as he was concerned he and Dorothy had taken wedding vows and the words ‘For richer or poorer’ were read on the day – he literally took the vows, well, those four words, seriously. His wife was currently richer than him (because she worked two jobs whilst he only did one part-time job) and on account of him being poorer she had to take care of him and everything this encompassed. He closed his eyes and thought about Tatiana’s young, firm and nubile body. His breathing became shallow as images of her talking dirty to him in her vibrant Czechoslovakian accented voice and pressing herself seductively against him filled his mind and made his senses twirl. ‘First things first’ he thought to himself as he pushed the images out of his mind and concentrated on what lay ahead. He needed to get his wife up, dressed and off to the bank to get the loan or he could kiss Tatiana goodbye. He braced himself, the smell of the fart had faded, she had no evidence to hold on to and he would do what he always did – deny everything she accused him of.

Why do you have to break wind in bed, Nigel?

“I did no such thing, woman. You’re dreaming. It must have been you that farted while you were asleep.” He would say. It often made him laugh, the way she referred to farting as breaking wind – like it was a gust of fresh air.

You’re snoring again, Nigel.

“Woman, I do not snore, it must be you snoring in your dream. As a matter of fact, you woke me up with your damn snoring just the other day. You know you snore like a farm animal, I’ve told you so many times. Next time I’m gonna use my tape recorder to record your snoring ass.”

Treat her mean to keep her keen was his motto, his way of life. It had paid off over the years and he had no intention of changing. He inhaled deeply, turned over and faced his wife. Slowly he opened his eyes. He knew that he would see her lying next to him with her thick, polyester, flower-printed, old-fashioned nightdress on (which he had purchased from a dollar store as a birthday gift), her headscarf adorned like a hill-billy farmer’s wife and a frown apparent; she was as predictable as the rising sun. He needed her money so he had to be nice today; he smiled and opened his eyes fully. The shock hit him hard as he stared at the sight in front of him, his heart fluttered and his tongue struggled to formulate words. He could barely breathe as he started to shake uncontrollably. “Aliens! . . . Aliens!” He whispered before his mind went blank, darkness descended and he passed out.

***

Julius followed Nurse McKenna down a poorly lit corridor. His hand rested on the butt of his gun, which was tucked into the back of his pants. He had still not made up his mind as to whether or not he could trust her. She had now stopped muttering to herself and walked briskly as one did when they had a sure destination. For some reason he couldn’t imagine that she was on his grandfather’s payroll, but he had seen so many things in his life that nothing surprised him now – nothing shocked him anymore. With each step he took he became more and more anxious at the thought of his wife, Cara, and their baby being held somewhere and used as a bargaining tool. He was sure that no one in his Mafia family knew they were married let alone how important Cara was to his very existence. He knew his grandfather wouldn’t harm Cara or the baby, but he had given up on trying to predict Johnatus and the things he did or the reasons behind the things he did.

“They are in here,” Nurse McKenna said as she stopped in front of a large door. She pressed some numbers on a keypad by the side of the door. “This is our old Intensive Care Unit. It became redundant when the new one was built a couple of years ago. Since then we have put private patients in here or patients who we think need an extra bit of attention. Right now, except for your wife and son, it is empty.”

“Why did you move them here?”

“When I came in this morning your wife said that she felt like she had the flu, really hot and then cold. I could have taken her to another ward but they don’t take babies there and she didn’t want to be separated from your son. I figured that right here would be the best place, plus it’s quiet, warm and safe. I hope you don’t mind? Something kept telling me it was the right thing to do. Anyway, I got her started on some antibiotics and I’ve been monitoring her temperature. She is fine now. Did I tell you that your wife is a lovely lady? She is beautiful and kind and she was so concerned that you would go to room 14, not find her there and panic. She made me promise that I would let you know where they were as soon as you came in. She said you might not believe me but I was to get you alone and call you Maxwell, then you would know that I was telling you the truth because she is the only one you allow to call you Maxwell.” She frowned as if the thought suddenly hit her, “I guess I probably should have mentioned that part earlier, shouldn’t I? Then you wouldn’t have been walking behind me with your hand behind you like you have a gun tucked away back there.”

Shocked at her perception, Julius removed his hand from the butt of his gun. “Is she okay?”

“She is fine, they both are,” she told him as she pushed the door open.

He followed Nurse McKenna through the door and into a spacious, colorful corridor. There were several doors situated along one side of the corridor. Nurse McKenna stopped in front of a door mid-way along the corridor and gently pushed it open. She looked inside and smiled. She held a finger against her lips as she turned and beckoned Julius. He walked quickly towards her and looked inside the room. His heart fluttered at the sight of his wife and son, both wrapped up warm, both asleep, on the hospital bed. Tears stung his eyes and his throat constricted.

“Thank you,” he said as he discreetly brushed a tear away and walked into the room.

“You are welcome. I’ll go and put these flowers in water and bring them in later,” she said as she closed the door.

 

Jealousy can wear many hats and display itself in many forms. Anger, hate, fear and resentment are a few of the common ones. As Johnatus walked along the corridor of the Maternity ward of St. Matthew’s Hospital with a big bunch of flowers and some balloons, he felt anger and fear deep within him. He had told himself over the years that he was not jealous of his older brother. He was not jealous of the affection his grandfather openly displayed towards Julius. He could live with being second best as long as he was in the running, as long as there was a chance that he might one day do something to earn his grandfather’s love and respect. He knew that getting rid of Julius was not an option. The thought had crossed his mind many times but he never acted on it. Why? Because Julius wasn’t the problem – Julius had no interest in his grandfather or his grandfather’s business. And, Julius was the only reason his grandfather tolerated him. He had figured out years ago that getting rid of Julius would ultimately mean getting rid of himself. He stopped outside room 14 and pushed the door open. It took a few moments for his eyes to adjust to the darkness the room held. He noted that the room was empty and the bed devoid of covers. There wasn’t a crib in the room either. He stepped back and rechecked the number on the door. He had had his men search every single hospital in Los Angeles for the last 24 hours in order to find this mystery woman that was going to have his brother’s baby, then, thirty minutes ago, someone who knew someone he knew had said that they had seen something strange in this hospital. They had heard a baby crying in room 14 but when they had checked on the computer system to see who the mother was the room was logged on the system as being empty. Johnatus quietly walked over to the nurses’ station. He stood for a few moments and studied the nurse as she typed something onto the computer. He cleared his throat and she immediately looked up.

“I’m sorry, Sir, I didn’t see you there,” she told him.

“The lady in room 14, where is she?” Johnatus asked her.

She looked at the naturally tanned, handsome face of the man in front of her, his dark curly hair and his slim athletic frame. Her gaze wandered back to his dark, cold eyes. “Room 14, let me check the computer,” she told him and pressed a few buttons. “I just came on duty a couple of hours ago and when I got here there wasn’t anyone in that room. I think the heating on that side of the building isn’t working properly so they had to move some of the patients.” She stopped typing and read the information on the screen. “It says here that several mothers and their babies were transferred to St. Andrew’s Maternity. The note here also says that all their families were contacted,” she added.

“Are you sure that the woman and baby in room 14 got moved to St. Andrew’s?”

“They must have been because they’re not in there now are they? Who exactly are you looking for Sir?”

“Ummm . . . the girlfriend of my . . . of a friend . . . of a relative.”

“Well which is it? The girlfriend of your friend or the girlfriend of your relative?”

“Excuse me?” Irritation set in, “who the hell do you think you’re talking to?”

“You’re the only other person that I see here,” the nurse replied as she mockingly looked around. She had no idea who Johnatus was or who his grandfather was.

“Was there a lady in room 14 and is she still in the hospital?”

“No and no, so I suggest that you try St. Andrew’s, I can get you their address,” she turned and pretended to look for the address among the papers and medication cards on her table.

“I know where St. Andrew’s is,” he turned and quickly walked away.

“Sir, you forgot your flowers and balloons, excuse me, Sir,” she called out after him.

“Toss them in the trash,” he said over his shoulder.

 

The nurse waited for a several minutes then picked up the receiver and dialed a number. “A man came in asking for the lady in room 14 and I did exactly what you told me to do. He left a few minutes ago,” she whispered.

“Thank you,” Nurse McKenna told her, “and remember Susie, if anyone asks, you don’t know anything.”

“Don’t worry, Sister McKenna, I really don’t know anything.”

 

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