You thought it was about the happily ever after … when all along it was about the story
To their friends in San Diego, Sophie and Neil Beaumont are a successful, happy couple. One rainy night in 1987, that illusion is shattered, changing Sophie’s life forever. As she struggles to pick up the pieces of her life, she doubts that the aching hole in her heart will ever heal.
But everything changes when her best friend’s child, Jonathan, is born. Feeling a sense of hope, she has an intuition that he will be a beloved soul she knew in a past life. Their strong connection inspires her to embark on a healing journey of personal transformation that changes the course of her life.
Prior to his birth, Jonathan and his team of spirit guides create his intricate soul plan. His life purpose is to share wisdom from the spirit world with others, to help them live their lives with less suffering. However, as the result of an unexpected event, he disconnects from the spirit world, and without access to that unique knowledge he was born with, he finds himself at the mercy of his own heartbreaking struggles. His spirit team is determined to help him meet his mission—after all, people like Sophie are depending on him. But can they find a way to help him awaken?
The Line Between is in the genre of visionary/metaphysical fiction— fiction that quietly and unobtrusively shifts the reader’s consciousness through the magical process of storytelling. It’s an inspirational story of hope, loss, friendship, forgiveness, transformation, and eternal love. It speaks the language of the soul and reminds us to embrace all of our life experiences—the everyday routine, the miraculously mesmerizing, and the rip-your-heart-out tragic moments—as equally meaningful.
I received an advance copy of this book from one of my contacts who's in the publishing industry, and I have to say: I feel like it came as a message at just the right time in my life. In fact, if I had to sum up this inspiring, thought-provoking novel, I'd say it's a message ... to all people everywhere, to young and old, to anyone on the planet who seeks reassurance that we're all here for a reason, that life has a true purpose, that we're supported in all we do even when we can't see our cheerleaders, that we're not alone. The Line Between made me feel like I'm part of a much larger fabric of meaningful connection and intention, and it's a pretty powerful story that can do that! I commend this first-time author for her impressive debut; in fact, at the end, I felt like I'd love to sit down with her over coffee and talk about where the book came from, how much was fact, how much was fiction. She drew me into her world for the hours I was reading the book ... and it was a magical, mystical world that gave me comfort and filled me with hope.
A gripping story that weaves together themes of spirituality, friendship, and interconnectedness. It made me think a lot about how my own life and experiences are intimately connected to those of my friends and family, in our current and potentially past lives. Highly recommended to anyone looking for an amazing read!
A story and characters that you can't stop thinking about weeks after you finished the book - that to me is what makes a novel great. The Line Between is just that. I stopped numerous times to retread passages. I highlighted and turned over the corner of many pages so I could remember the inspirational words. I cried. The author has a great attention to detail. I felt like I could feel, hear, smell and taste what the characters experienced (the description of the cakes made me want to raid the cupboards!).
i look forward to future novels from this author.
Other books in this genre:
Twins Kenya and Zaire, once inseparable, are strangers at age 30. Raised by their maternal grandmother after their parents' tragic deaths, they vowed to stay together forever. And they did...until Zaire met a man and fell in love after high school. She followed her new love to New York, leaving Kenya behind to look after their elderly grandmother. It will take another family crisis to erase years of misunderstanding and heal their broken hearts.
It was late winter in 1935, when the young Jewish girl gave birth to her baby girl, in the German town of Kitzigen. The child’s father, a soldier who decided that being the father of a Jewish child would not help his progression through the ranks of Hitler’s army, deserted her. Her family was not critical of her; instead, they showed understanding and supported her through the pregnancy. She named the child, Ruth. Ruth’s grandfather ran a successful civil engineering company that dealt with the British manufacturer, Sir William Bromfield. Sir William spent most of his time visiting German enterprises that dealt with his engineering supply companies. Their business relationship had developed into a genuine friendship.
For Jews, life became unbearable in Germany as it became the practice for any senior German Officer to just take whatever Jewish belongings they wanted. The ‘brownshirts’ were even worse. Claiming to be patriots, they were nothing but organised hooligans and thugs with no respect for human life or belongings, especially if Jewish. The government followed Hitler’s ranting that all of Germany’s troubles had been brought about by the Jews and now, payback time!
When they seized Ruth’s grandfather’s house, the family had nowhere to live so he moved them to nearby Frankfurt, some 130 kilometres away. Their British friend, Sir William, helped them as he seemed to have influence because he found rooms for them in Frankfurt. Ruth’s mother never knew what he did for a living, but Sir William travelled a lot, and she overheard him and her father mentioning his brother in England. His brother was a Church of England minister in a country town about three hours north of London.
By early 1938 the situation became unbearable for the Jewish community. Besides the constant harassment and beatings, many were arrested and thrown into prison for not showing allegiance to the Nazi party. Also, it was now impossible for them to leave Germany. Ruth’s grandfather suffered many beatings, and her grandmother became a nervous wreck. They had not been able to go to a synagogue for over six months, and the grandfather feared for Ruth and her mother.
One day a fight developed just outside the building they lived in, and the police arrested Ruth’s grandfather. Shortly after his release from the police, the Gestapo came and arrested him, and they never saw him again. Ruth’s grandmother pleaded with Sir William to help. He tried to find some information, but as he began to attract attention to himself, he stopped his inquiries. Realising that she would never be with her husband and unable to bear the pain, Ruth’s grandmother climbed to the top of the five-storey building and jumped.
Ruth’s mother was distraught. She had now lost both parents whom she loved, and she held fears for Ruth’s safety. She contacted William and pleaded for help and advice. He told her about the ‘Kinder transport’ movement being set up by the Jewish and Quaker communities in England, which rescued Jewish children.
The laws had been changed to allow unaccompanied Jewish children to enter England, provided they had a sponsor who would care for them. If Ruth’s mother surrendered Ruth, it would mean she would see Ruth again until after the war. After several excruciating days, she asked Sir William to find out what arrangements he could make.
Sir William took only two days before he returned with an answer. His brother, John Bromfield, would accept the responsibility for raising Ruth until they were reunited after the war.
Although a minister in the Church of England, John Bromfield promised that Ruth would learn about the Jewish faith during her upbringing. If she accepted the offer, John would meet them at Frankfurt railway station the following Friday. He would not be allowed to leave the train, and she would have to place Ruth on the steps of the train where John would take her. John should be able to talk to her through the window before the train left for Holland and the channel crossing. She agreed to this arrangement.
However, this arrangement tormented her over the next few days. What if she never saw Ruth again? Is it best she should be brought up by strangers than risk the horrors the Nazi regime seemed to pose?
Ruth’s mother was troubled further by a big question. How did William arrange everything so fast? William told her that when he was in England last, his brother told him that
“On 15 November 1938, five days after the devastation of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, in Germany and Austria, a delegation of British Jewish and Quaker leaders appealed in person to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Neville Chamberlain. Among other measures, they requested that the British government allows the temporary admission of unaccompanied Jewish children, without their parents,"
John indicated to Sir William that he would consider accepting one of these children into his family.
When Ruth’s mother told Sir William to make arrangements he got a message to his brother, John, and the reply came back. Sir William then told her he had contacts within the English defence community. What he did not tell her was that he was in effect an undercover intelligence agent.
Early that Friday morning Ruth’s mother packed a small bag of clothes along with a little amount of food for Ruth’s journey. Ruth thought that she was going on a train with a nice man for a long holiday and one day soon, mummy would join her. Sir William walked to the station with them. He was particularly on edge that morning and kept looking over his shoulder. Ruth had her identification card with a ribbon around her neck and seemed happy like any three-year-old would be, going on a holiday.
As there were many parents there to say goodbye to their children, the station platform was crowded. Most realised it would be the last time they would be with their children, and yet they held out hope for the future. A larger than usual contingent of soldiers on the station worried no one.
A cold chill came over the whole platform as the train pulled into the station and almost at once the engine detached while another hitched at the other end. Sir William sighted John at the open carriage window and then with Ruth and her mother approached the window
In a brief conversation, John reassured Ruth’s mother that he and his wife, Madeline, would take good care of Ruth. He also told her he would make arrangements for a Rabbi to help with her education. Ruth’s mother finally felt relieved that Ruth would be taken care of by good and understanding people. Sir William had previously told John about Ruth’s family, so he was aware of the trauma she may have experienced.
Two soldiers stood at each of the carriage steps and checked the identification of the children before they boarded the train. Two additional soldiers were on each set of steps with their rifles at the ready in case any of the adults tried to board the train or, any of the passengers attempted to leave the train. John took Ruth into his arms, and they returned to his seat so Ruth would be able to wave goodbye to her mother.
The soldiers kept a three-metre gap between the parents and the train, but they could still talk to each other, but not touch.
As the train departed, three Gestapo officers grabbed hold of Sir William. John saw this in horror from the carriage and was even more horrified when Sir William broke free, and the Gestapo men shot him. If that was not distressing enough when Ruth’s mother leaned over William, they shot her through the head, and he heard them laugh and call out, “Die, Jewish whore!”
A new life begins
John was grateful Ruth had been distracted and did not see her mother murdered. Ruth noticed John muttering almost silently with tears in his eyes and making the sign of the cross. He hid his grief for Ruth’s sake.
The journey to Rotterdam became the first chance for John to get to know Ruth. He was grateful William taught Ruth some rudimentary English even though while at school he had learnt a practical knowledge of the German language. He thought she should know him as “Uncle John,” and he would introduce Madeline as “Aunt Madeline.” It was a slow journey and relatively quiet until they reached the border crossing near Het Kwartier. The Dutch border police were very civil while the Germans extensively examined the documents of every passenger. They seemed to glare with disgust at every child.
John was glad they did not search his bags as he had documents that included Ruth’s birth certificate, along with that of her mother and grandparents. Amongst the other documents was a declaration William had smuggled into Germany that would give John and Madeline the authority to act as Ruth’s guardian. Ruth’s mother had signed this and had it witnessed by a well-respected Rabbi in Frankfurt. Ruth wore a German Identity card around her neck, endorsed for one-way travel out of Germany.
When they arrived in the port of Rotterdam, the Dutch Quaker community organised tables full of hot food. John saw this as another example of good organisation in place.
The ship taking them to Folkestone in England was an old ship. A British member of the Jewish community had paid for the charter out of his own pocket.
Ruth slept on the boat, and when they arrived in England, Madeline was waiting at the dock for them. The immigration official, realising the trauma the children had experienced, looked only briefly at each child’s identification before stamping it and letting them into England. Their only concern was that appropriate responsible people were on hand to care for them. Ruth and the Bromfields boarded the train for the two hours journey to London, where they had a three-hour wait for their train to Millbrook.
It had been an unusually long day, and three-year-old Ruth was completely worn out. Even the excitement of a new home with a bedroom all to herself was not enough to keep her awake. John and Madeline looked at her asleep in bed, then knelt down and prayed that Ruth would not have to witness any more horror.
The next morning, Ruth woke to a brand new world. From her room, she saw daylight, and she heard birds chirping outside her window. She slept in a room all by herself for the first time in her life, and it was a beautiful place. A vase of flowers on it in the corner and the chair in the other corner sat a huge teddy bear. The door open and in came Aunt Madeline. “Goog morgen darling,” she said, “Haben Sie eine gute sleep?” Ruth laughed at the strange accent and replied in English, “Yes, thank you, I slept well.” Madeline knew at once that language would not be a problem.
She took Ruth to the bathroom and after washing her and cleaning her teeth, they went down to the kitchen. John was sitting down with his bowl of porridge, and he said to her, “Sie sehen schön Heute morgen.” She laughed and replied. “Mummy said that I must always try to speak English now, and I must learn twenty more words every day.” John smiled and replied, “Well, from now on it will be English only.”
Madeline put a bowl of porridge with a glass of juice in front of her, and Ruth replied. “Danke schön–er thank you.” They all laughed.
After breakfast, Madeline suggested that she take Ruth into nearby Bedford and go shopping for a new wardrobe for Ruth. Her mother had tried to look after her, but, new children’s clothing along with toys were luxuries in Germany. It had been hard enough to gather food. The only toy Ruth owned was the shabby rag doll that she carried with her. She did, however, have two dresses, a coat, and a pair of gloves. She also had the shoes she wore and three sets of warm underwear.
Madeline dressed Ruth, and they walked to the bus stop and caught the bus into Bedford. Ruth remembered in later years' how people were all smiling and laughing. Frankfurt people never smiled!
Ruth liked Aunt Madeline and clung close to her with her hand held tight. Madeline loved the feeling as well. When they went into any shop, Madeline asked her every time what she thought of each item. At first, Ruth said she loved everything. Madeline realised that although she was only three years old, Ruth had been taught to appreciate every gift and not to “turn her nose up” at anything she didn’t particularly like.
Madeline took her out and into a cake shop. She told Ruth to choose the cake she would like to eat. Ruth walked up and down the row of cupcakes many times. Madeline saw the smile she gave towards the cakes and the frown towards others. When Ruth finally made her choice, they sat at the table and Madeline ordered it along with tea for herself and a fizzy drink for Ruth.
Madeline then explained to Ruth that just like the cakes, she must choose the dress and shoes she liked best. Ruth could have four dresses and two pairs of shoes. She could also have two pairs of slacks and some singlets and underpants. She could also have a swimsuit. Ruth would choose carefully, and Madeline was grateful that Ruth was now beginning to show her individuality.
Although English was not Ruth’s natural language she chatted endlessly, and although she had a broad accent, Madeline understood most of what she said. After a morning’s shopping, they were heading back to the bus when Ruth saw all the dolls in the window of a toy shop. She said nothing, but she stopped and smiled as her eyes browsed all over the window display. Madeline smiled and said to her, “Uncle John may get mad at me, but you should have one new doll.” Ruth jumped for joy and said “Danke! Can I have that one please?” She pointed to a small doll in the corner. Madeline bought it and all the way to the bus stop Ruth held it tight. Madeline thought it was probably the first new toy she ever had.
When they arrived back at the vicarage, Ruth ran inside with the parcels and shouted, “Uncle John! Look what Aunt Madeline bought for me. Clothes! Dresses! Shoes! Gloves! A doll! Underpants! All for me! I am so lucky Uncle John, to be living here with you and Aunt Madeline.”
John smiled and winked at Madeline. The joy this little girl was bringing into their life overshadowed the events that developed overseas,
While they had been shopping John made arrangements for the Rabbi from Cambridge to visit them the following week. As there was no synagogue in Bedford, the Rabbi who was based in Cambridge, made regular visits and said that he would call on John during his stay.
John also had called his Bishop. He needed to be clear on the direction he planned to take on Ruth’s upbringing. With both the Bishop’s and the Rabbi’s blessings, John thought that Ruth should be baptised as soon as possible and attend Sunday school. At the same time, she should spend a part of Saturday with a Jewish family and occasionally join them on Friday evening for “Shabbat-dinner”.
It was decided that it would be nice although not essential if John and Madeline both accompanied her. Then when Ruth approached the age of twelve, she should be prepared for her “Bat Mitzvah” When Ruth became thirteen, she should be allowed to take her confirmation into the Church of England, if she wanted to.
If the Bishop and the Rabbi agreed, this ensured that Ruth has a spiritual upbringing, exposed to both faiths.
On taking her Bat Mitzvah when twelve, Jewish traditions are such, that she would then assume responsibility for her faith and morals. She would be able to be confirmed if she wanted to.
The next morning, after breakfast, Madeline took Ruth for a walk around the church grounds and the church. She explained to Ruth that she could play anywhere on the grounds, but not to go out of the gate, without a grown up!
The church itself fascinated her. Ruth loved playing outside, and she took three days before she had explored the entire grounds. Madeline made it appear that she was by herself, but, while she played outside, Madeline watched her like a hawk from the rectory windows.
Their first Sunday was significant, and yet Ruth went about things as normal. She woke up, went to the bathroom, cleaned her teeth and dressed for breakfast. All by herself! Ruth loved choosing what clothes to wear, especially as they always smelled nice and clean.
After breakfast, she heard the church bell for the first time. Madeline explained to her that John was the priest of the Village and on Sunday mornings people came to pray and learn about God in the church. John helped them pray and learn.
Ruth’s eyes widened, and she asked if she could learn to pray as well. Madeline laughed and told her, “of course you can.”
As they walked over to the church, Ruth saw many people going in. She noticed some children as well. They sat in the middle of the church, and most of the ladies waved to Madeline and smiled at Ruth. Ruth thought this was exciting. Whenever she was in a crowd in Germany, everyone was frowning and looking around. In this place, no one frowned, and everyone smiled.
Suddenly everyone stood! Then a voice from the rear of the church spoke. Immediately the church filled with music. She didn’t know it at the time, but that was the organ starting. Then everyone started singing, real loud! Ruth looked around (Madeline had sat her at the end of the pew so she could see everything). Some people were walking in from the door, holding books and singing.
She saw Uncle John immediately after the man holding a wooden cross high. She tried running to him, but Madeline held her hand tight. After that, she did not take her eyes off him for the whole service.
Near the end of the service, everyone walked to the front where Uncle John and two other people stood.
Everyone knelt down, and Uncle John gave them something to eat, and the other two people gave them something to drink from a shiny glass. She knelt next to Aunt Madeline, and when Uncle John came in front of them, he gave Aunt Madeline a piece of the bread (it was a tiny bit). He then put his hands on Ruth’s head. Ruth didn’t know what it meant but was sure it must have been significant.
Finally, during what was to be the last song, the people who were with Uncle John, started walking out of the church while Uncle John followed. All the other people moved and followed them. When they came to the door, Uncle John stood there shaking everyone’s hand and talking to them. Madeline held her hand tight as she spoke to the other women outside the church.
A couple of the ladies asked Ruth her name. Then a small boy came up to her and said. “Little girl, can you play with me sometimes?” she looked up at Madeline, who then said. “Of course, you can”. Ruth turned to the boy and said, “My name is Ruth, what is yours?” Ruth had made her first English friend.
The Bishop called on John the following Wednesday. After the pleasantries, John outlined to him the plans he had for raising Ruth and that he had hoped to gain the Bishop’s approval.
The Bishop agreed with his motivation but said that he had reservations about a priest of the Church of England, raising a child as a member of the Jewish faith. John pointed out to him that he thought the protection of the child was his first responsibility as well as the promises he had made to her mother.
The Bishop pondered for a while, then he advised John. “If we baptised the child, her soul would be safe. If she were exposed to the Jewish faith and eventually took her Bat Mitzvah, it would not be a sign of rejection of Christ, as Jesus was a member of the Jewish faith. When a Jew turns to Christ, he is not asked to reject Moses’ teachings.”
“Although I still have grave reservations about your plan, I cannot fault it spiritually. I question the possible confusion for the child and the reaction of your peers and congregation.”
John replied that as long as there was no hiding the reasons for this journey, his peers being kind and loving Christians, would accept this. If he and Madeline adopted Ruth after the appropriate waiting time, and he addressed the congregation, he felt it would be a living example of Christian love. The Bishop agreed and suggested that after John met with the Rabbi, a meeting should be arranged between the three of them and an unofficial memorandum of understanding be drawn up. John agreed.
The meeting with the Rabbi the next day went even better. The Rabbi liked the approach that John proposed and did not find fault with it. He appreciated that John had taken Ruth in, and he agreed with her being baptised. If John were to be her father as a child, she should be raised in a Christian family. Exposing her to the faith of her mother and grandparents was the right thing. After Ruth’s Bat Mitzvah, she should be free to accept either faith or both.
The Rabbi thought he knew of a local Jewish family, the Goldberg’s, who would be glad to have John, his wife and Ruth join them sometimes for their Shabbat-dinner and other Jewish festivals. John thought to himself how lucky Ruth would be, to be able to share a Passover meal each Easter.
The Bishop and the Rabbi joined John, Madeline and Ruth the next week, then formulated the private memorandum of understanding. In a surprising move, the Rabbi asked the Bishop if he could attend Ruth’s baptism. The Bishop agreed and asked could he attend her Bat Mitzvah. They then all prayed for guidance and asked for God’s blessing on this unusual arrangement.
They arranged for Ruth’s baptism to take place in a month’s time. John advised his congregation of the agreement and announced that Rabbi Jacobs would be present. The Bishop would perform the ceremony. This way the congregation would know the Bishop’s approval and the Rabbi’s acceptance. They also would invite the Goldbergs, the Jewish family who would be sharing the Shabbat-dinner.
In less than three weeks of Ruth’s arrival in Milford, she had developed a small circle of friends. They were mainly children of John’s parishioners, but through Madeline’s sewing club, Ruth was also exposed to other kids. Madeline also allowed Ruth to play with other children in their homes. Her English was becoming perfect, and she rarely used German words. Her best friend was Jody, whose Dad was in the army.
John spoke to Charles Wilson, a solicitor and a member of his congregation, about the process to adopt Ruth and whether she would need to be naturalised. Charles advised him that some obstacles existed as there was no evidence of Ruth’s mother’s death.
The solicitor then made enquiries, and he advised them on the direction to take. It would possibly take six months to sort out. It seemed that after studying the rules, Ruth would need to be declared “abandoned” and made a Ward of the State. John and Madeline could then adopt her. All the preliminaries would need to be in place and all relevant declarations in the hands of the court. At the court hearing, there would be three separate rulings. Ruth would be declared abandoned. Then the court would appoint her a Ward of the State, followed by the granting of John and Mary’s adoption of her. All three rulings would take place in the same court and immediately follow the previous hearing. English law could be cumbersome, but with correct steering, the desired outcome could be achieved.
When John first addressed his congregation, he saw the confusion on the faces of some of them. They all praised and supported John for taking Ruth in and saving her from certain death, but some were confused about the “duel religion” situation. Madeline listened to their reaction and told John later. The one comment that amused both of them was that one woman had been overheard saying, “Being a Jew is not as bad as being a bloody Catholic!”
John brought them all around by ensuring all the readings over the next few weeks mentioned that Jesus came from a Jewish Family, and all the early disciples were Jews. The most convincing readings came from the Gospel where Jesus prayed in the synagogue. He drove this home further with Paul’s letter to the Hebrews.
On the day of Ruth’s Baptism, Madeline prepared a celebration feast. She was careful not to have any food that could be objectionable to the Rabbi and other Jews present. Madeline was already aware of the need to avoid ham and bacon from the day Ruth first arrived.
They had asked two members of the Parish Council to be Ruth’s God Parents. They did not expect many to attend the Baptism, but they did expect the Goldberg’s to be there.
John decided that he would not be wearing his robes as the Bishop would conduct the service. Ruth wore a new dress that Madeline had been saving for the occasion, and Madeline asked one of her friends to take photos with her Brownie box camera.
When they entered the church, they felt honoured to see it packed. Rabbi Jacobs and the Goldberg’s sat in the front pew. (The Bishop had discreetly told the usher to keep two pews for any members of the Jewish community)
John also noticed the Roman Catholic Priest and some of the nuns also there. They all wore street clothes because Catholics at that time did not go into Protestant churches. Other churches also had representatives mixed in with the congregation.
The support given to Ruth made John feel so humble, on this most spiritual occasion in her young life.
Even though John and Madeline had taken pains to explain the Baptism and the significance to Ruth, she was still in awe of the proceedings.
When the Bishop said “Ruth–er I baptise you in the name of...” Ruth said, “My name is Ruth Bromfield!”
Madeline smiled and wondered how Ruth knew their surname. It appeared Ruth had overheard a parishioner refer to John as Father John Bromfield.
The reception developed into an exciting affair. Everyone (except for the Catholic Priest and nuns) stayed for it. John made an extra effort for Ruth to meet the Goldbergs and their son Jacob. Jacob was just a little older than her.
The Bishop and the Rabbi seemed to get along with each other and, John was somewhat surprised when the Methodist and Presbyterian pastors joined them. By the time John joined them they were in deep conversations wondering what their responsibilities would be when the war started.
It later became apparent this occasion would become a starting point for discussions that will need to happen regularly between them if war broke out. Ruth’s presence had become a constant reminder of the evil that Hitler’s Third Reich was spreading in Europe.
Sir William Bromfield
Although John was genuinely shocked to witness his brother being murdered at the railway station, he was not surprised. William had known of the dangers, but his hostile hatred for the Nazi regime had driven him to take risks for his country.
The Bromfield family were wealthy industrialists who for the last three generations ran Bromfield Industries, a group of engineering and manufacturing companies. Traditionally, the family kept only a small proportion of their wealth to themselves. Most of the profits went to the Bromfield Charitable Trust, which supported many charitable organisations.
The company’s structure allowed for William as well as his brother, John, to be uninvolved in the daily running of its enterprises. John had entered the Church, while William pursued his interest in innovating machinery development. William had developed a reputation as a leading designer of farming equipment and other mechanical methods of farming. He had travelled extensively studying farming methods all over Europe and had established an extensive network of agriculture equipment manufacturers.
With the rise of the Third Reich and Hitler’s expansionist plans, many German farm equipment factories developed weapons and military vehicles. In time, British manufacturers followed suit.
William had been contacted by the War Department early in 1934 and asked if he would be willing to continue to travel to Germany. By using his connections, he was to note what developments were taking place. With the passing of time, this would be the basis of vital intelligence should war break out.
William could also use this information in the development of any equipment that the family companies may be required to manufacture for the British Government. Initially, it would be a low-key operation, and there would be minimal risks to William’s personal safety.
Later on, the War Department asked him to map out the locations of the German factories. Doing this increased his risk as he would then be conveying military information. They gave him a small camera, but he committed most of the information to memory and placed the locations on maps each time he returned home.
William did not raise any suspicion with the Germans until he was seen drinking coffee with Ruth’s grandfather. Although it was a casual observation, a minor official thought it worthwhile to find out who and why this foreigner was having coffee with a Jew. It then became apparent that as William’s business caused him to visit manufacturers, he warranted further investigation.
William remained under surveillance for the rest of that journey. The Gestapo continued their investigation, so they arrested the Jew William had been seen having coffee with. They grilled him with all the force that they could. Even though he knew nothing of William’s activities, other than being an English manufacturer. He was thought to have died under interrogation
On William’s next visit, (somehow the Gestapo missed him at the border) he noticed that his friend was not at the usual coffee shop. He did, however, run into the Jew’s troubled daughter who told of his arrest and her mother’s apparent suicide.
That is when William told her about the possibility of getting her young child out of Germany. He sent a message to England requesting the paperwork that would be needed to admit Ruth into England. When the woman agreed to send Ruth away, William crossed the border to France, where he met with a British courier. He also sent a message to his brother. His brother replied almost immediately and made arrangements to be on the next “Kindertransport.”
When William crossed back into Germany, the Gestapo expected him. Their agents in Paris had seen him receive a package from the courier. They followed him to determine where he was going before they apprehended him, planning to investigate what the messenger gave him.
Leaving the train at Frankfurt William caught a taxi, and the Gestapo followed him. Three blocks from the station a truck carrying a full load of bottles failed to stop at an intersection and crashed into the car carrying the Gestapo. The last thing the truck driver saw was the flash of the pistol, the injured Gestapo member held in his hand.
William, being unaware he had been under surveillance, met with Ruth’s mother and gave her the documents. He arranged to meet her in two days’ time at the station where Ruth would go with William’s brother John to England.
The Gestapo searched everywhere for William but had no luck until they saw him on the platform at the railway station. As there were guards at every door of the train, there had been no need to check everyone going onto the platform.
William met up with Ruth and her mother and then, after he briefly spoke to his brother through the carriage window, passed Ruth to him at the door.
William and Ruth’s mother returned to the window, and as the train started to pull out, one of the Gestapo agents recognised William. Realising it was the Gestapo, William wanted to move away from the train and Ruth’s mother so she would not appear to be with him. They called out for him to halt, but he kept moving.
Three shots rang out, and the Englishman lay dead on the platform. Ruth’s mum saw all this and ran to help William. As she bent over him, she was shot with one bullet in her head.
Between John’s account, along with another agent’s (who was on the station at the time) report, the British developed an exact account of what happened.
The maps that William had provided turned out to be extremely valuable to the British after the war started.
The lessons William learnt and passed on to his company enabled a new division to be set up specialising in water storage and transportation, (Dams and Pipelines).
John needed to address the board of the company to inform them of William’s death and to assume the role of “non-executive president of Bromfield Industries.”
John would only need to attend board meetings four times a year and therefore, would not need to have any active role in the daily running of the company. He did, however, received regular reports and kept a keen interest in the “Water Storage and Transportation.” division.
Bradford James Livingston couldn’t believe it. He had finally married the woman of his dreams, Paula Dianne Copeland. He was the most blessed man on the face of God’s green earth. As they took their first dance together as Mr. And Mrs. Bradford James Livingston to the sweet, slow, romantic melody of his favorite song, he reflected back to the first time he’d ever held her in his arms. It had been at her best friend Taylor’s wedding almost a year and a half ago when they had danced together to this very song.
The sultry voice of the female singer filled the air of the hotel’s banquet room as Bradford held his wife next to him and breathed in the mere sight of her. Man, oh, man, was she enchanting! And she was his, all his. Even though the room was filled to capacity with their family and friends, they only saw each other. The sparkle in her beautiful dark brown eyes told him that her love for him was as strong as his for her.
To his displeasure, their song ended. Bradford wasted no time in partaking of another kiss from his lovely bride. Mmmmm-mmm. Her lips were so soft, as sweet as honey, and as moist as fresh dew on a cool spring morning. This was nice. He could kiss her forever. Oh, wait a minute. Something was wrong. Her kiss. Suddenly, it had turned into a drenching rain, not just on his mouth but all over his face. He didn’t want to hurt her feelings by wiping his face. He’d surely live to regret it if he did, but she was slobbering all over his face. He couldn’t take it any longer.
“Ah, baby, I know you love me,” Bradford grinned, “but can you cut the waterworks?”
She didn’t answer. Instead, she continued to lick him all over his face.
Bradford partially opened his eyes and saw honey blonde hair and a pair of big, gray eyes staring back at him. The face looked familiar, but it certainly wasn’t his Paula. Who had he married? Whoever it was gave him another soggy kiss, which felt more like a lick. He opened his eyes fully.
When he saw who—or what—it was, he yelled, “Gee Gee, stop!”
The five-year-old part cocker spaniel and part schnauzer continued licking her owner’s face.
Bradford turned his head from side to side. “Gee Gee, I said stop!”
The dog didn’t understand. This was their usual morning routine minus some of the face licking. She’d been having a hard time waking her master this morning. What was wrong with him?
Bradford sat up straight in bed. “Ginger, stop!”
Uh-oh. He’d called her by her given name Ginger. He only did that when he was upset with her and meant business.
Ginger’s droopy ears stood up straight. She wasted no time jumping off her master’s king-size storage bed and taking off on short legs.
Bradford could hear his pooch hauling it down the stairs and across the hardwood kitchen floor, apparently heading to her hiding place in the laundry room where she usually sought refuge when she knew she was in trouble. All of a sudden, he felt something warm and wet on his sheet underneath his left hand. He lifted his hand to see a dark circular-like wet spot.
Frowning, he called out, “Ginger, I’m gon’ whip your—-”
Grunting, Bradford quickly climbed out of bed, made his way to the master bath, and washed his hands and face.
As he prepared breakfast later, he made up his mind to tell Paula tonight at the cookout at her house of his true feelings for her.
Bradford smiled inwardly as he thought about their initial meeting and encounter at her Aunt Evelyn’s house over a year and a half ago. They had mixed like oil and water but had soon become the best of friends. They’d been friends for almost a year and a half, and he hadn’t seen her as anything more than that until about a year ago. He’d been trying desperately to fight his feelings though because after all, it had been he who had stressed that he only wanted to be her friend, which was true at the time. It had never been his intention to fall in love with her. He’d had nothing but the purest and sincerest intentions of friendship with her.
But tonight was the night. He was finally going to tell her that he loved her and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her as more than just friends.
* * *
The gentle breeze of May stirred the sweet-smelling, succulent aroma of honeysuckles up the green, grassy hillside surrounding the airy, outdoor room where most of the guests had congregated. The flowers’ nectar filled Bradford’s nostrils as he secretly searched for Paula. Finally spotting her, he forced himself to take gentle strides in her direction because he actually felt like sprinting toward her as though he was running a marathon. She looked pretty in her white knee knockers and red and white striped v-neck tee.
Paula’s eyes twinkled as she caught and held his gaze. It was obvious that her feelings for him were mutual. He could hardly wait for them to talk later.
“Hey,” she said. “I’ve been looking for you. Where’ve you been?”
“Conversing,” Bradford responded with a mischievous grin.
“I should’ve known. You’re either talking or eating. Or both,” she added jovially.
Taking the platter of marinated meats from her, he walked with her toward the grill.
“This meat looks good enough to eat raw.”
He teased, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
She elbowed him. “I wouldn’t really do it, silly. What’d you marinate it in?”
She stood beside him while he used the large wooden-handled tongs to place the meat onto the hot grill.
His mouth turned up into a huge grin. “It’s a family secret. But maybe I’ll share it with you one day though.”
“Oh, so it’s like that, huh?”
He grinned. “Can we get together later? There’s something I wanna talk to you about?”
Her face dropped. “Sure. Is everything okay?”
“Everything’s fine. No, I take that back. It’s better than fine. It’s great.”
Her eyes flashed with intense curiosity. “Why are you grinning like a Cheshire cat? Did you meet a girl?”
He gave her a sharp, playful look. “Didn’t I just ask if we can talk later? Don’t you have something else you need to be doing besides standing out here harassing me?”
Paula giggled. “Well, excuuuse me. I’ll talk to you later.”
Bradford chuckled as she walked away mumbling to herself.
“Hey,” came a baritone voice beside him. It was his good friend Richard Mayfield, Taylor’s husband.
The two friends shook hands.
Richard leaned in and whispered, “Did you finally ask her out?”
“Ask who out?”
“Paula. Who do you think I’m talking about?”
Bradford cast a cautious eye over his shoulder, then back at his friend. Eyeing Richard, he asked, “You talkin’ to me?”
“No, I was talkin’ to that tree over there,” Richard said, chuckling lightheartedly as he nodded toward the thicket of skyscraper evergreens on Paula’s property.
Bradford released a nervous laugh. “What are you talking about? Paula and I go out all the time. We’re friends.”
Richard peered at the attractive one-story cottage which Bradford had built for Paula when she’d downsized from her huge, extravagant home in Azalea Heights. “I mean on a date. Don’t play dumb with me. Maybe you can fool everybody else but not me.”
Bradford’s eyes made another involuntary sweep of the area. He had never admitted his feelings for Paula to anyone, not even his friends. He chuckled lightly. “Man, we’re just friends,” he whispered.
“Yeah, I know you are now, but it’s obvious that you dig her.”
Bradford hung his head and grinned, then looked back up. Why try to hide it any longer? After all, he was going to announce it to Paula later on. Why not go ahead and share it with one of his best friends?
“How long have you known?”
“Well, for the past several months, but I didn’t really think much of it at first.”
Bradford opened his eyes wide. “Do you think anybody else knows?”
“I don’t know. If they do, I haven’t heard ‘em say anything. Why don’t you just tell her how you feel?” Richard cautioned, “You keep dillydallying around, and somebody’s gon’ beat you to her. I don’t know why the two of you haven’t hooked up by now anyway. You’ve been friends for what–almost two years?”
“Almost. A year and a half.”
Bradford was relieved when their friend Phillip Callahan approached them. Phillip had moved to Charlotte six months ago and had easily settled into the area and their congregation. Since he had experience in construction work and was in need of a job, Bradford had readily hired him on as one of his crew people. The three men had a lot in common and had become the best of friends.
Holding out his hand, Phillip said, “Brad, Richard, how you doing?”
“Phil,” the two men said in unison and shook his hand.
Richard took a sip of his drink.
Bradford said, “Just the man I want to see.” Handing Phillip the tongs, he said, “Take over for me for a few minutes, will you, buddy? And don’t let Richard get too close to it. He always lets it burn.”
Richard looked wide-eyed, almost choking on his drink. “Hey, I resent that.”
“You can resent it all you want to,” Bradford said. “It’s the truth,” he added, chuckling, as he walked away.
* * *
“Hey, Sister Randall,” Bradford greeted Paula’s aunt, Evelyn Randall.
Evelyn broke into a huge grin. “Hey, Brad.”
Leaning down to give the elderly woman a hug, he inquired, “How you doing?”
Evelyn hugged him and gave him a quick peck on the cheek. “I’m fine. How ‘bout choo?”
“Terrific.” Taking a seat on one of the black, wrought-iron chairs beside her, he asked, grinning, “So what’s for dinner tomorrow?”
Evelyn had come to love Bradford like a son. Along with Paula, he brought so much sunshine into her life. And just like she’d done with her niece, she had spoiled him rotten by cooking for them all the time, especially on Sundays.
She responded with a straight face, “Leftovers.”
Bradford frowned and leaned forward. “Leftovers!”
“Yeah. You thank wit all this food we gon’ have ‘ere today I’ma go home and cook? Have you lost yer mind?"
Bradford doubled over in laughter. “Now, Sister Randall, we can’t have leftovers on Sunday. A big ol’ pot o’ collard greens, some neck bones, potato salad, and cornbread sure sounds good.”
“Sho’ do,” Evelyn responded with her arms folded across her chest. “You gon’ fix it?”
Bradford was shaking with laughter. “Sister Randall, you’re a mess. A straight-up mess. You know that?”
“Yeah, I know. Thank yuh,” Evelyn said as she broke into laughter.
“Well, I didn’t mean it as a compliment,” he joked.
“Well, that’s how I’m takin’ it,” she replied, grinning.
Everyone was having a great time, enjoying good conversation and wholesome association while waiting for the meat to finish grilling. Bradford didn’t think he could wait a moment longer to talk to Paula. He had hoped that they could talk after most of her guests had gone, but he was eager to share his feelings. He felt jubilant inside as he took giant steps toward the house.
It was quiet inside. He admired her decorative touch. The bright colors and sheer fabrics brought a wealth of light and energy to her new home. Though it was much smaller than the one she’d had in Azalea Heights, it was beautiful nonetheless, and she seemed extremely happy and satisfied with her downsized lifestyle.
Her name was on the tip of his tongue as he made his way to the kitchen. However, what he saw caused his brain to malfunction. Paula and Phillip were standing beside the shimmering, gray, marble-topped island embraced in a kiss! Bradford slowly backed away, almost stumbling over the bench in the hallway that he and Paula had built together. He nearly knocked Evelyn down as she was coming through the front door. He grabbed her arms to steady her.
“Sister Randall, I’m sorry. Are you all right?”
Evelyn reached for and held her chest. “Whew! You liked to scared the livin’ daylights outta me. I’m fine. You see Paula in there? I thank everbody’s ready to eat. They just took the rest of the meat off’n the grill. Did yuh see her when yuh was inside?”
“Ah, no,” Bradford hurriedly responded before rushing away.
He almost walked into Taylor and Richard as they stood talking. Taylor looked at Bradford with curious eyes.
“Are you okay? You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.”
Taylor looked at him again before saying, “I’m gonna see if Paula needs help with anything.”
Bradford thought, the only thing Paula needs help with is getting Phillip’s mouth off hers. See if you can help her with that while you’re in there.
Richard asked, “Man, are you sure you’re okay? You look sick.”
“I’m fine. I think I just need to eat something.”
Bradford spoke in a low tone. “What we talked about earlier–about Paula–do me a favor. Don’t mention it to anybody, especially Taylor.”
“Okay. But why not? What’s wrong?”
“I changed my mind. We’re friends. Anything more would just complicate things.”
“So you’re just going to let her slip through your fingers?” Richard whispered.
“I told you, Rich, we’re friends, and I wanna keep it that way,” Bradford firmly responded.
Richard held up his hand. “Okay. Whatever you say.”
When they saw Paula approaching them with a huge grin on her face, the air grew quiet.
Look at her, Bradford thought. That kiss from Phillip has her grinning from ear to ear.
The touch of her hand as she took his caused a warmth to radiant up and down his spine.
“Here you are,” she said. “I’ve been looking for you. We’re ready to eat. Will you say the blessing?”
Bradford’s first thought was, why don’t you ask your boyfriend Phillip to say the blessing? Instead, he pasted a fake smile on his face and responded, “Sure.”
Richard watched the two of them walk away.
Charles Carpenter, the author of the revered memoir Handcuffed does it again with Colors of Oppression.
The well written narrative explores the anatomy of the often hostile, racially divided prison environment. Charles Carpenter details the social and psychological ramifications of oppression, and describes the wisdom needed to navigate through a microcosm of hatred, racism, deception, and prison politics.
This book highlights various deceitful tactics employed by the correctional officers and inmates, thus giving the general public an unadulterated glimpse into the world within a world - prison.
Colors of Oppression is an educational tool for anyone interested in a career in the field of corrections. This book also raises the awareness level for those interested in analyzing the dynamics of prison life.
Words can impact our lives in so many ways. They can be both wonderful instruments and deadly weapons at the same time. The tongue or words that come out of our mouths as referred to in the Bible, is a tool that the enemy, Satan, uses each time to deceive, kill and destroy us. If used for good, it can heal and bless others. Our words can make or break us. Learn the truth. Know the consequences of the words you say and what God has to say on matters of the tongue.
This book brings awareness of the importance of our words at the Last Judgement. God Himself put much emphasis in the Bible on how we must live. Be guided to discover the power of the tongue!
Contradiction is a riveting and dynamic account in which Charles Carpenter unveils the core of why at risk youth become attracted to gang subculture. Charles Carpenter shares his personal experience regarding his attraction to gang life. Profound insight is offered regarding loyalty and the ugly face of betrayal. Charles delves into how the catalyst that motivated his change was when a fellow member of his former gang violated the code of honor and respect by having a capricious affair with his wife; this transgression was the foundation that led to Charles Carpenter's conviction of second degree murder.
After years of living a destructive life style which continued to yield negative fruitage, Charles Carpenter vowed to make positive changes in his life. He made a conscious effort to change the behavior patterns that ultimately shaped the gang member that he diligently aspired to become. Charles Carpenter outlines the anatomy of his change and describes what is required to learn positive behaviors.
Lightning ripped across the northern California sky, then splintered down through the rain and disappeared behind our neighbor’s house. Letting the door slam shut behind me, I ran away from the warmth of our porch light into the darkness of our backyard. My mom would’ve killed me if she’d caught me outside that late at night. Especially in a thunderstorm, and on the night before my fifteenth birthday, with the big party she had planned for tomorrow. But I had to get out of the house before I fell asleep and they came for me. And they were coming!
A gust of wind blew my hair against my face. I swiped it out of my eyes just in time to see a plastic lawn chair tumbling through the air. I covered my head with both arms, but a leg of the chair smashed against my elbow. Ouch!
I dropped onto the wet grass, pulled my knees into my chest, and rocked nervously back and forth. Water soaked up through my nightgown and my underwear, making me shiver.
None of these things mattered, though. Because something far worse was happening inside my head. A memory of me as a little girl, on the night my grandpa Dahlen disappeared from his cottage, was trying to claw its way into my consciousness. And I didn’t want to think about that night. Ever.
Still, I couldn’t stop it, which didn’t make sense. I was awake, and outside, where I was supposed to be safe, yet the aliens from my dreams were somehow messing with my thoughts, rearranging things, trying to make me think about that night! But how?
And why? It happened eight years ago, and my grandpa was dead now.
Although, before he disappeared, he’d—
No! Stop, Courtney! I yelled at myself.
I bit my fingernail and took a deep breath, hoping to calm down.
No luck. I was remembering the musty old-books smell from my grandpa’s bookcase. Butterflies rushed into my stomach and I sprang to my feet.
“All right. Is that what you want me to do?” I shouted into the rainy darkness. “Remember my grandpa? What happened that night? If I do that, then will you leave me alone?”
I wiped the rain from my eyes, and suddenly it was like I was right there, in the cottage. His notebook sat on the plaid couch, opened to a map he’d drawn of the ancient wormholes linking the alien world to our own.
I stumbled backward over a tree root and my butt hit the ground; my head clunked against an even bigger root. Oww! I started to sit up. But suddenly the memory I’d been running from took over the screen in my mind. I fell back into the wet grass and watched the scene unfold as if I were seven years old again, right there in the cottage.
It was raining outside, and the air smelled like old, musty books and burnt hamburgers. I glanced over at my grandpa Dahlen. He was busy in the kitchen, forking ears of corn out of a pot of boiling water. Standing tiptoe on the comfy reading chair, I reached up to the bookcase and ran my fingers along the dials of what he called his ham-radio/alien-transport machine.
“Courtney!” Grandpa stared at me over his steamed-up glasses.
“Fine.” I plopped down on the reading chair and crossed my arms over my chest. Then I lowered my eyes. Blood was seeping through my shirt again from earlier in the day, when my grandpa’s nun friend had stopped by with a guy with a tattoo gun. They’d come to give me a tattoo. I hadn’t wanted a tattoo! But my grandpa had told me it was important, and the way he’d said it, I’d believed him. So now I had a blue mark on my rib cage that looked like four dead bugs arranged in a square.
“So tell me this, Grandpa,” I said. “If these aliens who visit you are really your friends, then why do they make you keep everything secret?”
He turned away from the steaming pot and eyed me with suspicion. “Because people are frightened of what they don’t understand. And frightened people can be dangerous, Courtney,” he said. “Now come sit down for dinner.”
I slipped into a wobbly kitchen chair, rested my elbows on the wooden table, and stared down at my burnt ham- burger. “Mom doesn’t believe in aliens, so does that make her dangerous?” I asked.
Grandpa chuckled. “Your mother is only interested in facts and evidence. Even when she was a child, she had no tolerance for intangibles. Or even comic books, for that matter. Can you imagine?” He set a plate of corn on the cob in the center of the table, then sat down across from me. “But dangerous? No. I think we’re safe from her.” He flashed me a wink.
I winked back. People always told me that I shared his silvery-blue eyes. Hearing someone say it would make my mom cringe, though, because she thought Grandpa was crazy. And the last thing she wanted was for me to turn out like him. But she and my dad were spending the weekend with their old law school friends on Lake Tahoe, so they’d dropped me off with Grandpa on their way.
“Well, if these alien things are real living creatures, then did God make them?” I asked. “Or are they just imaginary?”
I smiled proudly. I was about to finally get the truth from him.
“How’s your burger?” he asked.
“But you didn’t answer—”I started to protest, when a bang on the front door made me jump.
My grandpa ran over and covered his ham-radio/alien-transport machine with an afghan.
More quick pounding! Grandpa shoved his notebook under the couch.
I tried to read his expression, to see if he was frightened or just cleaning up, but he wouldn’t look at me. He rushed to the door and glanced through the peephole, and I held my breath.
When he unlocked the door, three men barged into the cottage.
I immediately recognized them as professor friends of my grandpa’s from when he’d taught at Berkeley. But what were they doing out here at night? I mean, hadn’t they heard of cellphones?
They stared over at me. “Hello, Courtney,” said one, a tall man with a thick beard and black suitcoat.
I shot my grandpa a pleading look, like Make them go away. But he quickly shook his head. I stomped into the guest bedroom and slammed the door.
“They’re coming,” one of the men whispered, loud enough for me to hear. He sounded worried. Which made me worry. About what, though, I wasn’t quite sure.
I bit my thumbnail, and it tasted like wormy dirt from the woodpile. Gross! I wiped my mouth with the bottom of my shirt.
“She’s not safe,” another man said.
Not safe? I froze. “She”? As in me? My heart started racing, and suddenly I couldn’t get enough air into my lungs.
I grabbed the black metal latch of the window next to me and opened it. The chirr-chirr of crickets filled the bedroom, and I breathed in the smell of wet leaves. Pressing my face against the screen, I glanced up at my grandpa’s ham radio tower, standing tall along the side of the house. The siren on top of it glistened with rain under the silvery moon. It would sound off if any bad guys snuck into the backyard and tried to mess with my grandpa’s things. Or that’s what he’d told me, anyway.
Suddenly a familiar shiver trickled down my neck. Oh wow!
I turned away from the window and locked eyes with Astra. “Nice of you to show up,” I said.
She was a few years older than me. Like eleven, maybe. She was sitting cross-legged on the floor next to the closet; her eyes shone bright green against her pale skin and black hair. She bit into her plump bottom lip, which meant she was worried about me. “You think I’m going to climb out the window and run away?” I asked her.
She didn’t answer. For an imaginary friend, she wasn’t very talkative. But she seemed to show up whenever I was in trouble. And there was no getting rid of her; our minds were connected. My grandpa said she was probably a real person somewhere, and that we shared consciousness because we came from the same bloodline. As crazy as the idea seemed, I liked to think that there might be someone real out there who would understand me if we ever crossed paths. Most people just thought I was weird like my grandpa.
“I’m glad you’re here,” I told Astra.
Outside my door, I could hear the men pacing around on the creaky wooden floor boards.
“When?” my grandpa asked.
“We don’t know,” another man said.
I didn’t like the sound of that. My stomach tightened with nerves. I sat down on my bed and rocked back and forth, staring at Astra.
“You’re crying,” she said. Or I could hear her voice in my head, anyway.
“No I’m not.” I swiped my cheek. Then I looked down at the spot of blood on my shirt. “I got a tattoo,” I said, trying to change the subject.
A siren wailed outside. The alarm! I jumped up, turned toward the window. But the bedroom door burst open behind me. I spun back around, and my grandpa stood in the doorway.
“Grandpa! What’s happening?” I started toward him. He quickly shook his head and then pressed his finger to his lips: Stay quiet.
Grandpa looked scared. And he was never scared. My heart pounded against my rib cage. Astra was gone. This was bad.
Bright light lit up my grandpa’s face. It was coming through the window behind me. Oh no! I whipped around to see who was there, and someone grabbed me from inside the room.
I started to scream, but a hand covered my mouth. My feet lifted off the floor. Frantically I twisted my head around to see who it was, but I was being dragged backward, down the hall, into the bathroom. Kicking at the bathroom wall, I bit into the hand covering my mouth, and for a second my head was free. I whirled around to see my grandpa, his finger gushing blood from where my teeth had cut into his skin.
“Grandpa? What are you doing?”
He whispered something in my ear. Then he lifted me up, ignoring my flailing legs.
The next thing I knew, I was underwater. Screaming!
"The songs in this book are from my experiences growing up.
All these songs (or poems) were written from my journeys. The backdrop for my writing
was Brooklyn, Manhattan, Prospect Park, Coney Island and Greenwich Village.
These songs were written, recorded and shared with childhood friends and family."
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