Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Novel: "I just want to be loved"

My first novel, available in PDF.
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An emotional and gripping story of three children, who all of a sudden, lost their mum and dad.
If you like emotional stories, then this book is for you.

Also available at Amazon as an e-book or soft cover

 An excerpt from my novel: Chapter 3 and Chapter 4

Mum and Dad are not coming home.

Later in the day, when school was out, Henry, Jimmy and Sheila were excited that school was finished for the day. On the way home, they were playing and having lots of fun and getting into mischief just as most young children do. When the children arrived home, everything was the same as always, their mum and dad were still at work and wouldn’t be home until later. Normally, their parents would get home about dinner time. The evening before, their mum would always prep dinner this way, all she had to do was heat it up in the oven when she arrived home. “Mum and dad are late tonight,” Henry, said, “I wonder where they could be?”  Asked Sheila, Jimmy replied, “Don’t worry sis, they probably stopped off at the store on the way home.” Another hour went by and Sheila said, “I’m hungry,” “Don’t worry sis, I’ll make you a sandwich,” Henry said, “This should do you until mum and dad arrive home.” An hour later and there was still no sign of them, anxiously, Henry kept looking out of the window, but there was still no sign of them. Henry made some more sandwiches for himself, Sheila and Jimmy, as they were all feeling quite hungry. After they had all eaten their sandwiches. Henry had an idea. “I know!” “Let’s play some computer games on the T.V.” Jimmy and Sheila thought this was a great idea. They were laughing and having so much fun.

Suddenly the doorbell rang, in unison they all shouted. “It’s mum and dad,” and in all the excitement, they all ran to the door together pushing and shoving each other out of the way to see who could get to the front door first. When they opened the front door, they were startled to see two police officers standing there. Instantly, they all moved back a few steps wondering what was wrong. Standing at the door was one policeman and one policewoman. The children were very scared. They had never seen police officers come to their house before. The policeman said, “Are you the Maxwell children?” Hesitantly and with a shaky voice Henry said, “Yes sir,” “Can we come in son, we would like to speak with you,” Henry said, “But my mum and dad are not home yet.” The policewoman spoke for the first time, “You see children, we would actually like to speak to you if that is okay. Could we please come in and speak with you for a while?” The police officers were trying to be as tactful as they knew how. “Sure,” Henry said, so the children escorted the two police officers into the living room. As they all sat down, the policewoman said, “Could you please tell me all your names? One by one the children told the officers their names. “Thank you children, you see. We are here about your mum and dad,” Henry said, “But, our mum and dad are not home from work yet.” “Yes, and we know Henry, that’s why we’re here.”

In a slow, solemn, but nervous voice, the policewoman continued, “You see children, your mum and dad were involved in an accident at work today, that is, in the factory where they worked. The factory had a very large explosion and I’m sorry to tell you the news children, but your mum and dad won’t be coming home. I’m afraid they were both killed in the explosion.” Henry, Jimmy, and Sheila all started screaming and crying at the same time. The police officers had a very difficult time consoling and comforting them. The police officers knew, that because of the situation, they should have had a social worker present during their visit, but because of the workload, there was no-one available to team with them to the house. Most of the social workers were at other homes breaking the news to other families involved in the accident. The policeman said, “I think we should phone social services to see if someone is available yet.” The policewoman agreed and phoned social services. She told them that they needed help right away to handle the children, as they were hysterical and crying uncontrollably. Social services assured them that someone would be there right away.

After being told the news by the police officers, Henry ran to his bedroom with Jimmy and Sheila close behind. The police officers could hear them all crying, it was such sad news to break to the children. The policewoman went up to their bedroom to see if she could console them, but to no avail. They cried even more, shouting. “Mummy, daddy, where are you?”

About an hour later a woman from social services arrived. She said, “I’m so sorry I couldn’t get here sooner, but we’ve been so busy since the accident, so many families and relatives have been affected by this.” As she entered in through the front door, she could hear the children crying from the bedroom upstairs. As she looked at the officers, tears welled up in her eyes, she said, “It’s been so hard for everyone, even for us as social workers, we have been crying and comforting other families all evening. It’s so difficult not to get caught up in the emotions of the families we have visited. We are supposed to be strong, but sometimes we break down too, it’s not easy you know.” “We know,” the policewoman replied. She could see that the social worker was distraught and that she had been through a difficult evening already. The policewoman continued, “Nevertheless, we have to all get through this and be strong for the children, even if we do have to cry with them, they need us so much right now. Their mum and dad are gone and right now they have no-one. Let’s see what we can do to help them, let’s just take one day at a time.” Then the policewoman and social worker both hugged each other, as confirmation that they would all get through this together for the benefit of the children.

The social worker and police officers went up to the children’s bedroom and gingerly entered the room, all the children were sitting on the bed cuddling each other. The social worker spoke and told the children her name, she said, “I’m here to try and help you, but first of all children, I need to know your names. So, if you could please tell me your names that would be great.” They quietened down a little and sobbingly, they each told her their names. “Wow! What nice names your mum and dad gave you. We know that this is a very sad time for you, but you see, because you are so young, you are not able to stay in this house by yourself, it would be too dangerous so we have to find you some other place to live.” The social worker asked the children, “Do you have any relatives close by?” Henry said, “We don’t have any relatives in Glasgow, I think they are living in different countries, but I don’t know where.” “That’s fine Henry, we can find out where they are staying.” said the social worker, “In the meantime though, we’ll have to find you a temporary place to stay, there is a nice children’s home in Glasgow called an orphanage, they can let you stay there temporarily until we locate some of your relatives. You’ll like it there, they are very nice people, and there are lots of other nice children there too.” The social worker was trying to be as tactful as she knew how without becoming too emotional with the children. The social worker phoned the orphanage and made the necessary arrangements. The social worker then asked the children. “Do you have any little bags in which to pack some clothes? You’ll need clothes for a few days, along with toothpaste and some soap. If you want to bring some pictures with you and a couple of books or comics, that’s okay. Don’t worry about your school stuff though. You won’t need them for a couple of weeks. I’ll contact your school and let them know that you won’t be there for a little while. I’m sure you can catch up with your studies when you return to school. I’ll go downstairs now with the police officers and whenever you have your things ready, come downstairs and I’ll drive you to the orphanage.”

 As soon as the social worker and police officers left the room, the children all started crying again. The policewoman went to go back in to the bedroom, but the social worker said, “No, just leave them, let them have their time together, they’ll come down when they’re ready.” When the social worker and police officers sat in the living room, they talked about the events of the day. The social worker said, “You know, this part of the job has been very difficult, but the worst has yet to come. We have all the funerals to arrange yet, we don’t know if the children’s parents had life insurance or funeral coverage and to go through all the parents personal papers would be very time consuming and the chances of the children knowing that kind of information is slim. It looks like the city will pay for the funerals, then when we get the necessary documents that the deceased may have, the city will be reimbursed by the insurance companies. There’s no other way to do it. As hard as this may sound, we have to try and have some closure regarding this event. The children have to try and move on with their lives.” The police officers nodded in agreement.

The children eventually came downstairs. They were all holding each other so tight, tremendously scared of being separated from each other. Their faces looked so withdrawn. You could see the fear and anxiousness in their eyes. There was such a sense of nervousness, as if they had all just had a bad dream. Reluctantly, the Maxwell children left their home with the social worker, “Don’t worry children,” the social worker said, “You will be coming back to your home soon. We have to come back and sort out all your personal belongings.”


The day of the Funeral

Upon their arrival at the orphanage, they recognized that were some other children from their school too. As some of their parents had been involved in the accident and were also injured in the explosion. The unfortunate thing for the Maxwell children was that both their parents worked at the factory and unfortunately, both were killed. As the week progressed, funeral arrangements were being made for those who had died. It was going to be a sad week in the city of Glasgow.

During the week prior to the funeral, the children had been contacted as to any church affiliation that their parents may have had. The social work department tried very hard to contact relatives of the Maxwell family. Apparently, there were no next of kin in the Glasgow area at all. Social workers tried friends and neighbours of the Maxwell family, but their efforts were to no avail. It was found, that the Maxwell family had regularly attended a small Nazarene church in the area. The pastor was acquainted with the Maxwell family and knew them very well, and agreed to conduct the funeral.

It was the day of the funeral and because of the extent of the injuries to the children’s mum, and dad and for the sake of not enduring the children to a more traumatic event, it was decided that the coffins should remain closed and no viewing would be allowed. On the day of the funeral, the coffins were draped with beautiful flowers and the song “Abide with Me” was playing softly in the background. There were many friends in attendance and many people also from within the community. People who didn’t even know the Maxwell’s were there to offer their support for the children. As the music softly played, the children were led to their seats at the front of the church.

 As soon as the children saw the coffins Sheila ran over to the coffins and shouted, “Mummy, daddy, please come back, please don’t go away.” As she knelt at the coffins, Sheila had one of her dolls with her. She reached up to her mum’s coffin and placed it on top, “This doll is for you mummy, remember I kept washing and brushing it’s hair in the mornings, and you said it was a silly doll. Well, I knew it was going to be your birthday soon and I wanted to give it to you as a birthday gift. That’s why I kept it clean and brushed it’s hair every day, I will give it to you now mummy and you can celebrate your birthday in heaven. This will keep you company so you don’t feel lonely.” Henry and Jimmy went over and put their arms around her. Everyone attending the service left them alone. The children were kneeling at the coffins and firmly holding each other and crying. There wasn’t a dry eye in the church. Everyone in the church was crying with the children including the pastor.

They let the children have their time of mourning for about five minutes. No one was in a rush. They wanted this to be the children’s day, a day where they could remember their mum and dad. As they were kneeling together, the pastor’s wife went forward and put her arms around them. As she was kneeling with them, she said a little prayer. More people moved forward and joined in the prayer. It was like no other funeral that anyone had ever attended. The pastor’s wife, along with some other women of the church, helped the children to their feet and escorted them to their seats. As they sat sobbing, the pastor started the service, stretching his hands out towards the children, he said, “Jesus loves you this I know for the Bible tells me so, little ones to him belong they are weak, but He is strong.” As he continued, he spoke of the Maxwell’s and their lives as parents. Sobs could be heard throughout the church. It was the most moving funeral service that anyone had ever experienced.

The service was over and it was now time for the interment.  The children were shaking and nervous, but were led into a car where they would be taken to the cemetery. Everyone who was at the church came to the cemetery. The cemetery was just packed with people. The coffins were lowered one by one. The dad’s coffin was lowered first and the mum’s coffin was placed on top, as was the custom in Glasgow. As the coffins were being lowered, the children were crying and screaming. “No mummy, no daddy, please don’t go, please don’t leave me.” The children had to be restrained from going too close to the grave just in case they fell in. They were quite hysterical. Everyone around the grave was crying. It was so sad listening to the pleas of the children for their mum and dad. It was now time to leave. The church had arranged to hold a reception of tea and scones for those who had attended the funeral. The children were seated with the pastor and his wife, and during this time people were coming up to the children offering their condolences and sympathy. Everyone had a kind word of encouragement for all the children. As would be expected, there were lots of hugs, kisses and tears.

Reviews by friends and family.

"Chris, I just finished your book, what a beautiful story, it just made me cry" (Judy Lytton.)

"Wow! what a story Chris, I didn't know you could write like that, you sure are blessed." (Gary)

"Dad, I really liked this story, this would make a great movie" 
My son Stephen. 

"That was a very nice book dad, it was very sad"
My daughter Melanie.

"That was too sad, I'm not sure I liked when that person died" 
My youngest son Martin 

As an author I thank you for your support. 
If you wish to contact me

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