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First pages

CHAPTER 1

The clickety-clack of her tiny shoes resounded against the wet pavement as the rain poured from the dismal gray clouds while she hurried through the dark cold tunnel toward the welcoming light.

“Go this way! No, go that way, the voices echoed as she confusingly veered away from the light of the tunnel, stumbling upon an unfamiliar place tainted by a reeking intolerable stench she had never smelled before.”

There were excruciating sounds of pain heard in the voices of those who apparently lived there, seemingly suffering without an end as she hastily scurried on down the never-ending corridors of the dilapidaated building. In the pit of her belly a wretchedness weld that was all too overwhelming, bringing her to nausea when apprehensively she took notice of a slender figure of a woman emerging toward her from an opposite dimly lit, paint peeling corridor.

“Excuse me Miss, but can you tell me where I am and what is this place?”

The woman in white slowly turned toward the girl with a small oval wrinkled face accentuated by a quaint smile across her thin lips slightly chuckling.

“This is a hospital, my dear! Oh, but not like the others where you leave when you’re all better. No, ma’am! Once you come here you can never leave because it’s your new home and this is where you belong! “

“I don’t understand! What do you mean I can never leave?! I have a home with people who love me! You can’t keep me here and I don’t belong here! I got lost trying to find my way home and took a wrong turn ending up here in this place! It was a mistake!”

“Trust me, my dear, it was no wrong turn. See, you belong here child and it was no mistake that you came. We were expecting you!”

“I don’t belong here I tell you! It was a mistake too and I want to go home! Do you hear me?! I want to go home!”

The young girl’s eyes darted back and forth, frantically searching for a way out while the woman walked away chuckling even louder than before as the small frame her body disappeared into a gloomy gray that loomed against the darkness of the hallway. Anxiously running behind the woman, the young girl glimpsed a ray of light in the shadow of the darkness canvassed on the pale plastered wall. Distracted by the sight, she turned to follow the light that led her to a small hole peeping through the wall. She tore at it with her bare little hands and began to make it bigger by ripping and tearing the moist plaster away until it was large enough to climb through. To her dismay, the only way out was to thrust herself upward but only to slide down again. Her escape seemed impossible and out of the pain of her climb, a cry emerged that was unheard in the darkness of what awaited her on the other side of that wall.

“Help me, she screamed aloud with sweat beading across the top of her forehead! Somebody, please help me!”

“Anna, Anna! Wake up chile! It’s just a dream!”

“Oh Mama, where am I?! There was a lady and she said I was in a hospital and that I would never leave! It was scary!”

“Now you just hush chile and go on back to sleep. I won't let anything hurt you or let nothing take you from me. I’s here for you shuga!”

Virgie was a kind old lady very plump in size with a dark chocolate complexion always having a smile of warmth that could brighten any person’s day. She knew there was something special about her granddaughter Anna and sensed she was not like normal children, gifted with something special she hoped someday would be discovered by the child.

Anna trusted her grandma Virgie who she also called Mama, and loved her with all her heart. She felt safe with her and knew she would not let anything harm her.

Mama often slept in the room with Anna to dispel the evil of the nightmares that visited her granddaughter frequently as she slept. Mama taught Anna a special prayer to say before going to sleep at night that she promised would protect her from all evil. She had taken the child to the Pastor at the church for his blessing on Anna who also discerned something unique about the child and that evil wanted to destroy her. The Pastor told her to learn the 91 Psalms and repeat it every day for protection.

Mama often heard Anna crying in the night and began to sleep in the room with her after the first episode of the nightmares began at the age of five years old. As she watched her granddaughter sleep, Mama often mused when Anna was only six years old and before anyone could stop her, found her way to the front of the church and stood before the Pastor with her tiny hand extended.

“Well, chile, what do you want from the Lawd?”

In a small shaky voice, she replied, “I want Jesus to come into my heart!”

The Pastor took her small hand as Virgie looked on with teary eyes and a heart melting from the love she felt for her granddaughter. It was then she knew Anna was special while her older sisters Claudia and Bernadette looked on in amazement. They had never gone before the Pastor with such a request as their younger sister Anna whose actions aroused a sense of jealousy from them because of the attention she got from everyone.

Claudia was the oldest sister, tall and average built with a pretty face enhanced by a charcoal wavy hair. She often bossed Anna and Bernadette around making them do things for her and always in charge of everything they played. She was into boys at age thirteen and frequently slipped out of the window of her bedroom at night to meet up with some boy. When she returned, there were voices coming from Anna’s room that she heard as she slipped back through the window of her bedroom. Claudia never gave it a second thought fearing she would be caught sneaking back into the house.

Bernadette was the middle sister, a bit plump in her size, but as she would have it, she was just big boned with a pretty face and quiet most of the time. She loved both her sisters and would do anything for them. She would listen to conversations while others talked and only engaged when asked a question showing no real interest. Her peers thought she was weird in some way as she kept to herself and had no friends. Bernadette, however, didn’t see anything wrong with herself and liked how she was not really caring too much about having any friends long as she had her two sisters.

Anna was given a beautiful doll with a fancy gown and a little matching parasol that she carried with her often, convinced the doll was her best friend. She named her Letty.

Grandpa Ed had given it to her one night in a drunken stupor that Mama had grown tired of and came up with the idea to put a special cot on the porch for him to sleep on when he was in his drunken state. She also knew the drinking over the many years had taken its toll on her husband and that he was dying. After his liver failed, Grandpa Ed passed away when Anna was ten years old. She watched Mama pine away over his death while she, on the other hand, was frightened by it. Anna hated funerals and would stare so hard at the dead person lying in the coffin until it would appear they moved somehow even though they were lying dead. The idea of them coming back to get her stayed on her mind long after they had been dead and buried.

After the death of Grandpa Ed, Anna took Letty and tossed it behind the house into a ditch wanting nothing to remind her of dead Grandpa Ed. While standing to look at the doll, she heard a whispering, whining voice.

“Please don’t send me away! Don’t you want to play with me anymore?!”

Anna stared at Letty for several minutes in the ditch before finally turning and walking away feeling a bit of guilt. Late in the night as she slept, she could hear Letty crying out in the dark of the night.

“Come and get me, Anna! It’s time to play. Don’t you want to play with us?!”

Covering both her ears Anna squirmed releasing a tiny squeal to frighten the voices away that echoed as she attempted to sleep.

Virgie barged into the room as Anna sat straight up in bed perspiring across the temple of her head.

“There, there now, Mama cooed! It’s alright chile! Mama’s here and I ain’t gone let nobody hurt you!”

She wrapped her arms around Anna and spent the night in the room while rocking her back to sleep in the comfort of her arms.

There was quite a chill in the air the following morning on a cloudy Autumn day with winter fast approaching. Anna scrambled out of bed and grabbed her clothes hurriedly running off to the place she had tossed Letty. When she got there, the doll was gone.

“Who could have taken her, she pondered, while walking up and down the border of the ditch in search of it.”

Anna thought perhaps a dog may have dragged it away somewhere but whatever the case there was no sign of Letty. Anna was dazed and somewhat saddened by the thought of doing such a cruel thing even though it was just a doll.

Several years had passed since the death of Grandpa Ed and Anna began to evolve into a beautiful young woman with a coke bottle figure, brown eyes and charcoal hair accented by her caramel complexion and desired by many young men who pursued her. She loved poetry and even wrote her own with hopes and dreams of doing well.

There was an occasion Anna and her sisters helped with the baking for the church’s anniversary by transporting the cakes and pies from Mama’s house to Aunt Ora’s house a few blocks away. It had gotten late as they made their last round of delivery when they heard a rustling sound while walking along the wooded trail gleefully. The three stopped to look but their vision was obscured by the darkness that blanketed the night, leaving them to assume it was their cousin Sissy lagging behind them. Anna called out to her as the sound continued to rustle toward them.

“Hey, Sissy if you move faster I’ll wait for ya!”

Her sisters went on ahead as she called out to Sissy again.

“Hey, slowpoke, you better hurry up b’fo I leave you! It’s getting late so hurry up!”

As she stood there waiting, she could see someone advancing toward her all clad in black with a dark veil draped over their head never responding to anything she said. It was then she knew it was not her cousin Sissy and wondered who the person could be wearing all black and following them. She never knew funerals were held at night as the person appeared to be dressed for one. Frightened, she quickly turned on her heels dropping the cake she carried and ran as fast as she could straight past her two sisters. She reached Aunt Ora’s house before any of the others and pounded on the door.

“Open the door! Hurry! Something is out here about to get us!”

Aunt Ora scurried to the door in a bustle to see what the commotion was. The three sisters anxiously waited for her to open the door almost knocking her to the floor as they flew past her.

Claudia and Bernadette did not see anyone but fearfully reacted to what their sister was saying.

“What is it?! What’s the matter with the three of ya?!”

Gasping and panting Anna explained.

“Something scary is out there and coming this way Aunt Ora all dressed in black. I tried talking to them but they wouldn’t answer and as they got closer I ran!”

Aunt Ora was Mama’s sister and had the gift of discerning spirits. She was a spiritual woman who also made home healing remedies for those sick and diseased. Many flocked to her to purchase the salves and tonics and would claim they were cured while she made a pretty penny. She went out on the porch to see for herself and discovered it was just as Anna had said with both Claudia and Bernadette mesmerized, unable to see anyone. Aunt Ora’s plump frame shivered from the cold feeling and became nauseated from the stench of a garlic smell that entwined the night air as the spirit passed her by.

“It’s as you said chile. I think ole Ms. Hattie down the way has been called on to glory and the spirit of death is passing by.”

Aunt Ora could not actually see anyone but she could feel the coldness and smell the reeking odor.

Anna wanted to know more about the things Aunt Ora said and began to spend time in her company also learning how to make the concoctions others claimed healed them.

The following morning the three sisters told their cousin Sissy about their adventure the night before as they readied themselves for Sunday service. She didn’t believe a word of it however and accused them of spreading lies. The girls swore to her they were not lying and that Aunt Ora could back their story.

After the church services, all the family and members of the small congregation gathered for the fellowship dinner at Aunt Ora’s house that was situated on a huge chunk of land where the family often gathered for such events although everyone was saddened by the death of Ms. Hattie who was a faithful church member. Anna had never seen so much food at one time and sometimes the sight of too much food caused her to lose her appetite. She withdrew from the people as they enjoyed the festivities, and found a place of solace. She sat on the old wooden swing that hung from the century old pecan tree encompassed by the tranquility of an afternoon boasting cheery blue skies with no signs of rain and the smell of daffodils that filled the air. Anna savored the pleasant aromas and pondered how she would not trade the moment for anything and pulled out her small pocket notepad and began to compose a poem that came to mind as she also thought about the passing of ole Miss Hattie. ’Cherish the wind, cherish the blue skies, remembering days that have all gone by. Days of good and days of bad but all have been days we have counted blessings amass. Looking to the future where there is always hope, yet, what we cherish is never far away, but at a moments’ notice. We can always reach back for things of yore, those things we cherish and adore. Our friends, our family and loved ones and even those who have gone on before, we’ll always cherish the memories forevermore.’

Anna composed the poem out of her idea of what family was and how much it meant to her. Family to her was just not an important thing but was everything. She hoped someday to have her own family to love, cherish, and adore because, without it, she concluded life would be lonely, and meaningless.

Falling in love for the very first time was about the best thing that ever happened to Anna next to the three children born of that marriage.

Mike was like no other she had ever met, tall and light-skinned with dreamy brown eyes. He could have his choice of any woman but out of them all, he chose her. He seemed to love her genuinely and felt family was as equally important loving her and the children with only the best in mind for them without question.

During the blissful times of Anna’s life, Mama Virgie passed away leaving her devastated with an unquenchable void she felt no other could fill. Mama had a special place in her heart. Although Mike tried consoling Anna in the wake of her grandmother’s death, his many attempts were futile. After the passing of grandma Virgie, Anna grew closer to her birth mother Marjorie who sent her and her sisters away to live with Mama while she worked to support them.

Marjorie was a very hard working woman abandoned by her husband to raise three little girls alone. Thank God for her own mama who was there to lend a helping hand and all too glad to take the girls to keep them from being alone while she worked two jobs. She and the girls were preparing for the funeral services and found it very comforting to be in each other’s company enjoying the time they were spending together catching up and getting to know each other better. Marjorie loved her daughters and would do anything to assure they were well cared for and had everything they needed. She visited very often with them at Virgie’s when they were little and had no problem with them understanding why she was not in their lives as much as she would have liked.

Anna was only a baby when her daddy left and never saw him. She thought perhaps someday she would meet him but her mother explained the small chances of that ever happening. She accepted her mother’s words and went on with her life loving and caring about those who loved and cared about her. She remembered Mama’s sayings and kept them close to her heart. They would often chime in her ear.

“When you feel alone baby girl and need someone, you can trust God to take good care of you. He is always listening!”

Virgie’s death was a very traumatic loss to Anna had much much difficulty getting past it. She desperately tried focusing on how she could please her husband more and be a good mother to her own children to take her away from the pit of grief. Anna began to construct her world around the family God had given her, caring about them the most now that Mama was gone. The first-born Mason was a deaf-mute child who became her gravest concern and troubled by the thoughts of how he would get along in such a cruel world. She learned sign language and how to take special care of him. Anna felt inadequate in some way and feared she would fail in what he needed to succeed in life. The circumstances of her life started to make her feel as though her world was twirling a little too fast and wished there was some way she could slow it down. Anna later gave birth to Jewel and Mike Jr., concluding she would not risk giving birth to any other child that could possibly be born with special needs although Jewel and Mike Jr., came out perfect. The pressure of having a deaf-mute child and losing her grandmother affected her sorely and made her feel afraid to blink for fear of losing something or someone else. Anna loved her husband Mike and never noticed anything suspicious about him, feeling very secure that he loved her just as much. He had been so supportive during all she was going through. She was overly consumed with taking care of her children and the domestic duties of a homemaker while still trying to please her husband without recognizing the dismantling of her marriage.

While lying in bed one night she asked, “Mike how do you feel about me taking the kids and going to spend some time at my mother’s house?”

“Sure babe! Do what you feel you need to do! You have been stressing around here lately and that may do you some good. Take the kids and ya’ll go!”

“You sure you won’t mind. I don’t want to leave you alone!”

“Oh, I’m sure. I’ll be fine!”

Anna packed the children and a few of their belongings and drove for one hour to Beaumont, Texas where Marjorie lived. It was a small town about one hundred miles just out of Houston, Texas where she was born. The children enjoyed the road trip and were happy about going to see their grandmother who loved them dearly. They could always look forward to some small treat she always had for them.

Marjorie stood on the porch anticipating their arrival. The countenance of her face was brightened at the sight of them turning into the driveway.

“Now ya’ll just come right on in here and give Gigi a big hug!”

Amazingly she got her arms around the three squeezing the living daylight out of them.

“I’m so glad for the visit! Anna how you been doing honey?!”

“Oh ‘bout as well as can be expected Ma!”

“Well come on in here and I’ll fix us all something to eat! Would you children like that?!”

They all agreed smiling while nodding their heads.

Anna became more relaxed as she visited with her mother in the surroundings of the peace and quiet that always seem to meet her there when she came for a visit. She pored over the many things that were on her mind and how much she really loved her husband, grateful he was in her life.

“Imagine that, she thought with a girlish giggle! He chose me!”

Those thoughts caused her to burst into a silly wide grin leaving her with warm tingling feelings all over as Marjorie walked into the front parlor.

“What’s got you smiling and giggling girl?”

“Oh Ma, just thinking how Mike could ‘ve had any woman he wanted but he chose me! I’m so happy to have him in my life and the three wonderful children we made together that I love with all of my heart!”

“Yes suga it’s amazing how the Lord will take someone you love and give another in their stead to love.”

The two looked at each other and smiled, glad they had found each other again to love and cherish for the rest of their days.

The one week stay with her mother had come to an unwelcomed end and it was time to go back to her life as she knew it. She really missed Mike and could not wait to throw her arms around him and tell him how much she loved and needed him. She went over and over in her mind the things she would tell her husband that she hoped would spark love making like they had known at the beginning of their relationship.

Saturday was comfortably nice and sunny with a slight chill in the air when they arrived home. The house was quiet although Mike’s truck was outside. She thought perhaps he was napping when she quietly tip-toed to the bedroom, undressing along the way to slip into bed next to him. Slowly she opened the bedroom door releasing a loud gasp from the tremble of her lips. The noise startled Mike as she ran away, picking up her clothes putting them back on while hustling the children back out of the house. Mike ran after her and managed to usher them back inside.

“Anna why didn’t you tell me you and the kids would be home today?!”

He scurried to take the children and put them in the other room while Anna stood speechless and numb at the same time. She slowly sat down feeling motionless with her eyes cast down to the floor as Mike reentered the room. The warm tears began to flow down her cheeks as the voices in her head screamed out with vicious laughter and torment repeatedly chanting the children’s rhyme in her head.

“Say, say my playmate, won’t you come play with me and bring your dolly!”

As Mike sat next to her, a sudden urge arose inside of her to get up and run out of the room but instead, she felt an immeasurable amount of pressure weighing her down with an inability to move her feet at all. The tormenting voices grew intense as she shut her eyes tightly.

“Somebody is watching you Anna and they know who you are!”

She conversed with the voices in her head by asking, “and who are you?!”

The voices replied. “We are Anna!”

Mike slowly helped her to the other bedroom trying to figure how he would resolve this after seeing she was in some type of state. He undressed her and put on her sleeping garments while she silently communed with the voices in her head. He laid her down gently on the bed and went to make sure his guest was out of the house. Later he eased himself in the bed next to her.

“We will talk in the morning, Anna. You’re not yourself right now.”

Anna vaguely heard what he said and lay still with tears in her eyes as Mike fell into a snoring sleep. She finally drifted off herself.

She awoke the next morning only to find that Mike had gone and the kids were in the kitchen fixing their own breakfast of cold cereal and milk. The sleep was good for her and she came back to herself remembering last night. How could Mike just go off as though nothing had happened? She wanted to tell him so many things that were in her heart and to have them shattered by finding another woman lying in bed with him. She stormed to pick up the phone to give him a call.

“How could you just go off and leave without saying a word to me?!”

“You were sleeping and I didn’t want to disturb you!”

“You bastard!! This is a time I wouldn’t have mind being disturbed after last night!”

“Anna calm down! Now is not the time to discuss this!”

“When is the time Mike?!”

“Not now I told you!! We can talk when I get home!”

“If I am here you dog!!”

Anna hung the phone up in his face as she boiled over in an angry steam of rage. She had never been so outraged in all her life as she was at that moment. Where in the hell was he on a Sunday morning? Perhaps with his little whore, she thought!

The children had gone out to play after their breakfast while she sat alone trying to figure out what to do next. She felt very annoyed and vexed in her spirit with a significant pain stabbing at her heart when a hard knock came to the door. It was the neighbor Sadie in an uproar with a scarf tied around her head.

“Anna I tell you the truth! You need to teach your daughter Jewel some manners! I tried to tell her how to play right with the other children and she cursed at me and said I ain’t her mama! She even said I can’t tell her what to do! See back in the day the older folk could tell us what to do and if we didn’t we would catch it from our mamas and poppas!”

While Sadie was going on and on about back in the day, Anna erupted, snatching herself to go and get a black leather strap she had never used on her children before when it came to disciplining them. She stormed out the door and grabbed Jewel by the arm whipping the child until whelps formed across her back and across her arms and legs.

Sadie stopped her by taking the strap from her hand.

“That’s enough Anna! It’s alright honey! It ain’t that bad. They’s just kids!”

“No child of mine will ever disrespect the older people around them, she yelled!”

Mike later came home and saw how distraught Anna was and the children hovered together at the kitchen table looking frightened. Their mother had never whipped any of them before this.

“Hey, why the long scary faces!”

Jewel immediately ran to her dad and begin to whimper as he saw the bruises and whelps across her legs and arms.

“What happened to my little girl?!”

Anna stood up.

“She got a butt whipping and well deserved it for talking back and cursing our neighbor Sadie!”

“Looks like you tried to kill her Anna!”

“If Sadie had not stopped me I probably would have!”

“You’re going to pay for this Anna! I’m calling the police!”

“Why would you do that Mike and you know I’m on probation for the gun I carried that belonged to you and besides that, we need to talk about that woman in my bed last night! Jewel will be fine!”

“I don’t have to talk to you about a damn thang Anna especially after seeing this! Besides, you should have let me know you and the kids were coming home!”

“Since when do I have to let you know I’m on the way home. So, you can clean up your mess before I get there?!”

Mike reached for the cordless phone mounted on the kitchen wall and began to call the authorities as Anna tried to snatch it away from him. He shoved her to the floor and continued with his call to the police. After giving an explanation, they came and arrested her for violently abusing her daughter and was taken away in the police cruiser in front of her children leaving Mason teary-eyed. Mike was glad to be rid of her.

Anna had her day in court and was sentenced to one year in the state correctional facility for women for intentional harm to a child and to serve out the rest of her probation for the gun violation she carried without the proper permit. She realized she was alone and that her family had been taken from her when she learned that Mike was filing for a divorce.

“The nerve of him, she thought, making her out to be the bad guy when it was all his fault in the first place.”

The image of the other woman in her bed with Mike became strong and obsessive playing over and over in her head. She spent her time alone while in prison as the other inmates thought there was something weird about her and how she always talked about church and the bible that no one wanted to hear about. They all steered clear of her when they saw her coming. She began to recite the 91 Palms that Virgie had taught her to say as a child and even learned it by hard. As she slept at night, she could hear the voices in her dreams chanting the children’s rhyme and laughing, arousing her from sleep, yelling for them to stop. She went around telling other inmates how she could see things happen before they happened and that she had healing powers in her hands to heal folk. No one believed her and thought she was even crazier than ever thought to be.

Marge was the only inmate that befriended her with her own reservations about Anna and questioned her sanity as well.

“Look, girl, you should stop going around saying these things about yourself. Others are laughing and making jokes about you!”

“So let them, Marge! I don’t care. They’re just jealous and wished they could do the things I can do. You don’t seem to have a problem with me!”

“Yeah but still Anna you should tone it down so that people don’t think you crazy!”

“They can think whatever they want Marge! I already told you I don’t care!”

After completing eight months of her sentence, Anna was told she would be going home and it was the best news she had received in a very long time. She would be able to find Mike and get her children back. She learned that Mike had taken the children and moved to Atlanta, Georgia and was about to re-marry. She couldn’t help but entertain the thought of it possibly being the same woman she discovered in her bed on that night.

Marjorie was there to pick Anna up and take her to live in Beaumont. Anna thought of making good use of her time there by strategizing on how to get her children back. She re-entered society with delusional thoughts of everyone being against her as they were in prison and concluded in her mind she would trust no one ever again except her mother Marjorie. She began to pursue the love of God and attend church on a regular basis with her mother often doing parking lot ministry by praying for people and laying hands on them to be healed. Anna claimed to have this surging feeling of lightening go in her hand when she touched others to be healed and even went to various hospitals from room to room laying hands on the sick. Being intimidated by her gift to heal, she wrestled with the thought of perhaps she was demonic and that what she practiced was possibly some form of witchcraft as the voices became influential in her thoughts and convinced her to run away from what she was doing because they would come and take her away if she continued. No matter how desperately she tried to reinvent herself, she became deluded and suspicious of people and sensed she was always being followed and watched, making her shy away from the public eye and almost becoming a recluse. It was difficult for her to keep a job with an X on her back. The voices convinced her that the entire judicial system was against her and had torn her life apart, making it hard to survive. She fought hard to save any money that she could to try and get her children back where they belong. She vowed to herself Mike would pay for all the trouble he had caused her while still longing to know what went wrong between the two of them and how it all came to this. As her behavior became stranger, her sister Claudia observed and merely suggested that perhaps she may need counseling of some sort to ease the pain and move past all the pressure and stress of what she had gone through. Anna declined and didn’t trust her sisters as with everyone else. Marjorie was the only one who could reason with her daughter and make her see things differently.

“Oh baby, can’t you see it’s just that ol’ devil who is trying to play his tricks on yo mind?! Yo sisters didn't mean any harm! We all love you baby and want what’s best for you! You’ve been through so much!”

At that moment, Anna believed her mother’s words as they always seem to give her the comfort she longed for. To be loved was all she really wanted and she knew having her children back would be all the love she needed. She moved into her own one-room apartment several blocks from Marjorie who temporarily helped her with the rent. The neighborhood was a bit run down and drug infested with the sound of shots being fired almost every night. While lying down to sleep the first night in the apartment the phone rang.

“Don’t answer the phone! They want to see if you are home so they can come and take you away, the voices chimed in her ear!”

Ignoring them she attempted to answer the phone when the voices chimed in again.

“No don’t answer the phone! It’s bugged! Sit still and be quiet Anna! This whole room is bugged!”

Anna did what she was told and sat glued to the chair without making a sound almost afraid to breathe. The phone stopped ringing and silence filled the room. An hour had passed as she continued to sit there perspiring across the forehead accompanied by poor blood circulation in her legs and feet. Slowly she arose from the wicker chair and walked over to turn on the television set with the volume very low and the channel on the inspiration network she loved to watch.

“People should stop running away and being afraid to use their God-given special gifts, the speaker raved!”

Quickly she moved away from the set, spooked as she believed the man talked to her through the television set. She turned the set off while the voices flared in her head with laughter and idle chatter.

“See, they know all about you and they have you all figured out Anna! They are watching you through the TV set! You can’t hide from them. There is nowhere to hide!”


AUTHOR Q&A

About me

Most of the things I write about are based on life experiences as I have been witness to individuals with real unimaginable issues. As a psychology major it has been my professional opinion that to deal with mental illness must first begin at the root which usually stems from an early life traumatic event deeply submerged subconsciously most of the time. I love the work that I do and knowing at the end of my day I have helped someone further their coping mechanism with mental health issues.

Q. Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
A.
Yes. Mental illness is real and on the rise especially among African Americans that can derive from something out of the past or a sudden onslaught of emotional despair that can cause a mental breakdown requiring patience, understanding and lots of love and support from friends and family.
Q. What was the hardest part of writing this book?
A.
The hardest part of this writing was finding myself as a reader with great empathy for the main character and even being moved to tears by the awful things taking place. I felt a huge amount of empathy for the main character and at times wasn't sure I wanted to continue writing this book.
Q. Where did the idea for this book come from?
A.
The idea for this book is inspired through the reality of mental illness that is reeking havoc in our country that goes unnoticed and boils over into reactions without warning. At some point people just snap and before you know it something terrible happens such as school shootings and so on.

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