The Underworld

A red minibus sped down on Broadway Highway with loud music threatening to blow out the windows. Inside, three girls screamed in delight as the voice of Lil Wayne blasted from the speakers. “That’s my jam!” One girl yelled.

          Suddenly, a buzzing noise caught their attention and each girl quickly grabbed at her cell phone.

          “Mark, can you please turn it down some!” Sera yelled motioning to the car stereo. She and Brandy were sitting upfront next to the driver.

“Is it your boyfriend?” The driver asked playfully.

          “Are you jealous?” Sera put a finger to her lips and answered the call.

          “Hi Patrick, what’s up?”

          A timid boy’s voice came across the line. “Is that music I hear in the background? Where are you Sera? I thought you were supposed to pass by?”

          “Sorry Patrick, but the girls came over and picked me up. We are headed to the club.”

          “The Beatdown Club?”

          “Ah yes. I’ll make it up to you tomorrow. I promise.”

          Silence. She waited for him to take control of his emotions. “I have to go now Patrick.”

          “Oh, Ok. I love you Sera.” He sounded disappointed.

          Sera closed her eyes and winked at Brandy.

          “Halo?” She pretended not to have heard what Patrick had said. “Halo, Patrick? You..are… bre…aking up.” She hanged up the phone and Brandy burst out laughing.

          “Why are you still with that nerd Sera? High school is over. You don’t need him to help you with your homework anymore.”

          “I don’t know Brandy. There’s something about Patrick that makes me feel different. When am with him it’s like am a new person.” The minibus swerved dangerously and the driver turned up the music. Sera thought about her boyfriend for a moment. Back in High School he had been a fat kid with thick
glasses and she had used him to pass her classes. But somewhere along the way, Patrick had changed and lost weight. The thick glasses had been replaced with contact lenses; love handles with great abs. He was still a nerd on the inside and that was hard to change, but he looked a lot better now.

          The minibus pulled outside the night club and Sera pecked the driver on the cheek. “Thanks Mark.”

“Don’t worry about the fare,” the driver said and Sera gave him another kiss.

          There was a line outside the Beatdown Club and the bouncers had their work cut out shoving people back and forth. The three girls sensually glided over to one of the bouncers and someone in the crowd whistled as they walked by.

“Hi Mike.” Sera leaned forward to give the bouncer a glimpse of her cleavage.

          “Sera, are you even eighteen?” The bouncer pretended to be serious.

          “You know I love you Mike! Don’t you?” Sera said playfully and the bouncer unhooked the barrier line.

          “Get in girls and have fun.”

          “That’s not cool man!” Someone yelled from behind the line and Big Mike shot him a killer look.

          The timing was perfect for the girls. Midnight: when the beat dropped and the liquor flowed.

          A red mini dress and high heels on, Sera walked over to the bar and ordered three shots of tequila. “It’s on the house Sera,” the bar man said. “I’m going to need your phone number though.” He was a young man in his late twenties.

          “I will get that for you Harry,” Sera said with a laugh. She turned and handed the drinks to her friends.

          “You are the best Sera,” Brandy said as she accepted the drink. At the age of seventeen, all three girls had fake IDs.

          “How come you never bring your boyfriend here?” The third girl asked innocently.

          Brandy rolled her eyes. “Really Missy? Look around at all these fine young men. Why would you wonna bring your boyfriend here?”

          Missy lowered her eyes. “I just thought that maybe…”

          Sera laughed. “Are we going to talk or party? Bottoms up girls!” she said. “It’s time to check out the merchandise on the dance floor.”

          Seventeen years old and Sera was already the belle of the party. Men ogled at her perfectly curved body and begged to dance with her. She danced with one man after another, and for someone who was a light weight drinker, she barely remembered how they looked like. But she did remember their toys rubbing against her thighs; the masculine hands on her waist, the smell of cigarette and beer in their breath. At an exploring age in her life, everything about ‘turned on men’
drove her wild with ecstasy. The theme for the night was wild and free and Sera pushed the envelope.

          At 2 am, Brandy struggled to pull her away as one man after another begged for her phone number. Her scent and sight drove them wild with ecstasy and they followed her around like lapdogs. She was the dream that they would never realize and they knew it.

Sera, Brandy and Missy sat in the back seat as the red minibus sped away from the night club. The girls laughed and sang
loudly to their favorite tunes forcing the other passengers to look back disapprovingly. The huge speakers vibrated to the music and pounded painfully in the passengers’ ears. Soon enough Brandy and Missy hugged Sera and alighted at their stop. “Get home safely,” Brandy said with a kiss.

          “I will text you when I get home,” Sera said. She shifted to the back window seat and waved them goodbye.

          The minibus picked up speed and the music continued to play. With the girls gone and no one to talk to, Sera’s eyes became heavy and suddenly she was very much aware of the two glasses of liquor in her blood. Her head dropped to her chest and she fell into a light sleep, her long black hair lining her face like a mane.

          She woke up with a start a few minutes later and looked around with a frantic expression. The minibus was empty but for the driver and the conductor chatting upfront. The loud music was gone and all she could hear was the roar of the
powerful diesel engine as the driver shifted gears. Sera half rose and looked outside the window. Everything was dark and she did not recognize where she was.

          “Halo!” She called as she walked towards the front. The conductor’s face appeared and stared back at her with a polite expression.

“Where are we?” Sera asked.

          “Sorry honey,” the conductor said. “We ran out of gas. Just a small detour and then we will be on our way.”

          She didn’t know what to say and so heart racing sat down and shot Brandy a quick text. Alone in bus, a little scared. She shifted over and stared through the window: dark houses, a gas station… trees. Gas Station! Something was very wrong! They had just passed by a gas station and the minibus hadn’t even paused. The driver made a sharp left into the trees and the alarms in her head went off on all cylinders. She half turned and tried to rise to her feet but a large fist smashed into her face and she collapsed into leather.

          One, two, three… ten seconds. The vehicle bounced dangerously on uneven ground and then came to a dead stop. She could feel them carrying her. “Ple…ase… ple…ase,” she said in a tremulous voice. Her right hand dangled and grass scratched at her skin. “Please don’t hurt me,” she managed to say.

          “Its okay sweetheart,” a calm voice replied. “It will be over quick. You won’t feel a thing.” Testosterone filled laughter cut through the air. Monsters, she thought. These were not human beings.

          Suddenly, her back was pressed to the ground. A hand came near her mouth and she bit into it with all her strength. A man screamed and cursed loudly. Another fist landed on her head and dazed her. She heard her red dress rip apart… and then her bra and panties. And she lay on the ground in utter disbelief … totally naked … under a dark sky and the mercy of two men. Was this really happening?

          “She’s really hot!” A rushed voice said.

          Sera looked up and saw the man’s pants and boxers drop to his knees. An evil grin crossed the man’s face as she stared down at the girl. “Hold her for me,” he said.

          Noooo! She screamed. But the scream was only inside her head. The first man climbed on top and thrust into her teenage body, tearing into innocent cells and flesh. Her eyes dilated in shock… and then… she screamed, and this time round her voice rung through the forest and carried for miles. The man on top laughed and the scream seemed to please him.

          “Scream little girl, nobody can hear you!”

          At the age of seventeen and despite all the teasing and flirting, Sera was still a virgin. There was a time when she had almost slept with her boyfriend Patrick but something had happened and she had pulled back. She liked Patrick a lot but
she had vowed to give herself to love, and love only. And now, deep in the forest, she did not understand the pain that coursed through her body as the second man climbed on top. Stomach acid heaved up her throat and she felt like puking. The tears poured down her face like a river and her head arched
backwards in paralysis.

The second man was a bruiser: an out of shape bruiser with love handles hanging on his sides. For him it was more about power than sex. He punched her in the gut to make sure
that she did not resist and then continued to spread her legs. He seemed to derive his pleasure from her pain and gain strength from her cries. Sera felt the pain and revulsion rise throughout her body. Big hands squeezed hard around her throat and slowly the air circulation was cut off. Her eyes bulged out of the sockets and her legs kicked in desperation …until finally they kicked no more. Her head felt light and her pulse became weak. Energy sipped from her body and into that of the rapist.

“Finish her off Larry and let’s get out of here!” A voice said. It sounded very far. The candles in her eyes went off and everything turned pitch black.

She lay on the ground with her eyes closed. In the distance she heard the sound of a dog barking: scary voices, an ominous
presence, a door banging in the breeze. One eye popped open and then another. A dark ceiling met her eyes and she stared at it for a long time. The dog barked again and this time it sounded near. She sat up slowly and a painful moan escaped her lips. The room looked like a laboratory: glass windows, surgery
tools on the table and medicine bottles in glass cabinets.

          A clicking sound caught her attention and she realized that the dog had stopped barking. Maybe the owner had drawn it away. Click, click, click. The sound came again with a constant beat. Realization was slow in coming but come it did. Sera jumped to her feet. The clicking noise was the dog’s toe nails on the concrete floor! It had to be a stray dog, she thought. Why else would a dog wonder into the building?

The hallway was long and she stared fixedly at the entrance. Cold air brushed against her neck and a shiver ran down her body. Malevolence. Any second now and the dog would appear around the corner. Her whole body tensed as she waited; she could barely breathe. And then it did and Sera froze in shock. It looked like a dog but then it wasn’t. The flesh on the dog’s skin looked like raw meat smeared with blood: the neck halfway gone; the teeth a multitude of canines. Either the dog was a mutant or very sick, she thought. Neither of the answers gave her comfort as she turned in flight.

          The growl that cut through the halls was the scariest thing she had ever heard as she ran. Her eyes searched and she headed for the big door. She clumsily slipped into the adjacent room and slammed the door in the dog’s face. The dog leapt at the door and barked ferociously.

          Sera turned and saw the dead man on the floor, his lifeless eyes staring at her. Her body froze at the sight of death and she wanted to run in the opposite direction. But then, her eyes dropped from the half rotten face to the man’s waist and she saw the gun sticking out from the man’s jacket pocket. Slowly and cautiously, she took a grip of the panic inside her and reached for the gun with trembling hands.

          Everything was happening too fast for her brain to digest. Where she was and what she was doing with a gun, were just a few answers that she would have loved to have. But there was no time. Her sharp ears caught the sound of toe nails on the
slippery floor and she realized that the dog was coming for her through the back door. Gun in hand, Sera opened the front door just as the dog crashed through a window. She tripped and struggled to stay on her feet, and then again, closed the door just as the dog leaped for her throat.

          Oh no! A growl behind her. She didn’t need to turn to know what was behind her. But when she did, her whole body trembled with fear. Instead of one dog, there were seven of them growling and ready to tear her apart. Monsters! Death
staring her in the face. The dogs were hungry and their hunger transcended their fear of the masters... humans.

          Then, something strange and unexplainable happened to Sera. Her body underwent an emotional reset and calmness took over. She raised the gun and her finger slipped down to the trigger. It was as though she had done this a million times
before. The first dog leapt into the air and she fired. The dog’s face exploded mid air and landed on the floor with a thud. Six other dogs attacked from different angles, each leaping for her, and Sera fired at will; turning the muzzle ever so slightly to shift aim. In the haze of the moment, she saw heads exploding and heard the recoil of the gun as it kicked into gear… again… and again. The muzzle flashed with every shot and the shells hit the floor with a soft click. The gun empty, Sera looked up in utter disbelief. All the dogs were dead, and she had not once missed! Her hand jerked back and the empty gun fell to the floor.

          There was movement in her peripheral! Sera jerked her head and screamed in fright. The dog from the other room had crept around again. The relentless behavior of the creature meant only one thing; the animals were hungry. The smell of her blood was driving them crazy with want and for them there was no turning back.

          Sera leapt on the table with one foot and then pushed herself from the wall into a flying kick move. She met the dog midair and drove her boot hard into the dog’s head. An agonizing squeal arose from the creature as it flew head first through a glass window. The impact on the glass was fatal and she knew before it was over that the dog was done for.

Sera landed perfectly on her feet and stared at her hands in disbelief. She could not recognize who or what she had become. She looked at the dead bodies on the floor… the empty
smoking gun and it all felt surreal. A while ago she had been weak and vulnerable and now she was invincible. How was that possible?

          Voices in her head. Run Sera! Run!

          She whirled and searched the room but there was nobody else there but blinking neon lights in the laboratory. Run Sera! And this time she obeyed. One leg after the other, she pushed forward until her jog turned into a sprint. The double door burst open as she put her shoulder against it. She waited for the
inevitable pain but it did not come.

          A familiar ache arose in her throat and she knew that she was thirty. But instead of growing gradually, the thirst went from zero to ten in seconds, with ten being desert thirsty. She stumbled and swallowed hard. Water! I have to get water!

          A highway. Sera ran uphill towards the road. There were no streetlights here and dark trees hugged to the sides of the road. She waited for fear to creep in but it did not come. Something was very wrong with her body.

Headlights appeared and Sera walked into the middle of the road and raised a hand. She heard tires squealing and then a voice from the driver’s window.

“Are you out of your mind woman? Are you trying to get yourself killed?”

“Help me,” she said. “Please help me sir!”

          “Get in!” The man yelled. “What are you doing out here with no clothes on?”

          What? She looked down and gasped. She was totally naked in front of the man and the driver was struggling to tear his eyes from her youthful breasts.

          “Here,” the driver said and tossed his shirt over.

          “Thank you sir.” Pause. “Water. I’m thirsty!”

          The driver reached behind the seat and handed over a bottle of water. The truck shifted into gear and Christian music filled the cabin.

          Sera downed the water and closed her eyes. She waited for the satisfying feeling to follow but realized with shock that the water had done nothing for her thirst. You fool! The voice in her head said. You don’t need water, you need blood. Kill the driver!

          “No no no!” Sera said loudly as she shook her head. The voice was leading her to a door, but that was a door that she didn’t want to open.

          “Are you okay?” The driver threw her a worried look.

          I can’t kill the driver. He’s a good man!

          Kill the driver or you will die of thirst!

          “Stop the truck!” Sera yelled. Drinking human blood was a taboo and that was a route that she wasn’t willing to take.

          The startled driver hit the breaks on impulse and Sera flung the door open. She took two steps on the pavement and then vanished into the bushes. The driver sat there for a long time wondering whether he had dreamt the whole thing.

         

         

          The truck was gone and she was standing next to the road wondering what she was doing there. It was dark outside but she had no idea what time it was. A red minibus pulled over and a conductor’s face appeared through the doorway.

          “Come in beautiful. We will take you home.” He looked familiar.

          She walked into the minibus wearing nothing but a long shirt. Her gaze stayed fixedly on the floor and away from the conductor’s prying eyes. She went and sat in the back seat under the booming speakers. Finish her Larry, she
remembered. It had been the conductor’s voice. Sera’s anger tipped the scale and she knew that she could never forgive what these men had done to her.

          There were no other passengers in the minibus and it did not take long before the vehicle deviated into the woods. Dark clouds cut off the moon and left the world a vulnerable place.

          “Hey pretty thing,” a voice said as the mini bus came to a dead stop.

          Sera looked up and her eyes met with those of the conductor for the first time. The man stared in horror and disbelief.

          “No, no, it can’t be! We killed you! You are dead!” He took a step back.

          Yes. She could smell him. She could smell his fear. His inability to keep it in the pants was a curse. Sera rose slowly to her feet and punched the man on the throat. A stifled scream escaped the man’s lips and the sound excited the girl. She stared with curious eyes as the man’s breathe came in short swells.

          “Breath,” she said calmly at the terror filled eyes, “breath.”

          The driver suddenly appeared carrying a crow bar. “What in the world is going on here?” Sera’s head jerked to the right and the man caught a clear view of her yellow eyes. He froze in the moment not certain whether he wanted to help his friend or run. Sera’s mouth opened and closed on the conductor’s neck. A loud sucking noise filled the vehicle as she drank from the neck. That was it for the driver. He dropped his crow bar and ran through the door.

          A demonic laughter followed him as he ran. Sera pulled red teeth from the conductor’s neck and laughed. Her senses and voice of reason were gone. She felt strong and rejuvenated and did not understand whether it was from the blood or the joy of retribution. With one hand, she grabbed the conductor and threw him head first through the window. The conductor died as soon as he hit the ground.

          Trees and bushes whizzed by as the driver ran. He looked back in terror and tripped over a log. He scrambled to his feet and searched around him but saw nothing. But he knew. He could feel her presence in the dark trees. How was it possible that she was alive! They had killed her! They had left her dead in the woods!

          “Leave me alone!” The driver yelled with a voice was beyond desperate.

          A hand suddenly appeared from a bush and tore through his stomach. He froze in his step and watched his own intestines fall to the ground. He reached down and tried to push them back but he could not contain the flow of blood. The driver dropped to his knees and stared fixedly at the ground. He would die, but he would die very slowly.

Daylight. Light seemed to bother Sera immensely but she braved it as the house came closer. It was her boyfriend’s house and she was very excited to see him again. Oh Patrick, I missed you!

          She found him in his bedroom.

          “Patrick, I missed you!” She yelled as she walked through the door.

          But Patrick didn’t even turn to recognize her presence.

          She tried again. “Patrick, it’s me Sera! Please turn around. I missed you.”

          Nothing happened and suddenly with mounting frustration she reached for his shoulder to spin him and something strange happened. Her hand went right through his body and she stood there looking stunned. And then she heard his voice, and he was crying.

          “I’m so sorry Sera. I’m so sorry.”

          She walked over to the bed head and saw him drenched in tears.

          “I’m so sorry Sera for being a bad boyfriend. I should have gone with you to the club and nothing wrong would have happened. I would have protected you, and you would still be alive… here in my arms.” Again Patrick broke down in tears and slowly sunk to the floor. Sera couldn’t take it anymore.

          “Patrick!” She screamed. “Patriiiiiiick! I’m not dead. I’m right here with you.” And then her voice softened as reality soaked in. “I’m so sorry Patrick. I’m sorry for being a bad girlfriend. I should have loved you the way that you loved me. Your love for me was always pure and undisguised. I was a bad girlfriend.” She sunk to the floor next to him and together they cried. She could not believe that she was dead. She could not believe that she would never see her parents or Patrick again. How had things gone so wrong? Oh God, she prayed. If I
could do it again, I would do it all differently. Sadness consumed her and the last flicker of hope died in the wind. Her eyes closed and she gave up the fight. It was over now. There was no portal back to earth. That only happened in the movies.

          Portal! And suddenly Sera had an epiphany. What did legend say about mirrors? That mirrors were the portals between worlds. With mounting excitement, Sera ran to the bathroom and stared into the mirror. Her first reaction was
confusion followed by horror. She did not have a reflection! But still, she flung herself through the mirror and reappeared in the master bedroom. She ran through the door and yelled in her loudest voice, “Patrick, can you see me now!” But Patrick was no longer there. The front door stood ajar, banging in the
wind.

          She dashed to the door and saw Patrick trudging through a strong snow storm. One minute he had been in the bedroom and the next in the snow. She ran after him and noticed the bouquet of flowers in his hands and she wondered where he was
going.

          “Patrick!” She yelled, but it was futile. Patrick could not see her.

          The place looked familiar and she took a second look. They were walking through a cemetery and grave headstones stuck out of the ground to identify burial locations of loved ones. Sera turned and saw Patrick kneeling on the wet ground.
She ran around and looked at his sobbing face and it pained her to see how broken he was.

          “I will miss you Sera,” Patrick said. “I will always love you. I hope you like the flowers. My mum helped me pick them up.”

          It was then that she realized that she was staring at her own grave and the shock of the moment rocked her to the core. She was dead and buried! It couldn’t be. How was it possible? I mean, she was standing right there at arms length of her
boyfriend? It didn’t make sense at all.

          “Come to me child,” a soft voice said.

          Sera span and saw an old woman standing next to her. She looked like… she looked like…

          “Grandma, is that you?” She was stunned because her grandma had passed away when she was a little girl and yet here she stood tall like she remembered.

          “Give me your hand Sera, and we can go home.” Her grandma smiled and the word ‘home’ made Sera stretch out her hand. Home was where she wanted to be. Home was a safe place.

          Her finger tips touched those of her grandma and suddenly she jerked back. Wait a minute, her grandma had been dead for years. This was not right!

          “I can’t grandma! I can’t! I have to go find Patrick. I have to tell him how much I love him!”

          “You can’t go back Sera!” Her Grandma yelled. “You have to stay with me now.”

          But she wasn’t listening. She turned and ran as fast as she could. She did not understand where she was running to, but that did not stop her.

 

          Sera opened her eyes and lay there for a long time. Nothing went through her brain until after she blinked. And then she heard the voices: people, machines.

          “Sera? Can you hear me?”

          The voice sounded very familiar. It was a voice from her childhood. A safe zone. She tried to reach for it, but she couldn’t.

          “Sera?” Another familiar and softer voice. More safe. Something in her brain snapped and she turned. Two tearful faces stared down at her.

          “Mum. Dad.” Her voice was but a whisper. “I’m thirsty.”

          They kissed her and quickly ran for a glass of water and a nurse.

          “What happened?” Sera asked as she stared at the IV and feeding tube.

          “You were attacked in the forest by two men,” her father said.

          “How are you feeling?” Her mum’s voice.

          But Sera’s mind was far, trying to remember. “How did I get here?”

          “Your scream saved you child,” her dad said. “Someone heard you and brought you here. God saved you my child.” Her dad hugged her tight.

          Sera couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Everything in her mind told her that she should be dead… had been dead. But she wasn’t.

          “You’ve been in a coma for a week.” His dad tried to fill into her void of unanswered questions. “The driver and the conductor who assaulted you were arrested by the police. Your girlfriends were able to identify them as the last minibus that you boarded. All you have to do is ID them and they will never see daylight again.”

          It was too much for Sera to digest. A knock on the door forced her to turn in time to see her boyfriend Patrick walk into the room carrying flowers. He saw her seated on the bed and dropped the flowers in shock. “Sera! You are awake!” He
rushed over and hugged her. There were tears of joy in both their eyes.

          “I love you Sera! Welcome back.”

          “And I love you too Patrick!” And this time she really meant it.

 

          The days that followed turned out to be very challenging for Sera. Friends and family brought her flowers and get well cards. They looked at her funny and finally when she couldn’t take it any more, slammed the door on them. The only people allowed to see her were her parents and Patrick.

The feeling was strange. The visitors had made her feel ashamed of what had happened. They had made her feel like a whore… like she had put herself out there. That’s why she had been raped.

The nights were worse and full of dark shadows. Many a night she woke up screaming and sweating, and her parents worried about her state of mind. She saw the men in her sleep…lurking in the shadows… waiting to pounce on her. Therapy was recommended and Sera accepted. It helped a lot to talk to someone about her experience. It helped to heal the wounds.

 

One Month Later

 

          Patrick pushed the wheelchair through the garden and laughed happily as Sera talked. It was nice to have her back and listen to her many stories.

          “My name is Sera and I will recite a poem,” she jested.

          “Get out of here,” Patrick said. “You are not a poet.”

          “Don’t write me off yet,” she said. “Roses are red and violets are blue.”

          Patrick laughed. “Everybody knows that Sera. But it’s funny. I will give you an 'E' for Effort.” He leaned down and kissed her neck. He was about to push the wheel chair forward when she tagged at his hand and stared into his eyes.

          “You know that I love you Patrick, don’t you?”

          Patrick pulled his hand free and took a step back. “I have been meaning to talk to you about that.”

        A feeling of foreboding overtook her and suddenly she panicked. “You don’t love me Patrick? Is it because of what happened to me?” She had been worried about that. Now that she wasn’t pure any more, maybe Patrick didn’t want her. Maybe he blamed her for being a party animal. It was her fault that she had been raped.

          “Slow down there,” Patrick said. “I do love you. You don’t deserve what happened to you. Nobody should have to go through what you did!” He turned so she could not see his moist eyes.

          “Then what Patrick?” Her nerves were taut.

          “Who are we kidding Sera, this is not you!” He pointed at the wheelchair. “You have been through a lot and you are very vulnerable. You never used to talk about love before your accident.”

          Sera sighed. “I know.” Pause. “Patrick,” she said softly. “I thought I was dead. I thought that I would never see you again and I prayed to God that if he gave me another chance I would love you with all my heart. I do love you Patrick.” Her
feet shifted on the footrest.

          “Stop it!” Patrick said in a serious voice. “This is not you Sera. This is not the girl I fell in love with. The girl I fell in love with is the kind of girl who moves in with a man and never unpacks her suitcase: she does not want children and is scared of commitment.” Pause. “Sera. You used to be ambitious and always talked about conquering the world. Everything else came second. I came second and… while your friends laughed at me, I was okay with that. And you know why? It’s because I understand love. Love is not about changing each other. It’s about accepting and loving our partners for who they are. Don’t change for me Sera. Don’t do that! Change because that’s what you want. Change because that’s the path you have chosen. I want to earn your love just like any other boyfriend. I don’t want to benefit from your accident.”

          Patrick was so wrapped up in his speech that he didn’t realize that Sera was crying. He rushed over and hugged her. “Poor Sera, I didn’t mean to upset you.”

          “You did not,” she whispered in a quivering voice. “You sound strong Patrick. You sound like the man I have always wanted you to be.”

          Patrick grabbed the handles and the wheelchair’s rubber tires glided on the concrete. The clouds shifted and sunlight beamed down on the green grass and bed of flowers. A blue sparrow perched on a nearby tree chirped to a beautiful melody.

          Sera turned and looked at Patrick with a mischievous expression. “You had me at halo,” she said.

          A blank expression appeared on Patrick’s face and Sera added. “Your speech Patrick. You had me at halo.”

          “No you did not just say that!” Patrick reached down and started tickling her. Deep within, he was very grateful to have her back. Sera was the very beat of his heart.

News

Off to AFRICA

 

My book A Whisper in the Jungle has been picked by a publishing company and approved by the board. It has been scheduled for release soon.

 

The music is all around you, all you have to do is listen

 

Contact

 

mrobertto@yahoo.com

Without God, what are we? What do we have? What is life...