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Our Rebekah A Love Story From Our NHS - published 13th May 2020 - £1.77 e-book
Escape From Armageddon - published 14th July 2020 - 77p e-book
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The Story Of A Teenage Entrepeneur (Failed) - published 11th April 2017 - £1.99 e-book
Random Memories - published 7th June 2018 - 99p e-book £2.99 paperback
A Trilogy Of Life - published 12th Jubne 2018 - £1.99 e-book
The Case Files Of Dave McDermott - published 3rd March 2017 - 99p e-book
Lottery Of Evil - published 31st March 2020 - £1.99 e-book
STORIES FOR CHILDREN
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Peter's Magic Fountain Pen - published 6th March 2017 - 99p e-book
Milton Dreams The City That Never Was - published 11th September 2020 - £1.99 e-book £3.99 paperback
Not The Concrete Cows - published 11th September 2020 - £1.99 e-book £3.99 paperback
Pip Diamond The Prince Of Rock And Roll - published 11th September 2020 - 99p e-book
The Bridge House - published 28th May 2018 - £1.49 e-book £18.72 paperback
Love That Dare Not Speak It's Name - published 3rd March 2017 - 99p e-book
Two Short Stories From Max Robinson - published 2nd March 2017 - 99p e-book
The Biary Of Billy Hardcastle - published 28th February 2017 - £1,99 e-book
An Interview With Flight Sergeant Billy - published 26th Aoril 2017 - £2.99 e-book
BILLY WESTALL - This will be a story which I plan to write for my grandson. It is aimed at younger teenagers. I will work on this in December to publish before the end of the year.
This is the DRAFT opening chapter for my latest project. I think it needs a bit of a rewrite to make KA and the photographs a little clearer.
- A Picture Of Flowers
- A Photograph Of Mud And Of Death
- School Photograph
- An Image From Inside
- A Snapshot Of Folly
- The Portrait Of Truth
Friday 28th July 1967, a day Timothy Ford-Newman had been looking forward to for longer than he cared to remember. School and childhood were over and now the real life could begin. Just the week-end to negotiate and then a new job with a wage packet to fund anything and everything Tim could imagine.
He turned to face the school building, put up two fingers then shouted “Eff Off !” to the bricks that had held him in an educational prison for most of his life. One final gesture then he could head home, Tim dropped his trousers and exposed his naked bottom to the school and all it stood for.
“Welcome my brother, welcome in peace and love.”
“Hello,” Timothy stuttered. He felt different and he knew he looked different. He knew this was still July 1967 but he knew he wasn’t sixteen anymore. How old was he ? Not sixteen as he should be, that was for certain.
“I don’t thank you.”
“But this isn’t tobacco.”
“Why not come and meet some more friends.”
“I’m John.” He made a sign with his fingers which was similar to that Timothy had given to his school but totally different in meaning.
“I’m Timothy but please call me Tim. What is this all about ?”
“Come and meet your new friends. A stranger is only a friend you have yet to meet and there are lots here for you to meet.”
There was Julie and there was Tanya. There was Peter and there was James. There was Donald and there was Dianne. There were indeed literally hundreds, thousands of people there but where were they ? Where was Timothy ?
“How old are you Tim ?”
“Nineteen.” He knew right there and then he was nineteen but he knew that was not his true age.
“That’s a good age to be.”
“What’s the flowers ?” Tim asked directing his question to all about him.
It was John who replied. “If you kill a man, if you cut him down he is dead and you can not change that. If you cut a flower from a plant the plant does not die, more flowers grow in its place. The more flowers you pick the stronger the plant grows.
Tim was not sure he comprehended what John was saying.
“We are going for a swim,” Tracey added. “when we come back we can all pick some flowers for you. Come and join us for a splash.”
“I don’t have any swimming trunks.”
“You don’t need swimming trunks. Since when has a fish needed swimming trunks to swim ? If a swan were to put on swimming trunks its beauty would be cut in half.”
This was a dream but it was a dream of reality. Why was Tim part of it ? Why was Timothy Ford – Newman a part of it ? How old was he and why was he not sixteen as he should be ?
He was backed into a bit of a corner, he was going to have to swim in the nearby lake with his new friends. He was going to have to swim naked. He did not want to so that.
“When we have finished swimming we will have something to eat. We don’t eat meat. Then I will fix you a joint, weed is vegetarian of course.”
“All life is sacred,” it was Tracey who said that.
“Injured due in eight minutes doctor.”
Already Doctor Newman could hear the helicopters in the distance. “How many are there ?”
“Ten whirly birds Doctor so could be twenty but that’s just the first wave. It’s going to be a long-haul.”
Timothy’s first case was a young man, a boy almost, whose chest had been hit by shrapnel. Three ribs were broken, his left lung was punctured but with so many pieces of shrapnel that needed to be removed before any surgery could take place his chances of survival were slim.
“I hate this war,” Timothy declared.
“But Sir you do not need to be here, you are British and a volunteer.”
“When kids like this are being injured as this poor guy is I have to be here.”
But Timothy was a kid wasn’t he ? How old was he ? Not sixteen and not nineteen.
“Blood pressure one twenty-three over eighty-two.”
“Thank you nurse, a little high but given this mess in his chest that’s good. Pulse ?”
“That does not equate with his blood pressure. You sure you are right ?”
There were four surgeons in the operating area, without any more injured being flown in that would mean each one of them probably had five patients to deal with. Doctor Newman did not consider how long his first patient would take to work on and he tried not to think of those waiting in the prep area.
Volunteering as a doctor to work in a foreign war had been all too easy for Tim, his friends and colleagues had not questioned his wish to travel to Vietnam but none had considered for a single moment about joining him.
Slowly Doctor Timothy Ford-Newman removed every piece of shrapnel from his patient’s body. The operation followed during which time his patient remained stable. What was the patient’s name ? There was not time to ask such questions. When a patient survived and went into recovery they then became a real person with a name. If they did not survive they were just an anonymous number. 11,363 people that year would be anonymous numbers. Not that he knew the actual figure, Tim was determined this young boy on the operating table would not become a number anywhere in that 11,363. If he was religious he would have prayed but religious he was not.
The table cleared and dressed in a new, clean operating gown Doctor Timothy began work on his next patient. This was a simple case, an amputation above the knee. Simple and not life-threatening but life-changing. How was this young soldier going to live the rest of his live with only one and a half legs ?
Word had spread of a protest in San Francisco but that was how many miles away and what would a protest do to stop the killing ?
If his first patient survived would he return to his home ? He would. This patient, once he had been deprived of his lower leg he too would return home. There were young men in San Francisco and in every town and city throughout America waiting to take their place. Many to take their place and be injured, some to take their place and to die.
It was hot in the operating room, a nurse gently tapped his face with a cloth. Inside the surgical gloves Tim’s hands were sweating. He needed a bath, a long soak in relaxing hot water but there were no baths in the accommodation area of the medical unit, only showers. Medical unity, MUST - Medical Unit Self-Contained Transportable, couldn’t somebody have come up with a kinder and more loving name ?
“Hey, you are not shy are you ?”
Tim shrugged his shoulders. Before he could get into the water he had more patients to care for.
Patient number four was dead when he arrived on Doctor Tim’s operating table. He was not the first the young doctor had met this way and he would not be the last but that did not stop tears forming in his eyes. Why ? Why ? Why ?
“Death is not the end,” a colleague had recently said to him.
“I am not religious.”
“Neither am I. Life and death are not prescribed by religion. Man created god in his own image, different gods for different men and their shallow beliefs. There is more to death than life, there is the KA.”
Previously Timothy had thought somewhere within all that was happening he was dreaming but now any hint of a dream disappeared, this was real.
“What’s a car got to do with it, or as you Americans like to call things an automobile ?”
“It may be pronounced car but this is spelt K A. This Ka is from the Ancient Egyptian spirit. Within us we all have a Ka, when we sleep and dream the spirit leaves the body and moves around on the astral plane. When a person is unconscious, and your patient on the operating tabe, his spirit is on the same astral plane. When a person dies the Ka permanently leaves the body for the astral plane.”
Was that meant to help Timothy when his patients died on the operating table ? Like all religion this was mythology in overdrive although it did have just a small element of logic within it. Just a very small element of logic.
The photograph was natural, not natural because everyone was without clothes but natural as that was the way it best expressed the way things were and the way those in the picture were feeling. Tim was to the right of the group. How many were there ? One, two, three, four, five six. There were another three way in the background but their persons were not clear.
The water was warm but refreshing. Everyone in the photograph was a friend of Timothy, a friend in peace and a friend in love.
Major ? Timothy Ford- Newman was a volunteer in the medical corps. He was not a member of the United States Army, he was only a doctor and did not have any rank.
“Major,” the voice spoke again. “We are nearing the time Sir.”
Was it dawn already ? A little before dawn, it was dark but soon it will be dawn.
“There are two today Sir so we need to commence a little early.”
“Yes Sergeant, of course.”
Major Timothy Ford-Newman, doctor and battlefield surgeon got out of bed. He shaved and put on full dress uniform. He would need a stethoscope but he would not need it. He would need a pen and a bottle of ink and he would need that. His batman had placed them neatly on the table. There also were the needed documents, four pieces of paper, two for each of those he would be attending. Why was this duty always performed at an early hour ? He put the photograph in his pocket and forgot about it.
“You look deep in thought ?”
Tim smiled. “I’ve been thinking about what you were saying.”
“About the Ka spirit ?”
“Yes. So if what you say is correct does a patient who dies on my operating table get to meet up with the enemy who killed him when he took reaches the astral plane ?”
“It has to be possible.”
“Time to leave Major.”
“I took an oath to preserve life not to end it.”
“You are not being asked to end life Major, just to certify its end.”
“Two lives,” Timothy said softly under his breath.
He examined the two victim patients. Nineteen years old and a private, he was physically well and ready to face what was about to happen. Timothy signed and dated the certificate: Monday 24th May 1915. He did the same for the twenty-one year old lance corporal. All was ready.
“Squad ! Take aim ! Fire !”
Time now for the second examinations and more forms to be signed and dated.
“What are you proposing to do with your life Newman ?”
“With respect Headmaster, the name is Ford-Newman and to answer your question I intend to make a success of my life.”
“If you want to make a success of your life then you will need to tone down your arrogance !” The school headmaster then added Ford-Newman.”
“Have no fear Headmaster, I will make a success of my life.” He then silently spoke inside his mind,” And success in my life will not come with my being a teacher, certainly not a headmaster.”
The headmaster looked at his teenage pupil, when it came to arrogance he passed his student many times. Timothy reached into his pocket and looked at the photograph. “I am going to be a doctor.” He said.
“Really ? You will be staying on for the sixth form.”
“No, I am going to college.”
“Doctor ? I will believe it when I see it.”
“I have a photograph,” Tim mumbled. “I have two photographs.”
Another day, another operating room. Which war was this. More wounded of course but compared to others this was a quieter day.
“Your patient Doctor, Private Austin the one you took the shrapnel from.”
Tim had removed a ton of shrapnel from hundreds of patients. Which particular patient was the nurse speaking about ?
“He is ill Sir, it looks like his kidneys are failing. Can you come and examine him ?”
“When is he due to be returned to The States ?”
“Two days time. Do you want me to arrange for immediate transfer ?”
“He is going into multiple organ failure, he won’t last two days, he would not survive the treatment, he probably will not survive the day.”
He did not survive, another futile statistic in the pointless war.
The medical procedure of executing a soldier condemned to be shot at dawn for cowardice in the face of the enemy was very precise. All life is sacred, save for in a war.
“I can not certify him fit for execution Captain.”
“Why not Major ?”
“He is suffering kidney failure, he is not fit.”
The Captain did not understand what kidney failure was. “Are you saying that is why he is a coward ?”
“No, I am saying he is not well. I can not sign him fit for execution.”
“Give him a drink,” the officer in charge of the execution squad ordered. “Major he has to die, he has to be executed. That is the sentence.”
“He is going to die from multiple organ failure, I can not sign a certificate saying he is well.”
“Major that is the sentence.”
“Timothy Ford-Newman the sentence of this court is that you will go to prison for life where you will serve a minimum of fifteen years.”
“Do I look like someone who cares !” Timothy shouted across the court.
“Take him down !”
“Did you really say that ?”
“I did and if you think you are going to make my life in here hell for fifteen years then you have another think coming. What kind of subhuman makes a career out of being a prison warden ?”
“What kind of person makes a career out of murder ?”
“It wasn’t murder, it was execution. He was a drug dealer and deserved his lot. One drug dealer destroys more lives than all of the serial killers since Jack the Ripper.”
“Your life is destroyed for the next fifteen years at least. Good night, pleasant dreams.”
Tim was dreaming, everything was a dream and every dream was captured in a photograph. Which of the photographs was the real Timothy ?