When two brothers are separated from birth they usually find great joy when at last they discover each other. It is not always so harmonious, though. StillBorn explores what can happen when an Illegal adoption causes twins to be born without love and sold without remorse. When one is rejected because of a physical defect and left in an orphanage without identity and the other is adopted in his place into a wonderful life the result is one of bitterness and ruthless revenge. When they grow up and find each other a game of revenge and death is played out. See what a life of pain, suffering and abuse can do when vengeance becomes a driving motivation and humanity is shouting, am StillBorn!
The author of this Book...
Steven Clark Bradley worked a number of years in various countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa. He has been to 34 countries and has worked extensively with Kurdish refugees from Turkey, Iraq, and Syria. Steven also established a school by correspondence for African students in the African countries of The Gambia and Senegal West Africa. He is the founder of a Cultural Center for refugees in France, where he lived for six years. Speaking fluently in French and in Turkish, Steven has been in 34 countries.
I recommend this Book because...
I am an avid reader, but I have rarely read any novel that has stirred mixed emotions in my mind like StillBorn did as I read through its realistic and well-detailed pages. The story seems like something that would have been completely impossible in a day long gone, but in the day today in which we live, such brutal actions against a child that could drive him into an aggressive adulthood seem totally plausible! I recommend this because it will keep you attention, make you want to take action to protect children and force you to ask yourself what you would do in just such a situation. The dialog is profound, and though the story is fast paced and thought there is a lot of going back in time, the author keeps the book tight and well connected. I hope others will read this story, though it is not bedtime reading; not because it is too frightening before sleeping. Rather, it may be difficult to put down and sleep. StillBorn! is a must read and I Steven Clark Bradley truly got this reader's attention!
"It has always seemed strange to me how a person can live with themselves. I’m alone. I’ve always been alone! I can still see myself there in that rat hole called home. I can still remember looking up from my crib at the huge sticks on the wall, one on top of the other. I was with many like myself, but I was still very much alone. You dudes want a cold one? No? Well I’ve got to hear this news here now, so don’t think I’m rude or anything. That OK? Great! I’ll just reach over here bring this baby to life. That’s it. Look at the lights flashing there!"
"We’re here reporting from a rest stop along I-57. As we’ve been reporting, a family has been murdered here in the rest stop restroom. Names have not yet been released to the public, but it seems that their automobile was also stolen. Information on the adult-male victim revealed that he had a red, 1996 Corsica. This is the scene of a very grizzly crime. This is Veronica Yates reporting, Dan…"
"My goodness! What’s this world coming to? It ain’t pretty out there. It’ll mess with your head if you let it. We’ll stay on top of this story as it breaks." He turned off the radio and turned the key and started the car. "Did you guys hear that? Gruesome? Yea right. I’ll show them gruesome!" He turned the key and the engine came to life. "Well the car’s pretty bright and easy to see I know, but I won’t need it for long." He pulled off his gloves. They were soiled with blood. He pulled out a new pair and put them on. He took out a pair of dark sunglasses and fitted them well to his face. "What you think dudes? They look good on me? Yea, tell me something I don’t already know!" He asked as he looked up and into the rear view mirror. He was startled. The car was empty.
"Where’d you all go? I hate to be alone! I’ve always been alone! Wait! They were never there. It was nice while they were there, though. I really have to get off the stuff. It’ll drive me crazy. It could be a short trip too." He put the car in drive and the red Corsica headed to the university. He had a package to deliver. "Those two sticks hanging on the wall of that prison for misfit kids isn’t the same size it used to be. But, then, neither am I!" He glanced up in the mirror. "I’m glad you guys are back. I hate to be alone
Palisades Park was a lavish domain by any standard. It had all the posh, lush and intricate amenities of a Beverly Hills with none of the indiscretions of the rich and famous. This was a professional kingdom of doctors, lawyers, vets and journalists who had made it big with the slight sacrifice of such things as the loss of one’s soul. These land-dwellers were of the sort that flew high in the so-called long-forgotten American dream with their feet planted firmly on the ground. Into the area of villas was Palisades Blvd. These were the upper crust of the blind and careless. Down Center Place was the Richie Family who lived up to their name. Toward Castle Tree Ave. was Dr. Paul Mark who had made the rich and famous also beautiful and conceited as a Plastic Surgeon. He was Jewish and regarded as the Messiah of the tummy tuck and his wife Gail, was one of the listless and hapless and insatiable. At the corner of Third and Center was another family, Michael and Marilyn Phaire. They had been the lonely amongst the unquenchable.
Marilyn Phaire had suffered the pain of possessing a loving quiet heart. Michael, her husband, had promised to grant her all her dreams and then some. He had built their little world of comfort, travel, prestige and more than the common sized nest egg in the bank. Yet, the one thing that he had not been able to provide was the outlet of the love and grace she so longed for because Michael was sterile. He had always been a good lover, but the tree, though healthy and firm, had never borne fruit. She had never held his sterility against him. They possessed a true intimacy that was seldom found in families with many children. Yet, she possessed an ulcer in her heart and a constant nagging, ailing, and yearning to hold the product of their love. The doctors had said it could never be. Little Jeffery had solved it all.
Jeffery had been only hours old when they became his parents. He had perfectly filled an empty large house and a void in Marilyn’s heart. They quickly fell in love with him and had instantly noticed that he was very bright. He had been so young when it had all happened. They were sure he would remember nothing. They intended to ensure that he never did. They did not fear "bad blood" or hereditary issues related to any blood connection to the woman and whoever the man was who had been his biological father. The doctor who had found Jeffrey for them had assured them. He also seemed to insist on it. They simply wanted him, loved him and needed him desperately.
The doctor had been desperate to hand the boy over to them. It was clean, even if illegal. He had found a different child before. They had actually taken the first little boy into their home, the little bundle of gurgling joy had crooked feet and that was not a problem for them. Even the land of the perfect could tolerate such infirmities. They had the resources to correct the feet. Yet, the thing that raised great concern was the listless empty look in the child’s eyes. The child would not respond for the few hours that had kept him. He would only lay in one place and cry. They kept him for three days and insisted that this child would not be the one for them. Then Jeffrey arrived.
Jeffrey had surprised them and inspired them and won their hearts. The courts got no wind of the arrangement that was technically legal but laden with pitfalls. A couple of friends on the bench made the doctor’s task easy and both the judges’ and the doctor’s bank accounts much sweeter. Nevertheless, Jeffery had not let them down. He had become the main source of pride in their lives. He had grown into a bright, cheerful, young man with a future that they were sure would make them proud. That he did and then some.
The University of Chicago, where Jeffrey Phaire was a first year law student was a school for only the most prestigious, smart or both. The Law school was renowned for the product it put out, the fat-cat lawyers and hard-nosed criminal science experts that exited from its doors. It stretched the minds of those who dared attempt to go. In fact, only those who were the very best at legally abusing the system could get their sheet of paper. Jeffrey Phaire never really fit in.
He was above reproach and he hated himself for it. While his friends were in many bars and beds, he was the eternal student who had big plans for his life. He had been raised for it. He had come from good stock. Then, one day, it had all come crashing down. This day would radically change his life, his plans and his longevity.
Jeffery really had only one really close friend. In fact, he and Mike Evans, Jeffrey’s roommate were the best of buddies since they had met three months earlier. They shared their thoughts, their goals and their notes. Mike was in many ways the exact opposite of Jeffrey. He had made it this far on scholarships and financial aid.
Mike was a lonely, hard worker. He walked with a certain limp or clumsiness, but he liked to play and he never let his infirmity hinder his female conquests. He was a hit with the women and could have had a lot of notches on his belt, if he had been that type. He would never discuss his family with Jeffrey except to say that his father had committed suicide when he was ten and that his mother had worked hard to help him get into the university.
Jeffrey had been looking for Mike all afternoon. They had planned to sit together for a symposium on Forensic medicine and criminal science. The speaker was the very well known Chicago police officer, Sergeant, Brett Martino or Doc, as he preferred to be called. Mike was the independent, addicted to kinky love sort of young man. He was bright, every bit Jeffrey’s equal intellectually. He was a dreamer, but of a weirder nature than Jeffrey. Mike had always been plagued periodically with a recurring dream. It had changed from time to time, but certain parts were always there. It always possessed the image of a menacing fairground. It was dark, lights flashing red and amber. He would walk, look, unfamiliar with the place, but somehow knowing where he was going. He would walk past the flashy ladies, while they flashed him invitations and curses. "Make love, child?” “Hey, Lover boy, come on over.” “I got the stuff you want baby!” “Let’s talk about it. I know how much you hate to be alone!” “Clean that floor! You are working too slowly!” “You are worthless!"
Mike always woke up at this point. It was to him a momentary aberration that he endured from time to time. There was always that cross. He had shared a lot with Jeffrey, but no one knew about his inside terror that had robbed him of his sleep so many nights.
Jeffrey looked around the theater style classroom for Mike. It wasn’t like him to be late. If he were with a girl, Jeffrey knew Mike’s priority would be lying right next to him. Then Jeffrey saw Mike as he walked into the room. Doc was about to walk up to the podium and was removing his jacket when Mike walked in. Mike walked over to Doc Martino. "Hello, Officer. I’ve heard so much about you. Can I help you with that?"
Mike took Doc’s jacket and hung it up on the rack. Doc looked at him with the look of having met the young man somewhere, but unable to place him. Jeffrey waved his hand in the air to get Mike’s attention. Mike made his way over to Jeffrey and sat down.
"Where you been? You’ve been talking about this lab for days, Mike. I couldn’t imagine you missing it." "Well Jeffery, my man, it’s just priorities my man, priorities." "Yea, your priorities all have two long legs, Mike"
"Not true. Some are short, as a matter of fact. Anyway, I made it."
Doc walked over to the podium and began to speak. "Well, everyone, thank you for allowing me to come here today. This has been a busy two days for me. As a matter of fact, I just got back in town from the beautiful city of Joliet." Students began to boo the notion. Doc laughed.
"I was there to witness the execution of the man about whom I intend to speak today. Rarely do we see the actual face of evil, on a person. Believe me, in my line of work, the expressions don’t change much!"
The audience began to laugh. "But this man, Mr. Richard Trember, had committed one of the most brutal and vicious crimes I’ve ever seen."
A certain feeling of uneasiness came over Jeffrey when he heard the name, Trember. It was as though he had memories stored in his head about this man. He had certainly read a lot about him, but this was different. It evidently had no impact on Mike. He just stared straight ahead with the greatest of interest as the large screen behind Doc flashed pictures of a beautiful Hispanic woman.
"This was Ms. Susan Chacon. She was a very sweet lady. I knew her well. She was the significant other of one of my best friends on the force. She was the last victim of Mr. Trember. I was almost taken off of this case because of my close alliance to her and Officer Wallace Findings" Findings’ picture flashed onto the screen. Another photo replaced Findings’.
"In 1988, Ms. Chacon’s body was found in her apartment right below Trember’s with a hypodermic needle protruding out her neck and her neck sliced open. Residue of embalming fluid was found in the needle and her brain was flooded with it. This was a direct path to her brain through the carotid artery."
The picture revealed the truth. Jeffrey became very uneasy. Doc noticed that one young man became very restless at the sight of this photograph. Jeffery unknowingly had some strange affinity to this story. His heart began to race and he felt a bit queasy in his stomach. He knew it was not the sight of blood. He had seen it all before from other case studies.
"Ms. Chacon had lived in this apartment house at 817 Campbell for about six months. Prior to her death she had been the center of a high-profile case involving the kidnapping of one of her twins to which she had given birth in this abandoned building." The photo of the huge abandoned structure flashed across the screen.
"The reason for her death was determined to be unrelated to that previous case, but when Officer Findings found her in this condition, the case immediately pointed to this man, Richard Trember, who had priors in multiple types of charges, as the killer." Another photo, the face of Trember, appeared on the screen.
"Trember’s DNA had been found in the entrance of the apartment. There had even been trace amounts of his blood found in the apartment on the floor, which indicated some kind of resistance. Officer Wallace Findings explained how the DNA could have been found there. He had been shot evidently by Ms. Chacon in her desperate effort to survive."
Mike looked over at Jeffrey. “Hey dude! You ok?" Jeffrey’s face was ashen white. "I think I should get out of here. I don’t feel too well." Jeffrey stood up and gathered his books. "I’ve got notes. You can use them later" Mike stated.
Jeffrey didn’t look at him but walked out of the theater as quickly as possible. The whole thing seemed as weird to Jeffrey as to Mike. There was no reason for it, but he felt he knew the woman. He knew he had never seen the man, but he was sure he didn’t like him at all. As Mike watched the Forensic specialist intently, suddenly the Doc’s cell phone rang. He had given strict instructions to only put through emergency calls until 6:00 PM, when his presentation would finish. The call meant that there was an awful-awful out there somewhere. Doc took the phone, apologetically. "A rest area? A Whole family? I’ll finish up here and be right over!"… (You can read the rest of this chapter of Stillborn and the whole book by clicking one of the links below to get your own copy of the printed or e-book versions)
Vengeance Become A Driving Force
From The Mind of Steven Clark Bradley
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