Beep … Beep … Beep … Constant. The beeping and the small noises were steady and repetitive. A reminder of just how much Abraham Murray had failed the frail soul lying in bed before him. It had been several hours since the batteries in the machine controlling the morphine drip had completely drained. At that moment, when the beeping and the noises grew louder Abraham thought for a moment he saw a sign of life from his now helpless friend.
Abraham had sat in this room, on and off, for seven days, waiting, hoping, and praying for a change. Nothing. There was no response. Only sleep. A deep sleep. Perhaps it was the depressing atmosphere. The hospital room was very similar to the patient rooms found in the Carnegie Hill Rehabilitation Center. White and boring. Lifeless. A world without color or imagination.
Most days, Abraham would sit alone, next to the bed, watching for any sign of recovery. He would only leave long enough to check on a few friends that depended on his and his help. Today was different.
Today he was joined by a new friend. A friend that he had only known for a few short years. She sat on the opposite side of the bed, shielding her eyes from the rising sun shining through the fourth-floor windows of the UK Medical Center. Abraham stared at her for a moment. He felt sorry for her. She’d had to endure far too much in her young life. At one point in time, when he was in her presence, the world was bright and cheerful. Now, she was broken. It was his fault. A child should never have to watch her house burn down, especially on Christmas. A woman should never have to hide from the world and conceal her identity, especially one so talented and intelligent as Dr. Hannah Lacy.
Her voice sounded defeated. Abraham hated hearing this once confident and strong individual look so broken and depressed.
“Yeah, Hannah. What is it?”
“Was all of this necessary?”
Abraham looked at Hannah, showing confusion and concern on his face.
“Was all of ‘what’ necessary?”
“What do you mean?”
Was she referring to their current location? Their current place in life? The answer to those questions was ‘no.’ They were not necessary, and they could have been easily prevented.
Three weeks ago, when Cameron Thompson, better known as Junior to Abraham and the patients at Carnegie Hills approached him with a plan to escape the institute he should have ignored him. Better yet, he should have discouraged him. At least, he should have convinced him to leave Seth Conley out of the plan. Abraham was desperate, though. He was trying to protect Seth, and he thought that with his help, Junior’s plan just might work. He was wrong, and now the lives of Seth Conley, himself, and others were in jeopardy.
“No, Hannah, none of this was necessary.”
“Then why’d you make me do it?”
“Do what? I didn’t make you do anything.”
“Yes, you did, Abraham. Look at me. I’m a reflection of death warmed over.”
Abraham sat up straighter and peered over the bed to Hannah raising an eyebrow. He had no idea what she was talking about. She did look paler than usual, but since he found her passed out from near starvation, she looked much better.
“Need I remind you than when I found you lying in your bed wearing the exact same clothes that you wore on the day you were fired you were close to death. You hadn’t eaten in nearly three weeks. I don’t know how you survived.”
“I’m not talking about that. Look at my hair. Look at my face. Was it necessary to change all of this.”
Abraham studied Hannah’s facial expressions for a moment. She was clearly disturbed by having to cut her hair and dye if jet black. Hannah had always been proud of her red hair and loved to style it and show it off. Now, she didn’t have much hair left. There was nothing left to style. There was nothing to show off. Just a cheap haircut with a cheap pair of sewing shearers.
“Yes. I’m sorry, Hannah, but it was very necessary.”
Abraham didn’t want to tell her why. He didn’t want to tell her that if he had not found her when he did, someone else could have found her and ended her life. Andrew Aiken, a man hired to replace Edgar Martinez at Carnegie Hills was recruited to do more than occupy apposition left open by Edgar’s death. He was the newest hire Mr. Nesher. He was purposed with the task of spreading rumors throughout the facility that Dr. Hannah Lacy had killed herself after losing her job. He was also told to find Hannah, and kill her. Thanks to Junior and a fit of rage that many had feared he’d held back for far too long, Andrew Aiken died in the common area of Carnegie Hills just a few days after his first day. Abraham was sure that Andrew had already been replaced, but since he was no longer allowed entry into the rehab facility, he had no idea who it might be.
“Hannah, you don’t realize this, but there is something big going on. There’s a reason Edgar and I feared Mr. Nesher. He’s a dangerous man, and I’m afraid that since you failed to get Seth to confess to the murder of his family he’s going to be coming after you.”
“Why would he do that? Why would he care about a psychiatrist from Kentucky? Why, in fact, would he care about Seth? Why do the cops care so much about this? They say they have the evidence to convict him, why bother about a confession.”
Abraham smiled. Hannah was smart. She asked a question that more people needed to ask. Why do the cops need a confession when they have evidence that proves his guilt. The evidence does not lie.
“The cops don’t care as much as you have been told. Mr. Nesher, on the other hand, is waiting in anticipation for Seth to admit to the murder of Sara and Angel Conley. He cares a great deal.”
Abraham sat for a moment, pondering if he should tell Hannah all that he knows about Seth Conley’s situation.
“I don’t know why, but Mr. Nesher wants Seth dead.”
“Well, if this Mr. Nesher is so scary and so powerful why didn’t he try to have Seth killed.”
Hannah was growing frustrated. For years she was under the impression that Mr. Nesher, the owner of the facility she had been hired into straight out of medical school, was a benevolent soul. She was told by her superiors that he cared so much about the suffering of the world that he dedicated most of his life to caring for those that were unable to care for or defend themselves. She had a hard time accepting that he was a monster that brought fear into the eyes of two of the strongest men she had ever met.”
“That’s the thing, he did try to have Seth killed. He hired two assassins to kill Seth and his family. They were only partly successful.”
Abraham could see a sudden change in Hannah. Her frustration transitioned into anger and confusion. He watched as Hannah contorted her face and twisted what was left of her hair trying to understand what he was telling her.
“Do you remember the time you confronted me about hovering of Seth too much?”
“This is why. I was trying to stay close to him so that I could protect him.”
Hannah stood up to stretch and walked over to the window. Abraham watched as she stared into the morning sun. It had been an unusual winter for Kentucky. This morning was the first that the sun had revealed itself in several days. This was a good thing. The world that Abraham and Hannah were currently living in was dark and cold. They both needed the light.
“All right, that makes sense, I guess, but still, if the cops have all of this evidence, why do they need the confession?”
Again, Abraham sat quietly for a moment, pondering the question, and regretting the need for the conversation.
“Like I said, there were two assassins there that night. Seth’s neighbors attested to this when the cops questioned them.”
Hannah returned to her chair, eyes watering. Abraham knew that any conversation about Seth Conley would be a touchy subject for Hannah. He knew that she still loved him dearly, even though he could barely remember her. Abraham blamed himself for that, as well.
“Seth couldn’t have had many neighbors. According to his papers he still lived in the house he grew up in. Unless someone rebuilt my parent’s house, there weren’t very many people around.”
“I suppose that house was rebuilt. The husband and wife that lived there said they watched two masked men enter into Seth’s house that night. They called the cops after hearing gunfire. That’s why the court can’t convict Seth. That one little detail throws their investigation into chaos.”
A steady stream of tears now flowed from Hannah’s eyes. Abraham feared that he was revealing too much.
“And these neighbors. Are they still alive?”
Hannah was smart. Too smart. Abraham shook his head.
“What happened to them?”
“Car accident. It killed them and their two kids.”
“Was it really an accident?
“Because they knew too much.”
Hannah burst into sobs and buried her face in the palms of her hands. Abraham watched as this intelligent, beautiful young woman convulsed from the lack of oxygen reaching her lungs.
“Hannah, you’ve got to sit up. Take a minute and just breathe.”
She ignored him, so he walked to where she was and forced her to her feet.
“Hannah, look at me, we’re not supposed to be in here. I had to pay the guard off, and he promised to keep a lookout for us, but if you don’t collect yourself, he won’t be able to explain away to anyone walking by what these noises are.”
Hannah lifted her head and stared into Abraham. Anger flashed in her eyes.
“Abraham, how do you know so much about all of this?”
He stared at her for a few seconds before answering. He’d already said too much.
“Abraham, I want to know. Tell me.”
“Why do you need to know?”
“Why are you deflecting?”
Abraham had forgotten that Hannah Lacy was a brilliant psychiatrist. He knew that he’d have to give her an answer.
“I know all of this because of Edgar Castillo – well, you knew him as Edgar Martinez. He was one of the assassins.”
Hannah stepped back from Abraham and dried her eyes with the black, raggedy shirt that Abraham made her dress in. Abraham made a mistake by mentioned Edgar’s original family name.
“So, he had to change his name afterward.”
Abraham pulled at the collar of his shirt. He was hoping that she hadn’t caught that.
“No, he had to change his name before that.
“What about you?”
He didn’t answer, instead choosing to look down at the body being kept alive by tubes and machines. Abraham realized that this was a mistake, too. When he looked back up, an angry smile crept across the face of his raven-haired interrogator.
“Is Abraham Murray your real name?”
Hannah Lacy was smart. Too smart.
So far, the comments that I have received from the few people that have read The Nesher Project: Unrest have been positive. Most, in fact, are eager to read the second book. Last night after church I was approached by my next door neighbor and lifelong friend, Eva Meadows. As she marched toward me, I thought I had done something to get in trouble. I remember that march. When I was a child my best friend, Kevin Meadows, and I often witnessed that march, and we both knew that it was probably deserved. Last night, I couldn’t figure out what it was that I did to deserve this.
Instead, she wanted to talk to me about Unrest. I thought she may be upset about some of the more violent content, but she was actually wanting to know when the second book was going to be released. According to the timeline listed in the back of Unrest, and on this website, Abraham is supposed to be published in December 2017. However, I’d like to release it earlier than that. Just a few days after Book 1’s release I told a reader that I’d like to have Abraham ready for print by September, and that is still the goal. The problem, though, is I haven’t even started writing chapter 1.
The problem, though, is I haven’t even started writing chapter 1. Although I have ideas in my head of how to write the book, it is harder to put together because of the backstory and events that were set in motion by Seth Conley in Carnegie Hills. I want to be consistent, which means I probably won’t be able to just sit down and write what the first thing that comes to mind like I did the first time. This time, I have to be deliberate with what I write and probably create an outline of events.
I can tell you this: Revelations will be made in Abraham. The people that I have talked to about Unrest have all sorts of questions. Many of those questions will be answered in the second book.
Enough of all that, though. That’s not why you’re reading this. You’re reading this because you saw that this post is supposed to provide a cover reveal for The Nesher Project: Abraham…
Raise your hand if you love taking online quizzes and showing off your knowledge and superiority over the 75% that are unable to ace the quiz you just took. Okay, now, raise two hands if you absolutely cannot stand and abhor the thought of scrolling through your newsfeed only to see that people have spent the majority of their days wasting time by taking online quizzes and posting their results.
I’m usually one of those that would be raising two hands. It seems as if my Facebook feed lately is just a large string of quizzes, cooking videos, and kids pictures. Not that there is anything wrong with any of that, it is your profile, and you should do what you want with it.
This morning, however, I found myself giving in and taking a quiz that my aunt, Barbara Schirmer, posted titled “96% OF CHRISTIANS CAN’T ACE THIS NEW TESTAMENT CHALLENGE. CAN YOU?” I thought it would be interesting to test my knowledge of The New Testament and see if it matches up with the rest of the world. If you’re able to see the featured image above, then you would know that I aced the quiz, but I cannot make myself feel good about this. I cannot accept the fact that a 15 question quiz is the final determining factor on whether or not I possess expert knowledge of The Word of God.
The questions in this quiz were trivial. Questions such as: How many gospels are in The New Testament? Who baptized Jesus? Who, besides Jesus, walked on water? To me, thanks to my studies, attending church, Sunday school, and Bible study, these were easy answers. In fact, they were trivial.
Trivial Pursuit is a popular board game, and many educated folks like to pull it out on occasion to see if they can conquer their friends in a battle of wits. Many believe that to win this game, you must either be the smartest person in the room or lucky enough to draw cards that you already know the answers to. However, throughout all of this, those that play Trivial Pursuit rarely realize that this quest to acclaim the title of the smartest person in the room is pointless. In fact, the title of the game tells you that all of this is useless and is for naught.
Let’s take a moment and look at the definition of the word trivial.
a : of little worth or importance a trivial objection trivial problems
b : relating to or being the mathematically simplest case; specifically : characterized by having all variables equal to zero a trivial solution to a linear equation
Now, let’s connect this definition to the quiz that I took this morning. I was given 15 questions that would determine my level of knowledge of The New Testament. I quickly answered all 15 questions correctly and was given the result of New Testament Expert. That’s great. That’s wonderful. I can answer trivia questions based on the Bible. All in all, however, it is pointless. It is of little worth or importance. It is trivial.
My knowledge of the Bible is trivial unless I use it. There are plenty of people in this world that know the Bible better than I do. Some of them use it and apply it to their lives. Others, however, do absolutely nothing with it. Several years ago I worked for a building supply company in Winchester and Versailles and would occasionally meet people like this. They couldn’t understand why I didn’t cuss, drink, and cut up like they did. Some of these people even referred to themselves as Christians, not seeing the folly of their actions. They knew what was written in the Bible, but they didn’t live it. They chose to live their lives the way they saw fit.
After receiving a promotion within the company and moving to Versailles, I met a man that would always give me a hard time about this. Once, he even accused my parents of brainwashing me into believing that all of this stuff in the Bible is true. Here’s the kicker. That very day that he made this accusation he told me that he had read the entire Bible four time. Four times! Why do that if you’re not going to apply it? Why waste your time? This man had great knowledge of the Bible, but this knowledge was trivial because he wasn’t using it in the manner in which God had prescribed for it to be used.
I hope that in the years since I left that organization that the man in which I am speaking of found God and started applying those words that he has reread over and over to every aspect of his life.
Folks, if we want to call ourselves Christians, we have to actually live it. We have to actually take what has been written down, the holy scriptures inspired by God, and apply it to our lives. Yes, we have to know it. We must have the knowledge that comes from reading and studying the Bible, but we have to use it, too. All of it.
I acknowledge that the title of this post is a bit strange. How does one learn from pepper? More often than not, as a young child, we are taught not to sniff pepper, or it could make you sneeze. Don’t put too much pepper sauce on your food or it could become too hot to eat (I know some people that can’t get enough hot sauce.) That is, however, not the pepper I am referring to in this instance.
Instead, I speak of my little one-eyed cat, named Pepper. Since I’ve owned Pepper, he’s been a house cat that I let outside on occasion. He’s afraid of his own shadow, so I don’t have to worry too much about him running off. Most of the time, he goes out, sniffs around until a car drives down the road or the neighbors start talking, and then he darts back into the house. This morning was different; he didn’t want to come back in. I was working on assembling some shelves so I couldn’t stay outside and monitor him, so I ushered him back into the house with him hissing at me the whole way. He was very unappreciative of the guidance I was trying to give him. That’s a cat, though. They have a stigma of being very unappreciative and unsatisfied of what the have.
I made the joke that when God made the cat, he created the most unappreciative creature on the planet. As I thought about that statement, I realized that I was dead wrong. The cat is not the most unappreciative of all of God’s creation. Man is. If you want to be politically correct, I suppose that I should say that the human being is God’s most unappreciative, unthankful creation.
God has given us everything we need to survive. A breathable atmosphere. Food. Water. Nutrients and vitamins that will help our bodies grow strong and healthy. Minds to learn and talents to create. Yet in all of this, so many human beings believe that they can survive without God.
It reminds me of a joke I read several years ago:
One day, three scientists got together and decided that they no longer needed God to survive. Mankind had advanced enough and learned enough and God’s help was no longer necessary, so they asked God if we, as a people, could separate ourselves from him. God agreed that he would grant the request of the three scientists if they could pass a simple test. The scientists grew excited, knowing they held all of the knowledge the world could provide in their three brains, and quickly accepted the challenge without even hearing God out. When God finally got the chance to speak again, he asked the scientists if they wanted to know what the challenge was. Eager to prove to God that they were able and willing to accept, they boasted that they could conquer any challenge that he could think of. God smiled and said, “If you want to be truly separate from me, a people of your own, all you have to do is create a living, breathing man out of dirt. The scientists, taken aback by the challenge, gathered together for a moment to discuss the grandios task. A few minutes later, they approached God and told him that they accept his challenge. However, before God would send them off to their task, he told them one more thing, “In order to win this challenge, you must use your own dirt.”
Can man, who claims that the mysteries of the cosmos are still unfathomable, honestly live without God?
A friend of mine returned from a missionary trip to Haiti about three years ago. When he returned, he posed a question to our church: What if God made us live tomorrow with what we thanked him for today?
Saying thank you is easy. We say it numerous times every day to all sorts of people, but do we actually mean it? When we say thank you to God, do we actually mean it? Two simple words, but just like the word “love” it seems to have lost its meaning in our American society. “I love cotton candy!” Really. Do you really love cotton candy, or do you just enjoy eating it?
God has provided everything for us, so I don’t think that just saying thank you is enough. We have to show our appreciation, but how do we do that? It’s simple really? The answer can be found in scripture.
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Love. Love is how we show appreciation, gratitude, and thanks to God. Love God. Love your neighbor. Love one another. True love. Godly love. Not lust. Our society has a tendency to misconstrue love for lust. It is unfortunate, but it is something that needs to be addressed by the Christian population.
So, how do you do that? How do you love God and love your neighbor? It’s simple; Keep His Commandments.
Amazing, don’t you think? I bet you never expected that a post about my unappreciative cat would turn into a life lesson. I didn’t either, but that is how God sometimes works in our lives.
As I end this post, I would like to ask that you keep my grandfather, Homer Mullins, in your prayers, as well as my aunt, Shirley Terry.
Welcome to the official website of Author, Eric Steven Terry. Here, you can view purchasing information for books that are currently in publication as well as a timeline for future novels. Also, feel free to browse the Sky Galler – a photo gallery dedicated only to images of one of God’s most beautiful creations.