Hope in the City

DELIVERED– A Peculiar People Collaboration

Amongst the group of writers I can claim to have written just one chapter but yes, I wrote Chapter four.

320_4654160An immigrant and her young daughter, struggling to reach their dream地 special needs child, searchingfor hope地 newly released ex-con, seeking forgiveness. They have one thing in commontheyre about to be touched by God in a way they never imagined. All through a simple postcard. Brought up in a strict Muslim home in London, Sulafa has recently experienced the transforming power of Jesus Christ. Now, despite fear of discovery and its consequences, she knows she has to spread the good news. In an act of bravery, she sends out postcards with a single message: Let me pray for you. Her simple request impacts lives and brings hope in the midst of hopelessness.

The second of many anticipated books from Peculiar People, Delivered is a collection of short stories that intertwine to deliver a single message. It is the work of twenty-five authors with one united voice, proclaiming the power of God to transform lives and His ability to do the miraculous in the most ordinary of circumstances.

Amongst the group of writers I can claim to have written just one chapter but yes, I wrote Chapter four.

Chapter Four

Hope in the City –by Chrissy Siggee

Seventeen year old Sarah stepped down from the train and looked around. Haunted eyes stared out from a gaunt face. She looked around to gather her bearings. Commuters pushed and shoved their way past, almost causing her to stumble under the heaviness of her backpack. The warped wheels of her worn suitcase flip flopped behind her as she followed the crowd. Shed come to Sydney for a new life. No one here knew of her former years, which she wanted to forget…

from the book: DELIVERED– A Peculiar People Collaboration

Available now from Amazon

Mercy

Mercy can be a difficult topic to tackle; yet I find its one of the most desirable gifts Christians seek. To show mercy is an awesome experience but to receive mercy is not always easy. Sometimes people misunderstand those who show mercy. Those who show mercy often dont even realise thats what they are demonstrating.

To show mercy is to show forgiveness, compassion, kindness, pity or understanding even leniency. When explained this way, I can see how people have shown mercy toward me and how I have shown mercy to others. I also understand how we can misinterpret anothers acts of mercy. Have we become unaccepting of anothers gifts? Do we feel complacent with our circumstances or those of others?

Jesus showed mercy/ compassion and He has instructed us to show mercy. Shouldnt we also accept mercy from those He has instructed to show mercy?

Exodus 33:19 says:And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

Isaiah 30:18 says:And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.

Where and when was mercy shown to you in the past month?

When was the last time you showed mercy to another?

Father, help us to show mercy to others no matter the situation. Teach us to becompassionate and live our lives as you would. Also, help us to remember that when others show mercy to us that we do not reject them, because the mercy they show is the mercy you would have them give as you would have us to give. Amen


Chrissy Siggee 2012

Scripture Verses used are from the King James Version of the Bible

 

 

My One Desire

Words of truth, words so pure,
Gentle words to warm my heart,
Deep desires, to seek His will.

His Spirit fills my deepest needs
My soul can only dare to hope
My one desire, to seek His will.

Words of hope, words of peace
A harmony of words to impart
Deep desires to learn His will.

His Spirit knows my every need,
My heart forever will be His own,
My one desire, to do His will.

Words of joy, words of love
Honest words that wont depart,
Deep desires to live in His will.

His Spirit will always lead me on,
My life I give to Him alone,
My one desire, to live His will.

Words of praise, words to sing
Valued expressions of love,
Deep desires to know His will.

His Spirit shares my inner fears,
My mind is centred on Him only,
My one desire to know His will.

穢 Chrissy Siggee
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

From my book: Glimpses of His Glory

Joy

Isaiah 55:12 says:For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

I love this verse. Its full of hope. The delight I feel when Im in His presence bathes my soul with the joy of the Lord and brings an overwhelming transformation to my spirit. To worship the Father takes me into another realm of emotional joy and into His throne room of prayer.Even when sadness touches my life, when pain is always near, or when a friend or family member is hurting, His presence always brings joy back into my spirit.

Isaiah 51:11 says:Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

Praise God, I often feel like singing and I cant get enough of His presence that comes with the joy that He gives me. But, even when I dont feel like singing or praising God, He can give me back that joy. When sadness threatens to overtake me, I can still go out in joy and be led forth in peace, giving thanks in all circumstances; he does replace my sadness and grief with the joy of the Lord.

Let your week be filled with the joy of the Lord.

Father, we thank you for the joy that only you can give us. Help us to praise you in the good times and the bad so we may know your joy in all things. We may not feel like singing but help us give thanks in all circumstances. Amen

Chrissy Siggee

First Published 2009

Scripture Verses used are from the King James Version of the Bible
Archived in Christian Devotions at Riverside Peace

Its Time to Grow Up!

Simon! Dad called from the back of the house. Come and fix this mess!

Uh-oh…

Simon stopped at the door of the laundry and watched as bright red foamy bubbles spewed from the familys washing machine.Oops.

Oops is right and youd better clean it up before your mother returns with the groceries. Then, you had better deal with that car of yours. The windscreen looks like the aftermath of a locust plague.

The unusually quiet son entered the kitchen later that day and watched his parents move about to prepare for the evening meal. Steak, onions and potatoes sat ready for preparing. He sat in a chair to watch. Simon was always fascinated and somewhat proud of how they worked together. Being the youngest of five, and at almost twenty-three, Simon knew it was time to give his parents a break and move out on his own but…

Hey, Simon, his mother interrupted his thoughts. Are you going to the young adults Bible Study tonight?

Yeah… Ive even completed this weeks study questions, he grinned.

Dad looked up from chopping onions. Tears ran down his cheeks. Really?

Simon grinned at the voice that didnt match the tears, which were thankfully not related to this latest bit of news. Um…yeah. Were studying Hebrews chapter five. Im守m…finding it quite interesting.

His mother wiped her hands and approached the table. May I ask why?

Dad continued to chop and sniff.

Ill show you. Simon left the room and returned a few minutes later with his New International Version of the Bible. He opened it to where it was bookmarked.

You see, he began, last weeks topic was about “Warnings Against Falling Away”. Verses 11 to 15 says: We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Dad wiped his eyes before joining them at the table. What do you think these verses are saying?

Well, he began thoughtfully. Its like eating.

His parents laughed in unison.

Yeah, I know. Everything with me is related to food, he grinned. But its like the verse says, we have to stop just drinking milk and get in to the steak and potatoes of life地nd onions, he finished with a chuckle.

Dad reached across, pulled the Bible to him and turned it around. Yes, youre right. We need to grow and mature in His grace. He paused and turned over a few pages. Hebrews 10:25-27also says: Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one anotherand all the more as you see the Day approaching. If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.’

Pretty heavy stuff, Simon sighed. But I think Im beginning to understand this whole adulthood stuff. I mean, Im no longer a child, or a teenager anymore. Im supposed to be an adult. Right? Not just as a person, but as a Christian. I cant rely on you and Mum all my life to feed me or clean up after me. In the same way, I need to get into the Word and grow up.

His mother smiled. Even us older Christians need to grow. We can never outgrow the need to grow. But, youre right, Simon. You do need to do this for yourself. She reached out and touched his hand. Is there more to this conversation than impressing us?

Simon took a deep breath. Well, I like my job and doing church stuff, but…

But what? There was a hint of worry in his fathers tone.

This weeks Bible study has had me seriously praying about a few things. Im ready to put away childish things. Ive decided to start adulthood properly. Im going to attend Bible College. I believe thats where God wants me to be.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in
Christian Reads by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

 

Where Did I Leave My Humour?

Do you know where I left my humour? It must be around here somewhere. I had it yesterday. Im sure I did. How could I have lost my humour?

Its always been a part of me. Ive never gone anywhere without it. I have used it every day. Humour is one of those possessions I thought I would always have. How could I have lost it?

I could have left it in the fridge, like I misplace my cup of coffee yesterday. Perhaps its in the laundry cupboard or in the ironing basket. Surely, I wouldnt have left it laying around for the dog to chew. Perhaps I left it under the bed. I havent looked there for days. Where could my humour be?

Probably its gone forever, like the coins that slipped through the hole in my purse. Maybe its gone down the kitchen sink, just like my favourite ring. I dont know why Id put it downnot even for a moment. Maybe its in the garden. I could have left it there when I found that poor dead bird. Or, did I leave it someplace else?

Perhaps I left my humour in my journal. Id been trying to hide my pain and cope alone. I didnt want to burden anyone with my misery, so I poured it out to God. It might be in my Bible, somewhere in the Psalms, possibly in chapter 23between the shadows of death and fearing no evil. But, why would I have left it there?

I checked my emails before I went to bed hoping I would find my humour there.

A stranger said Id made them laugh with a story I had written.

Wendy said she was missing me and I had always made her day.

A cute little puppy greeted me. He was on an eCard sent by Val. It made me grin but it was the words that got to me: shoulders to lean on and hands to hold, hugs to comfort too.

Do you think my humour is closer than I think?

Wait one minute! It must be around here somewhere. Last night that movie made me laugh and I saw the funny side when hubby dropped his cookie into his cup of tea. My son gave me a picture book of elephants at the beach. Its amazing how some silly photos encourage you to smile. How could I have missed it?

Suddenly I realized I hadnt lost it. I had it all along. I guess its like a simple smileI just had to put it on.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

– a long time ago.

Archived in
Christian Reads by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

 

In the Silence

Sweet solitude of silence
Brushes against my soul
With a touch of His presence,
He brings rest to my bones.

Verses of faith drift through me,
Soothing battered senses
Inspired in the silence,
He captivates my heart.

Gods Holiness bathes me,
Tender anointing falls
In compassion He gives me
His peace in the silence.

Gems of joy, whispered hope,
Shown in His love and grace
Consoling in the silence
He kisses away my tears.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

 

This Soul of Mine, Its not my Own.

One day I gave my life to Jesus,
I was only six years old you know
My soul I knew, was not my own.

To church we went but once a week,
It was like that every Sunday
My soul went with me, like always.

The church we went to was so big,
All the people and the noise they made,
Within my soul, I was afraid.

I didnt know the preacher that day,
He talked about lilies and sparrow birds
My soul was alert, to these words.

My soul is worth far more than these,
Jesus died for me; why thats absurd!
What is this, my soul has heard?

Then finally some words I understood,
This man was talking right to me
Yes, into my soul, he could see.

I heard the choir sing Just as I am,
They sang those words so bold
And to my soul, they were like gold.

Wake up my child, this is for you,
A family ticket I cannot give
For this your soul, it needs to live.’

An altar call the preacher made,
What will you do with Jesus today?
As for my soul and I, we did obey.

I walked on by my mum and dad,
My brothers and my sister too;
I think my soul it knew, just what to do.

I prayed a prayer I wont forget,
I have remembered it to this day
My life and soul, to God I gave.

Now one day I will live with Him,
And no matter how long I will be known
This soul of mine, its not my own.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

 

GLIMPSES OF HIS GLORY Chrissy Siggee Miriam Jacob, Oxford Academic, Oxford University Press, Reviewer/Co-Author

A big thank you to Miriam Jacob for this review.

Dear friends, please kindly view and read here: via GLIMPSES OF HIS GLORY Chrissy Siggee Miriam Jacob, Oxford Academic, Oxford University Press, Reviewer/Co-Author

via GLIMPSES OF HIS GLORY Chrissy Siggee Miriam Jacob, Oxford Academic, Oxford University Press, Reviewer/Co-Author

Unborn Dreams

There isnt time to change her mind
They told my mother lies,
Restricted by these clamps that bind
I hear her inward cries.

There isnt room to shift and squirm
Please take that thing away,
I was made to grow full-term
My hope you did betray.

Before I formed you in the womb,
I knew you

There isnt time to understand
No time to move aside,
Save me from this glove-swathed hand
I need a place to hide.

Theres no time to shun the tomb
This fear has taken hold,
My heart beats strong within her womb
Ive never felt so cold.

I will never leave nor forsake you,
Dont be afraid…

There isnt time to know my name
My face she will not see,
All I feel is my mothers shame
My life will never be.

There isn’t even time to cry
All I can do is pray,
No! I do not want to die
Please just go away.

When you walk through the valley,
Fear no evil

There isnt time to hug you, Mum
Or look upon your face,
Listen to you sing or hum
And know your true embrace.

I’ll never walk upon the earth
Its time to say goodbye,
This wasnt meant to be my birth
Mother夷ts time for me to die.

I have called you by name,

Take my hand

穢 Chrissy Siggee

 

Taste and See

O taste and see all things He has done
theres nought but good in our LORD,
His gentleness touches every life
and took our place on the cross for us.

He takes the shame when we yield to Him
all sin and grief is buried from sight…
He speaks to hearts and calms all fear,
and stood in our stead and bore our sin.

Do not grieve nor hold to your guilt and sin,
but leave it all at the cross of the Fathers Son
Jesus gave His life, His all, for you and me
and lives forever and reigns on high.

You can take joy in what I tell you here,
for the LORD will hear your every plea…
His sons and daughters, yes, we are His heirs
and takes us by His hand to lead us home.

Trust in this LORD, our God and King,
for no one can match His worthiness
Take Him for what He says He is
and know He is the LORD of lords.

穢 Chrissy Siggee –2010

Inspired by Psalm 34:8 –O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. (KJV)

Archived in
Christian Poetry by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

Butterfly Cakes and Parenting Skills

NO, and that’s my final word.

Sarah was irritable. Her twin daughters, Lucy and Annie, had been arguing with her for almost fifteen minutes. They had been invited to their best friends Amy teen-theme birthday party the following Saturday. The problem was she would be eight; the same age as the twins.

The girls stomped off to their bedroom just as the telephone rang. Sarah took a deep breath and released it slowly.

Hello. Rubbing her forehead, she leaned against the wall to ease the weariness that threatened to overtake her.

Well, you sound happy. It was Connie, Amy’s mother.

Hello Connie. I’m sorry, sometimes I find parenting a little stressful.

You? Of all people Sarah. You’re a great parent. You always seem to have it all under control.

Well not today. What can I do for you?

I was just checking if the girls are coming on Saturday.

Actually, it was the party we were discussing. I just don’t feel the theme is appropriate for eight-year-olds. Peter and I made the decision a long time ago that they are not to attend a party which goes against our values.

Sarah cringed as she realized what she had said. Connie was a good friend who attended the same church.

Connie sighed on the other end of the phone. Can I be frank with you?

Sure, we’re friends.

It was Amy’s suggestion. In fact, she demanded it. Honestly, I have been trying to keep the peace around here. We received a letter from her teacher last week concerning Amy’s rebellious behaviour.

Sarah made herself busy at the stove.

Connie continued. Yesterday, we went shopping to buy her an outfit for the party. I have never been so embarrassed. Her performance was appalling. She insisted on purchasing the skimpiest pair of shorts I have ever seen and the top barely covered her. There wasn’t enough material to cover her navel. Connie’s voice reached an intense pitch.

Sarah stirred the contents of the saucepan. ‘Lord, why is it so hard to do what is right as a parent?’

Sarah, why does parenting have to be so hard?

I don’t think any parent finds it easy Connie. We aren’t born with the skills either. We all have to learn them’

Connie resumed talking before Sarah could finish. I was just telling my mother yesterday that I remember some of my own childhood birthday celebrations. We used to dress up in our Sunday best and eat those yummy cakes. You know those little ones? The ones you make so well. You scoop out the little piece from the top, and then add just the right size dollop of cream, before cutting that extra piece in half and sitting it in just the right spot on top, then sprinkling icing sugar over them to give it that perfect sweetness.

Butterfly cakes? Sarah smiled at Connie’s description. It almost sounds like parenting skills. You need just the right balance to get it right. She laughed at her own illustration.

Oh Sarah, I just had a marvelous idea. Why don’t I call all the parents and tell them I’ve changed the theme? It will be a good, old-fashion party for an eight-year-old girl. They can all dress in their Sunday best and you could make butterfly cakes. I think it’s about time I initiated some parenting skills. The first thing I’ll introduce is Christian values.

Sarah laughed. All right. I’ll talk to Peter tonight. He should be happy with the change, and yes, I think it’s a wonderful idea. Bye.

Goodbye Sarah.

Sarah was still smiling long after she hung up the phone. She turned to see the twins standing at the door, their arms folded stiffly.
What’s so wonderful? Annie asked sourly.

Well, first of all, go and get the flower-girl dresses you wore to Uncle Tony’s wedding and put them on the sewing table. Then, we need to start on some parenting skills.

What are you talking about? Lucy was totally confused.
I’m going to bake some butterfly cakes, and you two can help. It’s never too early to learn.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in
Christian Reads by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

Daddys Prayer

Sweet golden locks frame her face
where tears flow onto frills and lace
Fingers clutch a teddy bear
and baby blues reflect despair.
It makes her daddys heart break
My sweet girl, why are you still awake?

Dark shadows dance throughout the night
a trembling voice reveals her fright.
Nightly dreams become a nightmare;
too much for this child to bear.
Invading ogres make her tearful
Pretty one, please dont be fearful.

Darkened hours can be quite scary
and sounds of the night make one wary.
Try not to cry my little one,
to be fearful is not fun
Loneliness makes the hours long.
Prayers to Jesus will make you strong.

Gentle Jesus meek and mild,
please watch over this precious child
Place loving arms around her Lord.
Our hearts beat with one accord,
give peace, and music to her ears
Jesus, take away her fears.

Calmness enters, Gods love displayed;
rest in Jesus, all fear will fade.
His love brings peace to your soul
Know our Fathers in control,
all fear is gone, sleep to restore
My little princess weeps no more.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

Archived in
Christian Reads by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

 

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MEMORY OF DREAD Part Six

a short murder mystery for the Christian reader – Part 6

Brenda gasped. ‘What?’ She stared back at Constable Hoxley then turned to Inspector OMalley. ‘When did you find this out?’

‘This morning,’ Hoxley replied. ‘Frank Daviesdrive toclaimyou several years ago set him into a downhill spiral.He began skimming money from your husband’s bank accounts a few years agoas well.’

‘Davies introduced Carlos Lorenzo to Charles as a gardener,’ Hoxley continued. ‘Lorenzo was tospy on your husbands clients for Davies and to check yourcomings and goings. He had an elaborate plan that would not only get you but ultimately Charles company and investments. Because of Davies’ dirty dealings, he unintentionally put you in danger, evenfrom some of Charles clients. Why,we arent completely sure.’

Hoxley flicked through his notebook before continuing. ‘Davies’ plans began tocome unstuckwhen you took a disliking to Lorenzo,whose feelings,as youknow,were mutual.However, Lorenzo had already become a loyalworker, and possibly a good friendto Charles, at least someone he couldtrust.Because of this, Charles learned of Davies’ desire tohaveyou and his money.But, heneeded proof. The private door was your husbands idea forprivatemeetingswith Lorenzo and clientswhowere aware of Davies’ dirty dealings. We suppose Lorenzo simply got tired ofplayingDavies’ sickgames,includingtheblackmailing.’

Brenda sat in dumb silence. This had been going on for at least two years?It was inconceivable.Why hadnt I noticed?Where was I when these meetings were going on in my own home?She couldnt evenspeculatewhy Charles put up withFrankfor so long, proof or no proof.

‘Six months ago,’ OMalley broke into her thoughts, ‘Davies represented asmall-timedrug smuggler.The accused walked and Davies’ pocketed a large amount oflaundered cash.’

‘And Charles didnt know any of this?’ Brenda interrupted, her frustration showingfromherusual demeanour.

‘Oh…it gets better,’ OMalley sniggered. ‘Lorenzo found out about the moneyanddug up somemoredirt on Davies.’

His toned softened. ‘But no, I dont think your husband was aware, at leastnotuntil much later. Perhapsonlyrecently. Charles did payLorenzo enough money to pay offthe blackmail so Davies wouldnt know things had changed.This we discovered in a ledger your husband kept for his own records, not that he actually recorded it as blackmail money. HerecordedCarlos Lorenzo in his last tax records as a business advisor, hence a higher payment.’

Brenda stood andwalkedback and forth, not that there was much room with thefour of them inthe small office. The three officers watched her andwaited.She turned to Hoxley. Her mind went back to the early piece of news that shocked her most.

‘But I hardlyknow Frank. He attended business lunches and dinners with us. I sometimes sat inoccasionalmeetingswhere it involved myowninvestments but other than that, I only knew Frank as Charles lawyer. Why wouldI beattracted to Frank?’ She hugged herselfand grimaced. ‘I doubt I could ever be. Youarekidding.Right?’

Hoxley shook his head slowly. ‘Sorry.They were his words.Iadmitthough, hes one sick man and you haveno way led him on.’He turned to McDougal who had picked up the file on the Asian guy.

‘This Asian character,’ McDougal began, ‘wasone of Davies clients.He was also a client ofCharles’ for a legitimate business. Somehow after a meeting with Charles, Davies and this client, this filegot caught between some of Charles’ own paperwork.When Davies went to work on the file, he couldnt find it andfigured out what must have happened.’

‘So, this file,’ she pointed, ‘is what put Charles and me in danger?’ Brenda asked directly.

‘Yes, and thisis where it gets messy,’ McDougal replied. ‘You seethisclient, Fo-Yong-Ho, is also amember of an Asian drug ring. He had met with Davies before this meeting with Charles; the morning before Charlesmurder.’

McDougal handed Brenda the file page. ‘These numbers indicate names of drug dealers, or rather their code names.’ He walked over in two short steps and stood beside Brenda.He pointed to the third number on the list. ‘This number here for instance:49560HO is Fo-Yong-Hos. Thissignhere,’he pointed toanAsian character symbol before the number, ‘represents what would be the third letter of theiralphabet.Whats so important about the list is that the ASIS (Australia Secret Intelligence Service) would love to get their hands on it, and as soon as we have finished with the murder case, they can have it alongwithFrank Davies.’

‘You mean heson the list?’ Brenda was beginning to understand. She ran her index finger down thepage. ‘71062FB! Youre kidding: number 27. As simple as that? But, does this mean hes just…?’

‘Just a pawn,’ the sergeant finished for her. But a valuable pawntothe ASIS.

Brenda went to the sofa and sat down. With her head bowed slightly she touched herweddingring. She took in a slow deep breath. ‘Look, Im grateful foryou allexplaining all this. It gives me an idea what Charles was dealing with. About Frank I mean.’ Her voice wavered. ‘Its also good to know why Charles died but what Ireallywant to knowiswho killed him. Was it Carlos? Was it Frank? Or… this Fo-Yong-Ho person?’

‘Let me give you the facts about your husband,’ OMalley began. ‘He wasnt perfectly innocent in a few thingsbutif he wasstillalive, he would probably be charged for withholding informationthat wouldhave led to the arrests of Davies and at least a few other names on this list. Also, the fact is he would have known sometime after he employed Lorenzo that he was an illegal resident. For those thingsalonehe may or may not have received much more than an acquitted short term sentence.’ He returned to his chair behind the desk. ‘His gun, as you know, was registered but we’re unsure why it was in his drawer fully loaded.’

Brenda had listened in silence as tears suddenlystreamed uncontrollably down her cheeks. She didnt bother to wipe them away.Had her husband beenacriminal or just plain stupid? The thoughtgnawed ather.

Hoxley came over and sat beside her.As if reading her mind, he said,‘Brenda, the way I see it, the only thing that Charleswas really guiltyof was protecting the woman he loved. He wasnt letting any creep-of-a-lawyer claim you,or his company.’

‘Thats about size of it,’ McDougal conceded.

OMalley cleared his throat and gulped down his cooling coffee. ‘Lets finish this up so Sergeant McDougal can continue his research on thisFo-Yong-Ho character.’

The officers returned to their notes and waited for each other to continue.

Hoxley took the lead. ‘After Davies discovered that the file was missing he told Lorenzo to find it orelsehe would report him to the authorities. Davies informed him that you and Charles would be out most of the night and that he would have plenty of time to search. Fo-Yong-Ho called Davies about 10:00 pmto question him about an error in one of the code numbers. Out ofpanic, Davies told Fo-Yong-Ho that he had hidden it in Charles’ home safe for securityandthathe, Davies,couldretrieve it in the morning. However, when Lorenzo hadn’t reported back to Davies as scheduled he went to the houseto see what was keeping him. Shortly after midnight Davies entered Charles’ home officeby the side door,just as Lorenzo had done earlier.’ Looking up he added, ‘apparently Davies had known about the side door but assumed it was just for Lorenzo.’ Here he paused to flip to the next page. ‘Lorenzo had found the file and realized what it was or, at least he had a fair idea.Davies found him in the process of photocopying the file. He hadnt heard Davies enter, probably because of the noise of the photocopier. Davies struck Lorenzo over the back of the head with the eagle paperweight.’

‘Forensics,’ OMalley interrupted, ‘had discovered some dried blood on the eagle. At first they thought it was Charles’ but until today we really had no idea whose blood it was. When Davies made his statement this morning,forensicspaid a visit to Lorenzo in his cell for a sample.’

‘When Lorenzo regained consciousness,’ Hoxley continued, ‘Davies was sitting in Charles’ chair. Lorenzo was tied up andDavies hadCharles gun pointing at him.’ He looked over to the sergeant.

‘Yes,’ McDougal confirmed. ‘Lorenzo had admitted in a later interview that he had found the gun in Charles’ desk drawer and had been just checking-it-out while the photocopier warmed up. He had placed it on the desk to press the copy button. A silly mistake no matter how you look at it.’

McDougal took a moment to sip his coffee and waited for any questions. When none came, he continued. ‘Lorenzo also told us that Davies forced him to confess everythingincluding details about theledger that he found during his own search of the officeafter rendering him helpless. Davies then gagged Lorenzo andthreatened himto keep quiet.’

When McDougal stopped to take a long drink, Hoxley continued the narrative.

‘Davies decided he would wait for Charles to have it out with him, only he didnt expect the telephone to ring on your arrival.Hepanickedand forced Lorenzo to hide with him behind one of the large double doors he had opened so he would know when you both returned home. Once Charles picked up the phone in the office, Davies waited a few minutes to be sure you had gone upstairs. By that time Davies had figured out it was Fo-Yong-Ho on the phone. Davies said Charles raised his voice at Fo-Yong-Ho telling him that hewould deal with the situationat their nextmeeting. Davies said he was unsure what the conversation was about butfigured Fo-Yong-Ho must haveusedsome weakexcuse to call, perhaps to make a visit himself. We don’t know.’

‘Hang on…’ Brenda interrupted. ‘Back up a bit. This Fo-Yong-Ho, Charleshadno idea that he was a drug dealer. Right?’

‘Fo-Yong-Howas a clientof Charleswitha legitimate jewellery business, which was also acover-up for the drug dealing, buthe usedthefamily company name when dealing with Charles.’ Hoxley checkedhis notes. ‘Minh Nhung’.

‘Davies has confirmed that Charles knew nothing about thedrugdeals,’McDougal added for Brenda’s benefit.

After a quiet minute in thought Brenda nodded for them to continue. She was tired and felt like she had been sucked through an engine of a jet plane but she needed to knowthe restso she could make sense of it all.

OMalleys phone rang before anyone could speak. ‘OMalley. Yes, right. Good job! Thanks.’ He hung up. ‘A highway patrol constable has Fo-Yong-Ho in custody but moreon that later. Were almost done. Continue Hoxley.’

‘According to the telephone company the call lasted no more thana couple ofminutes. Davies confirmed it. When Charles replaced the telephone receiver, he turned to follow you upstairs only he was confronted by Davies who had stepped out from behind the door with Lorenzo held tightly inhis grip and the gun in his free hand. Davies claimed he just wanted to talk. His plan was to take Lorenzo as hostage and leave the country with Fo-Yong-Ho. He told Charles if he called the police or tried to follow, hed have Fo-Yong-Hogetsomeonetokillyou.’ He paused. ‘Davies also told us that he would never have done that and his real plan was to haveyouabducted and take you out of the countrytoo.’

Brenda felt ill and must have looked it. McDougal filled aglasswith water from a jug on O’Malley’s desk and handed it to her. She accepted it with thanks.

Hoxley continued.‘Lorenzo kicked and twisted himself out of Davies’ grip. Charles made a dive for Davies but the gun was by then, aimed at Lorenzo. Charles dived between them as Davies fired, taking the bullet for Lorenzo.Charles apparently died instantly.WhenLorenzo began togagon his own vomit,Davies draggedhimback out the side doorto the garden before he removed the handkerchief fromhis mouth telling him to stay put and keep quiet or he would get a bulletin his head. Davies then went back inside,wiped the gun clean and placed it in Charles hand. He also wiped his prints off the paperweight but missed the blood. Because he was a regular to the room, he didnt bother to clean up too much else. He was so flustered he left the room without the file and the photocopy he had placed on the filing cabinet behind the door when he hid there with Lorenzo. He returned for Lorenzo and left. When he realised his carelessness he sent Lorenzo back to retrieve the file but by that time they had to wait until the forensics had left. He was in the house when Davis took you back to pack a suitcase.’

‘Thinking back on it,’ McDougal added, ‘Davies’ behaviour was meant to be a distraction and probably timed your visit to make sure Lorenzo wasn’t caught. What he didn’t expect was your sensitive nose.’

Brenda took a deep breath. ‘So itwasFrank?’

‘Yes. Davieswas the onewho pulled the trigger that ultimately killed your husband.’ Hoxley walked over and put his hand on her shoulder and sat down. ‘He died saving Carlos life and trying to stop Frank from proceeding with his plans.’

Brenda gave a deep audible sigh. ‘I need to be left alone. Please.’

McDougal and OMalley quietly collected their notebooks and empty coffee cups and left the office.

He stood up. ‘Do you want me to send in Cheryl?’ Hoxley asked.

‘Not yet,’ she replied weakly. ‘Give me half an hour,’ she added. She managed what she hoped was a thankful smile.

He left and closed the door quietly.

In some ways she was relieved; relievedCharlesdidnt suffer. Relieved it was all over. Relieved they had found Fo-Yong-Ho and relieved the law would deal with Frank and Carlos.Yet,a sensation ofunexpected sadness tugged at her.

Carlos was also a victim and almost killed by this lunatic,perhapstrying to save Charles. Her emotions confused her. ‘Oh Charles, why?’ The pain was drowning her. She rested her head on thebackof the sofa. Just as she did, a still small voice spoke within her. ‘Child, lean on me.Cast all your burdens upon me and I will give you rest.’Brenda prayed quietly until the floodgates opened.It seemed to wash all the pain, grief and dread of the past few weeksaway in one cleansing torrent.

The life she and Charles had shared was over but she knew deepdown this was a new beginning. She thanked the Lord forten wonderful years with Charles,her safety and a closure. It was time to move on, on toanew life with her newfound faith in a God who loved her.

THE END

穢 Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in
Christian Reads by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

 

MEMORY OF DREAD Part Five

– a short murder mystery for the Christian reader – Part 5

Time seemed to move in slow motion. Cheryl was chatting away as she busied herself in her kitchen.

Although Brenda had appreciated the conversation, she was way too distracted to comprehend what she was hearing. Her hand was much better after the emergency department treated the burn and re-bandaged it. She smiled briefly as she thought of Peters first-aid efforts.

‘This coffee sure beats the cup Peter brewed at the police station,’ she said when Cheryl came over and sat down opposite of her.

‘Brenda, you need to rest. You really should have some sleep before Peter returns home this evening. Thats your fourth coffee since you’ve arrived. Not that I mind.’ Cheryl sighed. ‘Peter has put your suitcase in the spare room. Why dont I run you a hot bath? You can change into something more comfortable for a nap.Look at yourself. You’ve been in that stiff-tailored suit all day.’ She tugged at the coffee-stained sleeve. ‘Im worried about you, and Peter’s going to be worried too if he sees you like this.’

Brenda put her cup down and reached out to touch Cheryls hand. ‘You two have become good friends. I wish Charles had a chance to meet you.’ She gulped away another threatening sob.

A sympathetic face looked back. ‘If I have to, Ill undress you myself and put you in that tub, then, tuck you into bed…for at least a few hours. Cheryl gently squeezed her hand.‘Im going to pray with you right now.’ She paused. ‘Please. Did you get any sleep at the hotel?’

Brenda couldnt lie. She smiled, awkwardly, and rolled her eyes toward the ceiling before bowing her head while her friend prayed the most beautiful prayer she had ever heard.

Soon she was settled into a hot bath filled with bubbles finally allowing herself to relax. She laid back, closed her eyes, and listened to the CD Cheryl had playing in the next room. The music was soothing and the words were filled with praises and promises from the Psalms. She listened and began to hum along. The tune was one she had heard a long time ago. Peace is flowing like a river, flowing out to you and me…

Later that evening, Brenda felt more relaxed and refreshed. A rest, a good meal and a fresh change of clothes did help. Peter updated her, although there really wasn’t much to tell. They were still clueless, and although a replacement lawyer had been found for Brenda, Frank Davies had not yet found legal assistance. He was being uncooperative.

‘What about the clients file they were trying to find?’ Brenda asked after the brief update.

‘We havent found it. At least nothing that looks suspicious. Theres one thing though. Carlos told OMalley when he was arrested that the gun was on the desk when he was in the house the night of Charles’ death but then he changed his statement and said he didn’t see it. After that, his information was not so forth coming.’

‘So did Carlos kill Charles?’ Brenda persisted.

Peter stifled a yawn. ‘To be honest, I dont think he did, but, if he did, it was by Davis’ instructions…or someone elses’ – if there is a someone else.’ This time he didnt manage to cover his yawn in time and apologised before heading to bed.

Cheryl left a few minutes later but not until Brenda had a private moment to thank her again. Brenda stayed awhile in the living room alone with her thoughts and memories.

The next morning Cheryl accompanied Brenda to the police station at Brendas invitation. It would be a long day for her and she needed a friend around while Peter and OMalley were busy with other things. Cheryl had gone to the kitchen to brew some coffee she had brought from home. O’Malley opened the door and held it open for Cheryl, who followed with two large mugs of steaming coffee.

Once the women were seated on the sofa and OMalley at his desk, OMalley held up a thin manila file folder. ‘We found the file.’ He opened it and pulled out what appeared to be a sheet of ordinary office paper.

‘Is that all there is?’ Brenda asked a little confused.

He stood and leaned over the desk to hand it to her.There appeared to be an Asian name at the top, some contact details, and then a whole lot of figures: mathematical symbols and what looked like serial numbers or possibly invoice numbers.

After she gave it a good look-over she handed it back. ‘Whats it mean?’

‘Im not sure but it was hidden in the lining of Frank Davies briefcase. What I want to know is why someone would want to steal a single sheet of paper from your husband?’He sat down again. ‘And, why would it lead to his death?’ He studied the paper while the women drank their coffee in silence.

Brenda began to pace.After a few minutes she looked at her watch and placed her empty mug in Cheryls hand when she had reached for it. ‘Thanks Cheryl. Im afraid its going to be a bit of a bore for you today.’

Cheryl smiled. ‘Thats all right. Im here if you need me. If you need some space, Ill be in the kitchen.’ She left, closing the door behind her.

OMalley stood up and started to leave. ‘Oh, I almost forgot. We sent the forensic team back out to your house late yesterday with some specific instructions. Once they are through with their examination, our cleaners will be sent in and have it ready for you when this is all over. I hope for your sake that it’ll be soon. Ive taken the liberty of finding you a new lawyer, Cole Webster. We’ll hand over a few of Charles personal files, including his current Will. That’s if you’re happy with Webster.’

Brenda nodded before he continued.

‘There was nothing in your husband’s personal files that could help the investigation. I believe everything was left to you except for a holiday cottage which he left to his brother, Patrick.’

‘Yes, I was aware of that. We discussed it some time ago.’

‘We had the authorities speak with Patrick. Everything was in order.’ He paused. ‘Patrick has offered any assistance if you should need it and sends his condolences. I believe hes been interstate for business trips these past weeks and wasnt even aware of Charles’ death.’

Brendas hand went to her forehead. ‘I hadnt even thought about contacting Patrick. I feel terrible.’

‘Well, its understandable, considering you had been detained, and Davis obviously wasnt doing his job. Anyway, my office is yours for the day. Ill be in and out to update you, and get files as I need them.’

He started to gather a few things from his filing cabinet and desk when they heard a scuffle outside the door.They both watched as Cheryl burst in and placed her back up against the door.

‘I believe that’s Carlos.’ Cheryl pointed over her shoulder. ‘Hes not happy.’

Carlos Lorenzo was causing a commotion in the hallway as officers tried to escort him to the holding cell after yet another interview.

The inspector sighed.‘If he does gets off the murder charge, hell be serving a few years for breaking-and-entering, and stealing before being deported. Our friend Carlos is an illegal immigrant. But right now we need to separate him from Frank Davies. Davies, by the way, will represent himself. He doesnt appear to have too many colleagues that like him. I wonder why?’ He bid farewell to the ladies and left.

Brenda wandered to a small barred window that over looked the parking lot. The bars made her cringe. Would she ever be free of these memories?

The meeting with the new lawyer went well, ending with a promise of a letter going to the magistrate that afternoon to support the new police findings. The letter was roughly drafted for Brenda’s benefit and the Will was read in full. Charles funeral arrangements were discussed and partially organized but a date couldnt be determined until the investigation was over and his body released by the coroner.Cheryl had been there throughout the meeting at Brenda’s request.

After the meeting Brenda wanted to take a walk but she knew, at least for today, would be impossible. Her thoughts involuntarily wondered to the Asian man. Who is he? Where is he? What did he want?

‘Do you have any family of your own, Brenda?’

Brenda felt the urge to hug her friend, so she did. ‘Thanks for being here for me, Cheryl.’ She released her and stepped back to the window. ‘My father passed away after a long painful illness a few months ago. Theres just my mother; I have no siblings. I had finally convinced her to go with a friend on a cruise. She left the day before Charles died. Im glad she did. Im not sure if she could have coped with all this.’She turned to face Cheryl. ‘Anyway, shes due back next week when this will hopefully be all over. I called her on Sunday after you and Peter dropped me back at the hotel. I didnt tell her anything. Just that I missed her…’ She finished and looked down at her feet.

Brenda felt Cheryls arm go round her waist.

This dear friend was a good head and shoulders shorter than Brenda but she had been a tower of support. She rested her head on the top of Cheryls. They stood in silence until a knock came and Peter entered.

‘Im going to get us some lunch. I wont be long.’ He stepped inside and closed the door. ‘Brenda, Franks told us everything. As soon as we get his interview typed up and some legal paperwork done, we can let you know whats going on. We need to find this Asian fellow though.All we have is his name a telephone number in a motel’s reception. Ill be back soon.Well need to start praying.’ He kissed Cheryl’s cheek and left.

Brenda was amazed at this couples faith in God. ‘Cheryl, she said eagerly. ‘I want what you and Peter have. I mean, I need hope and you two seem to have that hope in God. Show me how to get that same faith and assurance you have.’

Cheryls face lit up and she encouraged Brenda to sit and pray with her. ‘This is a big day for you; in more ways than one.’

After they had eaten and the officers and station staff returned to their duties, Brenda returned to the office with OMalley and Peter following close behind. Cheryl stayed to clean up the station’s tiny kitchen.

Once the three were seated, Police Officer Sergeant McDougal, joined them. McDougal gave a preliminary report. Most of it Brenda had already heard, except for some details of her own arrest and interview but she was able to add a few extra details to complete the report.

Constable Peter Hoxley then began his report on Carlos.‘Carlos Lorenzo has been an illegal immigrant of some four years. A year after his arrival, Frank Davies represented Carlos for a minor traffic offense. Davies found out about Lorenzo’s illegal papers and began to blackmail him.’ He placed some notes on OMalleys desk and looked over at Brenda before continuing.‘Basically, Frank used Carlos to do his dirty work.’ He nodded to OMalley to continue.

‘Frank Davies had been working with your husband long before you and he were married…’

‘Yes, I know that.’ Brenda interrupted. ‘What does that have to do with Carlos?’

‘Carlos Lorenzo was hired to spy on you, Brenda.’ He paused to let this newest information sink in. ‘You see, Brenda, Frank Davies says he was in love with you and still is.’

穢 Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in
Christian Reads by Chrissy at Riverside Peace