DSPP author Greg Hogben has a new spiritual/paranormal book out:
Has a gay man been chosen to raise the Daughter of God? Or is Adam Goodwin’s adopted daughter plagued by a benevolent delusion that threatens to undermine her global campaign for women’s rights?
From the moment Adam Goodwin discovered baby Sera abandoned in Grand Central Station, they shared an unexplainable bond. Sera grows into a compassionate and charismatic young woman, despite Adam’s worries that she may have difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality. Does her hypersensitivity to the suffering of others show compassion—or troubling obsession?
Adam channels Sera’s growing fixation on gender inequality into uniting her army of social media followers to battle the worldwide oppression of women. But the encouragement he hoped would alleviate the symptoms of a possible mental illness only appear to make matters worse. The stress and success of her crusade seem to have brought on a mental break when she confides that she believes she is the female Messiah, sent to redress the injustices women face.
With enemies of her cause multiplying, Adam must protect Sera from the threats they pose—and from the threat she may pose to herself.
THE TRAIN journey from Buffalo was almost unbearable. Every rumble of the tracks made me nauseous as it carried me home to New York City. I’d spent the journey replaying the last moments of Michael’s life over and over in my head.
I was jolted back to reality as the train’s engines slowed. The people around me gathered their belongings and stood as the train arrived at our destination. Within minutes of the doors opening, every passenger had disembarked except me. A conductor called for me to exit the train as he walked through the carriages to check for stragglers, but I didn’t move. He turned, aware I hadn’t responded to his barked order. He must have seen the sorrow on my face.
“Sir, I’m sorry, but we’ve reached Grand Central Station,” he said, more kindly. “This is our last stop, so I’m afraid I have to ask you to make your way to the terminal.”
As I reached for my bag and felt how light it was, another punch of grief hit me. Michael’s ashes were gone, left in Buffalo in the care of his mom and dad.
I made my way from the platform through the concourse of Grand Central Station. Nothing but my mind’s darkness guided me down the stairs and onto the subway platform with a determination that both frightened and calmed me. Soon this desperate feeling would be gone and I’d be free of the pain.
A small bead of summer sweat ran down my back as I bowed my head and stared at the bare subway tracks. I shifted my weight from foot to foot and felt the raised dots on the yellow line that warned of the platform’s edge. They pressed into the soles of my shoes when the ground trembled as a train on the platform behind me rushed into the station. If I’d gone to that side first, it would already be over. But out of habit, I’d headed to the platform where the Number 6 train would usually take me to the City Hall stop near my home on the Lower East Side.
From the corner of my eye, I could see the first haze of yellow light growing wider in the tunnel and realized my position on the platform was wrong. I was in the middle when I should have been closer to the end where the train would appear. If the driver saw me and applied the brakes, the train might not be going fast enough for the impact to kill me instantly. I might experience the whole thing in slow motion before the weight of the front carriage crushed me. The light vibrations on the platform became tremors. The shiver in my body turned into a violent shake as I felt the warm, stale air pushing toward me from the tunnel by the oncoming train.
Just one step, Adam. That’s all.
The ice in my knees cracked as my legs began to move. My eyes darted between the finality of the oncoming train and the safety of the exit. For a split second, I didn’t know which way my legs would carry me, but my turning foot gave away its intention. I rushed back up the stairs and into the concourse of Grand Central Station before my mind sank into darkness again.
The late afternoon daylight shone through the cathedral-style windows, illuminating and side-blinding people as they made their way out of the terminal. The brightness gave me an excuse to dip my head and look at the ground as I made my way across the hall and toward the Forty-Second Street exit, where I could hail a cab. Echoes of hundreds of conversations, raggedy wheels on old suitcases rolling across smooth tiles, spinning flaps on the constantly changing destinations board, and the general chaos of a Friday afternoon in New York’s busiest train station all blended in my ears, a steady roll of commuter thunder.
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Greg Hogben is a British author based in Washington, DC. Greg is a human rights advocate with a particular focus on raising awareness of worldwide women’s rights and LGBT equality.