But instead of the afterlife,the twentysomething man has undergone experimental and been given a new face along with a new identity.
Even though he has moved on from Boston to St. Louis to start a new life,the scars of Dean’s past still plague him on a daily basis.
This is because Dean-apart from inheriting a once in a lifetime sporting talent-was born with a rare facial defect that lead to him being shunned by his own family;whilst the less sympathetic elements had belittled and humiliated the young man since the commencement of his schooling years.
As he reacquaints himself with a world that only ever treated him like dirt,Dean’s only mission in life is to defeat a sporting challenge that his famous-and heartless-father has created.
Then he meets a 4 year old girl by the name of Kaitlyn Gould.
Dean soon learns that Kaitlyn is the product of a gang rape that had been inflicted upon her mother Sarah.
Her mind all but shattered after being kidnapped and assaulted for the better part of a month,all that Sarah Gould can see in her daughter is an horrific memory.As a result,the troubled woman fights a losing battle to actually display the love that she feels for her offspring.
As an unlikely friendship between the neglected child and Dean begins to blossom into a father and daughter type of bond,the young man finds himself thrust headfirst into the middle of Sarah’s internal struggles.
What Dean does not count on feeling is anything but sympathy for Sarah as he attempts to bring mother and daughter closer together.Yet throughout the screaming fits,the violence and general unpleasantness directed towards him by the man hating,Dean Helmsley finds himself falling for the young mother.
Little does Dean know that Sarah is also starting to feel something for him in spite of her belief that all men are scum.
Meanwhile,Kaitlyn is desperately hoping that her mother and Dean will get together so that the little girl can finally have the family she always wanted.
Unfortunately,due to a nasty side effect of his experimental surgery,the best thing that Dean can do for Sarah and Kaitlyn is just walk away…
But how do you say goodbye to the woman that you are falling in love with?
And how do you break the heart of a child that you love more than life itself?
This is a tale of love,revenge and forgiveness;as told through the eyes of 2 damaged people and an innocent young girl looking for happily ever after.
Targeted Age Group:: 20 and up
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I combined my insecurities with how the world perceives me along with the life of a woman impregnated by sexual assault and the strained relationship that she has with her little child and brought these 3 people together to see what would happen.
Basically,this book is a result of my mind wandering and coming up with a plot that I could use.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I thought about the kind of man I would like to be for my lead male character.
The little girl in this story is just basically the kind of child I would like to raise.
The lead woman’s character was derived from a movie I saw about a gang rape.
I just continued on with her story;but added the dilemma of becoming pregnant.
A hot day baked Southern Missouri in an early September heatwave.
But such weather had not stopped Sarah Gould from taking off on another journey of exploration since the dark haired 19-year-old had purchased her first car only a month prior.
Unfortunately,what had started out as a voyage of discovery had come to a grinding halt thanks to Sarah’s means of transportation breaking down on the outskirts of what appeared to be a ghost town.
Uncertain of what to do after discovering that her cell phone had no reception,thoughts of murderous carnivores and serial killers lurking in the shadows began to crawl their way into Sarah’s overactive imagination.With such unsettling scenarios now firmly entrenched within the thinking process of someone whom had designs on one day becoming an author,Sarah had decided to wait within the safety of her car in the hope that a similarly adventurous soul would stop by to offer some assistance.
Whilst Sarah sat there anxiously tapping her dashboard,she wished more than anything that her long time boyfriend Sam had decided not to work an extra shift today at the local cinema in order to supplement his minor salary as a first year apprentice mechanic.Although Sarah would have loved the company anyway,the presence of Sam’s knowledge of cars right about now most definately would have been appreciated even more than his sense of humour and interesting view of the world.
Whether or not the teenage girl would have welcomed the presence of the gun that her boyfriend owned,even in the quandary that Sarah now found herself in,was another story.
Plus Sarah could already hear the lecture that her father would no doubt give her about travelling alone once she finally arrived back home in St. Louis.
About 2 hours later,as the September afternoon shadows were growing long and menacing,help had seemingly arrived in the form of a patrol car.
Sarah’s joy at finally seeing a way out of her predicament soon turned to horror when she was handcuffed and forced into the back seat of the patrol car after having been arrested for loitering by the Sheriff of a nearby municipality.
But instead of being driven to a Police Station,a worried Sarah was taken to what appeared to be an abandoned building near the centre of town.
Yet this structure was anything but bereft of inhabitants.
For Sarah was soon to discover that it housed 3 escaped prisoners that she was about to be handed over to as a gift for services rendered.
Unable to fight off the combined strength of 4 men,Sarah soon found herself handcuffed to a single bed inside of what appeared to be a warehouse.
As she lay there struggling to extricate herself from being gang raped,the reality of what lay in store for the teenager hit home with a horrifying clarity.
“Please stop!”a petrified Sarah cried as her clothes were ripped free by 2 savage-looking men in their early thirties.”I’m begging you!”
“Stop your whining you little slut!”hissed an obese,bearded man in his forties whom completed the triumvirate of escaped prisoners.
“God help me!”the young woman screamed before the assault began shortly thereafter.
Bradford Sporting Goods.
One of a chain of sports store franchises developed by the former All Star pitcher Tom Bradford,this particular part of the Bradford empire was more family run than most,being that it was situated within less than a 20 minute driving distance from the Bradford residence.
Just like any other sporting goods business of its type,Tom Bradford’s chain of stores catered for everything the sports lover desired,no matter what particular activity that might be.
Yet the reason why the former Major Leaguer had made a fortune from his business enterprise was because he did not charge an exhorbitant amount for his products and had come up with a variety of promotional activities that involved many a prize and many a good time for the paying public.
Theme nights were a regular occurrence;with 5 dollars granting a person entrance to a cinematic-style viewing of any number of major sporting events,whilst the best dressed left with a $100 gift voucher.The store had been designed in such a way that allowed this to happen with a minimum of fuss.
Tom Bradford had also leant his name to a special challenge that drew in its fair share of revenue.
This specific trial revolved around striking out a computerised opponent that had the skills of an all star only with the use of a fast ball for the chance to win the very generous prize of 1 million dollars,which had been put up by Tom Bradford himself.
It had begun as a simple contest designed with the public in mind during all star weekend in Tom’s Boston store.
Nevertheless,the chance at a million dollars soon had what would become known as The Tom Bradford All Star Challenge spreading across the nation,with many a business keen to cash in on the 5 dollar entry fee,to which they provided a percentage of the takings back to Tom himself.
Yet this was no ordinary competition.
For,in order to win the 1 million dollars on offer,a person would first have to strike out said opponent in places ranging from sporting goods stores to video games arcades to actual stands in ballparks.Should anyone get past this stage,the local team was more than willing to play host to the final challenge,which involved a person being able to strike out 3 computerised batters in a row.
Eventually,though,this little competition had even found a permanent spot during the All-Star Weekend festivities as every pitcher chosen for both leagues was given a shot at defeating the computerised opponent.Still,no matter the skill level of those involved,the Tom Bradford All Star Challenge had remained undefeated.
As such,the popularity of The Tom Bradford All Star Challenge would continue to entice would-be millionaires until somebody actually succeeded.
Apart from his challenge that was bringing in money by the truckload,Tom Bradford was a well known sporting figure and celebrity in his home town.As a result,Tom Bradford had no trouble enticing both the current and former sporting elite to pay his store a visit to boost sales.
These were just part of the many and varied things that Tom Bradford had learned from attending business school following the completion of his baseball career.Tom had also made himself some powerful friends in the business world that were only too keen to pass on their knowledge to the famed baseball star in return for some public appearances.
The Bradford Sporting Goods store in Boston had been set up as a kind of tribute to the local area’s sporting franchises,as the owner had insisted upon putting up huge posters showing off the greatest moments in Boston sporting history.As such,customers were not just treated to great sporting apparell and merchandise;but they were also transported into almost a museum of sorts.
Because of the store being so close to the Bradford family,most of the clan worked shifts during the week.
But there was only one family member whom had decided to make a career out of Tom Bradford’s creation,and that was his son Kurt.
A tall man in his early twenties with a hairstyle akin to that of a 1980’s rock star,Kurt Bradford had been left in charge of the receiving dock at the back of the store.
Right at this moment in time,Kurt Bradford was occupying some down time by tossing a few fast balls.
Himself a gifted athlete just like his father,Kurt Bradford had fashioned a pitcher’s mound in the docking area for times such as now.In order to prevent Kurt’s pitches from damaging his father’s store,20 feet of protective netting had been placed against the shed door at the establishment’s rear.
It was a cool September day in Boston,but the shed that Kurt worked in had to be air conditioned all year round so as not to be turned into a sauna.
Still,as he set himself for the next delivery,Kurt was already sweating like he had just run a marathon on the sun.Nevertheless,the loss of water from his body did not hinder Kurt’s ability to send forth a rocket of a pitch that broke the local speed limit.
As usual,the baseball tore through the air at a rate faster than most people could only dream of being able to produce before crashing into the protective netting.
With that particular pitch being air-mailed into the protective netting,Kurt’s little session was over.
Yet it would not be the final pitch of the day for the young man with the cannon arm,as Kurt always had a go his father’s All Star Challenge after the store had closed for the day.
For if he achieved nothing else in life,Kurt Bradford was determined to defeat what everybody else had labelled an unbeatable opponent.As time went on and Kurt inched ever closer towards his goal,it seemed like only death would prevent the younger Bradford from besting his father’s conception.
Once he had completed his pitching,Kurt soon grabbed a towel and wiped over his face,which was now drenched in sweat.
So far the workday had been a quiet one involving mainly cleaning the entire stock room,which also included the loathesome task of maintaining the staff toilets.Plus Kurt had been tasked with reorganising the innumerable rows of existing stock to make room for a whole host of new sporting apparell and equipment that would be arriving later in the day.It had not been an easy task,as Kurt had been hard pressed to find a way of fitting so much merchandise into the allocated shelving space,which took up more than half the stock room area.
Yet that exercise had been completed roughly 30 minutes before Kurt’s scheduled lunch break;although being the stock manager,Kurt was able to take his breaks whenever he felt like it.
Working a full time schedule and being more than adequate at his vocation,Kurt was earning for himself a solid paycheck.
As a result,things were more than adequate for the young man from the town of Notsew financially;especially since he still lived at home and did not have to pay any rent.
Yet Kurt Bradford was anything but a happy and contented young man.
For an inoperable birth defect known as Craniofrontonasal Dysplasia had left Kurt with a horribly distorted and deformed face that had seen him become the object of either ridicule or fear throughout his schooling years.
This was a condition that Kurt had inherited from his mother Stacey due to mutations in her Ephrin-B1 gene.The severness of Kurt’s facial malformation was even more rare considering that his condition was usually more prevalent amongst females.Yet Kurt’s older sister Jordana had been spared any such abnormalities,whilst Stacey herself had been able to manage her symptons through surgical procedures.
Although surgeries had also been performed on Kurt’s face,the cosmetic repairs had been somewhat limited.
Thus,Kurt had been forced to face the world with features that did not go unnoticed by the general public.
Whilst the majority of people felt sympathy for Kurt’s plight,it was the less compassionate element that had destroyed the young man’s self esteem and had led him into a mostly negative mindset.
The online community was especially nasty as,after a photo of Kurt had found its way onto the internet,the comments section had been flooded with a variety of both encouraging and discouraging remarks.
Yet it was the negative responses that had really hurt the young man’s self pride,as Kurt Bradford had found himself reading observations such as:
-Are you a monster?
-I’d kill myself if I was you!
-You should find a cave buddy before you scare everyone!
But that was nothing compared to the hell that Kurt had to endure in person.
For if the more insensitive people out there weren’t calling Kurt names from passing vehicles,the more distasteful members of society would either dare their friends to kiss or spend some time with Kurt in order to see who could get with the most unattractive person in Boston.
One young lady that Kurt had desired since childhood had actually been audacious enough to proclaim herself his girlfriend for a week as a joke.
To say that the actions of an immature girl hurt the young man’s feelings would be a gross understatement;for Kurt had always hoped that one day he would meet someone that could look past his physical shortcomings and see the person inside.
Whilst Kurt Bradford was beginning to view the female population as his enemy,the eternal optimist inside of the young man still clung to the belief that love would find him one day.
A real low point for Kurt Bradford came when he had burst into tears in front of his entire classroom as a result of someone donning a mask of him for Halloween.That night,a depressed Kurt had started to cut himself in order to end his life before backing out.
Such cruel pranks were a regular occurrence during Kurt Bradford’s High School years.
Because of the torment and teasing that Kurt had endured during school,the young man was loathe to venture outside the safe confines of his bedroom unless he had to.
When Kurt actually did decide to go out in public he only did so with his face partially obscured by a long mop of dark brown hair and a hooded sweater that would be worn on even the hottest of summer days.
Thankfully,for every one of those pathetic excuses for human beings intent upon mocking him,there were a million more kind-hearted people encouraging Kurt to hold his head high and steer clear of the immature and superficial beings that were controlled by the media.
This goodwill,however,did not extend to Kurt’s own family.
For even Kurt’s superficial parents,whom had both been blessed with model good looks and were featured on more than one magazine cover back in their younger years,had always felt embarrassment instead of a sympathy towards their son’s looks.
Dean found his mother’s attitude towards him to be especially hypocritical considering that she had been born with only slight deformities.Unlike her son,all of Stacey Bradford’s abnormalities had been fixed by the time she had started her schooling.
The relationship between mother and son,which had never been a healthy one since Stacey had first looked upon her deformed child,had been all but extinguished because of an incident that occurred when Kurt was barely out of diapers.
As far as Kurt’s association with his father was concerned,Tom Bradford viewed his only male offspring as a weak minded individual content to let the world walk all over him.This was solely due to the fact that Kurt had allowed his face to get in the way of a potential career in baseball.
Although slightly ashamed of Kurt because of his looks,Tom Bradford knew that his boy had the talent to be a success in the big leagues.
But after countless years of being made fun of by the other kids,Kurt wanted nothing to do with being a part of any group;despite the fact that the young man loved the game of baseball more than anything else and constantly dreamed of winning the game’s highest prize.
Yet since the age of 10,Kurt Bradford had been content to watch life pass by within the sanctity of his own bedroom;a place in which nobody could judge or ridicule him.
Unable to prevent his son from basically hiding away from the world,all that a frustrated Tom Bradford could do was sit back and watch Kurt’s potential waste away.
Eventually,a bitter argument had erupted between a 12-year-old Kurt and his father Tom after the younger Bradford had refused to take part in a baseball camp.Following a screaming match between father and son,Tom had grabbed Kurt by the throat and pronounced his offspring as not being worthy of the Bradford name.
With tensions running high in the Bradford household,it was decided that Kurt would be better off spending that summer at his grandparent’s place in St. Louis.
This proved to be a good move for Kurt,whom was not pressured into anything by his more sympathetic elders.
Without any demands placed upon him by his grandparents,Kurt was able to play pitch and catch with his father’s father and not worry about mention being made about baseball becoming a potential career.
They even went to a few ballgames.
But that soon stopped when,after the local team had hit a home run,an exuberant Kurt had went to high five the person next to him,only to have that person pull away in horror.
Apart from that,and some other cruel jokes played upon him by a couple of teenage girls,Kurt had such a good time with his grandparents that he spent every summer henceforth in St. Louis until they passed away.
By comparison,though,life in St. Louis was a far easier proposition for Kurt Bradford then it was back home in Boston.
As a result,an alienated Kurt basically became a hermit by spending every spare second in his room either playing video games,watching sport on television or simply escaping the harsh world by day dreaming about what it would be like to be normal.
By letting his mind drift off into a fantasyland,Kurt Bradford discovered that he had a talent for making up stories. So whenever an entertaining scenario was conceived,Kurt would take notes inside of a binder that he dubbed:STORY IDEAS.
Kurt Bradford was soon to learn that thinking up an idea and actually making a proper story out of it were 2 completely different tasks.
Although Kurt was too afraid to attend College,his inability to formulate a meaningful tale had led to the young man developing his skills through an online creative writing course.
Once he had graduated said curriculum,Kurt wasted little time in looking through all of his notes before settling on an idea for a story that he believed would be good enough to earn himself some money;even though he had been warned about putting together a yarn with strictly financial reward in mind.
Being nowhere near as financially plentiful as his father and not wanting to borrow any money to self publish,Kurt was able to discover a major shopping website that allowed authors the world over to publish their works for a portion of the profits.
By now,Kurt had completed his first novel and,following the guidelines set forth by the website he had chosen to publish on,Kurt was able get his first adventure distributed online for free in return for going halves in any sales he made.
This was a proud moment for the then 19-year-old Kurt,whom was keen to share the accomplishment with the rest of his family.
Not surprisingly,Kurt’s achievement received a lukewarm reception from the rest of the Bradford clan.
Tom Bradford himself failed to even recognise that his son had put his ideas online,as he believed that Kurt was wasting his time making up stories when he should be concentrating on becoming a big league pitcher.
Knowing that it would take time and practice to make enough money to support himself as a writer,Kurt Bradford had elected to join the workforce.
But with his face horrifying most interviewers,Kurt had found the task of securing employment an impossible one.
Financially,Kurt’s failure to gain himself employment was not the end of the world;for his parents would always support their son no matter what as they had more than enough to get by.Plus Kurt used most of his spare time to foster another story idea into something that could be issued to the public.
Still,a proud Kurt Bradford refused to give up on finding paid work whilst he developed his writing skills.
Eventually,after what had seemed like a thousand rejections for even the most menial of positions,Kurt had been offered a job at the local branch of Tom Bradford Sporting Goods.
Keeping in mind his son’s facial deformity,Tom had found a position that would allow Kurt to work in solitude and not have to deal with the stares and glares of the many and varied customers that came through every day.
Knowing that it was probably the best offer he was going to receive to make his own money,even if he was basically selling his soul in order to work for his father,Kurt accepted.
So Kurt Bradford had been put in charge of receiving and processing all of the new stock that arrived in the shed at the rear of Tom Bradford’s Sporting Goods;which sat in the center of Notsew in Boston’s west.
As soon as he had started working for his father’s sporting goods store,Kurt had been drawn towards the Tom Bradford All Star Challenge.
Having worked up an appetite through his pitching,Kurt had just started his lunch break.
Knowing that he would have to make his way outside to the shopping mall that sat directly across the road from Bradford Sporting Goods,Kurt was already dreading the trip.
“Might as well get it over with,”Kurt mumbled whilst donning his usual hooded sweatshirt.
Kurt,keeping a low profile as he walked,then made his way through the sporting goods store.
Being a Saturday,it was a fairly busy day of trading with customers scattered throughout the entire store.
Yet these people were too engrossed with their items of interest to pay Kurt any attention.
Because the rest of his family only worked from Monday through Friday,Kurt was the only member of the Bradford clan on this particular day.Thus today’s shift was even more uncomfortable than usual as,even though Kurt loathed his own family,he hated being around strangers even more.
The other staff members rostered on today were cordial to Kurt,but he knew that they spoke about him behind his back.
However,there was one young woman whom actually treated him like a human being.
Her name was Julie and she had been a member of the graduating class at Kurt’s High School a year after he had completed his own secondary commitments.
Kurt was smitten with Julie,but had convinced himself that the tall,curvy blonde would never be able to see past his deformities.
So all Kurt could do was daydream about what life would be like with Julie on his arm as he approached her.
“Hi Kurt,”Julie smiled from her register as he walked by.
“Hi Julie,”Kurt managed to utter at barely above a whisper before heading out into the world.
Once he had made his way across the busy street and into the mall,Kurt Bradford was greeted by the sight of an oversized hallway of modern design filled with young and old heading in what appeared to be a million different directions at a leisurely pace;some of which were either pushing along shopping trolleys or giving their arms a workout under the strain of shopping bags filled to breaking point.
Meanwhile,others were yet to part with their money.
Amidst the galaxy of people,Kurt listened in to the public announce system as it advertised an Autumn sale before being drowned out by the raucous laughter of a group of teenage boys passing by after having found something to be hilarious.
Walking through the mall during lunchtime on the weekend was like navigating a minefield for Kurt Bradford.
For not only was this place of consumerism a lot busier with all of the families around doing their shopping.
Rather,Kurt hated seeing so many kids lurking;as they were more than likely to point him out to their families or even make some disparaging comment to amuse their friends.
Teenagers,especially the immature ones that would snicker out loud as he walked past,were an even bigger pain to Kurt.
Plus,being the son of a famous athlete,everyone knew who Kurt was and could not help but stop and stare at the malformed offspring of a local hero.
Yet Kurt did not look upon his father in such a reverential light;although it would be a lie to say that he was not jealous of the heroic status that the people of Boston had bestowed upon the man whom had all but abandoned him as a father.
Still,Kurt kept his head down as he proceeded down the mall through a never ending barrage of perfume and aftershave,in the process avoiding the looks being directed at him whilst he power-walked towards the food court and his ultimate destination:a fast food joint called Trozburgers.
Serving everything that was bad for you,Trozburgers had become the number choice of fast food for Kurt Bradford since he had given up on becoming a sports star.
Most of the time,Kurt would order food from Trozburgers during the week when the older crew were on.
But because he had slept in after a late night spent writing and had not given himself enough time to whip up lunch from home,Kurt was forced to make the trek to Trozburgers on a Saturday.
As soon as it was his turn to be served,Kurt looked down from his vantage point of 6 feet and 4 inches and was disappointed,but not shocked,to see the teenage girl that was about to take his order flinch in fright.
Once his request had been placed,Kurt noticed the girl say something to the young kids out the back.
They all stopped and took a good look at Kurt before cracking up laughing at his misfortune.
Try being me,Kurt thought as embarrassment and shame swept through him.
Knowing that it was not worth focussing his energy on the immature acts of stupid young kids,Kurt decided to look up at the huge televsion screen in the middle of the food court.
Right at this moment in time,Kurt used all of his powers of concentration to read the scroll featured at the bottom of the screen as he found himself learning about the increased chances of tornadoes in southern Missouri over the coming months.
Why can’t they come here and blow these little shits away?Kurt smiled as he took another gaze at the kids that had been making fun of his looks.Meanwhile,a mental image of an F-5 tornado spewing out little smart asses soon regaled the wild imagination of the online author.
Perhaps I can use that in a book one day,Kurt thought.
The laughter soon stopped when one of the managers came out to the kitchen and told everyone to grow up before flashing Kurt with an apologetic smile.
Once he had gathered his lunch for the day,Kurt wasted little time in returning to Bradford Sporting Goods.
Yet the laughter that had been directed Kurt’s way at Trozburgers was still enough to ruin the rest of his day.
For,whenever Kurt found his looks being made fun of,the young man always obsessed about those that made him feel like less of a human being for hours on end.
The mood that Kurt had talked himself into was still prevalent at the end of the day when he was left alone on the store after everyone else had gone home for the evening.
Even though he was anything but happy,Kurt Bradford still fired up The Tom Bradford All Star Challenge and took his best shot.
I am a 40 something kid who still likes to play video games and is blessed/cursed with a sarcastic sense of humour along with a vivid imagination.
My hobbies also include long walks,reading,going to the movies and watching most of the major sports.
I live in Australia on the beautiful Gold Coast and overlook the ocean from work.
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