Blind Acceptance – Book 1
Will Luke accept his son, Phillip’s blindness?
When Phillip is injured in a wagon accident and blinded for life; his father must come to terms with the fact that his only heir will be unable to run his beloved ranch unaided. He struggles to accept his son is still whole; even the beautiful teacher he employs to help Phillip can’t seem to break down Luke’s walls.
Then, without warning, there is an event on the ranch that will change their lives forever.
Received 4 1/2 star review from InD’tale Magazine and Crowned Heart for Excellence – November 2013
…..Phillip rifled through the things his father had stacked in the shed until he finally found his fishing pole.
“Phillip, please hurry up.” Marie snapped impatiently. She knew Jack would be waiting to take them to town.
“I found it, Ma. I’m coming now.” Phillip called over his shoulder as he pulled at his fishing pole. It was wedged under several other objects and as the pole came free they collapsed at his feet and began to spill out of the door.
Phillip put his pole on the ground and began putting things back in the shed.
“Just leave all that Phillip; I’ll help you put it away when we come back.” Phillip ran to his mother and held his pole up proudly. “We’ll have to get some worms, Ma, if we’re gonna catch fish. They’ll be in the mud on the bank. Pa showed me how to get them.”
Marie ignored what he said, took his free hand in hers, and began heading for the trees and the river.
Phillip’s small legs had to run to keep up with his mother’s fast pace. When he stumbled Marie tightened her grip causing him to cry out in pain.
“Ma, I don’t want to go any more. I wanna go back home.” Phillip began crying. He sensed something was wrong. He wanted to return to the comfort of the house and to Miss Meg who he knew he could trust.
Marie finally stopped and glared down at her son in disgust. “Don’t be such a cry baby. We’ll have such fun. Dry your eyes and let’s go.”
She handed Phillip a hankie from her pocket and he swiped at his tears before handing it back. Marie again picked up his hand but this time held it more gently and slowed down her pace.
At the tree line she began looking around for Jack and her head turned from one side to the other.
“Are you searching for someone pretty lady?” Jack stepped out from amongst the trees and he swept Marie into his arms for a kiss.
She pushed at his chest with one hand while she continued to hold Phillip’s hand with the other. She needed Jack to release her.
“What’s wrong my pet?” Jack didn’t like being pushed away and Marie thought he looked almost angry.
“Phillip is here Jack.” She inclined her head to the side to indicate her son who now stood with his mouth open.
Who was this man who was kissing his mother?
Jack crouched in front of Phillip and held out his hand. “Hello Phillip, my name is Mr Wright. I’m a friend of your Ma’s and I thought you might like to go for a ride in my wagon.”
Phillip shied away and hid amongst his mother’s skirts. He didn’t like Mr Wright.
“Phillip, please behave like a proper young man and say hello to Mr Wright.” Marie pulled Phillip out of her skirts with a jerk and stood him in front of her. “Now be a good little man and shake hands”
Phillip heard the threat in her voice. Jack once again held out his hand and Phillip placed his small, trembling hand into it and shook.
“That’s much better.” Marie glanced down at her son with a smile on her face.
“How about that wagon ride Mr Wright offered? I thought we’d spend the night in town and have supper at the hotel”
Marie took Phillip’s hand and began walking towards the tree where she’d hidden their suitcases. When she pointed it out, Jack reached in and pulled a case into each hand before leading the way to where he’d hidden the wagon.
Phillip pulled back on Marie’s hand which only tightened its grip once again.
“Ma, noooo.” he cried as he planted his feet and finally brought his mother to a stop. “We can’t go; I’m going into town with Pa after lunch.”
Marie thought fast. “I left a letter for Pa to meet us at the hotel, now come on.” Phillip began crying as she tugged on his hand and forced him to begin walking.
When he began crying louder Marie hurried to catch up with Jack.
“I’m afraid he’s going to start screaming Jack and with the way sound travels around here Luke is sure to hear him.”
Jack stopped and placed the cases onto the ground. “I don’t know why you insisted on bringing him. What does it matter if he stays at the ranch instead of going to school? Either way you’ll be rid of him.”
He untied his cravat and began moving towards Phillip who started backing away. Jack snaked his arm out and grabbed him around his waist; Phillip began to wriggle and kick. “Hold him still.” Jack snarled as he took hold of Phillips head.
After stuffing part of the cravat into the little boy’s mouth he tied it securely at the back of his head. “If you touch it I’ll cut your fingers off.” Jack threatened before picking up the cases and continuing on.
Phillip sobbed as his mother dragged him on.
She didn’t care.
“Lift him up on the seat while I put the suitcases in the back and for God’s sake make him shut up.”
Phillip clutched hold of his fishing pole with the grip of someone three times his size.
Marie was forced to allow him to keep it as she positioned him onto the centre of the seat.
“Be quiet. Jack will not put up with this behaviour.” She climbed up onto the seat next to her son while Jack climbed up on the other side and took the reins into his hands. He released the brake holding the wheels, turned the horse towards town and, when he made a clicking noise with his tongue, the stallion broke into a canter.
As they travelled further from home Phillip became more distressed and began wriggling around on the seat. “Keep that damn brat still, Marie, he’s going to unsettle the horse and cause an accident.”
Marie reached around Phillip’s shoulders and attempted to calm him. He only became more hysterical and he used as much force as his little body could muster to push his mother away. His strength caught Marie by surprise and she almost slid off the seat and into the dust.
“Phillip, you almost pushed me off and under the wheels.” she screeched as she positioned herself closer to the centre of the seat. She slapped him hard on the arm which only served to make him behave even worse.
Jack could see the stallion had become skittish with Marie’s screeching; with a crack of his whip he urged him to move faster in the hopes it would settle him down.
Phillip continued to wriggle and jump up and down as the wagon thundered along the uneven road. It didn’t matter how much Marie or Jack threatened, he just refused to calm down.
Jack saw Phillip raise his fishing pole above his head in anger but couldn’t react fast enough to stop what happened next.
Phillip brought the pole down on the horses’ rump as hard as he could. The horse whinnied and reared before beginning to run in a frenzied zigzag pattern from one side of the road to the other.
Jack couldn’t bring the huge stallion under control and as the terrified horse galloped flat out; Jack began to panic. He knew their speed along such a rock littered road was dangerous.
It was all he and Marie could do to hold on and Phillip bounced up and down like a ball in between them.
Then it happened – the wagon’s wheels hit a boulder and all three were thrown from the seat high into the air.
The stallion, with the wagon behind, continued to race towards town leaving three broken bodies behind in his wake.
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Blind Achievement – Book 2
Phillip Johnson has been blind since the age of six after sustaining a head injury in a wagon accident. Growing up on a ranch outside of Austin hasn’t been easy for the young man but he has thrived with the loving help of his Step-Mother, Rachel, and the faithful support of his father, Luke. At 18 years old, he has made the decision to head to Macarthur to attend the Wyoming College for the Blind. He plans to study Civil Government Law and Political Economics. It is here that he meets Belinda and he falls deeply in love with her. Belinda hides a dark and dangerous secret. A ruthless man is obsessed with owning her. This threat has the power to ruin their relationship and put their lives in jeopardy. Can they overcome such obstacles and find happiness together?
….Phillip’s first day of classes passed uneventfully but he found his mind wandering to where his family might be. Several times he had to refocus his attention back on his teachers.
He felt bone weary as he traipsed back to his room with Daniel by his side.
“Do you have any assigned work tonight?” Daniel enquired.
Phillip’s arms were full of books and his cane was tucked firmly under his arm.
Daniel gently guided his friend with a nudge to his elbow and verbal commands.
“No, nothing tonight. I think they are giving us time to settle in before assigning us extra work.
“I would appreciate another lesson in Braille if you’re not too tired. It seems the rest of the class is doing better than me and I have some catching up to do.”
“I am planning on an early night but I have time to spend with you first.”
Daniel placed his books on the floor while he unlocked the door to their room. He removed the books from Phillips arms and set them down on his desk. He guided him to a chair at his desk.
After Daniel retrieved his books and closed the door, both boys collapsed onto chairs facing their desks. Phillip ran his hands through his hair. “I’m glad today’s over.”
“Yeah, me too.” Daniel agreed. “They sure keep us busy.”
“At least it all ran smoothly. Thanks for getting me to all my classes on time.”
“It was easier than I thought it was going to be. The teachers’ don’t hold us back because they know a lot of us have to help the blind people move around.”
Daniel rose and headed for a pitcher of water that stood on the chest of drawers. “Glass of water?”
Daniel placed the glass on Phillip’s desk.
“I wonder how everyone is. They should be halfway back to the ranch by now.”
“You’re gonna miss them a lot aren’t you?”
“Yeah. I have relied on them for so much over the years. It seems strange not having them near me. I will miss my long talks with Pa, Ma’s encouragement and hugs. Not to mention her cooking.”
“It will get easier with time and classes will help keep your mind busy.”
“I sure hope so. Let’s get into your lesson before I fall asleep sitting here. I’m sure weary.”
Daniel shimmied his chair closer to Phillip and placed his writing materials on the desk in front of them.
Six months had passed and Phillip was thoroughly miserable. Teachers favoured him for his good nature and excellent grades while other students taunted him mercilessly for it. He thanked the Lord daily for his friendship with Daniel. Without him school would be unbearable and he would be on the next train back to the ranch.
He was now familiar with the classrooms and labyrinth of hallways so he was able to get around if Daniel was required elsewhere.
It had been a long day and he tapped his way back to his room. He was startled from his thoughts by an ear piercing scream. Coming to an abrupt stop he listened. Sounds of a scuffle and banging came from what he knew was a classroom ahead. He approached and threw open the door without hesitation.
“What the hell? Get out!” a gruff voice bellowed.
“Please help me.” A girl’s agonized plea tore at his heart.
“What’s going on?” Phillip demanded to know.
“None of your damned business, half-wit. Get out.” Phillip could not place the voice.
“Let me go,” she screamed again.
“Let the young lady go.” Phillip said angrily. “Come here to me Miss.”
He could hear her struggling to get free.
“I have asked you to let her go. I will not ask again.” Phillip loaded his voice with menace.
The man guffawed. “Do you really think a blindy like you can stop me?”
Phillip used the man’s voice to help him move closer.
The girl took advantage of her captor being distracted and bit down hard on his arm. He yelped with pain, and she wrenched free of his grip and launched herself into Phillip’s arms.
The air rushed from his lungs as she collided with his chest. He wrapped his arm protectively around her trembling body as she sobbed into his shirt.
Phillip lifted his cane as a warning for the man not to approach. “I am taking her to speak with Mr Carver. I expect he will also want to speak with you.”
The girl in his arms continued to tremble and sob.
“Come with me. We’ll ensure this never happens again,” he told the girl gently.
She moved from his grasp and wiped the tears from her eyes. Mr Collins, I will make you sorry for this,” she promised bravely.
“As if Mr Carver would believe you over a teacher he respects and trusts. I will tell him you made advances towards me,” he snarled.
The girl grasped hold of Phillip’s hand. Her obvious terror fired his anger.
“You forget, sir. I was here.”
“You’re blind,” he sneered. “How would you know what was happening?”
“A girl doesn’t scream like that if she is a willing participant.” Phillip tightened his hold on her hand and pulled her from the room.
“We will check Mr Carver’s office first. He often works late so he may not have gone down to his cottage yet.” Phillip led her back down the hall he had just come from.
“What is your name?” he asked.
“I’m Belinda. Thank you for rescuing me.”
“My name is Phillip and you are welcome. I’m just happy I came along when I did. What happened?”
“I was on my way back to my room after delivering some papers to a student. He grabbed me as I passed the classroom. He said he had been watching me and knew I wanted his body.” She shuddered and burst into tears.
Phillip stopped and pulled her into his arms. She buried her head into his chest as she shivered and cried.
He ran his hand gently over her back in an attempt to soothe her. He could smell the subtle perfume of her hair and skin, lavender perhaps?
“What’s going on out here?” Mr Carver growled from his office door up ahead.
Belinda stepped back and Mr Carver noticed her red, teary face. “Belinda, what’s wrong?” he asked as he rushed towards the young couple.
“We need to speak with you, sir.” Belinda squeezed Phillip’s hand tight as he spoke.
“Come into my office.” He led the way in before closing the door.
Belinda led Phillip to a chair facing the desk. Once he was seated she sat in the chair next to him and clutched at his arm. He ran his thumb over the back of her hand in an effort to reassure her.
“Explain to me what’s happened. You’re as white as a ghost, Belinda and I can see you shaking from here.”
“I was coming down the hall after delivering some papers to a student when Mr Collins dragged me into his office. H….he made improper advances and I couldn’t get away.” She withdrew her hand from Phillips, lowered her head into her hands and sobbed.
“I can see how distressed she is but what do you have to do with all of this, Phillip?”
“I was on my way back to my room when I heard her scream. I entered the room and confronted Mr Collins. He eventually let her go. We came straight to you here, sir.”
Belinda lifted her head and swiped at her tears with the sleeve of her dress. “He only let me go because I bit him.”
She watched as Mr Carver’s face darkened with shock and fury.
“I’m very sorry, Belinda. I have suspected impropriety from Mr Collins before but we were unable to prove anything. I assure you he will be dismissed immediately.”
“Thank you, sir. I will see Belinda back to her room if you don’t mind.” Phillip stood and she slipped her hand trustingly into his and it felt good.
“I think a cup of tea may be in order first. Take her down to the dining room and tell the staff I sent you. I will deal with Mr Collins immediately.”
“I will and thank you again, sir.”
“Thank you.” Belinda murmured.
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Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00GW5NCMK