AuthorsDen.com   Join (Free!) | Login  

     Popular! Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry
   Services MarketPlace (Free to post!)
Where Authors and Readers come together!

SIGNED BOOKS    AUTHORS    eBOOKS new!     BOOKS    STORIES    ARTICLES    POETRY    BLOGS    NEWS    EVENTS    VIDEOS    GOLD    SUCCESS    TESTIMONIALS

Featured Authors:  Dietmar Rothe, iMarsha Cook, iM. Pritchard, iLannah Sawers-Diggins, iM. R. Mathias, iGracie McKeever, iRonald Yates, i

  Home > Literary Fiction > Books Popular: Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry     

Robert Hammond

· Become a Fan
· Contact me
· Books
· News
· 3 Titles
· Add to My Library
· Share with Friends!
·
Member Since: Apr, 2007

Robert Hammond, click here to update your pages on AuthorsDen.


Grace Period: The Awakening of Abel Adams
by Robert Hammond   

Share this with your friends on FaceBook
Books by Robert Hammond
· Ready When You Are: Cecil B. DeMille's Ten Commandments for Success
· Identity Theft: How to Protect Your Most Valuable Asset
                >> View all

Category: 

Literary Fiction

Publisher:  Xulon Press Type: 
Pages: 

240

Copyright:  April 7, 2007 ISBN-13:  9781602663534
Fiction

Seeking freedom, love, and easy money, Abel Adams discovers a dark world of delusion, drugs, and self-destruction. His mysterious journey leads him through a labyrinth of crime, cults, and incarceration. Betrayals, beatings, and brutal prisons, drive him to death's doorstep. Will Abel find deliverance before time runs out? Who can save him from himself? GRACE PERIOD: THE AWAKENING OF ABEL ADAMS will fulfill your longing to rise above impossible circumstances, to witness the triumph of truth over falsehood, to rejoice in the discovery of love through the power of faith. Pilgrim's Progress meets Heart of Darkness as Grace Period traces a prodigal son's allegorical passage from addiction to freedom. From the secret world of satanic cults and shooting galleries to healed relationships and a renewed sense of purpose, the spiritual awakening of an earthly soul who, searching for himself came face to face with God. You'll love it. Guaranteed.

Grace Period: The Awakening of Abel Adams


Seeking freedom, love, and easy money, Abel Adams discovers a dark world of delusion, drugs, and self-destruction. His mysterious journey leads him through a labyrinth of crime, cults, and incarceration. Betrayals, beatings, and brutal prisons, drive him to death's doorstep. Will Abel find deliverance before time runs out? Who can save him from himself? GRACE PERIOD: THE AWAKENING OF ABEL ADAMS will fulfill your longing to rise above impossible circumstances, to witness the triumph of truth over falsehood, to rejoice in the discovery of love through the power of faith. Pilgrim's Progress meets Heart of Darkness as Grace Period traces a prodigal son's allegorical passage from addiction to freedom. From the secret world of satanic cults and shooting galleries to healed relationships and a renewed sense of purpose, the spiritual awakening of an earthly soul who, searching for himself came face to face with God. You'll love it. Guaranteed.

Seeking freedom, love, and easy money, Abel Adams discovers a dark world of delusion, drugs, and self-destruction. His mysterious journey leads him through a labyrinth of crime, cults, and incarceration. Betrayals, beatings, and brutal prisons, drive him to death's doorstep. Will Abel find deliverance before time runs out? Who can save him from himself? GRACE PERIOD: THE AWAKENING OF ABEL ADAMS will fulfill your longing to rise above impossible circumstances, to witness the triumph of truth over falsehood, to rejoice in the discovery of love through the power of faith. Pilgrim's Progress meets Heart of Darkness as Grace Period traces a prodigal son's allegorical passage from addiction to freedom. From the secret world of satanic cults and shooting galleries to healed relationships and a renewed sense of purpose, the spiritual awakening of an earthly soul who, searching for himself came face to face with God. You'll love it. Guaranteed.

Who is Abel Adams?

Abel’s father, an Army Lieutenant, dove from a C-119 flying boxcar into the black sky over Southeast Asia on a dark mission with the 82nd Airborne Division.
His mother screamed in agony and loneliness.

An eternity of darkness gave way as contractions jolted Abel from his place of peace and safety. He pondered, Who am I?

I AM THAT, his rhythmic mantra reminded him, conscious of all that was around him since the moment of his conception. Then pain. The umbilical cord wrapped itself around his neck like a hangman’s noose. He was drowning in an amniotic sea of primordial pain. Where once two heartbeats pounded as one, now separate rhythms sounded. The delicate balance had begun to break. Poured out like water, all his bones were out of joint.

The Three Assassins, Fear, Guilt, and Resentment, stalked and surrounded him. Like roaring lions tearing their prey, they opened their mouths wide against him.

Then sparkled the warm tingling sensation as the sweet taste of Demerol dissolved the pain. Abel melted into bliss as he surrendered to its seduction, and everything turned into magic and light.

The slap across his buttocks awakened him again to the pain of his new life.

He gasped for breath and cried. Who am I?

Loneliness embraced him as he opened his eyes and stared at the bright white ceiling.

His groans became thoughts forming from the void like new galaxies, spinning forth as the light of a million stars.

***

When Abel was two years old, his Aunt Delilah gave him the juice of brandied cherries and he became so alive and outspoken during one Thanksgiving dinner that his performance spellbound everyone at the table. She prophesied, “This boy’s going to be a preacher one day.”

Abel’s father taught him how to pray: “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.”

Abel’s family lived in a predominately-black neighborhood in Norville, Maryland. He attended an all-black nursery school while his father pursued his doctorate in Applied Physics at Banneker University, a private school catering to the black bourgeoisie. In one of Abel’s first memories of him, his father lay slumped across a heap of textbooks, exhausted. His mother worked as a church secretary.

Abel started stealing. He stole his dad’s penknife from the top of the dresser. He thought it would be fun to play with and show the other kids. His nursery school teacher discovered the knife in his pocket after he peed in his pants during naptime and had to change his clothes in the back of the classroom. His mother had to leave work early to come and take him home. “If you ever do something like this again I will slap you into another world. Understand?”

He nodded. “Sorry, mom. I was just showing off.”

Later that evening, Abel heard the ice cream truck outside their apartment. He ran into the living room pleading, “Can I have some money for the ice cream man? He’s out there in the street right now!”

His mother wrinkled her brow and said, “No. We’re getting ready to have dinner and I don’t want you to ruin your appetite.”

“But Mommy, all the other kids are going to get some.”

His father hopped into the fray, “Didn’t you hear your mother? She said no.”

Dejected, Abel went into his room to pout for a while, when he suddenly remembered seeing some money on his parents’ dresser. He peeked around the corner and then dashed into their room, snatching a bill that was lying next to his father’s cufflinks and headed back for the front door.

“Dinner will be in twenty minutes,” his mother called to him as he headed out the door.

“Okay,” he replied, slamming the door behind him.

Abel returned a few minutes later, his arms laden with ice cream treats for their desert. His father looked up, wide-eyed and said, “What the… there must be twenty dollars worth of ice cream there!”

His mother turned and saw his purchases. She glared at him and put her hands on her hips. “Give me those and go to your room.”

***

In the summer of 1963, Abel’s family moved to Eden Valley, a sleepy little town along the northern California coast. The temperature was mild and the land was green with agriculture. The migrant farm workers came to plant and pick strawberries, grapes, lettuce, broccoli, spinach, and artichokes. Just thirty miles to the south was the small community of Los Tecatos – heroin capital of northern California.

Abel’s father was hired as a physics professor at Eden University. The chancellor wanted to bring more “color” into the school. The board of regents agreed that having a black professor would set the school apart and make the campus livelier, so they gave Abel’s father a new Cadillac and paid him a handsome salary.

On Abel’s first day of school, he stood at the bus stop in front of his house. The bus pulled up and he stepped aboard holding his Leave it to Beaver lunch pail close to his side. He smiled nervously at the other children. A blonde haired boy pointed at him and said, “Look at Blackie!” The other kids laughed and pointed.

Another kid patted Abel on the head and said, “Hey Blackie!” Abel grabbed the boy’s hand and twisted it behind his back, causing the boy to groan in agony.

The bus driver stood up and turned toward Abel. “You get up here right now and sit down, you little trouble maker.” Abel let the boy out of the arm lock and walked to the front of the bus. The driver pointed to the floor next to him and said, “Now sit there and keep your mouth shut.”

When Abel got to school, his teacher called him up to the front of the class and said, “As one of the only colored boys here you’re going to have to set an example for your race.”

Abel’s family lived on the predominantly white west side where they attended a predominantly white church and there was only one other black kid in his elementary school, Robert, the doctor’s son. Once, when Abel was drawing a house with a black crayon, the teacher told him, “Black is a horrid color.”

Abel hung his head. The teacher proceeded to read the story of Little Black Sambo to the class. He hid his face in his arms against the desktop, eyes closed, invisible. He dug his nails into the flesh of his forearms while the class stared at him.

Abel’s brother, Jesse, was born in 1962 and Abel was no longer the center of attention.

Some white boys invited Abel to go exploring in the woods across the street from where they lived. They led him down a dark wooded path and then they started running. When he tried to chase after them, he ran into a swarm of Yellow Jackets. He could hear them laughing as he ran home screaming.

If only I could be someone else, he thought. Someone white.

***

Abel’s family went to see West Side Story at the drive-in. Fantasy and reality melted into one, as Abel became Tony, the white lead character. He was in love with Maria, the Puerto Rican girl whom he could never have, trapped in a cycle of self-destruction and mixed-loyalties. He choked back the tears at the ending when they sang, “There’s a Place for Us.”

He found his identity in that larger-than-life character on the screen, the leader of the Jets. The next day, the school playground became the stage for his fantasies, as Abel zigzagged across the blacktop, chasing the other kids with an invisible switchblade.

The bell rang and the kids lined up to return to class, laughing about the dramatic lunch hour, patting Abel on the back for his amazing performance. As he stood in line, snapping his fingers and singing “The Jet Song”, a teacher grabbed him and said, “You’re coming with me.”

“What did I do?” he asked, holding his arms out to his sides in protest.

The teacher pointed to the principal’s office. “Shut up and come with me.”

Abel sat in the office for an hour before the principal came into the room. She told him, “We’ve talked with your mother and she gave us permission to proceed with discipline for your behavior on the playground today.”

“We were just having fun like in the movie,” he replied.

The principal stood up behind his desk and walked around the front where he towered over him. “Stand up and slide that chair over here.”

Abel just sat there with his arms folded and shook his head.

The principal grabbed him by the arms and lifted him to his feet. “Bend over and hold onto the back of the chair.”

SWAT! The paddle landed squarely against his backside. He fought to hold back the tears, more of broken pride and spirit than of physical pain. Yet that was real too.

Who am I? Nobody. Nothing. Nonexistent. He closed his eyes so nobody could see him.

***

The next day Abel sat in his third grade classroom; he closed his eyes and pictured himself standing before the throng. “Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the President of the United States, Abel Adams.” The applause was deafening.

Then he woke up.

“The President has just been shot,” the principal announced over the intercom just before lunch. A hush fell over the classroom. The teacher gasped. A couple of kids started to cry. The principal continued, “Boys and girls, I know this is difficult to understand, but I want you to all remain calm.” The bell rang for lunch.

Abel’s house was just a few blocks away from the school and he ran home as fast as he could. He always walked home for lunch and his mom was just putting some cream of mushroom soup and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the table when he arrived. “Abel. You’re just in time for lunch,” she said.

He glanced at the television, which was off. He stood there quietly, and then looked at her. “Mom, they shot the President.”

She shook her head and laughed. “You shouldn’t say things like that.”

“Mom, I mean it. They just told us at school. The President was shot.” He went to the television and turned it on. Walter Cronkite was narrating the tragic event.

His mother ran into the living room and watched the black and white screen in horror. “Oh, my God, no!” Then she crumbled to the floor and lay there sobbing while Jessie ran to her and wailed. Abel stood there silently for a moment, then knelt to the floor and put his arms around his mother and his brother. “Don’t cry. Don’t cry. Please, don’t cry,” he whispered.

***


Abel soon developed a fascination with science fiction and fantasy novels. His favorite story was “A Wrinkle in Time,” by Madeleine L’Engle, about a strange child who escaped the pain of reality through a time warp known as the tesseract. He longed desperately for a way to escape his present reality and travel into another place in time.
“I know what I want to do when I grow up,” he proudly boasted to his father.

His father seemed mildly annoyed by the interruption of his evening purveyance of the latest issue of Scientific American. “I thought you said you were going to be a nuclear physicist.” He flipped the page nonchalantly.

“No. That was last week.”

“So what’s it going to be this week, oceanographer?” he asked without glancing up from his magazine.

“I’m going to be a writer!”
“Writers starve to death.”

Abel turned on his heel and ran to his room, slamming the door behind him.

***
Abel was eight years old when he was baptized at Eden Valley Community Church.

“Do you believe that Jesus Christ was the only begotten Son of God, who died for your sins, was buried and rose again on the third day?” The Reverend’s voice echoed against the tile baptistery. The water was cold.

“Yes,” he replied meekly.

“I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” The Reverend’s voice disappeared as Abel sank beneath a sea of pain. The water entered his nostrils and he gagged.

He emerged from the water of life, coughing and spitting.

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound...” the choir harmonized.

Later that day, Abel chased his little brother Jesse through the house and pounded on his back with his fist as he ran for cover. Abel had caught Jesse playing with his toys without asking him. His rage exploded.

“Abel!” his mom yelled. “Go to your room and stay there until you learn to calm down and behave yourself.”

“But it was his fault! He went through my stuff.”

She put her hands on her hips. “You just came from church, for goodness’ sake. Didn’t you learn anything?”

“I guess not,” he shrugged.

She frowned and took a deep breath. “Go to your room.”

He slammed the door as loneliness embraced him with a chokehold. He picked up his Bible from the top of the dresser and threw it against the door. “I hate you! I hate you! I hate you! You’re all against me.”


As his sobbing subsided, he sank into sleep. He dreamt that he was chasing the elusive dance of a butterfly as it fluttered just beyond his grasp in the sunlight as it glistened in his desperate tears.

He awakened to the blinding light of reality, to discover that he was the butterfly being chased as it fluttered just beyond the grasp of the one desperately running, desperately seeking, desperately dreaming.

 


Excerpt

Who is Abel Adams?



Professional Reviews

Readerviews
7101 Hwy 71W#200
Austin, Texas 78735
512.288.8555
www.readerviews.com
admin@readerviews.com
Grace Period: The Awakening of Abel Adams
Robert Hammond
Xulon Press (2007)
ISBN 9781602663534
Reviewed by Debra Gaynor for Reader Views (5/07)
Abel Adams grew up in a Christian home in a quiet town in Maryland. His Aunt Delilah predicted that he
would some day be a preacher -- little did she know the road he would take to get there. He had the
advantage of a loving family, “wise counsel and educational opportunities.” He traded all that for a world of
drugs, and crime.
Abel seemed to rebel from early in his childhood. He stole from his family and fought against the
consequences. He befriended Yogi even though his mother warned him that “he looked like bad news.”
Following in his friend’s steps he began using drugs. The two stole a motorcycle and ran away from home,
leaving a trail of crime along the way. “My parents are probably worried sick and I don’t even know why I
left.” He turned himself in and his parents picked him up, but their relationship became more strained instead
of better. Abel’s drug use turned to LSD and wine. He began selling to support his habit.
One day Abel met a Prophet of God. The man told Abel about Jesus and asked him to read Isaiah 53. As
Abel walked about he heard the Prophet say, “Brother, you’re living in a grace period. You never know when
it will run out.” Abel didn’t listen and continued down the path of destruction. From armed robbery to
insurance fraud to a satanic cult, Abel was spiraling downward. Even joining the military didn’t stop Abel’s
drug use.
Eventually Abel’s Aunt Delilah’s prediction came true. Abel knew that God loved him and that Jesus Christ
would set him free. But the real change came in jail. Abel was going through withdrawal but it was more
than that, his eyes were yellow, he was very ill. Abel was told he’d be “dead by Christmas.” He reached for
his Bible and began to read, “For whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” “God gave Abel
the gift of forgiveness and the ability to forgive others. God gave him the ability to love those who had hurt
him. These two gifts – forgiveness and love – were his salvation, his grace.” Abel’s life would never be the
same, “Praise God, it would never be the same!”
“Grace Period” by Robert Hammond is one of those stories that you will never forget. Mr. Hammond is an
extremely talented author. He has the amazing ability to pull the reader into the story. From the moment I
began to read “Grace Period” I was hooked, I didn’t lay this one down until I’d read every word. I’m not sure
any review can do justice to this amazing story. Abel Adams comes to life on the pages, each of us will see a
bit of ourselves in the character. We don’t have to use drugs or steal things to see badly we need the saving
grace of Jesus. The cover is beautifully done, darkness with a hint of light and an abstract arrow tease the
reader to what they will find inside. I did find a few editing mistakes but have no other criticisms. Well-done
Mr. Hammond! I highly recommend this book to everyone.



Want to review or comment on this book?
Click here to login!


Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!




Authors alphabetically: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Featured Authors | New to AuthorsDen? | Add AuthorsDen to your Site
Share AD with your friends | Need Help? | About us


Problem with this page?   Report it to AuthorsDen
© AuthorsDen, Inc. All rights reserved.