We All Know Someone Who Has Committed Suicide – Note from Author of U Murder U (Suicide)

  Q: Why is your latest novel about suicide? A: Because believe it or not we all know someone who has committed suicide.  In my author’s note I talk about someone I knew . . . .    Note from Author  Most people, like me, will know someone who committed suicide or know someone who knows someone.  When I finished my MSc in Medical Microbiology at university I got a job in a renowned London hospital’s Microbiology Laboratory and it was there that I met him, my work mentor. He wasn’t that tall, was balding, of slight built and told me once that he bought some of his trousers in the children’s section of clothing shops. He took me under his wing and taught me the difference between studying Medical Microbiology and working in a laboratory and how to put my theory know-how into practice. He used to wind me up by calling me ‘Gladiola’ instead of Gladys – he told me it was the name of a beautiful flower and I believed him (we didn’t have the internet back then for me to check if it was true or not). I worked with him for nearly seven years; two of those years were spent on maternity leave having my children. When I went back to work each time he brought me up to speed and made sure that I was okay with all the new methods.  The things I remember most are his willingness to always help me when I needed help at work and how when we had a slight misunderstanding I would frown at him, he...

Chapter 11 of U Murder U (Suicide)

       U Murder U (Suicide) available in a black or red cover Chapter 11 of U Murder U (Suicide) now available!   CHAPTER 11 From the periphery of the A&E operating room Patrick and Eloise Carmichael watched as doctors and nurses worked quickly to save their daughter’s life. Wires were connected, monitors checked, a tube inserted into Jessica’s mouth and blood taken from her arm. Amid all of this, Eloise’s sobs were not acknowledged by her husband, he offered her no comfort, he allowed himself none either. Suddenly Jessica went into cardiac arrest and as the doctors and nurses hurried to shock her heart, a nurse ushered the Carmichaels out of the room. Sergeant John Kelleher had parked his unmarked squad car on a double yellow line on the road outside the hospital (he mentally dared any traffic warden to give him a ticket – he was looking for a reason to let off some steam). He hadn’t been able to find appropriate parking on the hospital grounds and he was irritated that he had to attend to the family of yet another suicide attempt, his fifth in two weeks. Not all his cases were suicide attempts, a number of them were actual suicides. Yesterday a young man had jumped from a bridge in front of a high speed freight train. Police officers had tried unsuccessfully to talk him down for twenty minutes. The minutes were used asking him his name, asking him about his family, what his favourite food was, where he lived and where he worked and intermittently begging him not to jump. He had...

Chapter 9 of U Murder U (Suicide)

    CHAPTER 9   Unable to sleep, very drunk and very angry because Elle hadn’t called her back, Jessica rifled through some papers she had taken out of the secret desk compartment. She kept the compartment locked and the key to unlock it hidden in a pendant on a chain around her neck. She glanced at the papers as she desperately looked for one in particular, she read words like, ‘Death is a friend of mine’ and ‘We’re going to leave this world on our terms when the time is right for us’, they made her smile as did the gothic-like art that surrounded the words. These words usually gave her comfort in her sobriety pending the time she could get hold of a drink. She found the paper she sought, relief flooded through her, igniting her nerves and sending her pulse racing; she clasped it to her chest for a few moments. She turned her iPod on, selected a song then clambered onto her bed. She closed her eyes momentarily absorbing into her soul what can only be described as morbid, death-like music. Chanting embraced and caressed the music as it spewed out from the speakers. Each syllable seemed to conjure up spirits, evil and agile spirits that pandered to her mental state of mind – they danced to the music, decadence rife. Her heart beat faster as the chanting picked up pace and the music became almost maniacal-like. Jessica swayed this way and that, her eyes rolled backwards in her head. She felt herself floating higher and higher. The banging on her bedroom door served as...

Chapter 8 of U Murder U (Suicide)

      CHAPTER 8   Elle and Maddy sat at the piano playing one of their mother’s compositions that had once been used in a TV commercial. Elle led while Maddy stayed two or three notes behind. They smiled at each other and shoved each other lovingly as they played. Maddy tried to catch up but Elle played faster moving ahead of her. Maddy giggled as Elle missed a note and tried again to play faster but again Elle picked up speed and stayed a few notes ahead. They played to the end then Elle gave a count to three and they started the song together, this time Elle playing upper keys and Maddy playing the lower keys. Clarissa listened to her daughters as they played, she smiled. Her babies were growing up. Each morning when she woke up and every night before she went to bed she was thankful and she prayed for her girls. She prayed that they would grow up to be better than her and achieve more than her and marry the right men (never experience separation or divorce) and be so happy. Be so happy that each day they woke up and each night before they went to bed, they would be thankful and pray for their own children to be better than them and achieve more than them and marry the right people and be so happy….. Clarissa listened as Elle and Maddy played another song then the music stopped. “Okay enough warm-up you need to practice your recital now Maddy,” Elle said as she moved further along the piano stool and...

Chapter 6 of U Murder U (Suicide)

    CHAPTER 6   Conference Room, Large Book Shop in Oxford Street, London  After an hour and a half of talking to her audience, Anna had opened the floor up to a question and answer session. The questions were coming fast and furiously. “Is it true that people who talk about wanting to die by suicide are only seeking attention and don’t try to kill themselves?” Anna shook her head, “No, people who talk about wanting to die by suicide often do go on to kill themselves. Psychiatrists say that when people talk about it, it is often a cry for help and people shouldn’t ignore this cry because some people are actually looking for a way forward, a way through their pain without dying.” “Does suicide always occur without any warning signs?” “There are almost always warning signs, we just need to know what to look out for in people,” Anna replied. “You’ll be surprised at the number of parents I’ve spoken to who’ve said that they were completely blindsided, they didn’t see it coming. Parents who’ve said they were completely shocked and distraught at their child’s unprecedented action of suicide. Then you ask them a few pertinent questions and you find out that their son or daughter had started locking themselves in their bedroom and not been communicative for weeks prior to their death. Or the child had been depressed for weeks then suddenly became happy, which is usually when they’ve devised a plan to kill themselves, or a child suddenly starts to give away his or her most prized and treasured possessions. A mother would...

Chapter 4 of U Murder U (Suicide)

    The next instalment of U Murder U (Suicide) below – Chapter 4  CHAPTER 4   They worked together side by side. Flour scattered on top of the kitchen counter, chocolate chips, chocolate chunks and sugar scattered alongside the flour. Elle mixed the muffin batter and hummed a song her mother had written a few years ago and Clarissa sung the words. Elle tossed a couple of chocolate pieces into her mouth and fed her mother a piece. Clarissa smiled as the chocolate melted in her mouth. “The cookies smell really good; I love the smell of baking cookies.” “You love the smell of baking full-stop Elle.” Elle smiled, “That is so true. How many muffins are we making?” “Twelve, which should give us four each, unless someone I know decides to sneak more than her fair share.” “Who would do that?” “Oh, I don’t know, who do you think would do that Elle May? Who has a tendency of doing that Elle May?” Elle smiled sheepishly at her mother. She loved making muffins and cakes and bread and savoury dishes (containing secret ingredients) with her mother, it was one of her favourite things to do. It filled her with anticipation of something exciting. Her mother would tell her to close her eyes when she made a pie or casserole and while Elle’s eyes were closed she would add some secret herb or spice. Elle never knew what she added only that afterwards the dish would smell and taste like something out of this world. Elle carefully spooned the muffin batter into the twelve muffin cases then licked the...