Chapter 11 of U Murder U (Suicide)

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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 calmly answered the questions as he sat precariously on the low bridge overlooking the rail tracks below and trains as they speed along the tracks ferrying passengers who were unaware that he was sitting on the bridge above them. The rail police had radioed for the train operators to stop the trains and that must have been what tipped the man off, he must have noticed that the usual number of trains which ploughed the lines had started to reduce in number. He jumped amid the police asking if he liked football and what team he supported. The train company had sent out a message to passengers delayed by the disruption on the trains which said ‘Trains have been cancelled or delayed because a man has been hit by a moving train’. That had really ticked Sergeant Kelleher off because he knew that the train had not suddenly come off the tracks and knocked the man off the bridge, the man had made the decision and thrown himself in front of the moving train, had been struck and crushed by it and instantly killed.

Sergeant Kelleher couldn’t understand why people killed themselves. He loved life and he intended to stay alive as long as he possibly could. He wasn’t always happy with the things that happened in his life, like most people he had good days and bad days. But he had seen his father lose his battle with cancer a year ago and that had completely changed his perspective on life. His father would have given anything for a few more years of life and he would have given anything for him to have them. Luther Vandross’ song ‘Dance with my Father’ was now one of his favourite songs. To him it depicted a man like him asking God to bring his father back to life so that he could dance with his father again, if God granted him his wish he would put a record on that would never stop playing and as a result he would have his father back forever. The song made Sergeant Kelleher smile wishfully and often brought tears to his eyes. Yet he would play it over and over. In the pockets of his mind, areas he kept to himself, he hoped the request would be granted to the singer then he could make his own request for the same thing and have his father back.

That last year had brought Sergeant Kelleher closer to his father. When his father had first been diagnosed he had moved back home. His older sister lived in Australia with her family, she had been pregnant with her second child and couldn’t visit often but telephoned or video called every day. He didn’t mind looking after his father; they had always had a good relationship, the death of his mother five years ago had brought them even closer. He had taken time off work and taken his father on short trips to places on his father’s bucketlist. When his father had been too weak to walk long distances they had played crazy golf in electric wheelchairs and they had both gone shopping on mobile disability scooters laughing and crying together – mostly laughing at Sergeant Kelleher’s attempt at a two-wheel-wheelie or at his father’s struggle to drive his scooter in a straight line. His father, once a handsome virile engineer and a pilot, who had once flown planes for the air-force now struggled to handle a simple device – it made them cry but a quick joke conjured up by father or son soon had them laughing.

“If the enemy saw you now Dad you’d be a sitting duck, a goner”, Sergeant Kelleher would say.

“If I flew my planes in that Second World War the way I’m driving this contraption you’d be called Hans and we’d all be speaking German”, his father would quip. And they would laugh at the poignant poetry of life as they knew it.

It was the laughter that he treasured, the laughter that made him value his own life and count every living moment as precious. He couldn’t understand why someone would throw away what his father had so desperately wanted – to live – to breathe – to exist.

Sergeant Kelleher looked around A&E then walked up to the first nurse he saw and asked her a few questions, she answered them and when he asked for the family of the suicide attempt patient she pointed towards the Carmichaels. He walked briskly towards the couple.

“Mr and Mrs Carmichael, can you tell me what happened?”

“It’s Inspector Carmichael, officer,” Patrick corrected.

“I’m sorry, Inspector and Mrs Carmichael can you please tell me what happened?”

“And you are?” Patrick asked.

“My name is Sergeant Kelleher, this is just a routine question and answer session Sir, you know how it is. The hospital has to call us when there’s an attempted suicide.” He pulled his notebook and pen out of his pocket and waited.

“This is not a routine question and answer session Sergeant, my daughter is in that room fighting for her life and I’m not going to waste my time answering your questions.” Patrick stormed off leaving his wife standing next to Sergeant Kelleher nervously wringing her hands.

Sergeant Kelleher turned to Eloise, “Do you want to tell me what happened?”

“I don’t know what happened,” Eloise lied.

“I was told you came down in the ambulance with her.”

“She’s just seeking bloody attention again,” Eloise said then walked off in the direction her husband had gone.




Question Gladys Lawson was asked at the Miami Book Fair – Which is your favourite book?

A:All my books are favourites but I have a soft spot for Truths, Lies And Untold Secrets.


A: Because I literally let loose with this book. I was able to use my imagination to create characters that I love and each character had a story to tell. People who have read it have told me that it is different from my other books – more like a movie than a book.



Truths, Lies And Untold Secrets



Ebooks from GLL Publishing available at Amazon, Smashwords etc – Books also available via

Despite all odds: A Dream Fulfilled Part 1

Despite all odds: A Dream Fulfilled Part 2

Truths, Lies And Untold Secrets

Blood Borne Connections

U Murder U (Suicide)