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    CLJobe
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Salvation - 54. Chapter 53

On the way home, “Carleton, you do not recognize what you do for people, do you?”

“I know what I do for my boys.”

“I’m not talking about the boys. I’m talking about people like Jim.”

“I’m afraid I lost you.”

“Fifteen years ago, Jim could have been one of your boys. A man found him looking through garbage for something to eat. Took him home, fed him, bought clothes for him, and adopted him after a year. He saved Jim, and Jim is repaying that back as part of the brotherhood. You’re a reminder of his dad and a hero to him. That signature may not seem much, but I guarantee it’ll be displayed in his home in a place of honor.”

I hated it when people point me out as some hero to be admired. I’m just a man who, through good fortune, I’m in a position to help. “Look, guys, I’m not a hero. I’m just fortunate enough to be able to help a lot of boys. Jim’s dad is just as much a hero as I am, maybe more.”

“You may be right, but to Jim, you’re still a hero.”

“You guys want to stop for something to eat?”

“Yes, but what about the boys? They need soft food.”

“Wait here. I’ll get everyone something to eat.”

I went into the cafe and asked if they had carry out, they did. I ordered chicken soup for everyone, plus an extra for Mo. I got large containers except for the boys.

I carried them out in three trips. I gave the boys theirs and let Sal help them. I gave Mo his, and I had mine. The extra pints I put on the floor of the car. When the kids had finished theirs, I gave Sal his and Mo the extra one I had bought.

Arriving at home, there were two kids on the porch. The rest were in the living room looking out of the windows. Sal got our carrying one of the boys, and Mo had the other. When they saw Mac and Ike, they started to cry. The boys hugged each other. If they weren’t brothers before, they were now.

The other kids came out on the porch. Now there was a welcoming party. “Let’s go inside boys, we can have some hot chocolate,” I wanted coffee.

I looked at Steven, smiling. He knew what I wanted. I didn’t realize the bedrooms would hold two bunk beds, but the beds from Penny’s were smaller than what we reconstructed with the old beds. The four boys asked if they could share a bedroom. I didn’t see why not, so there was a major reorganization upstairs. The Penny’s bunks were put in one room, and the homemade bunk bed was moved into the room where the Penny’s bunk bed was. It seemed everyone was happy. If everyone was happy, I was happy. Steven found some temporary clothes for the two boys. I looked at Peter, another shopping trip, he was happy to make those trips.

That night after a delicious supper, we congregated in the library for storytime. I noticed the two new boys would sit for a while and then squirm a little. I sent one of the boys to get the pillows from my room. When he came back, I sat the two boys on them, and that seemed to work.

We were still reading Sinbad and his adventures. The boys all listened, laughed when something was funny, Mac and Ike couldn’t believe that an adult would sit and read stories to them. It didn’t happen in their home and certainly not after. I read until I saw the first yawn, marking the page, “Bedtime, boys, tomorrow is another day.”

Again Mac and Ike were surprised when I tucked them in, but not like the two new boys were when I tucked them in. “Tomorrow, I want you to tell me your names, but now go to sleep and dream sweet dreams.”

I no sooner dropped off to sleep when I heard someone calling my name. I went upstairs; one of the boys we just brought back was screaming, ‘no, don’t touch him’ and was hitting on Ronnie, who occupied the next-door room.

I picked the screaming boy up, speaking into his ear, you’re safe, you’re safe, Mac is safe, Ike is safe, you’re safe. As he quieted down, he began to focus on my words, slowly he opened his eyes and seeing me he jumped, Mac said, “You’re okay, he’s our friend” Then the boys put his head into my chest, relaxed and was asleep in seconds.

“He has nightmares. If it’s alright with you, maybe he can sleep with me a few nights until he realizes he’s safe; we’re safe.”

“He slept with Mac before whenever he had these nightmares. He thinks he’s protecting Mac."

I picked up the child and placed him in Mac’s bed. “If he wakes again, call me, please.”

He didn’t wake again. Mac said he slept and didn’t understand why he was in his bed. “I told him, and he feels bad.”

I picked him up and sat him on my lap, not the best place for someone with a sore bum. “You know there are times when we all like to feel someone who we know will protect us from the bad people, you’re not the first nor will you be the last. I don’t know why, but bad people always visit us when we’re asleep. We call them nightmares, last night you had one about Mac. If you have another one about Mac or Ike, it’s okay to crawl in with them to sleep.

He buried his head in my chest. I wondered how old is this child. He reminded me of Charlie.

I sat him back on his pillow, smiled, “Let’s have breakfast.”

That was it. The food was passed around. I watched Alex, he pretended he was going to take it all, but he didn’t. The boys had cream of wheat with honey. There was plenty, so I had some also. Then out came the pancakes with syrup and butter. Mac and Ike took one; they gave a bite to the new kids. I wonder if that would be too heavy, not for Mac and Ike, the other two, I wasn’t sure. Maria fixed that. I never saw so much syrup and butted on a pancake, but that pancake was soaked in syrup and butter. The boys enjoyed it. The hot chocolate was no problem.

“Alex, I need papers for the boys, Mac, Ike, and the two munchkins. Let’s go to my office, and Gram will bring us more coffee and hot chocolate, ok.”

Mo picked up one of the boys and Sal the other. “I want you to know what’s going to happen, like all of my boys here, you’ll become my sons. You’ll have a passport that shows your picture, name, and my name as your last name. So to do this, we need more information. Do you have a problem with that?”

“Does that mean we’ll live here ?”

Yes, until you are old enough to have a place of your own or if you want to leave me and the others?”

The two brothers looked at each other, as if to say we would be crazy not to want to stay here. I took out the forms. Alex asked the questions and filled in the forms. We did that for each of the boys. I found out that the boy who cried last night was called Noel and was seven years old. The other boy was called Chester, and he was eight years old. l listened to the questions and answers. There were tears in my eyes. I don’t feel ashamed about that. It’d take a hard man not to have tears in their eyes.

Alex hung the sheet. I asked Steven to bring a nice shirt for the boys to have their passport picture taken. I pulled Steven into my arms as we watched the boys having their passport pictures taken.

“Thanks, Steven, now we need to get these boys clothes.”

Steven smiled as I gave him a hug and a kiss on the head. I need to make sure I show all of my boys the affection I have for them. I mentioned this to Alex when we were checking on the status of the movie theater.

“I don’t think you are aware of how much you do show them. When you walk past them, you’re always touching them, patting them on their head, touching their shoulder or arms. When you tell them good night, you spend a little time with them. Do you know how long it takes you to say good night? It takes you at least an hour to say good night. Who does that? Someone who loves them and is concerned they get at least that much time on a one on one basis. I don’t know what you are going to do when you are full. You’ll have to start right after dinner.” Then he laughed.

“I think for you, Carleton, enough is never enough when it comes to the boys.”

He may be right. I try and make up for the love they lost, but what is lost is lost in reality. I need to make sure nothing is lost again. “I wish I could make them forget the bad and hate they experienced. I don’t want them to remember that. The only way I know how to do that is to replace it with love and good experiences and feelings that they matter to someone. They matter to me. I also think they matter to you, and Sal and Mo, as well as Maria and Peter. People who see these boys have to love them. They are boys who are beginning to enjoy life, and Alex, I will see that they have every chance to succeed in this world if I do anything.”

I got a hug out of that, but the boys need that, so I went to find my boys. The dogs were barking, so I knew where some of them were. As soon as they saw me, I was swamped with dogs jumping on me, tails wagging a mile a minute. If we could capture those tails, we could generate a lot of electricity.

A scrape behind the ears, to acknowledge them, and they were off again. “What are you doing?”

“Teaching the dogs to fetch. We throw the sticks, and they bring them back. That’s the idea.”

“Not working?”

“No, they go after the sticks but don’t bring them back.”

“Do you still have that bag of treats we bought?”

“Then, throw your stick, and when one of the dogs brings it back, give them a treat. See if they don’t bring it back then.” I didn’t tell them if a dog thinks he’ll get a treat each time he brings a twig back, the boys are going to get more twigs back them they threw.

I went into the conservatory and watched as the boys were planting some seeds. “What are you planting?”

“Gram gave us these to plant. She said they make good tea.” I looked at the packet.

“This is mint, and it likes to grow in moist soil. They do make good tea. I’ll buy some at the store, and Gram can make you all some mint tea. The rest of your plants are doing well. What is that I smell?”

“It might be this plant. The man at the garden shop said it would keep aphids, what evert they are, away from the plants.”

Walking into the orchard, I saw a plum on the tree. It looked ripe and about ready to fall. One of the boys came over, “Dad, do you think it is ripe?”

“It smells ripe. Do you want me to pick it?”

“Yes, but it’s only one. There are eight of us.”

“You could give it to Gram as a gift. All of you could be present when you give it to her.”

He thought that was a good idea and took off to find the rest. I checked out the other trees, not much fruit this year, but I expect it will be quite a bit next year. I looked for bugs on the trees, didn’t see any except the occasional ant.

The swimming pool was finished. The contractor was there doing a last-minute inspection. I signed the invoice, walked him to my office, where I wrote out a check for the remaining costs. Now to see if that hot tub works.

I went out and started the hot tub, then went and changed into swimming shorts. By the time I got to the hot tube, it was ready; as I slowly sank, my smile grew larger and larger. This is just what I needed. I lay back, close my eyes, and let the heat soak into my body.

“Dad, can I join you” “Get trunks” I felt the water rise a little and then settled back down, someone joined me, cracking open my eyes, it was Jon.

Still, with my eyes closed, “Like it?”

“Oh, yea.”

Then I felt the water change again, this time when I peeked out was Alex, and soon it was Sal and Mo and then David, then Steven, more boys, I was glad it was big.

I heard Alex, “And we thought he was crazy building such a large hot tub.”

“Crazy or not, this is just what I needed.”

I don’t know how long we soaked in that warmth. “Dad, there's a phone call for you.”

Copyright © 2020 CLJobe; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Chapter Comments

It's a wonder more of those boys didn't have those nightmares like that one boy did.Carleton is right if somebody could help just one kid they are a hero.I even feel the same way about people who take on homeless dogs.

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"If we could capture those tails, we could generate a lot of electricity." Who needs nuclear power when you have wag power?!?! LOL!!! LOL!!! 

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I love me a good soak in a hot tub. I prefer mine by myself tho. At night time, with a very light snow fall and a nice chilled glass of pinot gris. Mmmm...Doesn't that sound awesome...

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46 minutes ago, Chris L said:

"If we could capture those tails, we could generate a lot of electricity." Who needs nuclear power when you have wag power?!?! LOL!!! LOL!!! 

Those dogs must have causes a wind with all of that tail wagging.

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26 minutes ago, Buz said:

I love me a good soak in a hot tub. I prefer mine by myself tho. At night time, with a very light snow fall and a nice chilled glass of pinot gris. Mmmm...Doesn't that sound awesome...

Yes, but wouldn't it sound better if you have a mate. Just to enjoy company, small quiet talk. A feeling of not being alone. Doesn't have to be someone as a partner,. A good friend who enjoy the same likes and dislikes

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Noel (7) and Chester (8) now joining Mac & Ike in the Carleton's 'Salvation' estate. Unfortunately the boys recall the horrors they suffered during nightmares that disrupt their sleep. In time, they may find some help for what we now acknowledge as Juvenile PTSD, something no child should ever suffer. :,(

Jim joins those working for and with Carleton's growing team, largely made up from the initial 'boys' saved by Carleton. :glomp:

Thank you CL.

Stay Safe, Socially Distance, #WearTheMask

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1 hour ago, CLJobe said:

Those dogs must have causes a wind with all of that tail wagging.

Dogs definitely cause a wind sometimes ... wind that drives you right out of the house! 😂

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1 hour ago, Chris L said:

Dogs definitely cause a wind sometimes ... wind that drives you right out of the house! 😂

Yup, broccoli does it for mine, especially when she has salmon with it! Hahahaha 

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Great that the boys are doing better, I am happy that the hot tub  is a great success, it seems that almost every time that the phone rings , a new sad adventure is on the way

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10 hours ago, Anton_Cloche said:

Noel (7) and Chester (8) now joining Mac & Ike in the Carleton's 'Salvation' estate. Unfortunately the boys recall the horrors they suffered during nightmares that disrupt their sleep. In time, they may find some help for what we now acknowledge as Juvenile PTSD, something no child should ever suffer. :,(

Jim joins those working for and with Carleton's growing team, largely made up from the initial 'boys' saved by Carleton. :glomp:

Thank you CL.

Stay Safe, Socially Distance, #WearTheMask

I think it's quite a cozy spot, that hot tub. A good soak, relaxes the muscles and relieve tensions. It's a shame that children don't have dreams that bring smiles to their eyes. I am safe, I'm hibernating till the serum is available to all.

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6 hours ago, CLJobe said:

I think it's quite a cozy spot, that hot tub. A good soak, relaxes the muscles and relieve tensions. It's a shame that children don't have dreams that bring smiles to their eyes. I am safe, I'm hibernating till the serum is available to all.

I too am hibernating unwillingly and have better appreciation of why bears, GD groundhogs and other animals so grumpy, mad and dangerous after being F-ing cooped up.

Unfortunately where animals loose weight, we (many of us) gain weight, especially if gyms, pools, or just walking is hard to do. Covid Kilos or Pandemic Pounds are a pain in the ass.

Waiting for first round of legitimate vax injections to show efficacy without serious side effects. But those could take years. But 'our' vaxs definitely better than Sino & RU versions no doubt.

TTFN :thankyou:

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15 hours ago, mikedup said:

Great that the boys are doing better, I am happy that the hot tub  is a great success, it seems that almost every time that the phone rings , a new sad adventure is on the way

You are right, I wonder who is calling, usually it is Alex but he is there  

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2 hours ago, Anton_Cloche said:

I too am hibernating unwillingly and have better appreciation of why bears, GD groundhogs and other animals so grumpy, mad and dangerous after being F-ing cooped up.

Unfortunately where animals loose weight, we (many of us) gain weight, especially if gyms, pools, or just walking is hard to do. Covid Kilos or Pandemic Pounds are a pain in the ass.

Waiting for first round of legitimate vax injections to show efficacy without serious side effects. But those could take years. But 'our' vaxs definitely better than Sino & RU versions no doubt.

TTFN :thankyou:

We will have some data soon from England. They have started vaccinations with the Pfizer product. We expect to start about the fifteenth here in the US First responders, doctors, nurses, first. People may not like that but tough shit,. it makes sense to me. Hang in there, you need to get a one man hobby, how about editing, writing a book, or poetry. You seem to have a wealth of information.

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23 hours ago, CLJobe said:

Yes, but wouldn't it sound better if you have a mate. Just to enjoy company, small quiet talk. A feeling of not being alone. Doesn't have to be someone as a partner,. A good friend who enjoy the same likes and dislikes

Oh no. Not in this specific scenario. It is too blissful to be interrupted by anything. Nothing wrong with enjoying yourself every so often :) This is the 'get away' moment. The only expectations, rules, plans, etc are your own. Mmmm...peace...

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11 hours ago, Buz said:

Oh no. Not in this specific scenario. It is too blissful to be interrupted by anything. Nothing wrong with enjoying yourself every so often :) This is the 'get away' moment. The only expectations, rules, plans, etc are your own. Mmmm...peace...

Okay enjoy your hot tub, peace brother

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