The mother arrested a few days ago over the deaths of her three disabled children in south London has been charged with their murders. The 42-year-old, who was initially taken to hospital with minor injuries, will appear before magistrates in Wimbledon, south London, on Friday.
That's shocking to find that a mother could kill her children, a four-year-old daughter and three-year-old twin sons. Apparently, her circumstances became overbearing. Neighbors said the parents would do anything for their disabled children and the couple lived in a large house. He husband was away in South Africa at the time with their 8 year old daughter, so she didn't have his support during the time when she took this drastic action.
Post-mortem examinations are being carried out on the three children, who are understood to have had spinal muscular atrophy. The life-limiting genetic condition is also known as floppy baby syndrome and leaves children with little or no control of their movement.
I must admit, the story reduced me to tears.
Here's a similar circumstance I've written about in my forthcoming novel, Shattered Shells. My heroine Liliha wears a star moonstone ring which allows her to have visions. She offers advice. In this case, she prevents a tragedy. I gleaned the story from a news item similar to the one above, but changed the ending to protect the innocent.
An internal aperture opened with a rumble and crack. Hot wind stung her cheeks and hinted at danger. A sucking sensation dragged at her mind, and then her consciousness hurtled along the churning, twisting tunnel.
Red and gray pulsed on the outer perimeter. Liliha's stomach tightened. No turning away. Be strong.
* * *
Without a body, ethereal as a spirit, I surrender to the freedom of the void between locations. My intuition rages amongst flashes and whirring sounds.
While the cloud which obscures my sight lifts in patches, I brace to confront whatever task faces me. I float in the air with no sensation of movement, like a passenger in a hot-air balloon.
In a sudden rush, I'm sucked below--akin to plunging down the steep incline of a roller-coaster without the stomach contraction.
My psyche penetrates a roof, in a similar way to someone disregarding the atoms of glass so they can see. Inside a room, toys catch my sight, and then two youngsters. A baby sleeps in a cot.
My movement and sight are constricted by the confines of a stranger's body. Now, I've merged with a person and see through her eyes. The hands gripping a letter are delicate with almond-shaped fingernails. She nods to herself at the doctor's appointment time. I note her name, Nasheen, and her address in Northern England.
Worry about her husband's behavior drags at her inner core. I strengthen myself to help her handle whatever problem brought me here.
But something's wrong.
I discern a third presence flooding Nasheen's mind with dark thoughts sent in waves, dragging her attitude into a spiral track. Malevolence personified in doom.
I try to work out what this means. The bracelet with the scarab decoration! Must be. The bracelet disappeared before I had the chance to take it to the Museum for safekeeping.
This malicious force appeared before when the scarab trapped my daughter, Kaelyn. Now, the power in the bracelet must be influencing someone else--in the opposite way to the ring.
What can I do? The scarab sucks any person who touches the bracelet into a moral lure which causes dark thoughts. Just as the ring gives me visions where I can correct a problem, the bracelet must be directing an unknown person to harm Nasheen. I've got to help.
I exert full force to stabilize Nasheen's mind and issue the suggestion: 'Calm and still'.
Her tempestuous beliefs override mine. 'How many women has he been with? How many extra babies has he fathered'?
The other intelligence cuts in, 'Your husband is away too often. He's having an affair'.
There it is--the manifestation of doom. Must be from the person who stole the bracelet.
Nasheen nods at Doom's suggestion.
She accepts voices as normal? I grope with sensitivity and discern positive memories. I whisper, 'Remember times when he was good to you'.
A bunch of flowers last Mother's Day flashes into her memory.
Doom whispers, 'That wasn't for you. It was for any mother'.
I prepare to contact the intelligence that battles my effort to save Nasheen.
I attempt to meld and get close to the perpetrator of the evil thoughts. When my endeavor doesn't work, I make a desperate plea. 'When you leave, you must lock the bracelet away so nobody can touch it--especially you. Then, you'll be free'.
A childish scream rips the air, dragging at my attention. The young boy snatches a doll from his sister.
I murmur to the mother, 'Love the children. They need you'.
Nasheen pacifies the girl with a kiss while she focuses on an idea. 'When my husband leaves, I'll have no money to feed them'.
Doom suggests, 'Put them out of their misery, now, before they suffer'.
'The little ones are innocent', I counter. 'Don't think that way'.
The dreadful concept takes hold inside Nasheen. They'll be unprotected without her husband. When she sighs, I experience it as my own released breath.
I'm aghast. "Wait until you've spoken to him. This may never happen'.
'He'll lie to you', Doom quips. 'Don't waste your time'.
I urge rethinking, but Nasheen, with me confined within her, wanders to the kitchen. We approach the work surface cluttered with pans and implements. A knife glints in the light.
She thinks, 'I've got to save us all from a life of poverty'.
'If he leaves', I counter, 'you will be looked after. Nobody would let you starve. Don't do this dreadful thing'.
We rub our forehead.
Dooms voice erupts. 'The fiend is deceiving you. He'll make sure you never get help'.
I push with a thrust of energy to block off the contradictory message.
'I'll kill them quickly', Nasheen reasons. 'They don't have to suffer'. Despite my wishes, our hand reaches for the weapon.
'Don't do this wicked thing. The little ones are innocent'. Nasheen must be locked in the grip of depressive illness. I use every ounce of intensity to bombard her with a powerful flow of calm to prevent her from taking action.
'Whoever you are', I urge the unlucky person trapped by the influence of Doom, 'try to block off these shocking urges. Do you really want this woman to kill her children? Could you live with yourself if she carries out your suggestion?'
I whisper to her with force, 'Put the knife down'.
Despite my effort, we carry the weapon into the children's room. Our dull stare lingers on each child.
The strength of purpose in Doom fluctuates in the manner of a flickering light.
I shout, 'Stop'! I must reach her.
I grope toward the inner voice that suggests murder. 'An evil force holds you captive. Join with me. We can fight together'.
The children, eyes open wide, lean away.
I am stunned. 'No. No'.
With a great effort of will toward Doom, I concentrate on one last push. 'She's going to kill her children. You must withdraw before it's too late. Join with me. My strength will aid you'.
Doom wavers, and then relaxes the malevolent hold.
I surge in and control Nasheen's thoughts. 'Take the knife back to the kitchen. Smile at the little ones. They're scared'.
In a daze, she complies.
I grasp Doom's essence. 'Hold on. Try to relax. Think of a good time--a place where you were happy. If you switch your thoughts, you should repel the invasion'.
A high moan escapes our swollen lips. "I'll kill myself'.
'Wait'. Compassion and sorrow ooze from me. 'No killing. You're sick. Let someone help you. Call the emergency services'.
'I deserve to suffer'. Her hands shake as she opens the cupboard beneath the sink.
I send a stronger message, using strength I didn't know I possessed. 'Pick up the phone and ... call ... for ... help'.
We struggle to our feet with a closed fist. One hand reaches for a glass before she grips and turns the tap.
When she grasps an open packet of rat pellets, I shriek into her mind, 'No'!
She fills our mouth with the poison and gulps the water.
The presence withdraws. Doom has left.
Numb yet retaining the prompt of an emergency call, we reach for the phone, wait for the operator to answer, and then speak in a dull tone. "I want to die." Our slurred voice slows. "I've taken poison."
The phone crashes to the floor.
With an intense thirst, we fill the glass again. Our hands quiver while we lift it, gulp the contents, and then slump.
I sooth with words of comfort and love, in an effort to combat the searing pain.
Nasheen's sick and twisted, warped by illness, but not evil.
The ambulance arrives with a clamor of sirens.
Released from the meld with my contact, I lift off, sending compassionate concepts to the attendants.
* * *
Perfume. Flashing colors. Seated in the train after her tumbling return, stuffy air and muffled talk grounded Liliha. She leant forward over the table to ease her spine. Nobody paid her any attention.