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Islam and abortion
Muslim views on abortion are shaped by the Hadith as well as by the opinions of legal and religious scholars and commentators. In Islam, the fetus is believed to become a living soul after four months of gestation, and abortion after that point is generally viewed as impermissible. Many Islamic thinkers recognize exceptions to this rule for certain circumstances; indeed, Azizah Y. al-Hibri notes that “the majority of Muslim scholars permit abortion, although they differ on the stage of fetal development beyond which it becomes prohibited.” According to Sherman Jackson, “while abortion, even during the 1st trimester, is forbidden according to a minority of jurists, it isn’t held to be an offense for which there are criminal or even civil sanctions,” so Muslims should not support legal restrictions on abortion rights unsupported by Islamic law, as opposed to solely moral activism.
Allah’s Apostle gave the judgment that a male or female slave should be given in Qisas for an abortion case of a woman from the tribe of Bani Lihyan but the lady on whom the penalty had been imposed died, so the Prophets ordered that her property be inherited by her offspring and her husband and that the penalty be paid by her Asaba.
Umar bin Al-Khattab asked about the Imlas of a woman, i.e., a woman who has an abortion because of having been beaten on her abdomen, saying, “Who among you has heard anything about it from the Prophet?” I said, “I did.” He said, “What is that?” I said, “I heard the Prophet saying, ‘Its Diya (blood money) is either a male or a female slave.’” Umar said, “Do not leave till you present witness in support of your statement.” So I went out, and found Muhammad bin Maslama. I brought him, and he bore witness with me that he had heard the Prophet saying, “Its Diya (blood money) is either a male slave or a female slave.”
Ibn Abbas said: “Umar asked about the decision of the Prophet about that (i.e. abortion) Haml ibn Malik ibn an-Nabighah got up and said: I was between two women. One of them struck another with a tent-pole killing both her and what was in her womb. So the Apostle of Allah gave judgment that the blood-wit for the unborn child should be a male or a female slave of the best quality and that she should be killed.”
Among Muslims, the permissibility of abortion depends on factors such as time and extenuating circumstances.
Abortion isn’t allowed after four months have passed since conception because at that time it is akin to taking a life, an act that entails penalty in this world and in the Hereafter. As regards the matter of abortion before this period elapses, it is considered allowed if necessary. However, in the absence of a reasonable excuse it is detestable. The author of ‘Subul-ul-Maram’ writes: “A woman’s treatment for aborting a pregnancy before the spirit has been blown into it is a matter upon which scholars differed on account of difference of opinion on the matter of ‘Azal. Those who allow ‘Azal consider abortion as allowable and vice versa.” The same ruling should be applicable for women deciding on sterilization. Imam Ghazzali opines: “Induced abortion is a sin after conception”. He further says: “The sin incurred thus can be of degrees. When the sperm enters the ovaries, mixes with the ovum and acquires potential of life, its removal would be a sin. Aborting it after it grows into a germ or a leech would be a graver sin and the graveness of the sin increases very much if one does so after the stage when the spirit is blown into the fetus and it acquires human form and faculties.”
On the issue of the life of the woman, Muslims universally agree that her life takes precedence over the life of the fetus. This is because the woman is considered the “original source of life”, while the fetus is only “potential” life. Muslim jurists agree that abortion is allowed based on the principle that “the greater evil [the woman's death] should be warded off by the lesser evil [abortion].” In these cases the physician is considered a better judge than the scholar.
Most Muslim scholars hold that the child of rape is a legitimate child and thus it would be sinful to kill this child. Scholars permit its abortion only if the fetus is less than four months old, or if it endangers the life of its mother.
Muslim scholars were urged to make exceptions in the 1990s following rapes of Kuwaiti women by Iraqi soldiers and the rape of Bosnian women by Serb soldiers. In 1991, the Grand Mufti of Palestine took a different position than mainstream Muslim scholars. He ruled that Muslim women raped by their enemies during the Kosovo War could take abortifacient medicine, because otherwise the children born to those women might one day fight against Muslims.
Some Muslim scholars also argue that abortion is permitted if the newborn might be sick in some way that would make its care exceptionally difficult for the parents.
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Abortion in El Salvador
Abortion in El Salvador is illegal. The law formerly permitted an abortion to be performed under some limited circumstances, but, in 1998, all exceptions were removed when a new abortion law went into effect.
Under the new Penal Code of 1973, an abortion could be legally allowed under three major conditions: if the pregnant woman’s life was endangered and abortion was the only means to preserve it, if her pregnancy had resulted from rape or statutory rape, or if a serious congenital disorder was detected in the fetus. An abortion caused on part of the woman’s negligence was exempted from prosecution, and the government also provided reduced penalties for a woman of good standing if she had consented to an illegal abortion, or self-induced one, in the interest of protecting her reputation.
Proposals to eliminate the exceptions to the general prohibition against abortion started to come before the country’s Legislative Assembly in 1992. One bill would have resulted in the investigation of medical clinics suspected of providing abortion; as a result of a 1993 study, overseen by a politician affiliated with the Christian Democratic Party, several health care workers were arrested. Another proposal in 1993, which was supported by the Archbishop of San Salvador and the Say Yes to Life Foundation, would have made December 28, a traditional Roman Catholic feast day known as the Day of the Innocents, the “Day of the Unborn”.
In 1997, the Nationalist Republican Alliance submitted a draft bill, designed to amend the Penal Code to withdraw all grounds under which abortion was then permitted. On April 25, 1997, the Legislative Assembly voted 61 out of 84 to approve this modification to the Code.
On April 20, 1998 the new Penal Code was enacted, removing the exceptions that had been instituted in 1973, including the provision for the pregnant woman’s life. Under this Code, a person who performs an abortion with the woman’s consent, or a woman who self-induces or consents to someone else inducing her abortion, can be imprisoned for two to eight years. A person who performs an abortion to which the woman has not consented can be sentenced to four to ten years in jail; if the person is a physician, pharmacist, or other health care worker, he or she is instead subject to between six to 12 years.
El Salvador also amended its Constitution in January 1999 to recognize human life from the moment of conception.
The organizations IPAS, MADRE, and Women’s Link Worldwide submitted a report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee in which they contended that the El Salvadoran law against abortion violates several treaties that El Salvador has ratified: the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR); the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD); the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC); and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
They point out that “The Constitution of El Salvador protects every person’s right to life, liberty, security of person, and social justice. Furthermore it establishes that all persons are equal before the law and there can be no restrictions based on race, gender or religion. El Salvador’s criminal anti-abortion legislation violates all of these constitutional and human rights established in the previously mentions international conventions.”
The criminalization of abortion has extremely serious consequences for women’s lives and health: abortions performed under dangerous conditions; high mortality and morbidity rates; and a lack of reliable studies that could help health services provide better care to their clients, including women who have had abortions in unsafe conditions. This situation is further exacerbated by the persecution of women by the Salvadoran justice and health systems. In some cases, therapeutic abortions are performed by physicians in medical settings, and justified as other procedures, e.g. a laparotomy rather than an abortion.
Doctors in El Salvador report that women seeking abortions use a wide variety of methods: clothes hangers, metal rods, high doses of contraceptives, fertilizers, gastritis remedies, soapy water, and caustic fluids. The most common methods are pills, such as Cytotec and potassium permanganate (inserted vaginally); catheters to inject soapy water or caustic liquids; rods of any type of material to penetrate the uterus; injections of unknown solutions; or a combination of abortion methods, such as pills, a catheter, and an injection or pills and a metal rod.
Using pills, catheters, injections and rods can kill a woman or injure her permanently. In addition to having only dangerous methods at their disposal, the women being tried for abortion were forced to self-induce abortions in their homes, in unsanitary conditions or in clandestine clinics that could not guarantee adequate procedures. If complications arise due to the conditions in which the abortion was practiced, they are then at risk of being reported by hospital staff who treat the complications. All of this highlights the risk to life, health, security of person and liberty that terminating an unwanted pregnancy represents for young, low-income women in El Salvador.
A report in 2001 revealed that, after the new Penal Code went into effect in 1998, 69 cases of illegal abortions had been prosecuted. In 23 of those cases, the women involved had been turned over to the authorities by health care workers when they arrived at the hospital seeking treatment after an unsafe abortion. Most abortions had been self-induced, through the use of clothes hangers, or by the ingestion of harmful amounts of hormonal contraception pills, antacids, or misoprostol pills.
In an article published in the April 9, 2006 edition of the New York Times Magazine, writer Jack Hitt explored the effect of 1998 Penal Code. The article was later discredited when it was revealed that a woman mentioned as having been sentenced to 30 years in prison for an abortion, Carmen Climaco, had been jailed for homicide of a full-term infant. In fact, Karina del Carmen Herrera Climaco had given birth at home and then began to bleed heavily. Her mother called police to take her to hospital. While she was in hospital, police searched her home and found a lifeless infant. Medical examination failed to determine if the infant was born alive or dead, nor a cause of death. Nevertheless, a sentence of aggravated homicide was passed, separating her from her three children. Almost 8 years later, thanks to the efforts of a group of activists and national and international attorneys, Karina’s sentence was reviewed. It was annulled and she was released. She has not been compensated for her eight years of incarceration.
Another 30-year sentence was passed out for an apparent miscarriage, in August 2008, by the Tribunal of San Francisco Gotera in the department of Morazan. Marxa Edis Hernxndez Mxndez de Castro, 30, was a single mother with 4 children when she found out she was pregnant. Maria told her family that she was pregnant, even though she didn’t know how far along the pregnancy was. During the pregnancy, Maria felt a pain and went to the bathroom in her home at which time she suffered labor complications and passed out. She regained consciousness in the National Hospital of San Francisco. The doctor that treated Maria reported her to the police on suspicion of having an abortion. She was convicted of aggravated homicide and sentenced to thirty years in prison. Two more cases of women sentenced to lengthy prison terms for what might have been abortions or miscarriages are detailed in the same report.
The lack of contraceptive information and the ban on abortion put women’s lives at risk, particularly when they are young. One-third of the women giving birth are 19 or younger, and a handful are 10 – 14 years old.
In 2013, a case arose of a pregnant 22-year-old woman, identified as “Beatriz,” who, due to lupus aggravated by loss of kidney function, was told by doctors that she would likely die if she gave birth and that the child, due to its anencephaly, would likely have only a few hours of life. Her doctors requested permission from the government to perform an abortion because the fetus was nonviable and Beatriz was likely to die. When the case came before the Supreme Court, the court denied Beatriz’s request. She was given permission to have an early caesarean section, the same procedure that would have been used had the court ruled in her favor. Legally, this wasn’t an abortion because the fetus was incubated and given fluids. The child died five hours after the procedure. Beatriz was able to recover and leave the hospital. The case was identified by reproductive rights activists as evidence of a lack of progress towards the goals of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, which affirmed reproductive rights as human rights and emphasized the importance of reducing maternal mortality.
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Mildred Fay Jefferson
Dr. Mildred Fay Jefferson was an American physician, political activist. A graduate from Harvard Medical School, she is known for her opposition to the legalization of abortion and her work with the National Right to Life Committee.
Born in Pittsburg, Texas she was the only child of Millard and Guthrie Jefferson, a Methodist minister and a school teacher. Jefferson was raised in Carthage, Texas. At a young age “Millie” followed the town doctor around on his horse drawn buggy, this would later inspire her to become a doctor.
At the age of 16 she earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas College. Since she was too young to attend medical school, she went to Tufts University where she received her master’s degree. She then went on to Harvard Medical School and graduated in 1951, becoming the 1st black woman to do so.
After graduating from Medical Mildred went on to apply for a surgical internship at Boston City Hospital, becoming the 1st woman to do so. She was also the 1st female doctor at the former Boston University Medical Center. She would later become the 1st woman to become a member of the Boston Surgical Society.
It was around 1970 when Dr. Jefferson became one of the founders of Massachusetts Citizens for Life. She later helped found the National Right to Life Committee. In 1971, she became a member of the NRLC Board of Directors. She became the Vice President of National Right to Life in 1973 and then was elected as Chairman of the Board the following year. Mildred then was elected as President of NRLC in 1975 until 1978.
It was in 1980 that Dr. Jefferson helped the National Right to Life Committee start a Political Action Committee because she believed it was important to lobby and support Pro-Life candidates for office. While a Republican, she helped democrat Ellen McCormack run for the Democratic Party Nominee for President in 1976. Apart from NRLC, Mildred served on the Board of Directors of more than 30 Pro-life organizations.
She was a self-described “Lincoln Republican” and served on the 1980 Massachusetts Reagan for President Campaign. She also unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for the 1982, 1990, and 1994 U.S. Senate elections.
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The Taking is a 2004 novel written by Dean Koontz.
In the midst of an oddly sudden rain storm, author Molly Sloan awakens in the middle of the night. Unable to return to sleep, she leaves her husband Neil slumbering in bed and goes downstairs to work on a manuscript in progress.
Dark shapes huddle on her porch – coyotes from the nearby forest. She wonders what could have frightened such animals into leaving the sanctuary of the deep woods to brave the proximity of human beings. Disturbed, she steps outside, to stand among the wild beasts, and is frightened herself – not by the animals, but by the strange, oddly luminescent rain. On an instinctual level, she realizes that there is something unclean about the rain. Upon further thought, she recognizes that the odd, but familiar smell of the rain, is the smell of bleach, of semen..
Once she comes back to the house, Molly and her husband Neil search for information in the news. They are only able to gather that the same phenomenon is taking place all over the world, before all communications are lost. They decide to flee their isolated home, gathering with the residents of the nearby small mountain town, in order to prepare a resistance, though they aren’t even sure against what they will be fighting. After 10 hours of downpour, the rain stops. In its place, a thick, ominous fog obscures everything, reducing trees and buildings to looming shadows. By then, Molly and Neil are in the town’s tavern, where around 60 people have gathered with dogs and children. It is implied that the phenomenon is the product of an alien invasion.
Unfamiliar noises are heard and strange lights are seen. Peculiar fungi appear in the restroom of a local tavern, and a frightening fungus grows upon trees, lawns, houses, and people alike. From time to time, huge objects drift above the terrified populace, and people feel as if they are known, completely, by whatever or whoever occupies these aerial craft – if the silent, drifting objects are crafts of some kind.
Molly and Neil, accompanying a stray dog named Virgil, set off on a mission to rescue the town’s children, many of whom are trapped in their homes. Meanwhile, the people at the tavern, split into warring factions, struggle against the mysterious threat that has seized their town. Oddly, Virgil seems to be able to supernaturally sense when and where certain children are endangered. It is revealed, later, that other animals are also leading rescue efforts to save other children.
As they search for answers, the townspeople conclude that they are under siege by extraterrestrial invaders who have come as an advance party to reverse-terraform the Earth so that its altered atmosphere will support their alien physiological needs, although, in doing so, they will poison the planet for its human residents, who must die so that the invaders may live. At all times, while they encounter the most horrible and twisted creatures during their journey, Molly senses that the invaders are of the most malignant kind, and that they want nothing but destruction.
After going through different horrors, Molly and Neil are able to save 13 children total, with the help of Virgil and other dogs. Molly is convinced that the aliens have allowed them to rescue the children to harvest them for some more terrible end; however, a chain of events leads her to believe that there is still hope, and that the children have been spared for a special reason. After 36 hours of rain, mist, and darkness, a new rain comes, but to the delight of the characters, the new rain is clean, and washes all the monsters, fungus, and diseased alien presences in the world.
At least a year later, Molly, Neil, and eight of the children they rescued are living together in a house. Society has begun a slow path towards reconstruction; most of the survivors are the children, and those who rescued them, plus dogs and cats that helped in the rescues. Molly is now a teacher, and Neil has gone back to work in the church. Most people don’t talk about what happened, and the reasons behind the departure of the aliens are never discussed.
However, while the identity or the origin of the invaders is never explicitly explained, at the end of the book, Molly realizes that the invaders were not aliens at all, but that they had actually lived through the biblical apocalypse, and that the monsters where demons, sent to earth to annihilate humanity. Only a few would be spared, as in the ark of Noah, to rebuild a cleaner world. Several facts through the novel support her belief.
The book ends on a light note, with Molly deciding to write a book again – not to publish it, but for her son or daughter, soon to be born. When Neil asks her what the book will be about, she answers “Hope”.
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One Door Away from Heaven
One Door Away From Heaven is a novel by the best-selling author Dean Koontz, released in 2001.
A shapechanging alien has come to Earth with others of his kind to save us from ourselves. After witnessing the slaughter of his entire family by evil aliens bent on stopping him, he takes off on a cross-country race to save himself. He stops at a farmhouse in the middle of the night to “borrow” some money and clothes, and comes across a sleeping boy about his age. Using a drop of blood from an old bandage, he is able to “become” Curtis Hammond, the exact duplicate of the boy. Seconds after leaving the house, the evil aliens arrive and murder the family, leaving only the dog alive. Curtis and the dog escape, and eventually end up at the location of an alien sighting. UFO buffs Castoria and Polluxia Spelkenfelter, twins, recognize Curtis from the news reports of his murder and decide to help him. Eventually he reveals to them his true nature, and they pledge to assist him in the mission he has come to Earth to complete. Together, twins, boy, and dog set off for Nun’s Lake, Idaho, the next stop on the twins’ itinerary while they decide what to do next.
Michelina Bellsong just got out of prison. She has moved in with her Aunt Geneva in order to make a new start, but things aren’t going her way. She feels adrift and without direction, just wanting to get through the day. While sunning in the backyard, she is approached by a precocious but disabled little girl. Leilani Klonk has a deformed hand and a deformed leg, which requires a brace. She is more intelligent and articulate than the average nine year old, and disarms Mickey with her wit. Mickey and Geneva get to know the girl, and find out that her mother is an insane drug addict, and her step-father is a murderer. He killed her older brother Lukipela, and Leilani is next. Leilani believes that no one can help her, as Preston Maddoc is highly thought of by the academic community. Preston and Sinsemilla, Leilani’s mother, bounce across the country looking for UFOs and Leilani knows it’s only a matter of time before they bounce back to Montana, which is where Preston murdered her brother Lukipela. Mickey and Geneva vow to find a way to help Leilani, but Preston finds out and takes off with the family in the dead of night. Mickey discovers them gone and sets out after them, determined to save Leilani. Leilani has mentioned that they are headed to Nun’s Lake, Idaho to the site of a supposed close encounter and Mickey races to reach the town and find the girl. Mickey arrives and goes to speak to the man who was “healed” by aliens, and finds out that Leilani’s step-father hasn’t been there yet. She stakes out the house, wanting to find Preston and follow him to Leilani. Preston is alerted to her presence by the man who was healed, who he then murders. He sneaks out of the house and creeps up on Mickey, knocking her unconscious. He carries her into the dead man’s house and ties her up, leaving her there and racing back to the campground.
Curtis encounters Leilani at the campground in Nun’s Lake and knows she’s in trouble. He and the twins approach her while Preston’s out and convince her to come with them. As they are running for the twins’ RV, Leilani is snatched by her step-father and taken to the house he has hidden Mickey in. His plan is to make Leilani watch him kill Mickey, then torture and kill Leilani. When he gets back to the house, he discovers that Mickey has gotten free of her restraints. He dumps Leilani, takes her brace, and starts searching for Mickey in the maze of old magazines and newspapers. Leilani heads into the maze looking for a way out, and she and Mickey find each other. Preston traps them in a corner and lights the newspapers in front of them on fire, planning to listen as they burn to death. Curtis and the twins, now aided by a disillusioned ex-PI sent by Aunt Gen, arrive at the house. Noah Farrell, the PI, shoots Preston Maddoc as he races through the maze searching for Mickey and Leilani. Preston stumbles away, getting weaker and weaker from blood loss and smoke inhalation. Noah and Cass find Mickey and Leilani and the four of them search for an exit. Curtis, in his natural form, comes to their rescue, and they all escape the house. Preston Maddoc is buried under a pile of burning trash and dies.
Leilani, Mickey, Aunt Gen, and Noah join Cass and Polly in their quest to help Curtis fulfill the mission he’s been sent here for.
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From the Corner of His Eye
From the Corner of His Eye‘ is a novel by the best-selling author Dean Koontz, released in 2000. It is the story of a boy named Barty Lampion, a ruthless killer named Junior Cain, and a girl named Angel, born by the result of a rape.
Dean Koontz writes a tale of good and evil, and how the concepts influence people’s lives. The book begins with three separate stories that eventually intertwine: a loving relationship between a mother and her genius son, a ruthless killer, and a young woman who takes it upon herself to raise her late sister’s baby.
Bartholomew Lampion was born to Agnes and Joey Lampion, but Joey died in a car accident on the way to the hospital to take Agnes in for labor. Barty was exceptionally smart as a baby. He learned to talk and walk exceptionally early and taught himself to read at the age of two. He also started advanced mathematics a little later. Throughout the book he is known as a “child prodigy.” One day, Barty and his mother go to his father’s grave when it is raining. Agnes gets soaked in the weather, but not a single drop touched Barty, as he says, “I ran where the rain wasn’t.”
Barty, when reading at the age of three, starts to complain about wavy lines in the pages of his book. A doctor informs Barty and his mother that he has a rare cancer that would spread to his brain if his eyes weren’t removed. Barty’s eyes are then surgically removed, but later in the book he gets to see again. When he is thirteen, Barty says that he sees where he wasn’t blind. His daughter, Mary, eventually permanently restores his sight.
Agnes Lampion is Bartholomew’s mother who is an extremely kind woman who helps others by providing her faith, hope, and occasionally a pie. She cares for her twin brothers who are both traumatized and have slight mental issues. Despite these draw backs she still treats them as normal people and never once shows grief at their presence. Agnes grew up with a father who was very strict and often punished his children very harshly. She wasn’t allowed to take part in any entertainment for it was considered a sin. Her brothers are wary of the house after their father’s death, for too many painful memories occurred there, but Agnes tries to wash the horrid suffering away by replacing the terrible reminds with happier ones in their new family. While most people would despise religion after having such strict teaching shoved onto them so brutally, Agnes still strongly believes in God and in his teachings. She often prays for those who are down on their luck, while also providing pies and groceries to people who are in need. Agnes is confused by her son’s special talents but does not cast them off as her father would have and embraces them. She carries huge burdens on her shoulders but with her rock like faith she can take on anything. Agnes is one of the characters who represent everything good in the world, while even though she is innocent and a better person than a large chunk of today’s population, terrible things still happen to her. Her character shows that while you may have done nothing wrong, bad things happen and it’s important to hold faith because when one door closes a new one opens.
Enoch Cain Jr is a delusional psychopath. He pushed his beloved Naomi off the observation platform of a fire tower to her death. It was later revealed that he did this for financial benefit, profiting from the state paying him compensation to avoid a civil lawsuit, as Junior would have triumphed in resulting litigation if he had decided to do so, claiming the bridge wasn’t maintained adequately. He manages to fool all the investigating officers into thinking that it was an accident. Only one detective, Thomas Vanadium, is unpersuaded, and later devotes his life to proving Junior’s guilt. He manages to nearly kill Vanadium and believes he did so, but eventually, Vanadium is revealed to have survived and constantly stalks Junior, at 1st making him believe that he is a ghost back for vengeance.
Junior often promises himself he will never kill again for fear of punishment, and yet he breaks these promises due to his increasing insanity and eventually decides he enjoys killing and becomes a serial killer. Junior’s reasoning for this is that he has no belief in an afterlife and decides to do whatever he wants in this world without fear of punishment in the next. He also seems incapable of feeling any remorse mentally, but his body almost always reacts physically to these events, such as stress-induced VD. He normally rationalizes these with absurd explanations that only make sense in his own demented mind. His life and the White family’s destinies become intertwined because of an unsettling dream and an act of violence. Early in the book, he believes that Angel is Barty, and attempts to kill her, Celestina, and Wally but, though he wounds Wally badly, is fended off and nearly shot by Celestina. Later, Junior is revealed to be Angel’s father, the result of a rape. In the end, his assumption his offspring would bring about his undoing is true as he is ultimately pushed into another world by Angel after trying to kill Barty and being distracted by his nemesis, Detective Vanadium, leaving the killer trapped there. According to Angel, this world is inhabited by the ‘big bugs’ she was drawing. While his fate isn’t explained further, it can be assumed he was either killed by the ‘big bugs’ or died of old age.
Thomas Vanadium was a detective and previously a man of the cloth. He had a talent to flick quarters through a hole or gap in dimensions and into another. He was sent into a coma which lasted for 8 months after Junior killed a nurse and tried to kill Vanadium. Vanadium suffered numerous facial injuries as a result of this, thus making his face severely distorted. However, he chooses to keep his face in this condition as a way of tormenting Junior, spending much of the book after this making Junior believe he is a ghost back for revenge. Unlike Angel, Barty cannot extend his power to Vanadium so he can walk in the rain without getting wet. Near the end of the story, he helps Angel, Grace, and Celestina move into the Lampions’ house. After finding Junior’s former lawyer’s severed head in a cooler at his and Wally’s house, Vanadium arrives just in time to distract Junior enough for Angel to push her evil father into another world. Eventually, after Jacob is killed by Junior, he moves into Jacob’s apartment on the Lampion’s property. A few years before Thomas eventually died from old age, he once again became a man of the cloth.
Celestina White was the sister of Seraphim White, who took it upon herself to raise her late sister’s baby.
Angel White is the daughter of Seraphim White and Seraphim’s rapist, Junior Cain. She was adopted by Celestina, her aunt. She and Bartholomew become friends almost immediately.. Celestina, Wally, and her grandmother, Grace, later move in next door. She, like Tom and Barty, can see other realities but also has the ability to push people into other worlds, which she only does once and she has no way to bring them back. She finally ends her father’s reign of terror by pushing him into another world, which she says was a picture she drew of giant insects.
Edom Isaacson, as stated above is the identical twin brother of Jacob as well as Agnes’ older brother. He often recites terrible natural disasters from the past to a mostly unwilling audience. As a child, he received an award for roses, but his father (who considered striving to better one’s self a sin) beat him and tried to force him to eat some of the roses. After Agnes marries Joey, Joey takes him to town and buys him all the materials he needs to start his own rose garden. Edom later marries Agnes’s English student and good friend Maria Gonzalez, a Mexican woman, and he opens his own florist’s shop.
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Ticktock is a novel by Dean Koontz.
The story opens with Tommy getting a new corvette. He argues with his mother, refusing her offer for dinner. In a fit of rebellion, he eats two cheeseburgers, something his mother dislikes. He meets a blond waitress there. His radio quits working during one of these two trips, and in the static are eerie voices.
The doll appears to be growing larger as their journey continues. They visit Tommy’s brother, Gi, to try and translate the note. They then go to Del’s apartment, where we learn she’s quite rich, but is a waitress anyway. She also shows another side to her when Tommy wants to see her paintings, and she threatens to shoot him if he does. Her dog seems incredibly smart, something that unnerves Tommy.
In their journey to escape the ever growing doll, Tommy’s Corvette is trashed, two cars are stolen, and one large boat is trashed. They arrive at Del’s mother’s home, which seems utterly odd. They claim to be able to listen to live stuff from the past with their radio. Del’s mother shows an uncanny sense of time when she knows exactly when the rain will stop.
Gi calls and tells Tommy to go to their mother, and not to bring the blonde along. Tommy brings Del along anyway, where he then learns the doll was conjured to scare him back home by a friend of his mother. They begin a ritual that, after a few harrowing minutes, completely dispels the monster.
Tommy sees Del’s paintings and they’re of him. She had remotely viewed him over the past 2 years because she knows he is her destiny.
He and Del get married in Vegas. Then they go back to their normal town, and in a conversation with Tommy’s mother, Tommy learns Del is actually an alien, implanted in her mother when her mother and father were abducted a long time ago. Del’s dog is also an alien, sent to be her guide. They are supposed to find the evil extraterrestrial influence and remove it. Del states that it is very lonely, but now it will not be because she has Tommy.
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Intensity is a novel by the best-selling author Dean Koontz, released in 1995.
Chyna Shepard is a college student visiting the family of her friend, Laura Templeton, for a long weekend. Chyna, who was abused and neglected by her mother as a child, finds the Templeton house provides something she has yearned: acceptance. This comes to a violent end when Edgler Vess, a serial killer, breaks into the house in the night and methodically kills all of the occupants except Laura and Chyna.
Chyna hides from him under her bed and waits until he goes downstairs. She searches the house and finds Laura’s father shot and tied to a toilet seat, and the mother stabbed to death in the shower. Chyna encounters Vess on the stairs eating a spider before she sneaks into Laura’s room. She finds Laura tied up and raped. Chyna sneaks away, promising to return. Before she can intervene, Vess kills Laura and takes her to his motor home. Chyna hears Laura screaming and runs upstairs intending to attack Vess with a knife. Unaware Laura is dead, Chyna sneaks aboard the motor home and finds her friend’s corpse. Before she can escape, Vess drives away. Chyna hides in a back room, planning to escape at the earliest opportunity. When he stops at a gas station, she sneaks out of the motor home, and heads inside the gas station to find a phone. Chyna surreptitiously watches Vess boast to the gas station clerks that he is holding a young girl, Ariel, prisoner in his basement, before he kills them and drives away. Chyna feels compelled to follow Vess and help free the girl. She takes an attendant’s car, and follows Vess. Chyna passes Vess while traveling through a state park and crashes her car into a redwood tree. While Vess gets out to investigate, Chyna sneaks on board the motor home.
By the time Vess reaches his house, he has discovered that Chyna is on board. Fascinated, he decides not to kill her immediately to see what she will do. Chyna breaks into his house and goes into the basement to find Ariel, locked in a room and catatonic. Before she can free Ariel, Vess attacks Chyna in the kitchen, punching her unconscious before binding her with a chain in the kitchen. He taunts her for a while, revealing details about his past and past crimes. Obsessed with the “intensity” of any particular experience, sensory and existential, Vess styles himself as a “homicidal adventurer”, and has killed continually since childhood. He offers to allow Chyna to live if she aids him in mentally torturing Ariel out of her catatonia. Then, Vess leaves for work. Chyna escapes from her chains by breaking away from the table to which she is chained and slamming her chair into a wall. She releases Ariel from her prison. Vess has trained a pack of deadly Dobermann pinschers to guard his property and kill anyone attempting to get in or out. Chyna dresses in Vess’s dog-training clothing and sprays ammonia on the dogs to get through the dogs and into the motor home. She and Ariel exit the house, and take a vehicle. Chyna sees a police car on the road, so she pulls over to signal it, only to discover that the driver is Vess, the local “county sheriff”. In the ensuing showdown, she rams his police car, soaking him and the highway with gasoline, though this fails to kill him as he escapes his car and uses a shotgun to disable the motor home, causing it to tip over. Chyna and Ariel escape the crippled wreck but Vess catches up to them and knocks Chyna to the ground but Ariel continues on, distracting Vess long enough for Chyna to get a lighter she’d grabbed at the gas station. She uses it to ignite the gas covering Vess and the highway before rolling to safety. She catches up to Ariel and watches as Vess meets his end in the flames. They are then rescued by a passing motorist.
A few months later Chyna adopts Ariel, who has begun to speak in small phrases and meets a man who she falls in love with.
Intensity was made into a two-part TV movie in 1997 that 1st aired in America on the Fox Network. It starred Molly Parker, John C. McGinley, and Tori Paul.
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Dragon Tears is a 1993 paranormal/horror novel by the best selling author Dean Koontz.
The opening line sets the tone “Tuesday was a fine California day, full of sunshine and promise, until Harry Lyon had to shoot someone at lunch.” The book covers the events of several seemingly unassociated people and how that one day gets worse and worse culminating in a hopeless situation. With real monsters and magic to deal with all are physically and mentally taxed to their limits.
Harry Lyon is a cop who embraces tradition and order. His partner, Connie Gulliver, is Harry’s exact opposite. Harry doesn’t like the messiness of her desk, her lack of social polish or her sometimes casual attitude towards the law. Connie often urges him to surrender to the chaos of life that is the 1990s. “Look, Harry, it’s the Age of Chaos,” she tells him. “Get with the times.” And when Harry and Connie have to take out a hopped-up gunman in a restaurant, the chase and shootout swiftly degenerate into a surreal nightmare that seems to justify Connie’s view of the modern world. Shortly after, Harry encounters a filthy, rag-clad denizen of the streets, who says ominously, “Ticktock, ticktock. You’ll be dead in sixteen hours.” Struggling to regain the orderly life he cherishes, Harry is trapped in an undertow of terror and violence. For reasons he does not understand, someone is after him, Connie Gulliver and the people he loves.
Harry Lyon- Police officer.
Connie Gulliver- Harry’s partner.
Sammy Shamroe- Common vagrant who used to be an advertising agency executive.
Janet Marco- Mother who lives in her car with her five-year old son, Danny Marco. Used to be married to Vince Marco.
Enrique Estefan- Harry’s friend and former partner.
Bryan Drackman- A young man who has the power to create golems and ‘pause’ time at will.
Woofer- A stray dog who has taken up with Janet and Danny. Several sections of the story are told from Woofer’s olfactory-centric point of view.
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Midnight is a novel by the best-selling author Dean Koontz. It was published in 1989. The book is a cross-genre novel. It includes aspects of suspense, science fiction, love story, and horror.
As with many Koontz books, Midnight is divided into parts. Part One: Along the Night Coast, contains chapters one through fifty-seven. Part Two: Daybreak in Hades, contains thirty-seven chapters, but is similar to Part One in that it begins with its own ‘Chapter One’. Part Three: The Night Belongs To Them, follows suit, begins with its own Chapter One, and has forty-one chapters.
It is interesting to note that Midnight contains a total of one-hundred and thirty-five chapters, far exceeding the chapter count of most contemporary novels.
Midnight is Dean Koontz’s 1st No. 1 hardcover on the New York Times bestseller list.
Midnight has a mixture of two classic plots- the great 50′s film Invasion of the Body Snatchers and the classic H.G. Wells tale, The Island of Dr. Moreau. And, indeed, Koontz cleverly mentions both of these later in the novel.
At heart, Midnight is an exploration of the abuse of biotechnology and how the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands, can be exploited and destroyed through that abuse.
The book opens with four separate stories that quickly weave themselves together and become different viewpoints of one overarching plot. First: Janice Capshaw, a nighttime jogger, is pursued and then killed by a pack of mysterious and nightmarish beasts while she is jogging along the beaches of a coastal town named Moonlight Cove. Second: Twenty-two days later, Sam Booker, an undercover FBI agent, arrives in Moonlight Cove to investigate the suspicious deaths of Janice Capshaw and eleven other people. Third: Chrissie Foster, an eleven-year-old girl, witnesses her parents in a physically altered state- part human and part beast- and then must flee for her life, narrowly escaping death at the hands of her ‘beast parents’. And fourth: Tessa Jane Lockland, sister of Janice Capshaw, arrives in Moonlight Cove to uncover the secret of her sister’s unexplained death.
The search for the truth begins. Sam is searching for an all encompassing explanation for everything strange and deadly that is taking place in Moonlight Cove. Tessa is searching for the reason behind the cover up of her sister’s death. And Chrissie is searching for someone, anyone, who can save her from her parents and any other creature that might be trying to kill her.
At the very beginning, Sam, Tessa, and Chrissie are all hunted- albeit separately- by the mysterious beasts and each survives their encounter. Chrissie believes the creatures are aliens invading the earth and taking over the bodies of humans. Sam has no idea what they are, but discovers that Thomas Shaddack, a brilliant computer scientist, is converting the citizens of Moonlight Cove into something unexplained. He also learns that the local police are involved in a massive cover-up of the strange and deadly events that are happening in Moonlight Cove.
Early on in the story, Sam and Tessa meet and realize that in order to survive they must work together. However, they find it nearly impossible to discover what is going on, because they are being pursued non-stop by both the police and the beast-humans. Because of a letter sent to the FBI by a resident of Moonlight Cove- Harry Talbot- offering information about the deadly events in town, Sam knows that he must find Talbot. Harry is a Vietnam vet, who was terribly injured during the war, and now uses a wheelchair. He has not yet been converted into one of the beasts. Because he spends most of his time watching the people of Moonlight Cove- through his telescopes- Harry has learned what is going on in town and also learns that Thomas Shaddack and the local police are behind it all.
Regardless of numerous attempts to kill them, Sam and Tessa learn the full story behind the secret of Moonlight Cove. Thomas Shaddack had created a means whereby a person can be converted into a super-human no longer susceptible to illness, injury, fatigue, or emotion. But the conversion has an unforeseen side-effect. From their super-human form, many of the people begin to regress into the deadly human-beasts that are prowling around the town. These creatures exist for no other reason than to kill others and to stay alive, themselves.
In the end, Shaddack descends into complete madness, his plan goes terribly wrong, most of the townspeople revert into super-creatures, and death fills the streets and homes of Moonlight Cove. The town has literally become a place of ‘kill or be killed’. Seeing that nothing can stop the town’s descent into chaos, the Chief of Police, Loman Watkins, vows to kill Shaddack, which will automatically and simultaneously kill every converted person in the community. As part of each ‘conversion’ Shaddack has placed a microchip inside each person that will kill them should Shaddack’s heart stop.
The novel concludes quickly and very dynamically. Shaddack is killed, most of the town dies, Sam, Tessa, and Chrissie survive and the FBI is sent in to clean up the mess.
Tessa Jane Lockland A documentary film maker and the sister of an early victim of Shaddack’s regressive citizens.
Chrissie Foster An 11 year old girl who escapes from her parents after they try to convert her to become one of Shaddack’s regressive citizens.
Loman Watkins Chief of Police for Moonlight Cove. A good police officer who cares about the well-being of his community. He is one of the 1st people converted by Shaddack, but he is converted without his consent.
Thomas Shaddack Shaddack is the primary antagonist he has one of the more bizarre and startling introductions in Midnight. He is a supervillain, humanized. He is a sociopath with no remorse whatsoever. He has no ability to understand, or care about, the lives of others. He became a murderer at a very young age when he killed both of his parents. He sees his purpose in life as nothing less than the complete subjugation of the human race which would enable him to do anything and everything that his twisted mind desires.
Harry Talbot A disabled Viet Nam veteran who observes the changes in the town through his telescope and alerts the FBI to the problems.
Moose Harry Talbot’s intelligent service dog.
Janice Capshaw A late night exercise enthusiast and the widow of a Lutheran minister. She is an early victim of Shaddack’s regressive citizens. Her sister Tessa, or T.J., comes to town to investigate her death.
Mike Peyser A regressive citizen.