A Trafficked Child’s Account

Voices of the Present and the Future would like to bring to attention the human trafficking industry on this last day of Mental Awareness Month.

There have been millions of women, men and children around the world who have been and who continue to be subjected to forced labor, domestic servitude, or the sex trade at the hands of these human traffickers. It’s a form of modern-day slavery, the inhumane practice of human trafficking that takes place here in the United States as well.

Human trafficking is one of the most heinous crimes investigated by ICE. In it’s worst manifestation, human trafficking is akin to modern-day slavery. They are forced into¬† prostitution, involuntary labor and other forms of servitude to repay debts-often incurred during entry into the United States.

One story from a child who was trafficked:

“I was 17 around when I met ‘Robert’. It started off with me and my friend meeting him for social purposes. It just went on for about nine months and we were living in different hotels the entire time and I don’t even remember how many men there were. I was a runaway and wasn’t living anywhere stable, so since I was underage most of the time, I sort of needed him in order to get hotels and move around.

I had already been a prostitute since I was 15 and I think I just didn’t even know what was right or wrong and how I should be treated. Towards the end, he held me against my will in a hostage situation and forced me to prostitute and took all the money and just beat me severely.

The last time I saw him, he was just beating me until he was absolutely tired. I was covered in bruises, my face was completely disfigured and it’s causing me issue with my back to this day because of the way he was beating me and torturing me. That was probably the worst. There was a client in the room and he was having issue with something I couldn’t do because I was all beat up. I didn’t want to do it anymore. I didn’t want to do anything. He wanted his money back. When Robert and him were talking I ran out of the room and somehow was able to run faster than him.

I didn’t tell anyone. I kept it to myself until I got a call from the FBI that he’d been arrested for something else and asked would I talk. Having to go face everything and realize how serious everything was. For the longest time I didn’t even think it was that serious.

At the trial, it felt empowering to look at him the entire time. I’m sure it drove him crazy. He can never touch me but he had to look at me and listen and it made me feel good.

I had to learn that if I don’t at least have some kind of love and value for myself, no one ever will. My advice to other girls would be to let people help you.”

Empower yourself and help empower other writers, leave comments, follow, subscribe or just hit the like button. If you have a similar story to share we would love to hear it. Let us know what you have to say here at Voices, past, present,and future.

Mental Awareness Month

Good Morning friends. It’s been a few days for me, but now that the holiday weekend has now come to an end, graduations have come and gone (pre-K and First Grade for me), the graduation parties, the holiday barbeque’s, we can now fully dive back in to work. I devoted some long deserved time to my reading, so that I can return some books to the library on time, and worked on my short story course. I wasn’t fully off duty.

If you’re anything like me, your house is never television free. Somewhere there is always a TV on. As Stephen King say, “Television is on of the worst things you can have as a writer.” For me, THIS IS SO TRUE!

I was also trying to work out some of the kinks in my first draft. Where I want to take this character, what situation I would like to put this character in, and does this character really need to be in the book? Reworking the outline persay.

As the month of Mental Awareness comes to a close, I look back on some of my past articles/posts and I urge those of you who struggle with anything to seek help, be it a friend you can confide in, a pastor (preacher/ any religious person whom you trust), a family member, a spouse, or doctor. Don’t cheat yourself out of the life you deserve and the happiness you deserve.

Take a moment and love yourself today. Support your friends and fellow writers.

EXCITING NEWS

Hello my faithful followers and future ones! I want to provide you an update on my future book “Small Town Facade”. If you have not yet had the chance to go into my pages and check it out, now is the TIME! I will be providing you updated chapters and they are doosies!

There is more than just a kidnapping going on in this town my friends! AND…..Someone else will go missing!

Don’t cheat yourself out of a great read, especially on these rainy days, mother nature is providing us to get caught up on our reading.

I look forward to reading your comments and also listening to your input on what you think should happen. THIS IS a first draft.. and you WILL find many mistakes.

As a beginning writer, we all look to our fellow writers for insight and communication, and advice on how to make ourselves better writers.

Support your fellow writers. And look for those NEW chapters later today!

A Monument of Love

Voices of the past would like to share with you one of the world’s greatest love stories.

It a great love begain in 1612, when Mumtaz Mahal, a Muslim Persian princess, married Shah Jehan, also known as Prince Khurram. The Prince would ascend to the throne in 1628 and become the 5th Mughal emporer. You will soon learn why this love story is so important to our past as you continue reading.

The queen’s real name was Arjumand Banu. In keeping with the traditions of the Mughals, important women of the royal family were given another name when they married. Mumtaz was the Princes’ second wife but she was considered his ultimate love match. By all accounts, she and the emporer were soul mates. Mumtaz accompanied him throughout all of his travels and his military expeditions, and she was his most trusted political advisor.

As with any legendary love story, tragedy would lurk in their future. Mumtaz would die giving birth to their 14th child. This had affected the emporer so badly that his black hair turned snow white in just a matter of months. He was overcome with grief, and had vowed to keep his beloved wife’s memory alive forever.

The emporer had decided to build her a monument of eternal love. Mumtaz had endeared herself to the people with her kindness, and the emporer’s subjects were inspired to help build the monument.

BECAUSE OF THE LOVE OF ONE MAN FOR HIS WIFE WE NOW HAVE WHAT IS NOW KNOWN AS THE TAJ MAHL.

Thank you for joining me for an inspiring love story to help you enjoy your Sunday.

Just One Cup

I answered CBKCreative.com post # 283 and I wanted to share it with you.

The prompt was: A mom wakes up and makes a cup of coffee, then spends all day trying to drink it.

I padded along the cold, wooden, floor into the kitchem and put a pod into my Kureg machine. Eyes still blurry, I went into the kids room, and rustled the little one’s awake. Once I was sure, or at least I thought I was, I turned on some cartoons and began to make their breakfast. Forgetting that my coffee had brewed, piping hot, steam traveling up and around the machine, I went once again to gather the little one’s for a hot meal before school.

As they gather at the table, wiping away what is left of the sandman’s mysteries and begin picking at their food, the way little one’s do, the telephone rings. Meanwhile, my coffee becomes mildly warm, the steam dissipating, and has yet to be sweetened with cream and sugar the way that I like it.

I answer the phone and listen to a friend who is in desperate need of a favor, as I begin to pack lunches and shush the little one’s , urging the kids to stop bickering, and please finish up and go get ready for school. I passively agree to my friend’s request in an urgent need to see that the children are moving about. My coffee sitting there, chilling, long forgotten. The caramel color of ideas but a mere dream.

While I’m checking that little teeth have been brushed, and styling little heads, I look into the mirror only to find that I, myself, am still a shamble. I sit the kids on the couch and dare them to move, running to my room to change. I put on a pair of shorts, a T-shirt, and pull my hair back. I brush my teeth and run out of the room grabbing my keys, rushing the kids to the car.

When I look back, making sure I turned off the stove, I see that little cup of heaven still sitting there, and a tear falls down my face as I turn, shutting and locking the door behind me.

THE ART FORM OF SHORT STORIES

Voices of the Present dares to bring you a little something different to the table today. I am working on a short story course and I thought (by chance) some of you may just benefit from the course as well.

“A novel is a daily labor of love over a period of years. A novel is job. But a story can be like a mad, lovely visitor, with whom you spend a rather exciting weekend.”

-Lorrie Moore

In writing a short story, you can be bolder, wilder, than you might dare be with a novel where you’re buckled in for the long hual. The brevity of the form of short stories allows for experimentation. You can write lots of short stories, and try lots of different things.

Some authors are famous mainly for their short stories. They include: Alice Munro, Flannery O’Conner, Charles Baxter, Eudora Welty, Raymond Carver, Mary Robison, John Cheever, and Kelly Link. This is only to name a few.

If you are like me, and are interested in publishing your fiction, short stories may be a good way to start. There are many literary magazines that publish short stories. There is a searchable directory here: https://www.pw.org/literarty_magazines

Publishing our short stories in magazines may allow us to build a trach record as a professional author that can also attract the attention of literary agents.

I CAN ONLY ADVISE YOU AS I AM BEING ADVISED IN MY COURSE.

WRITING PROCESS:

As we sit down to write the first draft of our story, it states that it is probably not helpful to think too much about story-writing technique.

The teaches advised not to worry about coming up with a great beginning or writing nice sentences. We will deal with all of that later, during the revision stage.

Our first draft is for generating raw material. To turn off the analytical, judging part of our brains and tap into our imaginations. To try to lose ourselves in the daydream of the story.

I ASK YOU TO JOIN ME AS I WORK THROUGH THE FIRST ASSIGNMENT, AS I HAVE GIVEN IT TO YOU FOR FREE.

ASSIGNMENT:

We are to throw a problem at a character and see what happens.

STEP 1: Choose a name for your character. Then, imagine some more details about this person, such as:

  • age
  • profession
  • physical description
  • positive personality traits
  • negative personality traits

STEP 2: Come up with three ideas for problems the character might face.

EXAMPLES:

  • lost cat
  • inappropriate feelings for his mother-in-law
  • ghost haunting her attic

STEP 3: Choose one of the problem ideas, and make it as specific as possible. (If your idea is aready specific, you can skip this step)

EXAMPLES:

  • If the problem is low self-esteem a more specific version might be: “wants to ask out the barrista at his local coffee house, but can’t believe any woman would ever be interested in him.”
  • If the problem is money trouble, a more specific version might be: “lost her job, needs rent money in one week to avoid eviction.”

STEP 4: How might your character react to the problem? Come up with three ideas.

STEP 5: Now, pick one of the ideas from step 4. The character is doing it. Take a few minutes to imagine the scene. Play it like a movie in your head.

STEP 6: Now, you’re going to write one sentence about something in the scene you just imagined. This sentence should either describe a physical action, or else it should be a line of dialogue.

STEP 7: The sentence you wrote for step 6 is going to be the first line of a story. It’s okay if it comes from the middle or the end of a scene! Use it as your starting point, and see what happens.

I ASK YOU TO JOIN ME IN THIS PROCESS AND COME UP WITH IDEAS TOGETHER. WE CAN LEARN THIS PROCESS TOGETHER.

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST AND WOULD LIKE TO CONTINUE WORKING THROUGH THESE LESSONS WITH ME LEAVE A COMMENT.

STRUGGLES

Ok guys, I had a week long full of family struggles. I’m sure you all have been through the same. We are a community and we should support one another and not forget to reach out and be there. I found a short story I wanted to share with you.

THE BUTTERFLY

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly.

One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.

Until it suddenly stoppeeed making progress and looked like it was stuck.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily, although it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man didn’t think anything of it and say there waiting for the wings to enlarge to support the butterfly. But that didn’t happen. The butterfly spent the rest of its life unable to fly, crawling around with tiny wings and a swollen body.

Despite the kind heart of the man, he didn’t understand that the restricting cocoon and the struggle needed by the butterfly to get itself through the small opening; were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings to prepare itself for flying once it was out of the cocoon.

MORAL:

Our struggles in life develop our strengths. Without struggles, we never grow and never get stronger.

Was Divorce the Real Issue?

Voices, past, present, and future is going to take you into the life of Robert William Fisher. As I dive into the Most Wanted List, I am finding that more and more of these fugitives used to be or were part of the military or some version of the government. It brings up the question, in mind alone or maybe yours as well, that something happens in the mind of these people during their time in service that makes it hard, unusually hard, to cope with a normal life’s pressures. That their only recourse to troubles is what they were trained to do, elliminate the problem.

Robert William Fisher served in the United States Navy and then later worked as a firefighter and then in the medical field. For someone with this caliber of background it is hard to imagine the crimes he has committed against those he professed to love so much.

Fisher married Mary Fisher in 1987, and then they had two children, Bobby and Brittney. It is said they had a difficult family life. Fisher was described as being cruel and controlling towards his family, and on many occasions, he was reported as exhibiting disturbing and violent behavior. It is known that he was unfaithful to his wife at least once during their marriage. What is believed is that his own parents had divorced when he was 15, and that this was what had played the role in the difficulties that Fisher would later experience in his life.

On April 10, 2001 the Fisher family home exploded. Inside were Fisher’s wife and two children. Their throats had been slit and Mary had been shot in the back of her head. Robert Fisher and his wife’s car were missing. Fisher was named the one and only suspect in his family’s murders. Mary’s car would be discovered on April 20, in a forest near Payson, Arizona. On June 29, 2002 Robert Fisher would be named the 475th by the FBI on the Ten Most Wanted list and on November 3, 2021 he would be removed from this list, although he still remains a wanted fugitive.

As we take a look into Robert Fisher’s early life and what is believed to have played a part in the change in his psche to cause such haneous acts against his family, we find that his parents divorce may have been the trigger. For most, in the beginning a divorce is traumatic for children, but for Fisher, it had a lasting effect.

Robert Fisher was born April 13, 1961, in Brooklyn, New York to William Fisher, a banker, and mother Jan Howell. He has two sisters. His parents divorced in 1976, when he was 15, and after this , he and his sisters went to live with their father in Arizona. According to friends and relatives, the divorce had been turbulent and had a long-lasting effect on Fisher. He and his sisters attended Sahuaro High School in Tucson, Arizona, and Fisher’s friends from high school stated that he was “very bitter” about the divorce.

While Fisher worked at the Mayo Clinic Hospital, close to the time of the murders, he had reportedly spoke with co-workers about this parents’ separation, and confided in an associate that his life would have been different had his mother, Jan, not left the family.

Before the murders, Fisher had enlisted in the United States Navy and attempted to become part of the SEALS, but he was nont successful. He is said to be an avid outdoorsman, hunter, and fisherman. (again with the dating profile) Fisher later would become a firefighter in California, but later be forced to retire due to a back injury. Fisher would then move his family to Arizona and embark on a career in the medical field, where he worked as a surgical catheter technician, and respiratory therapist. He had been a surgical technician at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale at the time of these murders.

Fisher would marry, Mary Cooper in 1987, and be described as a cruel and distant control freak toward his family. He and his wife would often fight about sex and money, (typical of marriage problems). Mary would take a job, and told friends this was a “security fund”. It was said that Fisher at one point had taken a garden hose, turned it on Mary because he perceived her to have spoken out of turn. Fisher had been embarrassed by his son’s lack of enthusiasm for hunting and fishing, and had once tried to teach Bobby and Brittany how to swim by throwing them off of a boat. Fisher’s hunting partner, Sandy Gillespie said, “They were crying, and Brittany was screaming, anad he pulled them back in the boat and he said, ‘Now there, how’s that?”

Robert Fisher would not allow his the walls of the house to be painted anything other than white, and only a small number of pictures would be allowed on the walls. Mary’s friend, Kimberly Sue Davidson, had told the police, “Several times Mary had special things, like quilts, she was not allowed to hang them up. She had to store them in the closet. And then he would continually tell her, isn’t it time you got rid of this stuff?”

Fisher tried to hold on to an image as a devoted family man, although Mary’s mother, Ginny Cooper, told the investigators theat, “Fisher didn’t socialize often with family because of a fear of getting too close to people and losing them.” Fisher’s own mother, Jan, stated that she was a “yes-sir” wife who did not stand up to Fisher’s father. She had also stated that she had seen similar dynamics early on in Fisher’s marriage to Mary and that she did speak about her concerns. A close friend of Fisher’s stated that his family, Mary and the kids, bore a striking resemblance to that of his childhood.

I think back to some things that happened in my childhood. We all have something that resembles a traumatic event. I am thankful that I didn’t take the things my mother imposed on me as a young child and do those things to my own children. I took what I had been through and chose not to let my own children ever live a life like I had to live. While my memories are still very vivid and cause depression at time, I broke that cycle. I only wish Fisher had done the same and spared the lives of his family and just walked away.

What bothers me is that friends and family had noticed Fisher exhibiting disturbing behavior when he was a young adult. He had been an outdoorsman and hunter and friends noticed his behavior on hunting trips and other outdoor activities. In one case, after he had killed and Elk, Fisher began smearing its blood on his face. On at least one occasion, Fisher had sneaked up behind a family that was picnicking and emptied his gun in the air.

The acts of this one man do not stop here. Fisher, in contrast to Mary, had been an active participant in the Scottsdale Baptist Church men’s ministry, but began to withdraw from the activities just a few months before the murders. In 1998, he had gone to the senior pastor for marital counseling. He had told co-workers of a one-night affair with a prostitute he met while at a massage parlor, fretting that Mary would find out that this was the cause of a urinary tract infection that had left him ill for several days in December of 2000. Some of his friends stated that in 1998, he spoke of committing suicide because he despaired over the condition of his marriage. Wade Rencsok, a former neighbor, stated, “They screamed constantly. Everyone heard it. You could hear it in the house next door, and you never really heard him scream, which is kind of weird. I mean, he had a way about him, but you never heard him scream. You always hheard his wife screaming, things like, ‘ You’re worthless. I could have done better than you. We should get a divorce.”

According to psychologists, an intense fear of loss is not unusual among individuals who were traumatized by divorce in adolescence. Mary had told several friends that she was going to divorce Fisher in the weeks before the murders. Fisher had told a hunting companion that he was renewing his commitment to his faith and his marriage because he “could not live without his family”, possibly hinting that he would consider suicide over divorce.

Investigators theorized that Fisher murdered his family because he felt threatened by Mary’s intention to divorce him, and did not want Brittney and Bobby to go through what he did as a child.

While I could continue with the theories about his possible suicide or the possibility that he used his hunting and survival skills to live in the woods for a time after the murders, I would rather turn attention to the fact that we all know someone with a disturbing mental condition or someone who struggles with depression. While I feel that if I had gotten treatment for depression as a child and dealt with my traumatic events, I could have been a more social person earlier on in life and succeeded just a bit more than I have now.

I urge you, help your friends, your family, to seek help if they are in need. Help the children of your community to overcome and be who they should be and who they can be.

If you enjoyed this story and want to read more, hit the like button, subscribe, or follow me. I urge you to leave comments and continue the conversation with me.

BOULDERS

I offer you another tale to start your day with a moral at the end.

THE OBSTACLE IN OUR PATH (OPPORTUNITY)

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. He then hid himself and watched to see if anyone would move the boulder out of the way. Some of the King’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many people loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none of them did anything about getting the boulder out of the way.

A peasant then came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to push the boulder out of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant went back to pick up his vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been.

The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the king explaining that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.

MORAL: Every obstacle we come across in life gives us an opportunity to improve our circumstances and while the lazy complain, the others are creating opportunities through their kind hearts, generosity, and willingness to get things done.

What will you do today? Will there be a boulder standing in front of you that you will move with all your might? Will your pen ly on the table today, or will you busy it with your creativity and inspire the world today?

What is the biggest obastacle you face today? Is it yourself or is it others? Let us know in the comments. No one likes to feel alone and through your words, maybe you can impact someone today.

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