C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

Caleb Medley: Aurora shooting victim needs our help

Caleb Medley

You are just 23 years old, about to become a dad. Your wife, lovely and only 21, is about to give birth to your son any day now. You plan to call your son Hugo. You have dreams that you will be a stand up comic one day. You’ve done some open mics. You’re working toward your dreams. You can hardly wait for your baby to arrive. Life is good. Tonight, for one last night, you’ll go to a midnight movie première without a care, without having to think about arranging for a babysitter or calling home to check on the baby. It’s going to be like any other night, but it’s your last outing with your pregnant wife, so it’s a milestone in the arc of your life.

It’s not going to be the milestone anyone could have predicted.

You’re in the theatre, having some popcorn. The movie’s fun. Then, twenty minutes into The Dark Knight Rises, a man with a gun bursts through an exit door and throws a canister of some kind of gas. The shooting starts and for about 15 seconds that feels like forever, by the light of the movie screen, the silhouette of the man with the gun fires and fires and fires ninety shots into the scrambling, panicked, screaming crowd. Everything you took for granted — what everyone took for granted — is turning upside down and disappearing. The nightmare gets worse. The light from the screen is gone and you’re lost in darkness. There is a dim light by the exit at the rear of the theatre. Do you cover your wife and baby and, in urgent whispers, beg her to play dead? Do you grab her hand and make a desperate run for the exit? No one knows what to do. There is only screaming, agony and gunfire. Help is coming. You don’t know it, but brave police officers are rushing to stop the chaos and help you. They will be on the crime scene, your battleground, within an amazing 90 seconds. Meanwhile, your mind is on a loop: This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening. Wake up!

Blind and shaking, you whisper to your wife everything will be okay.

You hear a roar in the darkness and a giant fist has crushed your face, your head, smacking you to the sticky floor. For all it describes, pain is such a tiny, inadequate word. Your last thought is of your wife and child and all the years you won’t have together. Your hopes and dreams are ashes at the whim of a crazy person with an assault rifle and a shotgun. The world fades to black.  The man will be arrested. Ambulances will be called and paramedics, urgent and sure, will be here soon. But it’s too late for you.

Almost. You’re still here, but lost to darkness.

You are Caleb Medley. You’re lying on a ICU bed in a medically induced coma and you’ll be in the netherworld between waking and dying for at least a week. Maybe two. You hear sounds through a fog. The disembodied voices of loved ones reach down to you from a far, high place. They whisper everything will be okay, but you’ve got to get better. You’ve been shot in the eye, but the doctors are hopeful you will live. Live, please live, because your newborn son is waiting in his mother’s arms. What you don’t know yet is that your medical bills will rocket up to between one and two million dollars. There are operations ahead. Rehab therapy will be hard. There will be bills for expensive drugs. You will lose  work and time. You’ve missed the birth of your son.

But baby Hugo will have his father.

What you don’t know yet is that we are watching in horror. You don’t have insurance to help with your recovery, but that doesn’t mean your life is over before your dreams have a chance to take flight. We are sitting at our computers and watching television and we are thinking about you. We’re talking about you and we’re worried. We’re shocked because, though we like to think we are powerful, this could have happened to any one of us or our loved ones. You were just in the wrong place at the wrong time and no one should have to pay for that forever. We know what we have to do. The human family is answering the call. We are telling others through social media, our blogs, our friends and our neighbors. We’re picking up our phones and gathering our forces. One madman can diminish us all in a sick act of violence, but working together, we can elevate everyone once more with our compassion. Humanity survives every insult and injury because of our compassion.

The SOS, your call for assistance, is spreading.

We will help in whatever way we can. You haven’t asked. You’re still in the netherworld, clawing your way back to us from the darkness, but we know what to do. We’re spreading the word and gathering money to help you and your family get past this tragedy. Sleep, Caleb. Rest. Your life is not over. You, your wife and your son will have a new beginning. We’re coming as fast as we can. Help is on the way. We, too, are brave, urgent and sure.

PLEASE GO TO SUPPORTCALEB.COM 

to help this young family.

We may not have much to give, but we have great numbers on our side. We are an army filled with compassion, so every donation, even a dollar, helps.

Thank you for coming to Caleb’s rescue.

(Need to know more? Check the links below.)

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VIDEO: Yes, you could be Batman Jesus!

This week I posted about how the Internet rose up in indignation and, with one voice, condemned a small press publisher for his treatment of a writer and her work. The Internet has so much power for good when an idea goes viral. It’s not all about harsh German porn. Okay, a lot of it is, but we could do something really amazing here. You, sitting at your keyboard right now, could do something amazing. Joshua is a young man with leukaemia and he is suffering. I’m asking all of my loyal followers, casual readers and cranky haters to please harness that same fire we used for righteous condemnation to rise up and help ease the financial burdens on Joshua and his family during this terribly trying time. You know cancer sucks. Let’s punch it back in its smug face.

Please spread the word to help the son of author Max Cyn.

Raise the cause and raise the money and raise up this family.

If someone were drowning, you’d throw them a rope. If someone yelled for help, dangling from a cliff, you’d help. You don’t have to be Batman. It’s just tossing a little rope, but that still makes you a hero. This IndieGoGo campaign is about tossing this family a rope. Working together, we can help pull them up and out.

Please donate if you can and if you can’t, then just spread the word. Tweet (Twitter tag: #indiesunite4joshua), share, reblog, tell your boss, tell the woman beside you on the bus, whisper about it to whomever’s in the next bathroom stall. Spreading the word can help  immensely. Even small donations pile up. We’re very close to meeting this worthy charity’s goal, but there’s only 13 days left in this campaign so please help out Joshua today! Thanks for this. When you help this young man with leukaemia, not only will you get perks from awesome indie authors, you will feel a little like Batman. Or Jesus. Or both. ~ Chazz

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Queen Elizabeth (Hogsbottom) decrees “The Golden Rule and all that!”

Life is not fair, but we are supposed to try to make it that way.

In the course of Joshua’s treatment, this young man’s heart has stopped, his kidneys have failed and his hair has fallen out. These are the days of the cancer patient: Lost work, lost time, lost energy, countless appointments, waiting in fear, pain and panic and even more waiting, underdressed in cold rooms. There are long nights waiting for the dawn and wondering. Cancer patients have to face too many stare-in-the-eyes, earnest talks from well-meaning people and are sometimes ignored by others who don’t want to look their way. Exhausted, cancer patients put on brave faces through the day and cry secret, lonely, midnight tears. With cancer treatment, bad things happen to you beyond your control and worry gnaws constantly. In short, cancer sucks. You know this.

But there is also hope. Hope is bigger than all the evil in the world. Health professionals dedicated to delivering the very best care surround Joshua, a phalanx of white-coated centurions. When you join this fight with a donation (and no donation is too small), you’re joining an army in the most important fight there is. This is the war that affects all of us. Communities rally around the casualties because (and this is not a metaphor) we are all cancer’s casualties. Who doesn’t know someone who has or has had cancer?

The IndieGoGo campaign has a modest goal. We are indie authors from around the world trying to help Joshua and his family with the bills. Is $10,000 enough? Not nearly. Please help how you can and you’ll get some sweet perks. For your generosity, there are plenty of great books and useful services to choose from, but the best perk of all is the feeling you’ll get when you help.

That’s why I donate time, money and perks.

That’s why I put my hand up an old British queen’s dress: for the warm fuzzies!

Please click the IndieGoGo donate button at Indies Unite for Joshua. 


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Please support Indies Unite for Joshua

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Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

For my author site and the Chazz network, click the blood spatter below.

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