Pieces & Stems

Lena Marshall’s history of abuse and abject poverty made her a likely person to become a highly regarded elementary school teacher, nurturing the eager minds of the young. Unable to gain protective care for an abused seven-year-old student, Lena kidnaps the tormented child, unaware the child has developed a multiple personality. Ten years later when Lena is stricken with a fatal illness, she leaves behind a diary to provide clues to help the child. The dead woman’s diary reveals a portrait of America that will keep you riveted to your seat.


Meet Jan Elton

It sounded like the raggamuffin looked like a ball of dirt. She shrank away every time the social worker tried to approach her. A life of terror had made her become unresponsive. The social worker wanted to avoid the proposed electric shock treatment. This is what I heard the social worker say on a Saturday television show. He described the need for funding mental health care for children. I didn’t know the proposed treatment was used on children, and I heard that adults who had it were often permanently damaged. I became obsessed with concern for this child. I wrote several leading magazines asking them to have more articles about abused children and the need for psychiatric care and funding. I never got a response. One year passed and every day I worried (obsessed) about this child and I daydreamed that I had saved her and made her healthy. I then decided that I could create more understanding of her predicament if I brought her to life and told her story. So, sit down, have a cup of coffee and meet “Catherine.”