The Orphan

A woman is found unconscious in the street with a severe head wound; she is also pregnant.
The woman gives birth to a son but later dies- her dying words was the Name Robin McNally- Police sergeant Bob Cole is out to get McNally a petty thief for murder but he manages to get off in court. The grand parents of the woman bring up the boy as their own. Jackie Boyle has an unusual talent- he has the ability to remember everything he see's. he can read a book in minutes and remember every word. Jackie watches his Grand Mother who he calls mam cooking and when she dies of a stroke is forced to cook and clean so that his father who is really his Grandfather; can go to work down the pit at Battlehill Colliery. The five year old does this until his father is killed in the pit rescuing his friends- Jackie is sent to Oakridge Children's Home where he suffered at the hands of the Matron and the nuns strict regime. The Orphan is a fast paced story that will leave you wanting to read more.

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There were sixty beds in the room and each on had a number; now he knew why he was called fifty eight. Each bed was lined up so that the person in the next bed down from you in the row you could only see his feet there were three rows of twenty with a six feet gap in between.

Anyone caught talking would be severely punished.

The nuns patrolled the bedroom with a lighted candle every hour on the hour.

Jackie was hungry now and his stomach rumbled.

“When everyone was in bed the light was switched off and there was complete darkness. He had been in bed only fifteen minutes when a group came around his bed.

Some one put there hand over his mouth to stop him from calling out and someone whispered in his ear.

“I’m Bradshaw; I’m the daddy in here and everything you get in here I get some of it do you get me?

Jackie nodded. “

“So if you get a food parcel sent to you I get first choice right?

“Again Jackie nodded.”

“Then the hand covering his mouth was removed and he was given a slice of bread with a scraping of margarine on it.”

“Get that down you sharpish; before the sister comes back but remember you owe me.”

“Thank you Bradshaw said Jackie. “

As fast as they had come; they disappeared like ants. The bread was stale but Jackie ate it all the same. When he had finished he brushed the crumbs away with his hand.

He sat back with his hands behind his head wondering what the morrow would bring.

He was soon fast asleep.

 

The next morning they were woken at five thirty where every bed was inspected and those who had wet themselves were paraded around with the wet sheets around their heads or body. Then they were frog marched to the showers to wash the offending odour from the sheets and night shirt until they were clean then they were hung out to dry. If they were still wet by the end of the day they were still placed on the bed and the person who soiled them would have to sleep on them or wear them.

The day started with a cold shower they were given a toothbrush but no toothpaste unless you had brought some or had some sent in. each brush had an Elastoplasts plaster stuck onto it with your number on it. They all went into a big jug for the next day then everyone put on the uniform they were given then march in single file to the church where mass was read.

Jackie had not been taught by Catholics in school; he had been raised by his father as a protestant because his father did not like the nuns who he suspected of beating the living daylights out of his father too. All those who had wet themselves were made to stand On a stone floor for hours until their feet turned blue with cold. Constant bed wetter’s were made to prostrate themselves naked in the sign of the cross to repent of their sins. If anyone lost a boot they were forced to stand on the foot where the boot was missing from. The other booted foot was not allowed to touch the floor.

 

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