The Wall A Novel by Rick Stockwell

What would you do, if you knew for certain, that a close friend or relative would be going to hell?

The following summary appears on the back cover of the book:

“After a serious auto accident, Jackson Trotman is taken by his guardian angel into the heavenly realms, to a place called The Wall. There he is able to travel into the past, present, or future of anyone who has ever lived, and he discovers that many of his friends—including his future wife—are destined for hell. He vows to rescue them from their fate, no matter the cost.”

"Rick asked me if I would be willing to read a copy of The Wall. I agreed to do so with the caveat that it would take me some time, as I was in the middle of several other projects. Once I started reading the book, I quickly became engrossed. The Wall is a real "page-turner" that is sure to captivate the imagination of anyone who reads this wonderful book." - BOB SULLIVAN, author of Escape the Global Storm



June 2011, 10:00 a.m.

Aetna Insurance Home Office, Hartford, Connecticut


Pam Shuster set the cup of coffee on her desk. The pain in her chest had become unbearable. Her arm hurt. Her jaw too. She stood and walked toward her office door. Lightheadedness made her sway. Not good. “Jaime.” Where was her administrative assistant? Sweat dribbled down her face. She couldn’t get enough air. “Jaime!” Everything went fuzzy … then black.

She awoke to find herself floating above her physical body, which now laid face-up on the Oriental rug in front of her desk. Oh my God, what’s happening? What’s happening?

Two scraggly, emaciated creatures appeared. They stood about seven feet tall, with oversized yellowish brown teeth and skin. Their heads were bald on top, with greasy stringy hair on the sides. Death lingered in their eyes.

Each grabbed one of Pam’s arms with a vice-like grip, gritted its teeth, and roared at her. She screamed just as Jaime walked in, but Jaime paid her no attention. She just stared at Pam’s lifeless body on the floor.

The creatures launched directly upward, with her in tow between them, through ceilings and the slate roof, then high into the air. Downtown Harford whizzed by hundreds of feet below. They followed I-84 East and then the Mass Pike toward Boston. Before long they were over Cape Cod, then the Atlantic Ocean. She screamed until she was hoarse as the wind ripped violently through her hair. 

Land soon appeared. A moment later they dove into a cave at the top of a mountain, then through solid rock and into a massive cavern. In the center of the cavern, a large circle opened to an abyss emanating glowing red light. Overpowering heat enveloped her as they passed over the lava percolating at the bottom. The stench so overwhelmed her that she retched again and again. Thousands of people stood lined up, all naked. One by one, moment by moment, those at the front of the line were thrown into the abyss.

Her transporters placed Pam at the end of the line. A man in front of her tried to flee, but one of the creatures grabbed him by the arm, twisted him around, and swiped his stomach with a clawed hand, disemboweling him. She screamed, then looked down and realized she was naked too. Compliance seemed advisable.

As Pam approached the front of the line, her legs went wobbly and she collapsed like an accordion. One of her captors dug its claw into her back just beneath the ribcage, ripping through her skin like Jell-O, then lifted her to her feet and released her. Searing pain throbbed throughout her back.

Pam now stood first in line. A man seated at a pitted wooden table looked up at her. A powerful spiritual presence like she’d never reckoned with before invaded her mind. It searched her memories at incredible speed, at the same time evaluating every choice she had ever made. Pam was utterly and totally exposed in every way—physically, spiritually, and morally stripped of all privacy and pretension.

The man shouted something in a foreign language. Another creature walked up to her, wrote something on her forehead, and then picked her up and threw her into the abyss.

Down she went, flailing at ever-increasing speed, toward the glowing red blotch at the bottom. The heat blasted around her face like a meteor entering the earth’s atmosphere. Hotter. Hotter.

Suddenly, a creature reached out from an opening in the side of the abyss and grabbed her, halting her descent. He pulled her into a cave. Deeper within the cave was an atrium, though much smaller than the one at the cavern above but full of naked people. Some standing, some writhing in a pool of molten lava. Down many hallways, extending outward from the atrium, were thousands of prison cells. Moans, groans, and wails pierced the air. The heat was oppressive and the stench putrid.

So thirsty. Drained of all energy, she labored just to get a full breath.

A towering creature approached, grabbed her by the hair, and threw her into the lava pit beside others. Excruciating pain assaulted her as hot irons seemed to sear every inch of her body. She screamed so long that her air ran out.

Without warning, she was returned to her physical body. The agony subsided gradually. She couldn’t believe it. Joy, overwhelming joy, consumed her. She was in her office, lying on her back on the floor. The rug bristles pressed against the back of her neck, arms, and legs. Jackson Trotman, one of her coworkers, knelt beside her, pumping his hands on her chest with a steady rhythm and then forcing two quick breaths into her mouth.

CPR. She sighed deeply, breathing in the pure, luscious air.

Jackson looked into her eyes, smiled, and stopped the compressions. “Oh, thank God. You’re back, Pam. You’re back!”

Lightheadedness began gripping her again. She slipped out of her body and back in the lava pit again, screaming in agony. “Oh, no ... No ... Help! Help me, Jackson! Oh God, help me! Get me out of here!”

A moment later she was back in her physical body, watching and feeling Jackson pressing hard on her chest. Her chest hurt, but it was nothing compared to the agony of the other place. She gasped in the clean air again and again, then looked up and shouted. “Jackson! Please don’t stop. For God’s sake, don’t stop. Save me, Jackson. Save me.”

Everything went black.