The Road to Hell

Josh Ryan was not normal. He talked different, walked different, laughed different... and everyone knew it. He had two very close friends who always wanted to help him; in fact, throughout his young life, he always had people around who wanted to help him... usually to fend off his parents who seemed like they would do anything for him. Their desire to help however, often made his own life take a back seat to their ideas of why he was so different and who he should become as a result... "for his own good." Determined to raise Josh 'their way' and according to their own ideas of who he is, it would take extreme circumstances and more pain than Josh ever thought a person could endure for anyone to even begin to see the damage his parents were doing to his childhood, his future, and in the end, his very life... all "with the best of intentions."

Set in northeastern Ohio in the mid-to-late 2000s, The Road to Hell tells the story of a boy whose parents try to make him be something he isn't and can never be, all to satisfy their own ideals and beliefs, and the havoc they create in the process. However well meaning, their efforts only serve to make their son a victim of 'learned helplessness' and to seek out the easiest path in life, rather than fight for what he believes in. A dark tale of idealism, extremism, and ideology versus reality, where the greatest question in life can be brought to bear: "Who am I?" The book takes no stance on right or wrong or the moral questions that plague our time. It merely tries to engage the reader into questioning if their own deeply held beliefs, no matter how firmly they may believe them to be good, fair, or even righteous and holy, are in fact just well intentioned tyranny.

This book is dedicated to my wife, Rachel.
You inspire me to be more than I thought possible,
to live life more full of fun and joy than I knew achievable,
and not take any moment of this precious gift called life for granted.
You never tried to put me in a box; you tore down my walls.
"We love because He first loved us."

Copyright © 2020, 2021 Roberta Elder - All Rights Reserved

128,909 words

This is a work of fiction. The names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents herein are solely the products of the author's imagination or are used in a fictitious manner. Any connection or resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events or firms is purely coincidental. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing and signed by the author, nor be otherwise circulated in any form other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed upon the subsequent publisher.

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