Creative Writing · Uncategorized

Fiction Friday Challenge: Dumplings With a Side of Lust

fashion-person-woman-feet
Image found on Pexels.com

 

 

Synopsis: Julissa Ogebo is the woman every man desired, but what if the wrong one desires her? Please read on to find out what happens next and don’t forget to join in the Fiction Friday Challenge on Marquessa’s blog!

Phan’s Cuisine for fine Chinese food dining, was packed tonight, but Brad Roman could not keep his eyes off the beauty of Julissa Ogebo. Even with his wife next to him, her nails digging into his arms and trying her hardest to become Siamese twins with him, his eyes, his tongue, his freakin’ loins screamed for the delectable Julissa.

The same Julissa who was definitely out of all their leagues. She was a walking Nubian beauty with almond shaped eyes and tonight she pulled the ultimate ball busting stunt of wearing a tight skirt barely kissing the tops of her knees and a matching top to show off her Michelle Obama worthy arms.

Her curves…

Those. Damn. Curves.

“So, yeah we can all like do kayaking this time,” his wife Darla said but then looked over at Julissa. “Unless water is not your thing, Jules.”

Julissa, ever the personification of sex and grace shrugged a shoulder: “My body bathes in it every day so yeah, Kyaking would be cool.” She sighed heavily. Brad nearly wanted to strangle Darla. Yes they’ve been together five years and yes Julissa, Lindsay, Joseph and Susan have all been friends since high school. Julissa was the new girl their senior year in high school, but everyone took an instant liking to the Nigerian born Graphic Designer.

She designed the clothes she wore now. Her sister actually made them. Brad hoped his thoughts couldn’t be read, because right now he was thinking of very unholy and non-matrimonial things he’d rather do to Julissa. But damn she was so caught up in her childhood sweetheart blowing up her phone. And double damn he was married.

He watched as she excused herself to answer her phone. For the fourth time.

Joseph drank down the rest of his sweet tea. “Maybe I should go console her or something. That douche she calls a man is too controlling.”

Everyone agreed. Brad’s wife coughed a little and dug her fork into her dumplings. Julissa walked further from the table and you could almost hear a pin drop. Her body cut through the air like a snake in water. Her curves and that behind were like drum beats and Brad would bet all his money every man, married or not, was ogling her, wishing they had her.

“She needs someone to talk to. This is getting out of hand.” He stands but his wife’s nails dig into his upper arm. Her ice blue eyes froze him on the spot.

“If she does, then it is I, a woman’s voice and advice she needs. I will come too.”

Brad saw his friend’s faces. Their eyes communicated one thing: “Leave that woman!”

Brad shook his head and went over to the balcony where Julissa stood, leaning over it, scrolling over her phone. The sun had gone down and left gold and navy streaks overhead and the ocean was calm, still.

His wife’s nails bit into him hard. He couldn’t be mad at her. He was quite the catch: tall, dark, a fit body, owned his own gym. Modeled part time, so yeah she was not crazy.

“Hey Jules. You okay?” Brad asked.

Julissa turned to them, water near the edges of her eyes like dripping crystals…

“He doesn’t trust me.”

“Maybe that is something you two should discuss. I mean ignoring him isn’t going to help either.” Darla said pointedly.

Nor arguing,” Brad added, wishing he could vomit the words to the ground.

“Maybe,” Julissa bit her bottom lip. It was funny seeing Darla right here too. She never thought Darla cared, but then again, Darla never really treated her as part of their friendly group anyway.

Brad was her true best friend. He was always there for her, helped her in math class, stood by her as they lowered her mother’s body in the ground two years prior and he even cooked for her.

She couldn’t ask for a better friend than that. He was the sole constant in her life, along with theitr other friends. Yet Brad was truly special.

Brad tried to encourage her more until finally Julissa agreed to just speak with her boyfriend and make amends. She saw a wide smile crack over Darla’s pretty face.

When she arrived home that night, Julissa kicked off her shoes and was about to call her controlling and overbearing boyfriend when a text burned in black across her screen:

I would get down on my knees, I would do anything for you. You know that right?

Then the next message:

I. WANT. YOU.

Both texts were from Brad. Not Damonte.

Julissa responded: That is not appropriate.

I know… I am unhappily married and you are unhappy. Seriously. I hope you drop him.

Julissa sucked in a breath. Brad. Handsome, successful, very MARRIED Brad was texting her that he desired her.

But she will not be like her sister. Their grandmother always told them home wrecking was in the Ogebo blood, and Julissa was too practical and too good for that. She had morals.

But her moral fibers around Brad always thinned from bone gristle to silken spider webs, easy to tread over and break down until fire built up into molten passion and that passionate blaze could only be put out by him.

But what if it never burned to embers?

What if she want the fire to last?

Julissa gave him the only response a woman from her home wrecking lineage would…

Copyright©2017 Erica Jean Smith, All Rights Reserved

*Thank you all for reading. I definitely have moral fibers that my characters do not, but it was fun writing about them!

EDIT: In the original ending, Julissa texts Brad to come over at midnight. Women from her lineage are known for snagging “snagged” men! 🙂

 

 

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Creative Writing · relationships · Uncategorized

Fiction Friday Challenge: Yassss, I Stomp Spiders, Girl

spiderweb
Image of spiderweb by Tuur Tisseghem

 

Synopsis: Yona confides in a new bestie about her philandering boyfriend and learns no one is ever who they seem to be.

“So tell me again what happened?” Melody crossed her legs over her bed and flipped back her now short cut bobbed blonde hair.

I started from the beginning, feeling piping hot anger all over at what Otis did to me.

” I came home early—”

My phone vibrated against my  thigh, cutting me off.

Melody shook her head at the phone in my hand. This will make ten calls Otis has made now.

Don’t pick up the phone. You know that he’s only calling because he’s drunk and alone.”

I shut off my phone before continuing with the sad details from 48 hours ago.

I don’t know why I’m torturing myself. Reliving those moments of arriving at Otis’s apartment after my Zumba class off campus. I was excited about our Taco Tuesday since I burned off enough calories to replace it a little.

Instead of knocking, I finally used the house key he had copied for me, and as soon as my gym bag hit the plush carpet, I heard squeaky bed noises upstairs. There was music playing too, but not too loud.

I close the door firmly.

That was when the noise kicked up in crescendo and I hear the unmistakable keening of a satisfied woman.

I stomp up the steps wishing to God I had my switchblade. I will just have to use my knuckles instead.

Otis bursts from the room. I catch a glimpse of a long, creamy thigh hanging off his bed, rear-end high up but face down.

He slams the door and comes fully out, he tries to reason with me.

I smack his face so hard the print of my hand lingers crimson on that fine face of his.

I try my hardest to get to the door and see the chick who has replaced me so I can hit her as well but Otis, along with a string of apologies from his fat lips, picks me up like I weigh no more than a pamphlet, and carries me downstairs kicking and screaming.

Once he sets me down, I stare at his ripped body and black military cut hair. He was so beautiful.

And so not mine anymore.

“Yona…” He pleads.

I hold up a hand. “Save it. Just. Save it. I’m tired.” I run from his apartment. He calls my name.

The only thing I could see in my mind, was a female’s a red overworked butt with a black spider tattoo on the lower back.

I drove off to nowhere and somewhere for a whole damn two days. They went by in a panoramic blur: I drank in bars(I’m 21, okay?), I remembered partying, talking to dudes, passing out then waking up in someone’s car.

A stranger brought me to campus in my own car. Some dude who I remember crying on his shoulders and who kept telling me “It will be alright. It will be okay.” The scent of Doublemint gum and Irish Spring still lingers in my foggy mind.

As soon as he dropped me off last night, I puked out my guts and sorrow, showered and passed out.

I was asleep until Melody walked in from her English Lit course.

The only person I can put all this junk story on was the prissy, super smart Melody who proclaimed she hated all men.

When I was done telling her my sob, drunken story, she shook her head in sympathy.  “You’ll find a new man soon.”

Her phone pinged and whatever she saw on the screen, caused her eyes to bug out and the phone ended up slipping to the floor with a hard thud.

When she leaned over the bed to get it. I saw the spider tattoo with its long webbing…dark and mocking.

Inched its dark webbing deep into my murderous heart.

No way there would be two girls with the exact same spider tattoo…

I sigh. Dammit.

I tried to make it one more year without getting locked up.

“Melodyyyy?” I say in a sing-song voice. “Did I mention the description of the girl who slept with my man?”

Melody sat up holding her phone with visibly shaking hands.

I cracked my knuckles, rotated my arms and shoulders.

At least this way, I will get a more effective workout…

Copyright© 2017 Erica Jean Smith

**Thank you for reading folks! As usual, please share and subscribe to this blog if you like what you read! It is all about building a connected group of readers who also enjoy writing. Head over to Marquessa’s amazing blog for more Fiction Friday prompts as well!

Creative Writing · writing

Fiction Friday Challenge: The Shape of the Sun

Life-of-Pix-free-stock-photos-sunset-sea-light-mikewilson
Image of sun over water found on Pexels.com

 

 

Synopsis: A blind man questions the validity of his life in his darkest moment yet. Until a kind voice reminds him of something so true, it is a fire to his soul…

My story may never get told. It will lump in with the rest like pieces of unleavened bread. Perhaps written down on parchment and washed away at sea.

But I met him.

It was on a very hot, incredibly dry day and I sat on a stone with a heart as heavy as said stone.

An outcast. In every sense of the word. As a man, I knew I must work, provide for a family(I had none) and be a commendable person of society- but who can do that in the dark? Who can do that without love?

On that dry, hot day. I contemplated something heinous. I contemplated asking for a sword to stab into my gut or kindly asking a stranger to permanently place me in darkness. Since I lived there as a blind man anyway. What difference can it make?

I heard the footsteps. The crunch of sand, before a gentle voice spoke. There were more voices. Some ridiculing me and telling the kind voice to leave me be. But he stayed.

“He must have done something wrong. He has sinned!”Screamed the voices. “And look at the whiteness of his eyes! Is he the devil?”

The kind voice, I did not hear for a moment. Then he said something so fair. So sweet and true. So true, it was not of this world.

He told the others. “This man, nor his parents did any wrong. He is blind because he was fashioned for my Father to do this miracle.”

“Who are you?” I ask.

“I am the Light of the World.”

I heard him hack up something from his throat—-Spit. Then he asked someone to pass him a stick. He told me he was mixing his saliva with earth and will pack it onto my eyes.

I remember clamoring up inside. The brutal beatings, the fights I got into, nearly being pushed into a pool of water to drown. My heavy heart…

Now someone wants to place spit on my eyes.

I did not believe in Miracles. Not in some magical person who can heal. Although I heard the stories. Even if he could open my eyes. I was man born into darkness. What will I see? What do people look like? What is earth? The shape of the sun? Will I know and run around frightened?

I feel cool mud cakes being slapped onto my eyes  and Ah! It hurt. It burned like a million fires into my skull and then moments later a cooling sensation sizzled.

“Do you know where the Pool of Siloam is?” The kind voice asked me.

“I do.”

“Go now and wash it off there, Celidonius.”

It’s funny how people say now how faith as a mustard seed moves mountains. It is now in this life that I realize faith plays a huge role in anything, however God can do what he wants. I was a tool. An example of what can happen outside of the natural realm using natural elements. Funny, eh?

I did as instructed that day. Rinsed off my eyes, slapping cold water on my face, and before me was movement. This coolness is called moving  water. The bright disc in the sky, our sun graced the world like a gold finger laying on top of the water, and there was movement in the sky. Animals. Flying ones my mother told me about.

Later after the naysayers accused my healer of being the devil, I stood by the same pool and the kind voice asked me if I believe in the Son of Man.

I turn to him, the heavy lead of my heart my doubting heart becomes softened. His skin was same as mine. Some may say Jasper and his eyes were dark opals which shined brighter than the sun.

“Lord, in your eyes, I’ve found the missing pieces.”

I truly have. Enlightenment is like being pregnant and finally giving birth and letting out the joyous burden. It is a kindling for your soul and your mind and all my worries, my parents, even me being born blind finally made sense. It took no words. No needing to attend the synagogue to debate with the Pharisees and Saducees for Scroll answers.

My Lord looked on me kindly. It was all I needed.

Eyes. Jeweled windows of the world and still so many are left in darkness.

Copyright© 2017 Erica Jean Smith

*Thank you all for reading this. It demonstrates perfectly how someone can you love you back from the depths of darkness. Please read and share! Head over to Maquessa’s blog to join in on the Fiction Friday fun!

Creative Writing · Flash Walk Fiction · Uncategorized · writing

Fiction Friday Challenge: Dark Contract

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Image from Pexels/Tookapic

“Remember, you never knew me. I never woke you up. Promise me!” The gangly kid’s wild eyes shone behind Harry Potter glasses as I tried standing, holding on to my tombstone. My legs wobbled terribly like a baby colt’s.

But my body…

So. Much. Pain.

“Thanks.”

The young kid shakes his head sadly, then peers back up at me. His black hair is everywhere on his head as he takes his time watching me.

“This fulfills our contract.” He says, just as a fat rain drop hits my face. The nameless boy who called me from my grave shivers visibly.

He pulls a hood over his head, me as he jogs over to his car, snatching his neck around to see me once or twice. My vision is skewed: black and white. Like an old movie but with bad static or something.

He speeds off in his car, kicking dust everywhere. I know I will never see him again.

I am left with gifts by this stranger I hired while alive: a bookbag filled with Slim Jims, knives and my favorite-handcuffs.

I pull the bag over my shoulder. It takes at least a dozen tries. My stomach hurts so bad and my head is splitting…but I make the short trek home.

See. They never know when you’ll pull a stunt like this. When he says my name, he will fall in shock. You can never rid yourself of a good woman…

I knock once. Twice. Three times before a light pops on and blinds me. Now I see a shock of brilliant white.

The pain in my belly increases. Feels like razors on my entrails.

” K-K Karma? Oh God! Karma Lee?”

My lover stands with just his boxers on and a long arm rests on his broad shoulders. He seems to have lost even more  color now. The new girl finally peeks over him and she sees me too.

She shrieks. “A ZOMBIE!!!!!”

I slowly step inside my home…

As soon as lightning and thunder cracked the sky I made my decision. With just a single thought, the door slams. Perhaps this is a new power?

“Dominic,” I say as the two of them..traitors,  fall back, eyes wide in genuine fear. “Payback is a bad b#!ch.”

Copyright 2017 Erica Jean Smith

To join in the Friday Challenges fun, please visit Marquessa’s blog! Thanks for reading!

4 Star reviews · book review · Creative Writing · New Adult · writing

D.K. Cassidy Writes About a Nation that Can No Longer Sleep

the sleepless
Image courtesy of Pluvio Press

 

I just reviewed The Sleepless(Insomnolence Book 1) over on Amazon, so check out the full review there! I’ve also written a neat haiku review over on Goodreads that quickly sums up my thoughts on the work.

The Sleepless was a very interesting story. What I learned from the author is the power of characterization and not being afraid to test premises.

In The Sleepless, the main character Kate has to navigate life not being able to sleep anymore, so she has to take on odd jobs like cleaning up dead bodies and the another horrible job she refuses: prostitution.

Thank God she has Decker, a dear friend(who could be more than a friend at this point) who does the clean up duties for her. He is actually a sleeper. One of the ones unaffected by whatever event happened a decade back. What I like most about him is that he is an artist and never had much liking for Smartphones and social media. He prefers touch and face to face communication.

D.K. Cassidy’s fearless approach to tell a story about a nation who can’t fall asleep makes the book appealing and to be honest gave me pause. I feel this nation is heading to that point now. Think about it: I can barely sleep because I am always scrolling on my phone trying to find the next Tweet, or next comedic Facebook post and when not doing that, I am reading an eBook.

By time I have to go to work, I am still up- no choice now.

When I come home, I hop on my laptop. I do real work on there, but social media takes up 80% of that time.

D.K. Cassidy is currently working on Book 2: The Dreamers. If you have not already, please subscribe to this blog and check out D.K. Cassidy’s amazing books! 🙂

~The Write Web

 

book review · Creative Writing · Five Star Review · writing

The Art and Craft of the Short Story( a book review)

art and craft of short stories
Book cover courtesy of Open Road Distribution(October 2016)

The Art and Craft of the Short Story by Rick DeMarinis

Originally published by Story Press(2008)

ISBN: 978-15040-3685-6

If you’ve ever wanted to take that Master’s course in creative short fiction writing, I recommend none higher than DeMarinis’ The Art and Craft of the Short Story. This is no short book with quick, easy clichés to get you writing better. On the contrary, you will learn the anatomy of the short story and how to tell the difference between a good one and bad one.

What makes this book so good?

  • It is straight to the point with explanations of the tools of creative writing.
  • Lots of exercises.
  • Examples of amazing short stories written and published.

As someone who loves reading poetry and short stories, I had to pick this one up. I needed a book from an expert who will not only tell, but show me what good writing looks like.

DeMarinis breaks down beginnings, endings, plots, imagery, theme and more.

You realize he is speaking to you as a gentle instructor, showing you what you already realize as a reader: that a story has to grab your attention from the get go.

Here is just a few of the sage advice you’ll find:

  • “If there is a thematic point in a story to be made, it would have to emerge organically-not forced”(pg.59) meaning as you are writing, you may not want to focus on theme, just tell the story. Readers will have their own thoughts on what the theme truly is.
  • The contemporary short story is mostly character driven.
  • Shifting points of view may bring the story into sharper focus.
  • Closing a short story is similar to closing a poem(really loved this topic!)
  • The weird yet glamorous world of meta-fiction writing.

I think the biggest take away from this book is the breakdown of stories. As DeMarinis puts it:

“In fiction, every sentence is innovation.”(pg. 135) Stories are made up of Narrative(voice that tells the story), narrative summary(moves story forward), and scenes(place characters on stage).

Seeing it condensed like that after reading his book, really nailed it.

So if you are interested in writing short stories and getting them recognized and/or published, you will be doing yourself a favor by picking it up either on loan from Freading.com or clicking its title above to purchase from Amazon.

I wish I could spill all the information from beginning to end on this book, but writing is your journey and yours alone.

Would you pick up this book to improve your own writing or to learn about short fiction?

What are some books you have read on short story writing? Share here!

Sincerely,

-The Write Web

Creative Writing · writing · Writing gigs

The Power of Shorts

shorts
Photo Image by Josh Willink and blog design by Ericajean using Canva

I’m not talking about the tiny things people will be wearing on their legs this summer.

I’m talking about the incredible short fiction that is actually selling well on the Kindle and Smashwords.

Don’t believe me? Check this out:

“I know of one writer who sells collections of short pieces of erotica. She tells me she makes $15,000 a month, and expects to make more, as she releases more collections… So short stories are goldmines, these days.”[ http://www.fabfreelancewriting.com/blog/2013/06/25/writing-kindle-ficion-make-money-with-short-stories/]

Let’s Talk Short Pieces and Long Money

Just from those pieces of information, I know two things: One, short fiction is back.

Two: Writing in the popular categories(a.k.a. romance) will earn you more money as a writer.

Do I know this from personal experience?

Yes and…no.

I’ve written a story less than 150 pages for Smashwords and Barnes and Noble and it amassed about $23.00  at 0.99 per book.

Why the low sales?

Actually I received thousands of downloads when it was free. When I experimented and set it to 0.99 for a short while, it earned $23 buckaroos. Not much.

But I did not lose hope.

I began sifting through articles to find real writers who are earning an income and they are totally making a living out of this short fiction thing.

But, I don’t think it is as easy as it may seem.

Picking the Piece That Fits You

What if you don’t like writing romance? What if you are into mystery and thrillers or nonfiction?

Well, the stats are in the favor of these top four categories:

Lucky for me, I enjoy all four of these categories and regularly read the books within them. But I’ll be honest. Romance is my #1 fav hands down.

Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of reading D.K. Cassidy’s Room #42 and last year enjoyed Trish Marie Dawson’s The Station Series.

These books are fantastic and are not chunky page-wise.

In fact, Trish Marie Dawson’s The Station Series’ books, are less than 200 pages each and still I craved them enough to spend  3.99 on each book. Her first book is free.

Hopefully, knowing this is making it easier to consider writing short fiction. If not, here is more to persuade you…

I just bought D.K. Cassidy’s Sleepless book because her short read, Room 42 had me hooked to her writing.

The Key to Serving Up Your Stories

I notice a trend in pricing models too. For example, series seem to do extremely well online- especially if the first book is free.

If you want people to gobble down your books, serve them up a free appetizer and you will see your audience grow(of course this all depends on factors such as cover design, selecting the right categories for your book and great writing skills).

As a bookworm and writer I see the benefits from both ends. For one, as a reader I need to know where your stories are going and your tone in the books before I make any kind of extra purchase within the series.

C’mon even movies have trailers.

Secondly, as a writer, posting up free reads is a genius plan to get people hyped about the following books.

I heard of Kindle Singles and Kindle Worlds as well for writers to place their short stories. I am unfamiliar with these tools so please help me out if you know anything, comment below!

Want to strengthen you short story skills? Try out these powerful resources below:

The Art and Craft of the Short Story by Rick D.eMarinis

Jerz’s Literary Blog

The Seven Key Elements of Fiction

How to Write Short Stories That Sell

How to Make Real Money Selling Short Fiction