Uncategorized · writing

Fiction Friday: Just Another Rainy Day

kiss by snapwire

 

Synopsis: Stalita Jay is not one for trusting strangers, but on this rainy October 13th, she did.

Maybe she shouldn’t have…

*Don’t forget to join Marquessa’s blog for more fun challenges and just to connect with other bloggers like yourself!

“If you let me kiss you, I can prove to you what I am.” The crazy man in the long leather jacket, black pants, black shirt and matching boots told her.

“The hell you are!” Stalita Jay shook her head furiously. It was Friday the 13th, her brand new car just ran a flat, her mother just hinted that breast cancer is cresting over her health, and Bobby, her nice baby faced brother, needs at least a thousand dollars to bust him out of the clink.

The last thing she needed was some delusional, albeit, HOT stranger, telling her to kiss him. He could have cooties.

No. Scratch that. The herpes.

“I just need help with my spare tire. Stupid me don’t know a thing about changing a flat.” Thanks to being treated like a royal princess all my life.

Stalita looked down at her suede pumps and lamented how on the day she gets her brand new job working as an office assistant for an accountant; she breaks out her new beige pumps and…wait for it…

It rains. On. Her. Suede. Pumps.

The rain pours. The torrential downpour and rolling thunder has her pink and beige JC Penny suit soaked through, and the stranger smiles. Wolfish.

His raven black hair extends past his waist just about. He was very pale and had the look of some Adonis from another time. Ancient time. His lips were damn beautiful.

“Like I said, I can do it for a kiss. Your very wish for all to go right in your world, will happen.”

“And like I said. No.”

“Suit yourself.” He approached her car barely making splash sounds with his feet. Stalita noticed that his booted feet(how much did those things cost?!) and the water, met at a hard balance. A centered dance.

He was…

Walking on water.

Stalita shook her head. The cobwebs of lethargy must be making her imagine things.

The stranger took the bottle jack and used it to hoist the car up while he deftly, expertly changed the car in silence. Stalita noticed the tick in his jaw and was still amazed at how his boots were not sinking into the puddles and mud.

“What was your name again?”

Without looking at her, he said, “Lex.”

Okay, Lex. Put your money where your mouth is. Kiss me and make me believe you can change my life right now.”

“Sure. Okay.”

Lex finished changing the tire for her and replaced everything back into her trunk neatly. It was still light out but gray as fresh concrete and Stalita just wanted to go home and melt in her warm bath.

He approached her. “Now…this may feel— different.”

It was just a kiss. How much different can it be?

She could tell he was well built, as if he surfed for a lifetime-even though he reminded her more of a vampire than a surfer.

With gentle cupping of her neck, he leaned in and pressed his mouth to her closed one.

Stalita closed her eyes.

“Can you…let me in?” His husky voice sang over body and suddenly it was like electricity shot down her spine. Touched her. EVERYWHERE.

What was that?

Stalita obeyed and when his mouth met her warm one, she felt thousands of somethings, wet and slithery coat her mouth and prick her tongue and gums repeatedly.

She tried to pull away but Lex held on to her tighter, never letting her go. The kiss. His kiss had gone deeper. Deeper. The tickling and biting wouldn’t stop and the weird things was-

She liked it.

When she opened her eyes, she was back in her room. The sun was shining, spilling through the blinds and her British short hair cat Meow, sat at the foot her bed with a look of confusion and distrust.

“What’s wrong?” She asked him.

With a short grunt, Meow leaped gracefully off her bed and out of the room.

Stalita massaged her temples and went for her phone on her nightstand. “What a weird dream,” she said.

Her phone buzzed. Funny. She thought she had the ringtone set to Rise by Andra Day.

A text from her best friend Charlie: Ready for move in day? I have my part of the deposit already. Thanks for being a cool friend!

But you already live here LOL! Stalita text back.

Girl don’t be silly. I will be there in 1 hour.

Stalita leaped from her bed and checked the room in her apartment. The rooms were empty. As if Charlie never lived there.

“What the…?”

When she used the knock code to unlock her phone, something caught Stalita’s eye that shouldn’t.

“Oh noo.”

The date and time on the screen read October 13, 2015.

She went back two years.

Copyright© 2017 Erica Jean Smith

P.S. This is just a snippet of the genie saga I published a while back. It is under another name and Lex will have his own story someday. Just thought I’d play around with the plot a bit! Thanks for reading! 🙂

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Uncategorized · writing

Fiction Friday Challenge: Other Side of the Page

asia bench
Image of Asia Bench found on Pexels.com

Synopsis: A sibling finds out that being locked in a room is never the end of the story…

I slowly close the romance novel I’ve been reading and feel myself being squeezed out as if through a mother’s womb.

The tightness grips my shoulders and my head; I momentarily can not breath;  the overwhelming tickle of nausea seizes my throat and belly, and finally I flop onto my wood floor.

I nearly forgot what my wood floor felt and looked like. My small, cramped room of one barred window, one cot and rows and rows of books . Books.  Each one takes me to a new world, a new place. I am so used to being literally sucked in the books now, that I kind of get used to the whirlwind headache it gives me afterwards.

I am not sure about this gift at all but ever since my evil, older sister locked me in the room below the house complete with nothing but books, I have found that my love of words brought the worlds to life. Scared the heck out of me!

I’ve taken trips to Mars, Ireland, Africa, Hawaii, and just now some place called Poughkeepsie New York? I fell in love with the main character- a simple man who wore red scarves and studied marine biology, but whose hands were always warm and smooth across my chilly body…

I look upwards at the books along the wall. There is no bookshelf, just rows and rows of dusty books. Sitting on this floor I realize- I’ve been all around the world but there is one place I have not visited.

I see the shiny black binding, the glossy dust jacket sticking out between A Tale of Two Cities and Switch on Your Brain(I really should alphabetize these things).

The book is heavy, a tome weighing down on my palms, called the Onyx Japanese Warriors and on the cover there is a big splat of blood with a sword stuck in it’s gooey center.

My hands shake as I grab it. I am scared. I am enthralled. What role will I play? Will I be murdered? Or be the conqueror? Either way, it is the last book left to read and I have nowhere else to go. I will die in this musty, cramped room.

All because of a sister’s envy.

I’ve always wanted to go to Japan though. Pray I make it back in one piece..

Copyright©2017 Erica Jean Smith

Thank you for reading! Marquessa has October Fiction Prompts ready each Friday, so please stop by her blog to say hello!

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

night-85586
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!

Flash Walk Fiction · Uncategorized · writing

Fiction Friday Challenge: Kiss and Tell the Gorgon

mont-saint-michel-france-normandy-europe
Image of Normandy France taken from Pixabay

Synopsis: Prince Mex falls for the late Medusa’s sister. But her heart is as cold and steely as the armor she wears. Will the pretty faced prince finally melt the heart of a monster known to slay thousands in the blink of an eye?

“You can’t love me.”

“Why not?”

“Need I remind you, Pretty Prince. I am Xeria. Medusa’s sister. A gorgon. A warrior. It is not me you want. Why not Ledea? She is wholesome, untouched. A true beauty.” I say referring to my curvier, more luscious sister.

Prince Mex advanced closer, sheathing his sword by his side. His eyes were the color of the beautiful Aegean sea before twilight, his muscles bulged before me as he was topless and I was getting an eyeful. I remained stoic, however difficult that prove to be.

“Because you are the one who caught my eye. There is something about you Xeria I can’t name.” His thumb touches the bottom of my lip, I slap his hand away but he only smiles. Every man in the kingdom wishes to be the one to touch Xeria’s heart.”

“There is nothing special about me. I am a monster. They know that, so do you.”

The human male before me shakes his head once to the right, then the left. “Xeria. You are not like your sister.”

He was referring to Medusa. The one who was used, abused and became famous throughout the land for her cursed power of turning men to stone who looked upon her.

“I am. I have killed thousands. Maybe millions, Mex. I am a hunter, not some twit who wants marriage and children.”

Mex laughed at me, his eyes twinkled. The most handsome warrior to fight by King Olios’s side wants me? Absurd.

“Take off your helmet.”

“No.”

“Take. Off. Your. Helmet.” A slow, seductive command I immediately obeyed. Unfair!

I giggle inside. Most men have pursued me and I have given them my time(after they begged for mercy, of course). Mostly because they look at my eyes and my svelte yet busty figure, and think I am too pretty to kill or something, but once I remove my helmet…

I pulled it off and feel the rows of wet serpents sweep my shoulders, they hiss in sorrow and hate for me. Sometimes I hear them in my dreams. Sometimes they bite me. “See.”

Mex snakes out a hand and tries to pat the one lying down on its side, a quiet unmoving one.

“I killed that one. She’ll come back eventually.”

With wide eyes in wonder, Mex touched my snake hair. “Dios! How…”

“I don’t know.” I spoke. I don’t know how Medusa and I received our hair. Other women can use combs, hair brushes and place pretty ornaments on their fine hair. Mine was the definition of unruly and unkempt…alive.

He steps closer, it seems he is not breathing. Then he closes his eyes. “Xeria. When we are not fighting together,” he whispers. “When I do not see you. I miss you. “Every time I think of you, I always catch my breath.”

He pauses. Then add, “Tonight, I lose my breath. Gazing upon your beauty.”

I swallow in sadness and passion.”I guess that is my curse then.”

Mex grinned wickedly, looking like his father, the King. Who is part of another secret I must hide from Mex.

He ignores my hissing snakes but I mentally make them lie down as Mex’s beautiful bow shaped lips meet mine and I surrender, melting, sealing my lips upon his very soft ones. He is an expert at this. Just this one kiss is doing damage to all my beliefs and constitution.

He wraps his hands around my hips and brings me closer as his tongue finally meet mine.

I drop my helmet with a loud reverberating clang to the floor.

Okay. He won this battle.

But I will win the war.

Copyright© Erica Jean Smith

**Thank you for reading! Make sure you click the link within the story to be taken to Marquessa’s blog for more lyrical prompts on Fridays!

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African American · Self publishing · writing

A Note About “Street Fiction”

For the last week or so, I ventured into a category I thought I laid to rest in 2006.

Street Fiction, or Urban Fiction.

It is gritty. It is real. It can be…nasty, sexually explicit, I mean.

Today I want to briefly explain what Urban Fiction means to me and why I decided to read more of it lately as well as some pitfalls of the category that should be cleaned up by now(I do this with love for black writers and their craft).

Do I Purchase These Books Because I Am Black?

This is not a tough question. The answer is that I love the books because they are just so darn good and the bonus is that the authors and characters look like me and write from a place of understanding what we as African Americans go through- or at least those from low to middle income neighborhoods. I just finished Little Miami Girl, books 1 and 2 and even though I’ve never been to Miami, the reality of aunts hating their own flesh and blood, men who carry guns on the regular and even the reality of rape is so common in some or most of the impoverished black neighborhoods that you feel as if you are reading about someone you know or even yourself.

I read Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree in high school and more of his urban fiction that I could not stop reading. Later on after college I gobbled up Zane, Eric Jerome Dickey, and even Octavia E. Butler books because it interested me. All of this during a time I was falling in love with Amish fiction and medical thrillers.

Can Urban Fiction Be Defined as Real Literature?

A quick Googling will reveal the definition of literature meaning “a work of lasting merit”.

Who deems a book lasting or of merit?

Time.

Walter Dean Myers, Tanarive Due, Octavia Butler’s books will prove to have lasting quality in the future.

Then again, does that mean any good book can be considered literature?

I am a huge fan of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, James Patterson and most recently Julie Lessman. I believe whatever these writers write, at least half of their stories will become classic literature. But again, it depends on time, lots of it.

The “hood books” I read now are quick reads with drug abuse and sex as the main themes but there are also some which surprised me. A Dopegirl Needs Love Too and A Thug’s Love feature strong, sexy, smart women who make moves in their communities while making mistakes along the way.

But there are problems I see already with current Urban Fiction.

A Competitive, Popular Market

With self publishing being as simple as uploading your manuscript to Kindle or CreateSpace, or even Smashwords and Lulu, one can immediately send off their book.

One problem.

I have this problem too sometimes: self editing.

Many books and not just Urban Fiction included, requires heavy editing- some typos may escape and that is okay, but some Urban books I have been reading have so many hiccups in grammar, it can be trifling.  I am speaking as a bookworm though and not a grammarian.

Also, the pricing of Urban Fiction can be better. The ones I have downloaded cost Free or at least 99 cents with the highest being 3.99 but there are a couple I have seen where the Kindle version is ten bucks! I think that is way too high for a pricing model.

It burns me up badly when I enjoy a series and I find out that the final installment is ten dollars and the magic in all this is that people have paid the money and in their reviews they gripe about it, but they still paid.

All of this to say that street/urban stories has come a long way with more African American publishing companies and editors opening up their doors and the ease of buying them online is also a plus.

I will continue to read and promote these books because they are truly addicting if you can get past the language and “rawness” of the streets in these works. Their redeeming quality is that even though the bad stuff seem glorified, there are real consequences for the characters involved and the messages will be clear to any audience.

If you enjoyed this post, don’t be shy! Like it. Share it. Subscribe to this blog and share The Write Web 🙂

~Ericajean

 

 

 

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