“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.
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.
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.
When she used the knock code to unlock her phone, something caught Stalita’s eye that shouldn’t.
The date and time on the screen read October 13, 2015.
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! 🙂
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 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..
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.
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 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…
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.
On April 15th the year 2145 at 42 minutes past midnight, “The Event” happened.
Everyone became immortal…and sterile.
Dr. Vivian Toujours for 75 years, has been working on a cure for this strange disease. In a world where everything lives forever- except one organism(read to find out!), what is a scientist to do?
This story grabbed my mind and f#!&d with it. What’s even more cool, is the author even admits in her bio that she hopes to mess with our minds.
Good job, D.K.!
But seriously deep down, my psyche wanted a conclusion or some kind of sequel. I read this story as if I was there in the year 2145 and needing answers. For such a short work, the story highlights possible political and social scenarios- all plausible to me.
One question I need answered right now:
Can we please have a part 2 of some kind?
Just kidding! I know the power of the short and D.K.Cassidy wields it well!
For more reviews and even more on writing, delivered to your email or WordPress reader, I implore you to subscribe!
*Black Wings continues with a slightly longer conclusion. Thanks for reading!
Everything about her is so tiny, so fragile. Her lips are the perfect bow shape-tiny. Her fingers, long and slender-tiny nails. Her face, a small heart shape- tiny eyes the shape of almonds, with milk chocolate irises. Her hair floats behind her like a big cloud, her skin is the color of night without stars, but her small teeth are perfectly white, glitters in her face. And she does not know she has my heart in a vise…
Ricky was about to follow Cara out into the storm when several hands grabbed at him. “You’re going to be crowned the king! Come on!” Several girls pulled on his arm. They were cute girls. Trim girls. Wore the same makeup girls. Plastic girls. Not really mean, just cookie cutter in order to make it.
“I have to find Cara.”
“Who?” asked one them in a huff. “Stop playing around. If Trish sees you out here trying to find another girl, she will dethrone you so quick.” The girl with dark hair snapped her fingers for emphasis.
Ricky pulled away from her. “She and I aren’t dating. We just…I don’t know.” He shook himself. “I gotta go.”
“During prom?” The girls screeched. “This is important, Ricky! Stop playing around!” The blonde one wearing a beautiful sequined dress.
Something tugged at his heart. It was beginning to ache. Cara was out there, probably trying to do something stupid. Here he was arguing about being “king”.
In a split second decision, he decided to go look for Cara. She couldn’t have gone far.
Sprinting across to the EXIT, with several swear words following behind him, he burst through the double doors, still smelling the Sweet Pea lotion Cara wears but the wind and the rain were brutal. The scent was quickly sliced.
Rain came down like small swords. Sluicing and wetting up everything. It sounded like rocks being thrown outside.
He did not care.
Where did she go in this night?
A bright yellow dress shouldn’t be hard to miss.
He crossed the intersection where cars were backed up, horns honked in frustration and the freaking streetlight that never gets fixed, remained on red for a while.
Then he saw the hair, like wings flapping behind her. The yellow dress clinging to her tiny body as her small feet kicked up mud and puddle water.
Without thinking, Ricky chased her. He’ll be damned if…if he see this. Witness this.
Within a few steps he caught up to her. Instead of touching her he raced ahead of her and stopped, turned to face her,causing her to bump into his chest.
“What are you doing?”
“You tell me. What are you thinking running out into the dark like this?”
“I can if I want.” Her lips were wet with kisses from the rain and her small eyes, cat-like eyes he now realized, looked at him with iron anger. “What? Afraid I’ll catch a cold?”
“That and the fact that this part of town is dangerous.”
“So?” Ricky wanted to hug her so bad. Let her know it was alright to be different and that some people were just anus holes. She was the darkest girl in the school but the prettiest. The girls and guys knew that too and would admit it if they weren’t chicken.
“I can’t just let this happen.”
Cara crossed her arms over her, defiant. “I don’t get it. You are the most popular boy in the school about to be crowned. For your beauty. Your talent. They are probably waiting for you right now. You are out here, chasing me. You sure you aren’t on any drugs?”
Ricky laughed. “I am not on drugs and to hell with prom crowning. They can have it.”
“I gotta go,” Cara said resolved, turning from him.
But Ricky couldn’t let her leave. Not like this. Not right now.
“Cara listen to me! I think you are very beautiful! I- I think you are the sweetest girl I’ve ever known and smart too.”
Cara kept walking away but this time he caught up to her, gently pulled her elbow to turn her around and face him. “You don’t have to do what you are trying to do.”
“What is it I am trying to do?”
They both stood there, rain beating their faces and bodies. The wind whipped harder but Ricky put less distance between them, placed his hands on her shoulders. Her scent sweet and bright, like her dress, like her eyes.
“I watched my mom do it. Said she was going to the bathroom and will be right out. Dad and I waited half an hour. Silence, Cara. Silence! Mom never came out. All I remember…” Ricky was glad for the rain to mask his tears. “All I remember was her dark hair disappearing in the bathroom door, a piece of it caught in the doorjamb, but she didn’t know or care. Then the sound of something falling. Life was too much for her. So instead of thinking of me and dad, she thought about herself. Focused inward so much, we became, maybe caricatures to her. Expendables. Our hearts still beating, bleeding for her and we know she’ll never come back.”
Cara was silent. Listening to Ricky was a mistake.
“My essay, Black Wings? From earlier this week was about her, Cara. When I was ten that was all I
remember. Her dark hair, flapping behind her like black wings and disappearing behind a freaking bathroom door. Only to lose her moments later. She flew away from me and dad. I wish I could tell her she was good enough. Better than enough. I wish I could bring her back.” He swiped at his eyes. “She basically killed our soul, Cara. That is what suicide does to those who love you.”
The cars zoomed past them. All it would take is one toe out in the street. A quick dart out and then finally she can be away from this dark world. Maybe in her next life she’ll be light and pretty.
His eyes got to her though. Those kind green eyes held a special sadness. A permanent sadness his mother put there.
“Sorry about that, Ricky.”
Suddenly the rain slowed and Ricky put even less distance between them, his hands slid slowly down Cara’s arm, his forehead touched hers. “I will not let the next person I care about, do the same thing. I don’t like people leaving me, Cara.”
Cara looked up into Ricky’s face. This was wrong. Very wrong.
“You have another life Ricky. Go back to that school!”
“No!” He hissed to her lips. “I am not leaving you out here. We go together to the school or we stay together here. I will not lose anyone else!”
“Please. Let me do this. I know I will be free if I can do this. The one thing I can do right.”
“No.” He tipped her chin up so her eyes could meet his. “I want to tell you something, I’ve been trying to say all year. I couldn’t write it in the card but-”
“Yes,” he smiled and finally ran his hand through her thick, kinky hair. “The cards you’ve been given.”
“You put them cards in my locker?” Her eyes narrowed at him.
“I slip them in there from time to time.”
“You write nothing on them though,” she chuckled. A small smile, a small feat achieved. Her smile literally broke through the storm. He could watch her smile and hear her laugh all day long.
“I am about to, just listen. Please.”
Cara rolled her eyes, but she couldn’t step away from Ricky’s strong touch. Their bodies were now pressed together as if they were two halves of a heart. As if they were lovers.
“Cara, you sit near me every day in English class and never look my way. I don’t think you notice me. You carry yourself around as if your skin is a heavy burden or bricks to be laid down and you sag in your seat, absorbing class material like a computer. Your eyes are never trained on me, the teacher or class and I find myself wondering: Who is this girl that no one matters to her? She walks alone to class and from class. Her head is down sometimes and most days it is up, not in snotty manner but as if she is a Queen and aspires to be so. I could only hope to be the lucky guy on her arm.
I know you feel like an ugly duckling and that the world does not look at you or admire you. But I will let you in on a small secret. When you are not looking, it is your scent that makes a few of us guys sniff the room. It is your smile that causes a small gossip to erupt amongst the jocks, the secret longings of their hearts exposed in closed locker rooms. The girls sometimes look your way and the next day they upgrade their hair and makeup. One girl in particular tried to befriend you the other day in the cafeteria, she heard that you like Star Wars. Instead you nodded politely and went back to eating, regal as can be because who would really want to talk to you?
Everyone, Cara. Everyone wants to talk to you including me. But I want more. I want more than your talk, I want your lips on mine. I want more than for you just to see me, I want you to gaze at me. I want more than just a handshake from you,” he trailed his hand down her arm to her hand. “I want a hug.”
Cara was speechless.
Before she could say anything, Ricky put his lips on hers, startling her. He kissed her with the feather light touch of a painter’s brush, or the kiss of sun after a stormy, rainy day. A hint of heat and softness.
Ricky knew this wasn’t enough to stop someone from disappearing. What if one day Cara was no longer enough for him? Will she pick up where they left off? Somehow, he knew she’d be in his life forever. She was a treasure to him. Confessing his heart was all he could do. To save her.
**Author note: I truly hope you enjoyed this story. It dropped in my mind one day as I was waking up. I thought, “Hmmm, what if a girl who felt un-pretty met a very beautiful boy who sent her blank greeting cards?”
***This story involves a sensitive issue that some people may face and does not in any way make light of the situation. The goal is to enjoy the story and think on it. Ultimately I hope you enjoy it, Reader!
Once again her tears were real. She dropped her black purse her mom gave her and slammed herself against the locker before sliding down to the cool floor. Not caring if her legs were splayed open beneath her sun yellow dress and not caring that her new upswept hairdo was now smashed against the locker. Who cares.
The music pumped from the gym out to the hallway. The person handling the tickets behind the foldable table was now folding it up and collecting her things. She did not see Cara.
Who ever sees Cara?
With her nails she drew long marks along obsidian skin. There. White streaks. Now if only she could see the white meat. If only she had something to flay that dark meat open.
Shaking her head and covering her face, she bawled. Right there on the floor.
Music drifted to her. Something by…? Who knows. It sounded like racket now.
But she knew everyone wore a smile and had a date. She could only dream of a date. That was why she read sappy teen novels. The closest she’s ever been to a guy was between the pages and not the sheets.
“To hell with everyone!” She yelled, then picked up her purse. She will leave.
She will leave. Why stay somewhere she can’t even leave a mark?
“Wait,” she heard someone say as she walked along the wall, hung on the wall for support as she slowly, cryptically made her way to the EXIT. Why was she moving so slothful? Didn’t freedom await her?
She kept moving. Whoever it was should leave her alone. She was finally leaving this forsaken place.
School was not for dark girls.
Why’d her mother move anyway? Because of a divorce? Who cares?
The stranger touched her elbow. “You left this.”
Cara slowly let her eyes take in her long, teal jacket. Made for Spring weather or impending rain.
She heard the quick pellets of rain hitting the rooftop.
“Don’t need it,” her eyes followed the tanned arm and she looked into kind green eyes. “I’m leaving.”
His lips smiled. “Of course but you need this. Don’t you?”
For what she was about to do, it did not matter. “No.” She bit her lower lip hard until she tasted blood. She sucked on it and kept moving.
Her hands touched the rusted handle of the door. The handle the janitor kept polishing anyway, so now some parts not flecked off shone brilliantly under the fluorescent lights while the reddish brown part created an ugly contrast.
“I just thought you might not want to catch a cold.”
Cara thought about her purse. No need for this either. Her ID, keys all of that. She whirled around and fled to her locker, quickly twisted the dial and popped it open. A few blank greeting cards flew out and landed by the guy’s feet.
“You have plenty of greeting cards. Planning on writing them all out later?” She stashed her purse into the locker and looked at the stranger closer. He was in her English class. He opened a card and smiled again. A small dimple formed in his right cheek. A deep, dimple.
“No. I found those. You can have ‘em.”
The boy blinked as she took her jacket from him. “Thanks.”
“I just have to know, Cara. Why aren’t you dancing?”
Was he for real?
“The glitter, the lights and the girls…not for me.”
“Yeah,” he stepped closer to her but she took two steps back. “I saw them. So what?”
“That’s my point. This is my senior year!” Her eyes watered. “I can’t even get a partner to dance with me because my skin swallows light. It isn’t fair!”
Understanding seemed to dawn on him. “Patty and Rochelle have no dance partner. They look nice. But not as nice as-”
Cara held up her hand. Ricky smelled the Sweet Pea lotion on her and it was the same scent that wafted into the gym doors earlier. The same bright fragrance from English class in the morning. It reminded him of sweet flowers facing the sun and days of learning to ride his bike. His mother…
“I hate this school anyway. It’s prejudice leaks through the walls. Smell it?”
She huffed and marched away from Ricky and flew open the doors letting in a powerful gust of wind and rain.
Her hair, no longer pinned, cascaded down and flapped about her like black wings.
There is no way this guy was going to be bring her back.
Back from the will to die.
Note from author: I hope you enjoyed this short piece. Stay tuned for the next part sometime this week! If you like the stories, please share and subscribe to my blog! (You may have to scroll down to subscribe)