Peoples came to church all sorts of ways. Early on, mens rode showy horses while their gals sat in buggies, shadin their pasty faces. Us poor folk walked, heads low so’s we wouldn’t look at no one. Cause problems.

Later, cars, mostly black, kicked dust in our eyes. Preacher Thompson had a fancy red truck. Course he did.

During the flood, Dawson piled us in his shrimp boat and blasted over them waters. Got to church directly on time. Thompson sermoned about the power of giving before claiming Dawson’s boat as a righteous offering.

Now Dawson ain’t got no money.

Image  —  Posted: September 7, 2022 in Friday Fictioneers
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A Brother’s Love

Posted: August 24, 2022 in Uncategorized

Whenever Samuel came for lunch, Ae-Cha Hanja ducked behind the counter as if looking for that one ingredient not yet displayed. No time for flirts. But he always came back. “Is Ae-Cha here today?” “Today?” “Now?” Never. Not for you. On Tuesday, a customer left his newspaper, open to the obituaries. Dead at 64, Samuel Hanja spent his last days looking for his sister Ae-Cha. 12 years younger than him. Born during the Korean War. At the age of 1, she went to America. He stayed behind. His friend quoted Samuel, “I never loved anyone more than my baby sister.”

yeah, used to be that guy or a guy like that. shaved my head. tattooed my scalp. wore keys that meant nothin on chains hangin from my belt. jingle-jangle. joined some guys. scared regular citizens for no reason. yelled at an old lady til she cried. real tough. nabbed a stroller. baby and all. hid it on hester st. laughed til our sides split. more shit went down. then julio found a girl. and left. then marcus, deric, little sam. i kept on keepin on. someone had to. now i’m scratchin my memoir on a wall in cell block 8.

Image  —  Posted: August 10, 2022 in Friday Fictioneers

Raul’s Dream

Posted: July 27, 2022 in Uncategorized

As a child, Raul dreamed of climbing into the sky. Becoming an angel. Poor Raul. Momma grew marijuana in the greenhouse. Smoked. Drank. Got too high. Had too many boyfriends. Not one admitted Raul was his son. Raul planted flowers. Momma ripped them out. Seeing their empty cupboard, he planted beans. Momma tore them out. When Momma gave birth, Raul named the baby Angel because Momma was too high to care. Days he watched clouds. Nights he showed Angel constellations and fell in love with her smile. The day Momma traded Angel for a case of bourbon Raul’s dream shattered.

Do Not Take Advantage

Posted: June 23, 2021 in Uncategorized
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Oh, how the mighty do fall. Some with a great deal of angry noise. Others quietly. Either way, roots of the never-ending lies that forced them to their knees are exposed for all to see. Friends and family, entwined in a web of destruction, remain to pick up the pieces.

I’ll not do that, for you are the epitome of corruptness. Base. Vile. Greedy.

Yes. I present the list I’ve kept in my heart for too many years. Perhaps your children will hide the truth. Or one of your many lovers.

The only thing I offer? My silence.

Safety

Posted: June 16, 2021 in Uncategorized
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You are nine, have taken a long way home, and by now, your mother is frantic. The ache in your bruised bones tells you so.

Because it looks like rain, you have two choices, duck into the house beside the trail or arrive home sopping wet. Either option will prove dreadful. Seeking shelter equals increased tardiness; coming home in soggy clothes guarantees a hailstorm of anger. Both promise a beating.

So, you choose shelter. You are two feet away. The door glides open. A wood fire, the scent of rabbit stew, and a waxen-winged woman greet you. She smiles. “Welcome home.”

Blue Light

Posted: March 24, 2021 in Uncategorized
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Momma said, “If you get lost, retrace your footprints.”

But Samuel’s tracks were jumbled among so many others he didn’t know where to run. And it was dark. Cold. And the man with the torch radiating sapphire-blue light was just…over…there.

During the chase, Samuel lost the boots Poppa grudgingly cobbled because Momma asked him to more than twenty times. Leather boots with star-embedded soles.

“You’ll leave impressions that are yours alone.” Momma smiled.

Fearing Poppa’s anger more than the man swinging the torch, Samuel planted his bare feet in the snow and studied the blue light drawing closer.

His only instruction, wear orange, not her favorite color, but Colette would wear dresses of burlap if doing so captured Theodore’s heart. Our Colette spent many francs, she wouldn’t divulge the number, on pearls to decorate the crown of her auburn hair. Another unknown sum purchased a dram of rose-scented oil to draw her lover to the hollow just below her ear. His lips met the mark. Oh, what pleasure.

Theodore’s Colette, now heavy with child, wears stained cotton shifts and oversized shoes. The mistress of the house watches Colette slip in snow while fingering pearls gifted by her husband.

 

Sincerely, Damien

Posted: February 10, 2021 in Uncategorized

Mother,

Foliage has returned. Five years passed before the greasy-black smoke of burning tires dissipated. We lived underground. The land is littered with grenades, bullets, bones. We collect them. Angela builds walls from grenades. Beautiful structures. Felicia fashions windchimes from bullets and vines.

Do not worry, these reminders of war are not dangerous. Frederick makes it so.

I am building homes. We live separately. For safety. Only four people remain but constructing homes from the bones of loved ones takes time.

Do not return. You would not find comfort under my roof, for it is made from Father’s ribs.

When my heart shatters like a single mussel shell beneath your angry words and I fall to my knees and cry for mercy, kindness, forgiveness, a gentle hand or a whispered I love you, will you be there, not to shout questions or offer unneeded advice but to gently lift me up and guide me, not to your home or mine but to a place of warmth and softness where our baggage of discordant history has no place and the sound of children’s laughter brings delight instead of angst?

Image  —  Posted: October 30, 2020 in Uncategorized
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