Category: Snippets

These are story ideas, story starts that are always written en media res (in the middle of things).

Mike & Jemele & Me


So…ESPN cowed.
The network with few female journalists and fewer journalists/anchors of color, cowed to the red meat-sated viewers who just wanted her to ‘shut up and stick to news.’

(Aight. Okay.)

So, she’s suspended for two weeks.

(Oh, word?)

Yet, her co-host for The Six, Michael Smith, went with her.

(Waitamin…*record scratch*)


Yes, Michael Smith on the day her suspension was handed down did not host The Six with the co-host the network offered as a suitable stand-in.

What did our girl Jemele do to get all this tension and static? What all black women do when shenanigans is afoot:  SPEAK UP.

This was taken from http://www.variety.com, the article is dated October 10:

“…ESPN on Monday suspended Hill for two weeks. The move came in response to statements the anchor made on Twitter encouraging fans to apply pressure to NFL advertisers as a counter to mandates from owners of the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys that players stand during pregame performances of national anthem. The suspension came one month after ESPN became embroiled in controversy over a tweet by Hill calling President Donald Trump a white supremacist.”

So for resisting, Jemele was told by her employer to shut all that up. Call it what it is.

I don’t like it either.

However, what gave me hope, in this GOP Reign of madness, chaos and suffering? Michael “He just might make all this aight” Smith.


When he didn’t go on without her? All of me as a black woman was encouraged and strengthened. He’s hosting it solo.

Why is this?

He supported her.

This is one of those basic things that go into being a complete person:  receipt of support and deserving of respect.

This here? I was elated over.  We as black women sometimes eat each other alive before we support one another. Or that support isn’t what we’d hoped it would be from whom we wanted.

It was phenomenal to see him support her. PHENOMENAL. In the adversarial nature that can be male-female relationships, where support is rarely-traded commodity, the simple act of him saying to himself, “Nall, they ain’t about to do my girl like this and me not say nothing,” and put that into action?

Bruh.

Monumental.

It’s not about who I’d always have in front in matters of support, but who will have your back when the knives and flames reach there while you stand in the front for and with everyone else.

The world needs more Mikes.

Advertisements

HISTORY MAKING #1

She watched him perched in a sycamore tree in back of his house.  She began to adjust her weight so she could be able to gaze upon him without disturbing surrounding branches. She saw him clearly, she could even count his eyelashes as the eerie light flickered from his television set into his blue eyes. She watched him as he had eaten dinner, and stetched out over the sofa. There was a woman he lived with,  his wife she presumed. She scoffed every time she saw her. Incomparable.  She was ordinary looking. She had chosen what this wife perceived to be hers. He would no longer have such shackles to this life.  She watched him sleeping then, calm at last. She smiled watching is chest rise and fall. She had to remember he couldn’t  see her, she wouldn’t allow herself to be seen…not yet.  All that was in her that was still woman wanted to abscound with him, he was hers. Six hundred years in the blood hadn’t changed what she knew she wanted. Perserved eternally at 31, she still and was assumed to be much younger. She lept to the roof, feet bare under the cresent moon she followed the scent that belong to his wife. She watched her, hanging from the rafter of the second floor. She watched this woman, hoping to see what would possess this woman to believe he was hers. She had a walnut brown face, long hair, braided into an upswept style wide set eyes and a figure indicative of at least 2 children.  She was readying for bed, she watched her five-foot-four inch frame walk from the closet to the bathroom of the master bathroom. She noticed the bed was still made. Odd, especially if they were supposed to be married. She smiled inside. “Cracks in the armour.” She whispered. She heard the bathroom water run, thinking her thoughts insignificant enough to discern again. In a acrobat formation, she dimounted from her rafter back to the first floor window. She watched him, hands to window pane. She watched him toss and turn over the sofa. The shrew hadn’t even given him a blanket for comfort. That idle detail, the want of warmth and comfort, she committed to memory. She had to be armed with as much as she could so when  she prepared to take him as her own, she wanted no qualm. She would study him.

She remembered when she saw him, getting gas for his dark green Honda Civic about a week prior. Such a responsible young man to drive a Honda.  She had just woken up from her slumber and she walked not even 7 feet in front of him, caught his scent before she saw him. She walked around the hood of his car, she was already hungry and she didn’t want to make that hunger worse. What made her stop is he almost tripped over her as he tried to open the door for her to go inside the gas station.  Her grey eyes caught his blue ones asshe stammered, and giggled nervously. “I’m sorry…I just…” She held up her hand, “No problem.” She whispered.  Her sneakers carried her softly away to the alcohol in the back of the store. She grabbed her bottle of Merlot,and watched for her clumsy gentleman. Under raven colored bangs, she watched him scour from beer to snack food settling on a bottled water. As he walked to the counter, he could still smell him. “Polo Black.” She said to herself. He was about six-foot-one, short dark hair, and eyes…his eyes were these pool of noon tide. His gait was rushed, perhaps a woman he had to attend to. She pouted.  She walked to the counter, paid for her Merlot, grinning as the clerk returned her change.  “Have a nice night, darling.” He older man said from behind the counter, adjusting his wire rimmed glasses. She smirked at him, “I surely will try.” Her sultry voice causing a rosy flush over his wrinkled face.

She walked outside, the fall air tousling her hair, as she ran a hand through the raven tresses, her Merlot in her brown  shopping bag. Her black pea coat hanging open to reveal the sway of her hip towards him. He hadn’t gotten in the car yet, and as she approached he seemed more focused than startled. “Hey.” She said. “You okay?” She said gesturing back to the step in front of the glass door. He nodded, his crooked smile evident. “I’m okay.” She studied his eyes again, held them. Married.  She’s pregnant. He’s unhappy. Lonely.  He knows she’s cheating. Heartbroken. Think she;s gorgeous. Wants to kiss her. “Yasmine.” She said smiling back at him.  “Michael.” “Pleased to meet you.” She smiled. She turned on her heels, sauntering away. Her eyes darkened, and mouth watered, fangs  cresting through her pale gums. “See you around, Michael.” She walked off, hearing his car drive off in the distance.

She walked around to the garage, the large door was down and side door shut. She caressed the window of the door, pushed it, shattering the glass. She reached in, to unlock the knob. Her bare feet and jeans scraping across the cool floor. She found his car closest to the door, and caressed the hood, warmth still lingering. She adjusted her tobacco colored leather jacket. She could smell him stronger than the motor oil, paint and gas that was housed inside. She walked the length of his car, heard footsteps that were not hers nearby. She paused, eyes fixed on the door. She didn’t want Michael to see her…not yet. She closed her eyes, listened for him. She heard his heartbeat, and music playing in sync with it. She heard him laugh, sweeter than the music.  He was on the phone with his sister. She giggled. She tried the driver’s side door. Unlocked, sat in it and closed her eyes. She let his lingering warmth attach to the leather housed on her body. She could just take him from this life, make him, make him hers. She smiled, the thought. She wrapped her hands around the steering wheel as if she were holding his hands. She could slaughter the one whom stood in the way of her destined. She could burn the house down and take him as her sister Gaia had done a century and a half earlier to get her Chosen. She smiled. Gaia was always the more aggressive of the two of them. She made James in the woods not 30 feet away as the house burned to the ground, as the icy adulteress laid inside, sick from the laudanum she’d given to her. Gaia and James were in Rome at the present, in love and immortal.

She had loves for their lifetimes, never making any of them. She had always been afraid to make the mortal immortal. She had marriages before, human ones of course, four…and made a widow 3 times by the passing of time to their hearts and minds. She had loved them all of course, but she loved them enough to give them life…not, the quasilife she walked in and through. The decision to make the immortal mortal is not one to be taken lightly. After Gaia’s rebellion against familial advice, she was that much more leary of such a decision. She had to know more about Michael. She had to know more. The thought of him as forever frozen as a young man, his eyes aware and altered by her blood, him forever being hers, delighted her to the roots of her hair. He would be hers. She leaned forward and kissed the steering wheel before getting out of the car, slamming the door.

She deliberately walked in front of the garage, across the lawn looking through the window. His back was to the window, and she stopped. She stared, watching him type and stare intently at the screen intrigued her, excited her. She walked closer to the front window, watching him almost simultaneously move back from the desk. His eyes caught her wide grey ones again. There was a tingling that went through him, she felt it. She smiled, he grinned, and then turned and walked away.

WATCHTOWER BRIDE

“The sun will be settin soon, cher.”  Her mother sat knitting by the fireplace. Harlow kept her eyes to the reddening sky. Leaning against the balcony, rail she watched Lake Ponchatrain. “I know.”  She listened to the streetcars below, and Ms. Obear fussing at her youngest son not to eat the benegeies she just made. “He ain’t comin, Harry.” Harlow shifted her weight against the balcony. “I ain’t waitin on him.”

Her mother rocked, chuckling to herself. Harlow kept her position, watching the sky go from crimson to navy. “See, you gon be onna dem watchtower brides. Watching for a man that aint yours, by no means, and ain’t worried about chew.” Harlow sucked her teeth. “I aint waiting on him, mama.”  Her mother chuckled harder,  keeping her eyes on her stitching. “You is waiting on him. He ain’t thankin bout you.” Harlow walked away from the balcony, past her mother and toward the stairs towards her room. She shook her hair out as she went, the wood warm under her feet.

Harlow, in  her room, sat behind her door, head in her hands. She replayed the last night again. She remembered how he smelled, his mouth tasted. It was dark, as he held her to him.  She remembered the streetlights outside Metatarie Cemetery, how shiny slick the wrought iron gating was. “Wait for me, Nina.” She kissed him, needing the memory of his mouth to hush the fear inside her. “I’ll come get you.” Kisses then. “Before you know it, I’ll be there. You can’t hide from me.” His eyes read into her, looking for the no in her. “I don’t know if I can.”

Months passed. Letters exchanged at rendezvous points, left under benches and behind street signs. He was okay. He loved her. She was his baby. I miss you, Nina. Every week, there was a letter. She was constantly walking in their space, in-between the world seen and felt. She hadn’t gone to the Quarter in a week, she had been ill. Headaches. Chills. Body aches. Her palms were slick with tears, remembering him. “I’ll wait, Nick. Imma wait.”

NEVER AS IT WILL BE

“The sun is bright this morning,” she mused, sipping coffee slowly on her front porch. With feet bare and hair in thick curls, framing her pecan colored face. She looked towards the direction of the sun. In her sipping, she wondered if he was doing the same thing. Could at that exact moment could he be drinking coffee, watching the sun, thinking of her. She smiled at the justice of that thought. Could it be that what the old women say was true? The heart wants who it wants, it never listens to your head. She smiled, the light of that thought warmed her better than the sun.

The habit of being awake early began with the carrying of her first child, insomnia made her nights days with the sun her signal to sleep. She rocked in the porch swing, happy the house was quiet that she may hear her own thoughts, and see them through. Married life suited her, yes. She knew to be faithful, forsaking every other and clinging to her husband so the two of them could be one flesh. Their life was supposed to have a cadence, a loved rhythm they planned aside from what could be found writhing on bedsheets. The passion would be cyclic, she knew. She knew how to be a wife, knowledge of position didn’t push her to the front porch in her robe, with a chemise underneath. He did.

This angel of her own making, this man-made god of her youth and imaginations. He whom she saw when she heard music, or closed her eyes. The heat produced at the christening of his name over her tongue was unlike anything she had. Of course, she he knew to have him would be to forfeit her destiny, her blood, her responsibility. It would be to change the course of her path in the worst and most incredible way possible. She held on to the blue coffee cup, her head resting on the back of her thumbs and didn’t fight the tears this time. She recited the same prayer she had for the last few days. “Father, either remove him or give me whom my heart wants. Either way, Father this must change. It cannot bear to be his and be here. In Your grace I stand, In Your love I am complete. I thank you. Amen.” The tears where hot, flowing faster than the white porch paint could absorb them. The sobs then, the release not complete. She wanted to run to him, full speed. She wanted to take but her love for him and sprint towards him. Damn the rest, damn the rest of the all she was supposed to do that day. Through the fields before her, towards the sun, and not stop until he was in arms length of her own hands. She cursed softly then.  She began to will herself back to composure. She shoulders began to shake from sobbing. The sobbing, caused the coffee and its contents to spill over the porch and her feet. The heat from the coffee was a relief to pain in her heart. That burn was understood and could be explained, treated even. This, this inside heat, had no explanation. She couldn’t pray fast enough to keep ahead of it.  This pain outpaced her. When her eyes closed she saw him. The cruelty came when she opened them and he was gone.

While washing clothes, his ghost followed. She walked to the mailbox, he called her name. She washed dishes and wished his hands were around her, his chin in the meeting of her neck and collarbone. “Relief, Lord. Send it.” She loved him. She wanted him. She couldn’t have him. The screen door closed with a bang. “Mama, are you okay?” her daughter asked. Sitting up quickly, she made no attempt to dry her face. “I’ll be okay, baby.” She smiled then.  Her daughter’s eyes seems to search her own. She believed her daughter  saw the lie but didn’t know what it was. She rose from her perch on her porch swing, picking up her coffee cup. She ushered her child back through the screen door, hand on her back. “Daddy wanted to know if you were going to drink coffee with him this morning. He has his cup already, Mama.” She shook her head behind her daughter. “No, I don’t think I will, baby. I already had some. I have other stuff I have to do this morning.”

MATE FOR LIFE

It was raining as he watched her skip over a puddle to her front door. Her hair was wet, but he could see her pecan brown face. He watched her fumble for her keys in her red bag, before going in. He had found her, with her scent he could never forget her. How could he? She was what, what whom he had sought for and wanted.  As she entered the house, he fought the urge to watch over, by watching sneaking in to watch her sleep. He would announce himself to her soon enough. “Soon, dearest one.” He whispered.

His mind went back to when he saw her three days ago. He was leaving work, it was just after sunset. She had with a coffee in one hand, glasses, reading a book. She sat In the back of Gill’s, smiled up at him. She had a heat that exuded from her. He sat across from her, soaking her up, taking her in. He motioned for one of the servers to come to his table. He wasn’t hungry, just thirsty. A blue shirted red head named Callie came over. “Beer, please.” He said.

“Budweiser, okay?”

 

“That’s fine.”

Callie dashed off, pencil behind her ear. He looked over at her again, noticing her eyes were brown. This scent he  knew, his tribe leaders had told him and the other young men coming of age. It was a hint to whom was to be yours, they would always say. The inception, he said, will be unlike anything before and nothing since. You will know the one purposed for you. Their scent will be a clue. Legend, he thought. Fairy tales.  It takes more to know someone than liking their perfume or cologne. That’s insane.

 

He watched he sip her coffee, her  full lips wrapping around the blue mug. Her eyes closed. Her lashes were thick and dark. Her dark hair, framing her face. Her legs slender, muscles detailed under the blue pencil skirt she wore, ending in black ballet flats on her feet. He counted how many times her chest rose and fell. He sat and felt his heart all but stop. Callie dropped off this beer, asked him if he needed something else. He didn’t look up, but paid for his beer and well over with the twenty he gave.  She looked over at him, smiled. Her eyes pulled him in.  He held them for a moment, before she looked down again.  She didn’t seem to notice or mind him staring at her. The blue wall above the brown paneling just made her stand out more. The want  welled up with him, was beyond sexual. It was beyond possession. It was protection of what was his. This must have been the love the elders spoke of, that one would just know once they experienced it. She returned to her cup and her book. When the server brought her check, he watched her reach in her red bag to pay it. He watched the form of her arm and shoulder as she reached for her wallet. She got up, and he saw her full height and shape. He noticed the backs of her calves and her waist detailed by her skirt.  She tipped the server, and he watched her turn to leave. She smelled of violets and honeysuckle. His mouth began to water as he began biting his lip. She was it. He couldn’t explain it, it was too radical to talk about. He drew a ring around his Budweiser watching the foam. The heat creeping up the back of his neck, a low growl rumbled in chest. He got up to go to the bathroom, pushing past the blonde texting on her cell phone without looking up. He shut the door behind him, before going over to the sink. He gripped the front of the sink. He felt the pull in his shoulders, indicating the wolf was rising from him. “Not here. Not now.” Phasing in public was not unheard of, but with this new feeling, this unfounded inception, he was hesitant of his ability to control it. Hold it together, Michael. Hold it together. He looked up into his own changed reflection. The calm blue of his eyes, became their green-gold counterpart. He concentrated, willing  to  pull the wolf back in.  Her I have to find her. Feeling steady, he smoothed his University of Miami shirt, smoothed his hair. His forehead glistened with new sweat, as his eyes reverted back. He had to talk to the elders. He had to have her. He would have her.

 

That need brought him to her apartment. He could find her in snow or desert. She was his now. His. He looked for her light to go out, remarking at the silhouette of his intended against the gold curtain of her bedroom. He remembered the shape of her hip. The rise of her breast as she turned from the window, and loved the way she shook her hair out before turning off the light. He closed his eyes, imagined her taste, her warmth underneath him. He even imagined what it would be like to phase in front of her and have her stroke his fur, or nestle her feet in it.  The inception will be like no other love you will ever have. The elders spoke this to generations of young males of their pack. There would always be eye rolling along the  males, the girls accepted it as medicinal gospel. “Scoff now,” the elders would say, “when you experience it? It will be impossible to explain it or pull away from.” He checked his reflection in the rearview mirror again. His eyes were phasing. “Soon.” He said. “Soon.”