Remember Me

Round 2 of our Flash Fiction Challenge, hoping for the first time in forever to make it to round three.

Remember Me

A girl hangs out at a familiar spot to honor and remember her boyfriend. 

“It looks like we have a murder on our hands,” Adam said.

I looked at him as if he’d lost his mind.

“The crows, a bunch of ‘em together like, that is called a murder.” He pointed over to a few blackbirds pecking through the garbage cans. There were three or four of them. I wasn’t sure if that equaled a murder or not.

We were on top of the hill overlooking the tennis courts, our usual hang out after school. Adam and I had met here almost every day, I figured why stop a trend.

“How long have you been holding on to that? Waited all day just to have someone to hear it?” I asked.

“I had to wait, you were late.”

“Mr. Kelly always tries to talk to me now, keeps me after school,” I looked down at my shoes. “Today he and Miss Moss wanted to see how I was holding up.”

“How are you holding up?” Adam asked. I could feel his eyes on me but I didn’t turn.

I shove my hands into my pockets as a cold wind picked up and blew the dried leaves around. Indian summer was long gone.

I shrugged for a reply.

He reached out a hand but I moved before it could land.

“Come on,” I said squeezing through the chain link fence that surrounded the school’s tennis courts. There was a lock on the gate and a gaping hole right next to it. The courts hadn’t be used in ages, the nets had been taken down ages ago. We had the place to ourselves, as usual.

We walked and sat down on the far court. Adam took off his jacket and put it around my shoulders while I dug through my bag

“Still think it’s a little fucked up,” he said watching me while I tried to roll the joint.

“You know, Keith Richards said he snorted his father’s ashes after he passed. I saw some lady eating her father’s ashes on a TV show, at least I’m not that crazy,” I said.

“How’d you even get ‘em?” he asked, looking down at the two plastic bags in my lap. One held some of the best marijuana I could get, the other had about a tablespoon of ashes, what was left of Adam.

“Your mom was pretty upset. When she was having a breakdown in the bathroom I decided to help myself.”

“I’m surprised she even noticed I was gone. She didn’t care much when I was alive.”

There was a crack in his voice. I stopped and looked over at him.

“It’s only been two weeks. We’re all still dealing.”

I reached out to put my hand on his but it was his turn to pull away and turn his head. I don’t think he wanted me to see him cry which was weird. I was the one who found his body and the mess he had made.

I finished rolling the world’s crappiest joint and looked for my roach clip. The best I could come up with was a clothespin.

“What are you gonna do with that thing? It’s too big,” he said. He tried to grab the pin out of my hand.

“Fuck off,” I said and tried to clip the joint in. It didn’t work out and I gave up.

I took out some matches. A while ago Adam and I had found a box of ‘strike anywhere’ matches in his garage, we were pretty sure they belonged had belonged to his dad. Before we knew it we had blown through half the box lighting matches on the seat of our pants, with our thumbnails, and trying (and failing) to light them off the scruff on his chin.

I scratched the match across the baseline of the court. I touched the tip to the joint and inhaled.

“I still think it’s weird,” Adam said.

People may have thought it weird to smoke your boyfriend’s ashes but I wasn’t worried. The only two people who knew were me and Adam and Adam didn’t talk to anyone anymore, well just me.

We sat in quiet consultation while I went all lightheaded and got cotton mouth.

“Ever think maybe you could have stopped me?” Adam asked breaking our silence.

“Wha?” I wasn’t ready for this conversation even if it were in my head.

“I mean you drop this huge drama bomb on me and then just expect me to be okay with it.”

“I didn’t expect you to be okay,” I said. “I just didn’t think you’d take it where you did.”

“So now it’s my fault?”

My head lolled to the side. “I don’t want to play the blame game.”

“You just don’t like when the blame’s on you,” he said.

“Fuck you, Adam,” I said loudly scaring myself and the murder. The birds flew away. I could hear their papery wings from where we sat.

We went quiet again.

This wasn’t the first time I’ve had this conversation with Adam. I beat myself up all the time thinking about how I could have broken the news to him differently. How, if I had just kept my big mouth shut, he may still be alive today. There may have been a question as to whose baby I had been carrying but I guess I didn’t need to tell Adam that. If I hadn’t said anything or even waited until he was in a more stable mindset, would he still be alive? Probably, maybe, I don’t know.

It didn’t matter, there wasn’t much I could do about it now, Adam was gone and going over everything I did was making me sick.

“I miss you,” I said as a tear rolled down my cheek.

“I miss you too,” he said.

“Why do you come back here?” Adam asked. “Just to remember the past?”

“No,” I said. “I’m just hoping never to forget you.”

GQ of POC Progress

I stole this page from GQ Friday, September 8, 2017, Would you like to know why?

There are 5 count them FIVE pictures of black guys. Would you like to know how rare that is? Would you like to know how unlikely it is that a fashion magazine or any mainstream magazine for that matter would lead their home page with so many POC?

Just for those who don’t know magazine readership dips of a magazine puts a person of color on the cover. So for a magazine home page to put 5, they must really not want any readers.

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Yay! the white guy saved the day

I’ve been looking at the movies that are coming up this year and I’ve taken a look at the big budget movies coming up this year and I just want to point out how tired I am of the white guys saving the day.

I know this is going to sound like a racist rant but honestly, there is no one else out there who is great? Wait there must be ’cause I’m pretty sure most of us weren’t sitting in a ditch somewhere covered in our own feces waiting for the white guy to save the day.

My favorite thing in the world is watching previews. Swear to go I will cut a bitch if we miss the previews at the movies. I spend 90% of my time on YouTube watching previews then go to the movies and am terribly disappointed if I’ve already seen them. (yes its weird but you’ve been here a while you should know that about me already) I recently saw The Dark Tower – which you know – and I was continuously bombarded with The White Guy Saves the Day (WGSD)

You’ll be hard pressed looking and finding a movie this fall that isn’t about a hero white guy. there are some, very few and far between, but you’re going to find more – American Ninja, The Kingsmen, Thor, Blade Runner, Justice League (yes I know there is a woman and a black guy but still). the biggest movies out there are still going to feature the white guy saving the day.

I will watch these movies (one because that’s really all that’s out there) but you know how much I’d like to see something different? I don’t know if it will happen if I will see movies where the majority of the characters are black like you mean it, but maybe my kids will, or maybe their kids. One can only hope.

Psst, the hero isn’t always that guy

So I’ve been looking the recent lists of the upcoming movies and I would like to remind all you novelist, movie makers, and TV executives, the hero isn’t always a white guy.  I couldn’t imagine the African’s, Native American’s, or Ancient Inca’s telling stories that solely relied on them waiting until the white guys came along and saved them from whatever mischief that managed to get themselves into.

I understand your story is about the ‘HERO’. A story about the person in distress isn’t nearly exciting as the person who saves them, however, please remember the people in distress aren’t always women, POC’s, or weak (hell we all need help at some time right, am I right?) and the one who saves them isn’t always the white guy.

Thanks.

Highway Gothic

This was my latest entry in the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Contest. Hope you like it as much as I did. BTW very away about the poor formatting couldn’t do anything about it sorry.

“Should we even be here?” Moran looked around the old farmhouse kitchen, his eyes slowly adjusting to the dark.

Although clearly abandoned the house still held a good amount of furniture. There was no electricity and it was far enough from the road to give them plenty of privacy for what each had in mind.

“Yeah,” Lyla said, adjusting the penlight and training it on the floor. “It’s a foreclosure. Family lost the farm, the house, everything. There’s a sad and tragic story about it but that’s not why I brought you here. Come on,” she commanded.

She shifted the bag on her shoulder, focused the light on the floor in front of her and left the room with Moran close at her heels.

They went up a flight of stairs, clean bare spots on the wall marked where family pictures use to hang. Dim moonlight filtered in through the grimy windows. A strange electricity hung in the air.

With each step, the basket he carried threatened to slip from his sweaty palms. His heart thudded in his ears. He focused on her backside and watched her ass as it swished up the stairs. Such a shame.

Lyla stopped at one of the bedroom doors and pushed it open. Moran expected the hinges to scream in protest. When they didn’t he knew he wasn’t the first Lyla brought here. He was sure he would be the last.

She dropped the bag and pulled out a blanket that she spread over an old mattress that lay on the floor.

“Get the wine,” she ordered, slipping out of her shoes.

Moran dropped the basket, cringing at the sound of clanking glass. He made a silent prayer that nothing broke. He was going to need some liquid courage.

The picnic basket was meant for two, typically accommodating enough for a simple spread. Tonight only two glasses, two bottles of wine and a corkscrew had been packed inside.

Moran poured the wine maybe adding a little more in his glass than hers.

They sipped in silence but soon the mood overtook them and clothes were shed. Heavy breathing ensued.

Moran lay on his back, staring up at the peeling paint. The mattress had been more comfortable than he would have guessed and the sex was good – no, it was actually better than he had had in a long time. Both had worked up a good hot sweat.

Lyla’s naked body lay across his, making it impossible to cool down. He ached for her to get off but didn’t think it would bode well if he told her to move. He needed her nice and calm, unsuspecting.

The air started to cool and he could hear the wind wrestle the trees outside. From far away there was a flash of lightning and a low rumble of thunder.

“It’s gonna rain,” she said, tracing a lazy finger over his chest.

“Did you want to go?”

“Not yet,” she said, leaning in close and kissing him. “Plus, I wanted to ask you something.”

“Ask away,” he said. His eyelids drooped and he could feel a post-coital nap coming on.

“I mean, it was good tonight, right?”

“Um hmmm,”

“Well then maybe to make sure we can do it again…”

“Yeah,” he whispered.

“With Atlas out of the way that can happen. We could kill my husband.”

“Funny,” he said, waking up. This was his business. “He asked me the same thing.”

Her fingers stopped mid-stroke and her body stiffened. He could sense the panic in her face.

“What did you tell him?”

“I told him sure.”

She was up in a flash, crab-walking away from him as fast as her legs and arms could take her.

“If he’s paying you I can give you more,” she said

Was she begging for her life?

“Of course he’s paying me. What kinda guy does this for free?”

She had knocked over the wine glasses. The air was now thick with electricity and sour grapes.

“It’ll be over real quick, I’ll make sure of it. Don’t make this any harder than it has to be.”

Moran stepped slowly towards her while her hands scoured the floor, feeling for something to defend herself with.

There was a large bang from downstairs that stopped Moran in his tracks.

“What was that?” He strained and listened for noise to repeat.

Lyla took advantage of his pause and ran for the door. He reached out and grabbed a handful of her hair pulling her back into the room.

“Ow, leggo.”

He laughed a deep bellowing sound that echoed in the small room. He wrapped his long fingers around her neck.

“Too bad. You were pretty good in the sack.” He smiled as he squeezed.

Lyla’s eyes rolled back in her head as he choked the life from her.

In a too fast movement, she brought her hand up and drove the corkscrew she had grabbed into the side of Moran’s neck. A spray of blood splashed the wall.

“Bitch,” he gurgled, releasing his grip and falling to his knees.

His hand instinctively went to the wound. Dark, blue black blood spilled through his fingers.

“Bitch,” he said again, this time barely above a whisper.

A flash of lightning lit the room. Lyla gasped. Moran’s bloodless face turned to hers. Then he fell on his face, a sickening crunch as his nose broke.

There was another bang and Atlas entered the room.

“You said you was gonna wait for me,” Atlas whined. “It was my turn to kill ’em.”

“You took too long and he was too fast. You’ll get the next one.” She walked over to where the basket lay.

“That’s what you said the last time.” Atlas poked the dead man with his boot “Corkscrew to the neck, wasn’t that in a book?”

She shrugged.

“Either way, you got ’em good baby.”

“We got him,” she said taking a swig of wine straight from the bottle. “We’ll get them all.”

<<<<>>>>

Who do I think I am

Yes it’s been awhile and I’m eager to bore you with the details of my vacation, (I have slides!) But first I wanted to tell you about my recent movie visit.

I just recently went to see The Dark Tower. I wanted to love this movie, several reasons most notably Idris Alba. 2014-09-26 06.19.19

I really wanted all those haters to shut the F*&# up, oh yeah spoiler alert I swear. Those who felt a black guy couldn’t be the Gunslinger that some how it ruined the integrity of the movie (losers). I also wanted more and more of these movies. I love the Dark Tower Series.

Anyway, I saw the movie and I wasn’t happy. Why wasn’t I happy, well one I didn’t like the fact that they didn’t have enough Idris, I need 2 hours of just looking into his dreamy eyes. Two I hated HATED the dialogue. I totally thought I could do better. Please go see the movie and listen to the lines they gave these people it was awful. Why do I think was awful most likely because I pay attention now and I also think I can do better.

Wait wait wait, Kristie, why do you think you can do a better job than those who work in Hollywood and get paid big bucks to write movies? Well, I think we know me enough by now to know I know everything and I think I’m better than everyone. Plus trust me anyone could have written this better.

Go ahead watch the movie and let me know what you think.

Weight Weight Don’t Tell Me

Hey, yeah yeah where have YOU been!

I’ve tried in the past to lose weight. I’ve done it and it missed me so much it came back.  This time since it missed me so much it decided it needed to bring some friends along to make sure it stays. So two weeks ago I decided I was going to join Weight Watchers again. I don’t know what your opinion of the company is I didn’t join it because Oprah was I joined it because I had a thought.  

My mother complains she can’t do a lot of things because she is “OLD” (her words)  I, on the other hand, can’t do a lot of things because I’m fat. I realized she can’t do anything about being old. I on the other hand can do a lot about being fat. 

It is not easy but I’m taking you on this ride with me so buckle up.

I want to first show you the dinner I made today I’ll try to provide you with things each week so you get idea of what I’m eating. Because I know you’ll love it. 

4 Small Spaghetti Squash – cut in half coated with spray olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes or until fork can pierce easily.

For sauce one can of crushed tomatoes, one small can of tomato paste, one can of tomato sauce. Heat in sauce pot with salt paper, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning to taste while your squash is in the oven.

Brown ground turkey in pan, add onion, garlic and spinach. I used frozen for all so I added at the end. Again salt and pepper to taste.

I looked for low fat ricotta cheese but skim milk or some such nonsense. 2 cups one egg mix well.

Once squash has cooled use fork to get the meat, in the empty shell put ricotta cheese mix, squash, ground turkey mixture, red sauce, 1/2 of mozzarella cheese. Bake at 325 (yeah I forgot to tell you to lower the temp) bake for 1/2 hour watch it because you don’t want the edges to burn like mine did but of course if you ask anyone in my house I burn everything. 

Enjoy!

It’s because I’m black isn’t it?

Hello, everyone. It is another day in the life of a ranting lunatic so hold on.

Recently at work, I received a promotion. This promotion required a training period but since I was already doing the job I didn’t have to attend each and every minute of training and since the people in my training class were mostly straight out of college, and I was already established with the company I didn’t have to spend every waking day set up in temp housing with them.

My class consisted of about 13 people including myself, two white guys one black guy two other black women and the rest were white, well there was an Asia woman but for some reason I think they are socially more accepted than black people, don’t ask me why I think we are the only ones who are prosecuted but go figure, anyway after training and going to your prospective department/branch you automatically are promoted. You get promoted if you suck cause trust me there have been people around here who have sucked, and they get a promotion, not naming any names but everybody follow my eyes.

So I’ve checked, and all but two people from my training class have received a promotion. Would you like to guess who those people are?  Yes, you guessed it the two black women. Now I’m a little pissed about it. No no that’s not right I’m  a lot pissed about it, and I have no one to complain to so I’m complaining to you. It may not mean much to you, but it bugs the piss outta me.

Now don’t get me wrong I don’t think I got along with them all that well. It could because I’m a bitch, it could because I don’t get along with anyone, it could be that I thought they were sassy, and I think I’m the only one allowed to be sassy, it could be that I don’t appreciate other black women (something for some reason makes me think it’s this), or it could be that they just really suck at their job, and they aren’t going anywhere with the company. But I don’t think so.

I’m beginning to think my mother was right (DO NOT TELL HER I SAID THIS). I don’t think they are appreciated. I think the ‘sass’ that is typically associated with black women is erroneously thought of as something bad. Or maybe because we don’t sit demurely by or bat our eyes and look passively cute. We don’t do the same thing other people do. Everyone is different, the management of my company likes to remind me of that every day so I can ‘engage’ my team. It just feels like they should be reminded of that.

Ugh I don’t like this Movie

As you know, I sometimes watch movies.  I have recently seen some of the pretty big ones. 10 Cloverfield Ln, Zootopia and most recently Batman vs. Superman. I’m going to tell you about the others but let me tell you about Batman vs Superman first.

 

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Ugh I don’t like this book

I liked Lex Luther. I liked Wonder Woman (even though she was underused) I liked how they tried to introduce the rest of the team. I even kinda liked Ben Affleck’s Batman even though I spent most of the movie looking for Christian Bale and wondering why he decided he needed to use that awful voice.

 

But God I hated Superman. I don’t know if this was something new I just found out about myself or if I always had a disdain for Superman but man I hated Super.

I also am finding it very annoying that we spend all of a movie or book setting you up for the sequel. I just found this out recently when I watched The Maze Runner (yes I’m late to the party) but really, really, really, really, I just invested 90 minutes into your movie and the best you can do make me watch something more? I don’t want to. Let me know when you have finished the movie and I’ll come back.  Thanks.

I know I’m in the minority when it comes to BvsS bashing (next to the movie critics that hated it as much as I did). But besides the who 2 hrs and 30 minutes being a setup, I hated Lois Lane and Clark Kent/Superman romance, didn’t buy it for a minute. Maybe I had to watch the first one to see the love but let me tell you I shouldn’t have too.

 

 

The Great Escape

This is my entry to Round 2 – Heat 12  for the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge.

This was a really tough one for me, I ended round 1 with only 1 point so most likely not moving on but what doesn’t kill you only makes you regret ever doing it in the first place. I’m pretty sure that’s how the saying goes.

The Great Escape

Two toys find what they are looking for while on the run.

Whomp!

It was late at night in the Miss Karin Day School when I heard it. Not necessarily a crash, but something.

I looked at my team, they all stood with their backs to me, upset by my repeated escape attempts. They couldn’t understand my motives and I didn’t understand their nervelessness. Being the most popular toy wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

I approached the edge cautiously and peered over.  Pretty Paula blinked up at me.

“What are you doing?” I called down.

She used her hand to prop up her head. “I’m running away with you.”

“What am I, the circus?”

“Look I heard you, spending all those nights planning. You needed someone to give you a kick. But I can’t kick you. You’re way up there.”

“Hold on, I’ll help you back up.”

I took the string I found in the toy box and tied it to one end of my Action Humvee.

When I reached her I said, “This is why I plan,” I shook my head. “What were you doing? Just jump and hope everything worked out?”

“Well, yeah.”

“That sounds like a really crappy plan.” I said helping her up. “Okay, now back up you go.” I said.

“Adam, I’m not going back up there. Come on, we’ll run away together,” she pulled on my sleeve.

“No,” I said, “we’ve got to get back on the shelf.”

“Adam, you spend your nights trying to escape. Come on, we’ll be free!”

She threw up her arms and spun around. Her head flopped and she fell.

“I’m a little top heavy,” She giggled.

“I’m not sure tonight’s the right night to go.”

“Of course it is,” she squealed running across the room. She tried a cartwheel but wobbled and fell down. I ran over to her.

“Are you okay?”

“My head’s packed full of fluff, guess cartwheels are out of the question.”

I helped her up, she smelled like tempera paint and play-dough, wonderful.

“You can let go now,” she said.

I looked down, my hands must have been faulty, the grip wouldn’t let go.

“Oh, sorry.” I said releasing her.

I looked down at my Action Boots then back up at her. Wow, she was pretty. I could see why she was so popular with the little girls. Black yarn hair, blue button eyes, red rosy cheeks, she was perfect.

“So what’s it going to be, Adam?”

I looked back over my shoulder, up at my team, they were watching now waiting for me to make my decision.

“Adam,” she said again.

I adjusted my Action Pack, waved to my friends, and ran with Paula to the window. It was cracked open a bit but I fit through just fine. I gave her the all clear and I saw her legs come through, then her body, followed by her arms, then she stopped.

“What’s the hold up?”

“My head is stuck.”

Perfect.

I climbed back up to her and sure enough her head was still inside the window while her body flailed outside. Since she went legs first her dress was up over her head. I didn’t peak. Well, I may have peaked a little.

With a little bit of cajoling we managed to get her unstuck.

“I can’t help but think this fluff is better served somewhere else.” She stood up, her head flopped to the side. She lost her balance and fell to the ground.

“Maybe my bottom?”

I laughed

“I guess I should take it easy.”

I nodded, “Come on, across the sandbox straight to the parking lot.”

“How do you know?”

“It’s on my Action Map.” I took my backpack off my shoulder and pulled out the map. “See?”

She put a hand on my arm as she studied the map with me.

“I don’t see it, but I trust you.” She placed a kiss on my cheek and I fell back on my butt.

“Is there something wrong with your legs?” She asked.

“No,” I mumbled getting back up.

“Well, we’ll go slowly just in case.”

Everything was fine until we got to the sandbox.

“Where are you and pretty legs going?” Freddie the Frog appeared out of nowhere, I would have been mad at him, if Paula hadn’t been so surprised by his sudden appearance that she jumped into my arms.

“What do you want, Freddie?” He was a big ugly green thing with a cigarette holder in his mouth, no cigarette, just the holder.

“You and your girlfriend trying to escape?”

“We are just seeing what’s on the other side.” I said.

“Nothing!” he shouted, “Nothing’s on the other side!”

“That’s not true,” Paula protested. “We’re getting out of here.”

“Why would you want to leave such a cushy job, Adam? You’re one of the most popular toys. And you, Paula, you’re a real doll.” Freddie shook his head.

“Shove off, Freddie.”

“You’ll never make it, Action Adam.”

I ignored him and we trudged on. It took a while, but we made it through the sandbox. Climbing over the edge I could see light peeking over the horizon.  The last obstacle was a chain-link fence. Paula again went legs first but her head got stuck.

“You go ahead, Adam, at least one of us will get out.”

“No,” I said crawling back through. I pushed and pushed but it was no use I couldn’t move her fluff-filled head.

“I was just made wrong I guess.” She traced a hand over the scars drawn on to my face. “It’s okay, this was your dream.”

“I would never have made it this far if it wasn’t for you, Paula,” I kissed her rosy cheek.

I sat down next to her and we watched the sunrise together.

“Goodness! What are these toys doing out here?” Miss Karin bent down and picked up the two toys from the ground. “If I didn’t know better I would have thought you two were trying to escape.”