Category Archives: comedy

The Irony

“No, man!  I am telling you right now that these youth are runnin’ roun’ here don’t know how to act!  They walk around with… with their pants hangin halfway down their behinds, showing off their underwear and all that, then wonder why the police are always harrassin’ them and whatnot.  They don’t have no respect!”

“Yeah, that sho’ is right,” his friend chimed in as their car approached a yellow light.  “They are so brainwashed by that old music and everything else that they don’t even know it.  They do whatever the music says.  They do whatever those old, no-good videos tell them.  Sellin’ drugs and um, disrespectin’ women and everything.  It is a cryin’ shame the way they can’t think for themselves.”

“You sho’ is right, Hank,” the driver said as he slid his foot onto the break, “It’s like.  They can’t think for themselves.  They are mindless robots, and it is a crying shame that this is what we have come to as a people.”

It was nearly two o’clock in the morning, without another car in sight as their vehicle slowed to a stop when the light turned red.  The three men inside the car were all in their mid-fifties.  Grey hairs coated their beards like silver wires as they reflected on how dumb and brainwashed this generation was, while they waited for a green light to tell them when to go.

#BlackStar

Strange Fruit in the Concrete Jungle

Hello,
I hope you all have been enjoying the short stories that I have been posting.  I started out doing them once a week, but as my Ghostwriting career took off, I began to find it more difficult to continue writing weekly stories in addition to the other contracts that I picked up.  However, another project that has taken up a lot of my time is my upcoming novel, “Strange Fruit in the Concrete Jungle.”  Oh, you didn’t know that I was writing a novel?  Well, let me fill you in on the plot!
Ehhis is young man who moves from a small, racist town in Idlewild, Texas to Harlem, NY in 1921. He has aspirations of presenting an unheard of form of art to the citizens of Harlem, Spoken-Word. But his dreams of becoming an entertainer are quickly interrupted when he witnesses a murder within the first few months of his move to Harlem.  Against the advice of one of his good friends, he speaks to the police and is prepared to testify in court.  If he testifies against the killer, it will expose a string of corrupt cops and city officials and their ties to a viscous, black crime mob terrorizing Harlem. The powers that be are not prepared to let that happen so they seek to handle it the best way they can; eliminate Ehhis.  Not knowing who to trust and where to go, Ehhis becomes a target of one of the most dangerous crime families in Harlem as he stubbornly continues pursuing his dreams as an entertainer. In a narrative that captures the essence of 1920’s Harlem with breathtaking descriptions and painstaking imagery of the Renaissance, it will make you feel as if you are right there with the characters. Journey with Ehhis through his triumphs and downfalls in this epic story of ambition and determination. It will leave you speechless and inspire you to always keep going, no matter what is ahead of you.
Check out the trailer below!
This is the website where you can get additional information on the novel.
There are a couple of snippets of the book inside of this blog and if you want to check them out, just look for the book the cover when you scroll through my blog posts.  I have enjoyed every moment of this process, from starting out in three notebooks (Yes, I wrote the ENTIRE first draft of the novel by hand and it is over 111k words), transferring it to the computer, creating in-depth characters and studying the time period so I would be sure to have everything close to how it really was in the 1920’s.  I have even written a movie script to go along with the novel!  I have put a lot of time and effort into this project and I am thoroughly excited about its release!  I am currently on my third edit of the book and it is going well, but I am reaching the point that I realize I cannot do it all on my own.
NOW THIS IS WHERE YOU ALL COME IN!
I appreciate all of your support, “likes”, and comments so please take a minute and check out the Kickstarter page for my upcoming novel, “Strange Fruit in the Concrete Jungle.” My backers receive an array of packages, ranging from physical signed copies of the novel and Special Edition E-Book bundles, to your name being placed in the books acknowledgements!
Check out the page and see what is going on with this ground-breaking novel that captures the essence of the renaissance! Thank you in advance! Peace.

The Dinner

                Her mother, Elaine, walked in with a magnanimous smile on her face before he finished biting into me.  He looked at me as if I just escaped his mouth.  She walked over to hug her daughter and then headed towards me.  She was the same height as her daughter and outside of her mother’s darker skin, the two were nearly identical.  It was clear where she had gotten her beauty from.  Even in her mid-forties, her body still found a way to retain a bit of its peak from her golden years.
“Ehhis, how have you been?” she said in a voice of warmth.
“Mighty fine, thank you kindly!  How about yourself?”
“Oh, I’ve been quite alright.  Quite alright!”
Her long, sandy brown hair reached the middle of her back.  She turned towards my lady, “I’m just waiting for this daughter of mine to bring some grandbabies into this world.”
“Mother!”
“Oh please, the last thing she needs is a baby, especially by this old-”
She cut her husband off, “Oh hush, old man!  This house is too quiet!  It’s time to hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet running through here.”
“Mother, please.  It is not the time.  It is not the time,” my lady said.
“Well”, her mother interjected, “Supper is ready.  Shall we?”  She smiled.  Geoffrey, their butler, came in and directed us to the kitchen.  We walked down long hallways, passing artwork and statues along the way. Our footsteps made unnerving echoes throughout the hallow halls with each steps.  As we walked a few steps behind her parents, my lady whispered to me sternly, “Ehhis, please do not incite my father at the dinner table.”
“What?  I’m not even trying to.  It’s him talking to me with aggression.”
“I know him but I know you too and this is his house, so do your best to keep your tongue in check.”
“I ain’t makin’ no promises.”
“Ehhis!”
Her whisper went slightly above a secretive tone.  Geoffrey and her parents turned towards us.  We smiled as if nothing was being said.  They turned around and we continued,
“Ehhis, I know you.  Do your best to be respectful.”
“Respect is not given, it is earned.”
“How ironic.  Father says the same thing.”
We finally arrived at the table.  Geoffrey pulled out everyone’s chair but I sat down before he could reach mine.
“Ehhis”, her mother said, “its fine.  It’s his duty.”
I turned to her,
“I understand, ma’am.  But I can take care of it myself.”
Geoffrey looked offended, yet, appreciative at the same time.
“Well, would you like to serve the food as well?” her father said.  I began to get up, but my lady restrained me, subtly forbidding me to respond to his sarcasm.  Geoffrey served the food.  Smothered pork chops, steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes, hot water cornbread and lemon-aid.  The dinner was filled with the clanging of silverware against plates and nods of approval of the food that was served.  Geoffrey did his job of refilling our glasses with ice cold lemon-aid and providing seconds of whatever we requested.  Out the corner of my eye, I noticed the interactions between Geoffrey and Elaine.  The indirect, flirty smiles that they exchanged when they thought nobody was watching.  They looked like they enjoyed the thrill of almost being caught, like it was something that drove their relationship.  I pretended to take a drink, watching their interaction through the distortion of my glass.  It would take a blind man to not know there was something amiss between those two.  Luckily, she was married to one.  We finished our food.  Her father wiped his mouth with a napkin, then sipped a cup of tea with his pinky finger extended.  I thought of the artwork that hung on his wall and the records that were buried in the drawer.
“So, miss Elaine” I smiled warmly at her.
“Yes, dear?”
“I noticed there were a few paintings and records by Negro artists around the house.  My lady said they were yours.  Why are they tucked away beneath everything else?”
My lady sensed what I was doing.  She tried to interject but I cut her off and directed the question back to her mother.  Her father looked as if I just reviled him, placing his mug gently down on the table.  Elaine looked at him with a thwarted countenance and then turned towards me.  “Well” she said, “there is really not enough room for all of the artwork we have.  So, we just decided to put the ones up that fit the décor of the rooms.  It gives it a better ‘Feng shay’ as father puts it.”  He nodded his head as if she correctly gave the answers they rehearsed for times like this.  He added, “You do know what that means, right?” his hands were folded onto his protruding belly.
“Not really.”
He laughed, “It figures.  You’re not good for my daughter.  You have no class.”
“Charles, that’s enough,” her mother said.
“Why are you defending this fool?  He has nothing to offer our little girl.  He’s not doing a thing but suckin’ her dry” he paused, “well really, suckin’ me dry since I’m the one givin’ her all the money.”
“It ain’t always about money.  If you knew that, then maybe things wouldn’t be the way they are between us.”
“Oh?” he said, looking at Elaine, “and how are they?”
Lady and I looked back and forth between them like siblings watching their parents argue.  Lady took a drink of lemon-aid and I looked towards Elaine.  She had a scowl, mirroring the same face my mother gave my father when she was going to lay into him with her words.  She never cussed at him in front of us but she knew how to give the most sanctified tongue lashing my ears had ever heard.  I wondered if Elaine had the same type of skill.
“Oh trust me” she said, “you don’t want to talk about that now.  Not here.  Not in front of them.”
“Oh come now” he said as if he was just insulted, “the likes of him?  And Lady?  Non-sense.  Speak woman.”
She began tapping her finger nails on the table from right to left, one after the other.  Geoffrey walked back in, refilling glasses with Lemon-aid.  He knew he stepped into a war zone. I could tell he was uncomfortable when he poured the drink into my glass and splashed a few drops onto the table in front of me.  “I’m sorry, sir” he said, wiping up the small accident.  Charles took another sip of tea while his pinky was still erect.  She was hesitating to answer, either searching for the words or trying to figure out how to say them.  She finally spoke up,
“Fine.  Let’s talk about how you can’t even get your little man-man to act right when it’s time for coitus.”
Her father’s eyes bucked open as he slammed his glass on the table.  My Lady’s eyes widened as she gasped.  I looked between all of them at the table.  I didn’t know exactly what she meant but I picked up on the context clues and assumed the rest.  I was right.
He sat up in his chair.  His face was slowing turning beet red.  Geoffrey quickly exited out the room before things got worse.  My lady’s mouth hung wide open.  Elaine continued, “Yeah, I didn’t want to embarrass you in front of them but since you pushed me to do so, there it is!  Hell, you deserve it the way you’ve carried on with Ehhis this night.  It’s completely ridiculous!”
Charles stood up, “Woman, have you lost yo’ mind?  I ought’ to put you back on the first ship back to Africa!”
“Charles, sit your behind down!  You can barely tie your own shoe without me around here to help you!  Had it not been for your parents, you wouldn’t even be in the position you are in now and you’re talking like you’re some big shot.”
I smiled as I drank more of my lemon-aid.  My lady smacked me on the arm and Charles looked towards me, “What are you smiling at, boy?! I’ll put you on the same boat!  You’re the reason she’s fired up right now!”  I smiled wide, completely enjoying the situation he found himself in.  Elaine was much more reckless with her words.  I felt as if she was partly defending me in her responses, “This ain’t about him, Charles!  This is about us!  Sit your wobbly behind down, you know good and well Ehhis ain’t the cause of none of this!”  I knew Lady got her beauty from Elaine but it wasn’t until now that I saw where she got her feistiness from as well.  Elaine was a firecracker.  His face was completely red.  Geoffrey came out of the kitchen and walked towards me.  With a vague smirk, he filled my glass up with water.  The ice clanged on the sides of the glass pitcher as he poured.  Charles interrupted him,
“That’ll be enough, Geoffrey.  Our guest was just leaving!” I stood up and tipped my hat to Elaine.  “No, don’t leave yet” she said, “there is one more thing I need to say and I want you to hear this.”  She stood up at the table.  Her eyes on fire, chest moving up and down at a rapid pace from her breathing.  Geoffrey looked up towards her and subtly shook his head.  I saw their interaction and looked towards my Lady.  We made eye contact, then we both looked at her father as he peered between all of us.  His face was still beet red.  “Well, speak, woman!”
She examined him intensely.  She had something to say and it seemed that she was holding onto it for ages.  I imagined that it was that very thing that was trying to push its way out her chest as she breathed heavily.  “Spit it out!” Charles said impatiently.  She finally exploded, “I cheated on you 24 years ago!”  The room went silent.  My lady and I sat with our mouths hanging wide open, looking around the room at each other, not knowing what to do next.  “And that’s not it!” Elaine added, “I’ve been cheating with the same man since then.”  Our facial expressions didn’t change as she continued, “And Lady is not your daughter!  She is Geoffrey’s!”  I looked at my Lady and she turned to look at Geoffrey as he stood by the door just as uncomfortable as he could have ever been.  The silence in the room was deafening.  I put my head down, wanting to sink under the table and disappear.  Charles sat lifeless at the head of the table.  He passed out and rolled off his chair onto the ground.  The craziest part about that is that nobody went over to check on him.  Not one soul. 



Check the short promo for this upcoming novel!

Strange Fruit in the Concrete Jungle

Graduation

She finally made it. She was the first woman of the family to graduate from College. Her two older sisters had gotten pregnant in their last year of High School, so she was the one bag that everybody put their marbles in.  The pressure to succeed was placed on her shoulders but she carried it well.  Almost flawlessly.  She made the Dean’s list, became the President of Student Council, held an RA position and still found time to pledge Delta. “Oooooooooo-ooop”, she heard the call throughout the ceremony as her and some of her Sorors crossed the stage and shook hands with the Dean.  Some of her family followed her back to her Parent’s home. She walked through the door and right into a crowd of balloons and banners. “Congratulations, Shay! We are so proud of you.”  Her older sister, Shanice, walked in a few steps behind her and picked up where she left off at the graduation.  She grabbed her baby sister into her arms and kissed her all over her face. Shay laughed as she tried getting out of her grasp, “Shanice, stop!” She exclaimed joyfully, “you are messing up my make-up!”  Shanice let her go and held her hand over her mouth.  She was choked up, trying to talk as overwhelming tears of joy flooded her eyes, “I’m just… I’m just so proud of you, Shay. You just don’t know.”  Shay’s countenance mirrored hers in a moment’s time as they hugged again.  Their middle sister came in and saw them embracing.  She was just as proud of Shay as anybody else but her sense of humor usually did a good job of hiding her true emotions.  “Oh… My…. God… What are you two crying for now?! I promise Yall are the reason these men think women are crazy! Yall cry at the drop of a dime!” she said as she approached them. They laughed as they wiped their eyes, “Shut up, Seana!” The older sister exclaimed, “let us have our moment!”  Seana walked past them and peered down at the cake that sat on the dining room table.  It was decorated with a picture of all 3 sisters next to each other with the words, “when one succeeds, we all do. Congratulations, Shay!”  Seana covertly wiped a tear from her eye before her sisters joined her by the table.  They all stood by the cake, smiling.
“You did it, girl” the oldest sister said, “I can’t believe you finally did it.”
Shay responded, “I know. Five years of studying and working and it’s finally over.”
“Now what?” she asked.
Shay looked at her older sister, “Girl, I don’t even know. The way people are complaining about not finding a job when they get out of College, shoot, I might just turn my black behind around and go right back.”
The three of them laughed almost identically, matching everything else about them. To a stranger, they could have passed as triplets. They all stood around 5’5″ with long hair, a dark brown complexion and chubby cheeks that sunk in with dimples each time they smiled. “Well” Seana said, “I’ma go in here and make sure these paper plates are out before the everybody else get here and start trying to use the good plates. You know Mama will blow a gasket if these people come here messin’ up her dishes.” She smacked Shay on the behind before she left, “Good job, Shay!” The two older sisters laughed as they walked out of the front room. 

Shay admired the cake and the banners that were hanging around in the front room.  It was bitter sweet for her.  She was heading into a new chapter of her life but she was leaving a few close friends behind.  Her College was only an hour away from home but her closest friends all happened to live out of state and they would be returning home in a few days.  She removed her gown and walked over to the fireplace.  Pictures of her family were spread across the mantle.  Her Mother and Father’s picture sat in the middle.  They were smiling in each other’s arms as if they had just been married for a few months and not 34 years.  She smiled in admiration, “well” she said, “I really thought this would be me and Derrick in a couple of years.”  Her contagious smile slowly begin to fade as somber tears filled her eyes.  One blink would send them all crashing down. 

Derrick is her College sweetheart.  He was from New York but ended up going to a Junior College in Texas on a football scholarship.  “I just wanted a change of scenery” he said when Shay initially asked him how he ended up in going to a junior college in Texas, “New York is so grimy.  Rough.  From what I heard, Texas was laid back” he smiled at her, “and I always wanted to know what it was like to talk to a southern bell.”  She smiled again as she reminisced on the first time the two spoke to each other almost 3 years back.  Derrick told her a few weeks ago that he couldn’t find a job in his field in Texas, so he was heading back to New York right after graduation.  The two spent the last 4 days together before he was scheduled to leave.  She grabbed her phone out of her purse and glared down at her screen saver; a picture of the two of them in each other’s arms, smiling, just like the picture of her Mother and Father on the fireplace mantle.  Seana walked up behind her quietly, “Girl! What you doing?!”  Startled, Shay fumbled her phone and dropped it on the floor.  “Seana!  You play too much!”  Seana reached down to pick the phone up, “I’m sorry” she said, laughing, “I didn’t think you would drop your phone.”  Seana looked at the screen saver, “you two look just like Mom and Dad.”  Shay shook her head in agreement, struggling to find the words to say.  “Awww,” Seana said, “Come here, baby.  I know you’re gonna’ miss your boo-bear.”  She embraced Shay but this time, there were no jokes.  There was nothing funny to be said.  Seana knew when to be serious and when that time came, she was truly a backbone.  “Listen” she said, attempting to console her younger sister, “I mean, there are planes for transportation and you guys can face time whenever you need to see each other.  The way technology is going now, they may even develop a transportation device or something and you two can see each other in the blink of an eye.”
Her younger sister smiled reluctantly and sniffled, “I mean… it’s just not the same.  For the last 3 years, I could see him whenever I wanted to.  He was always only a few minutes away.  He could piss me off and I can hang up on him, then like a minute later, he would come knocking on my window and singing some old school R&B song all off key” she laughed, reminiscing on the moment, “I mean, and it was horrible!  He would sing until I opened the door for him to come in.”
“That boy tried to sing?” Seana asked.
“Girl, yes!” she laughed more as tears rolled down her cheeks, “He sang Jon. B one time… you know, ‘don’t listen to, what people say, they don’t know about you and me’, I mean, he sang the WHOLE song.  I had told him to stop and that I forgave him after like five seconds of him singing but I guess it just got good to him.  Girl, he was out there singing and doing dance moves.  And this was in the middle of the day, but he didn’t care!  People were recording it and everything.  It was on Youtube.”
“Awwww, po’ lil’ tink, tink!” she said, laughing.
“I know girl” Shay said, wiping her eyes, “I don’t know if I can do this long distance thing, you know?  It’s just… I don’t know.”

Shanice eavesdropped on their conversation from the kitchen.  She just wanted to burst in and tell her the good news but she swore to her parents that she wouldn’t spoil the surprise.  She had the reputation of being the blabber mouth of the family.  The one who couldn’t keep a secret if her life depended on it so she was determined to prove everybody wrong.  It was just hard to hear her baby sister cry from a broken heart.  She knew the feeling all too well.  She finally walked into the front room and joined them with paper plates and cups in her hand, “Mama nem’ ain’t made it back yet?” she asked.  Shay looked at her, “Nope.  I’ma go check outside though, I think I hear cars pulling up in the driveway.”  She walked away as Shanice put the paper plates down next to the cake.  “Shay, you been cryin’?” she asked.  “Girl, you know me” she responded, “I’m just a glass case of emotions right now, but I’ll be alright.”  Shanice peered at her youngest sister, beholding the fullness of her face.  “Now, you KNOW I know when you’re not bein’ real.  And this?  This is one of those times.”  Shay put her head down and covered her eyes, “I know… I just… I’ma miss him, Shane, I’ma miss him” she said as she sobbed on her sister’s shoulder.  Just then, the front door opened, “We’re hoooooooome Miss College Graduate!” her mother said as she walked in with presents.  Her Father came in right behind her with a few more in his hands.  Two young grandchildren bumped his knees as they ran past them headed straight for their Auntie.  “Tee-Tee Shay, Tee-Tee Shay!  Can I wear your hat, please!” her youngest niece said.  “No, no” the other one chimed in, “She said I could wear it first!”  Shay wiped her tears quickly before they approached her, “Red Light, Green Light, Stop!” she yelled.  The two girls stumbled to a stop.  Shay taught them some of the finer games of her youth and “Red light, Green Light, stop” was the latest one their eyes were opened to.  The two young girls stood, frozen in their tracks as Shay scanned both of them meticulously for any signs of movement.  Shay’s mother walked past, intentionally bumping the oldest one with one of the gifts.  “Granny!” she said as she was moved from her frozen state, “you made me mess up!”  Her grandmother kept walking and placed the gifts on the table, “oh, did I?” she said smiling.  Shanice spoke up, “Neither one of you are getting that hat.  Yall need to go in that back room and clean up all those Barbies and everything yall left all over the place!”  The two little girls hung their heads, mumbling between each other as they walked into the back room.  Shay’s Father walked to the table, placing the rest of the gifts onto the table.  “Hey baby” he said as he wrapped his arms around her, “Daddy is proud of you.”  Her mother chimed in, “We all are” she said, organizing the gifts her husband lazily placed on the table.  Her Father looked towards the mantle at the pictures.  “So, when is my son touching down in New York?” he asked as he looked at the picture of his daughter and Derrick.  Shay sighed, “Well” she said halfheartedly, “He should be there by 6pm our time, so…. I don’t know and I just don’t want to talk about that, Dad.  I mean, not right now.”  He smiled and looked towards his wife.  She smirked and continued straightening the gifts on the table, avoiding eye contact with Shay.  The two sisters were fidgeting amongst themselves, anxious to tell her the news.  “Seana” her father said as he tossed her the keys, “go and get that last gift out the back seat.”  She took the keys and rushed out the door.  Shay looked confused because of her movement, “Somethin’ is wrong with that girl” she said as the front door shut.  “Well” her mother said, “we just wanted to have a little family time with you before everybody else came.  That’s why we set the party to start a little later.”
“Aww, mom” Shay said, “yall wanted little ol’ me all to yall selves, huh?”
“Absolutely!  So here” she spun her around to the table, “I want you to open this card first.”
Her mother handed her the card.  On the front, the name was sloppily written but she could read it with ease, “Derrick” she said.  She took a deep breath to compose herself and keep the tears from falling.  Behind her, Seana quietly opened the door with the second part of the present.  Derrick.  Shay’s parents planned this weeks ago and convinced him to go along with it.  Truthfully, he found a job in nearly 15 minutes away from the College they attended.  They snuck into the house as Shay’s mother encouraged her to read the card aloud.  She sighed and cleared her throat, “I know you’re sad right now but if I was there with you, I would be singing…” and that’s when Derrick picked up, “Where would I be without my babaaaaaaaaay” Shay spun around as her jaw hung open.  She thought she was dreaming as Derrick kept going with his horrible attempt at singing, “the thought alone might break meeeeeeee, and I don’t wanna go crazaaaaaaay, but every thug needs a ladaaaaaaay, yeah yeaaaaaaaaah” he sang with a smile and a bouquet of roses in his hands.  She slowly shook her head, dropping the card onto the floor.  She looked around at her family, “I’m going… to kill all of you!” she said as she grinned ear to ear and ran towards his open arms.  Derrick had no plans of going back home unless it was just to visit.  It was a cruel joke but there would be no better gift than finding a love you that you thought you were going to lose.  







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