Writers Wednesday – Chapter 5: The Women with Blue Eyes


Chapter 5

Wait! Be sure you have read the first four chapters first:

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4


The woman moved her hips from side to side on her way to the kitchen and Jason cleared his throat, watching as her booty swayed underneath the red silk skirt. There was something about dark skin against red. Baby girl was all body. He shook his head, trying to focus as the sweat began to trickle down the side of his face. He loosened the collar on his shirt. Damn it’s hot in here.

“Ey mama you got something cold to drink in here? It’s hot ass hell.”

Jason wiped his brow and dried his sweaty hands off on his Post Office jeans. Something told him not to be greedy and try to do one more block but when he saw those beautiful blue eyes, he couldn’t resist. The woman returned with a large glass pitcher of tea and a glass. Jason wondered how she could hold both with one hand.

Damn she strong.

The woman smiled, handing him the glass and holding the pitcher with both hands as she poured the sweet liquid. Her breasts dangled in front of her guest.

“I’m so sorry. It’s been quite warm lately,” she said licking her lips and smiling.

Jason watched the show. He wasn’t much of a breast man. They weren’t as much fun as booty and thighs. “Tittes are for babies,” he told his friends. But he damn sure wasn’t complaining. He watched them jiggle when she sat down and gulped his drink.

“So, tell me a little about yourself? How long you been in this house? I don’t remember seeing you around here and I been working this route for a minute,” Jason emptied his glass. It really must have been hot because he only drank like that when he was thirsty.

“Oh, I’m new here.”

The blue-eyed woman moved closer, staring into his eyes. Her hips practically touching his. She watched the red spots on the internal screen of her eyes as Jason’s temperature rose. He loosened his collar again and cleared his throat, then leaned in closer to the woman, his lips so close to hers he could feel her cool breath on his face.

The woman smiled and continued to stare.

“Stop.”

Startled, the woman turned in the direction of the voice and back to Jason, whose mouth hung open, his body stiff. She turned back to the man who spoke, her eyes flames of fire, her teeth gritted.

“You froze him?”

“He’ll snap out of it in a second. Won’t remember a thing. I need to talk to you,” said the being.

The woman sighed. She hated when they froze time. She folded her arms.

“What are you doing here? This isn’t exactly your jurisdiction.”

“Pas, you don’t need to do this. Let him go. He’s a good man. Haven’t you had enough already?”

Pas stood and walked toward the tall, blue-eyed man, stopping in front of him.

“Good and man is an oxymoron. I know how badly you want to be one of them. Are you a good man Azbuga?”

“Stop playing games. I have orders from the master. You can’t touch him.”

Pas circled the archangel.

“See Az, that’s the difference between you and me. You are a sheep, blindly following your master.” She laughed, walking back to the sofa and waved her hand in the face of the stiff Jason before her.

“I mean, they are so weak. I tell you what. You can have him if I can have her.”

“That’s not how this works. You know that.”

“Oh.” Pas bit her lip in a fake pout, “that sucks.”

“I’m not playing games with you Paschar. Stop digging or I disintegrate you.”

“Ouch. Pulling out the big guns huh? I can do stuff too you know.”

“This isn’t a competition. There are people’s lives at stake here.”

“Exactly. People. Ungrateful, weak-minded human beings who care about nothing but themselves, their fancy cars and worthless money. They can’t even breathe on their own let alone “control their own destiny.” Bunch of weak-minded fools are what they are.” Paschar folded her arms across her chest. It pissed her off that despite being more powerful than humans her legion still didn’t have a chance at redemption.

“You stop digging or I turn you in and you know what that means.”

“I don’t have to listen to you.”

“There’s a bottomless pit with your name on it. Try me.”

Pas rolled her eyes and bit her lip, Az vanished.

Jason snapped out of his trance and shook his head. The woman was standing. Was it over already? I know I ain’t that desperate I can’t remember hitting it, he thought.

The woman walked over to the door and opened it.

“You can leave now.”

“What? Yo ma I thought…”

“Get your ass up. Get out before I call the cops,” said Pas. She had to muffle laughter on that one. Cops. What a joke.

 

***

Tina tightened the silk night cap on her head and sighed. It had been a long day at the office trying to solve the Byron case and she still didn’t know how to reveal to Freddy that she knew the guy. I’m just so caught up in this foolishness, she thought. The children were with her mother for the weekend and Janiyah was at a friend’s house. She was thankful for that at least. She needed the break. Tina turned over on her side and pulled the tiny chain on the lamp that would turn off the light, but it wouldn’t turn off. She pulled again. Still, nothing.

“Come on now,” she said removing the covers and standing. Pulling again, the light wouldn’t turn off.

“Gotta be these cheap ass bulbs. Told mama not to get this brand.”

“It’s me. Look, we need to talk.”

Tina jumped, holding her hand to her chest, breathing heavy.

“Don’t do that!”

The man held up a hand.

“Sorry.”

Tina first started seeing Az when Ronnie died, before Freddy recommended, she see Erica. It had happened right there at the office. She was snitched on by Amy, her rival.

“Are you all blue?” Tina looked him up and down. His full name was Azbuga and he was a Watcher Archangel sent to help her.

The angel frowned, “what?”

“Is your whole-body blue or is it just your eyes?”

“Just my eyes. I don’t really look like a human. This is the image I show you so you’re not…afraid. Listen, I didn’t come here to talk about me. It’s gonna happen again.” Az handed Tina a folder. She took it and opened it.

“Her name’s Paschar, angel of vision. She’s a nasty entity who sucks the souls of men right out of them using nothing but her eyes.”

Tina stared back at the photo and paperwork.

“She’s beautiful.”

“Exactly the problem. She kills more men than anyone of her kind. There’s a legion of them. She’s high up there.”

Tina looked over the paperwork, stopping at a photo of a well-dressed African American man with light skin, freckles, and an Afro. He was handsome and Tina caught herself staring.

“His name is Jason. I stopped her before she did anything but Paschar can’t be trusted. She’s gonna cross me and…”

He nodded toward the photo in Tina’s hands.

“Kill him.”

“Why?”

Tina stared at Az, no longer frightened by his appearance. He was taller than a normal man but could shorten his height around people like he did that night at the club. He was at least 9ft and Tina found herself looking up to talk to him. He’s been coming around since Ronnie’s death. Only now was he communicating with her and showing his real height. She wanted to know why.

“Why me, why black men, why now?”

“Energy.”

Tina rolled her eyes, “cut the crap Az. Tell me what’s going on.”

“I told you. Energy. Paschar and her crew are fallen angels, no longer connected with the master…”

“God? When you say Master, you mean God?” asked Tina sarcastically.

“Listen, they need the energy and worship from humans to live. There’s a connection to you because Ronnie’s involvement with one of their kind…”

Tina shivered. Big Sam.

“…opened a door,” continued Az. “The more men Paschar and her girls take out, the longer they live. Sexual energy is one of the most powerful forms of energy there is. Your sexual energy is a creative, life-force energy. Through it, you give birth to new life and angels have always been jealous of that.”

“Angels jealous of humans? Get outta here,” waved Tina.

“Ever since Mount Herman.” Az paused reflectively. “Anyway, Pas and her crew craves the sexual energy of black men, a strong force that gives them longevity. Men are weakened by the sight of them, especially Pas, and their weakness is a doorway she can use to suck the energy from their eyes.”

“Okay, but why black men? All of her victims so far have been black. Is it because she’s black?”

“Paschar is not African American. She appears that way same as I appear to you a Hispanic man. I know your father was Hispanic so you wouldn’t fear me in this form. We angels have no race, no color, no human form. We are energy.”

“Why black men though?” Tina asked again, annoyed that he had not answered her question.

“Black men have one of the most powerful energy forces there is. Black women follow them. Listen, if Pas visits a man herself, he must be very special. She saves the best for her. Jason is visiting his daughter at precisely two o’clock tomorrow. Afterward, he will stop at a friend’s house for a short while before heading home. At this friend’s house he will meet a woman. A beautiful woman. You and your people, get to him before she does.”

Az vanished.

“Wait!”

Tina punched the bed, then buried her face in the pillow, her head pounding like crazy. She wanted to scream. Why was this happening to her? Why had Ronnie’s death invited angels and demons into her life? She sat up, head still pounding. Her eyes looked ahead to the bathroom. Only now did she realized Az large figure had blocked it completely from view. Erica’s pills were calling out to her and so was the aspirin. She wouldn’t be able to see Az if she took the pills and wouldn’t know what to do next. She did need those aspirins though. Tina sighed.

“Choices, choices.”

She looked down on the bed at the envelope Az gave her with Jason’s information in it. He was so beautiful, but she couldn’t involve herself in this. She decided to take Erica’s prescription over the aspirin. This was all too much.

She touched Jason’s picture, caressed his face, and sighed.

“Sorry baby. But I’m not your savior.”


Coming Up:

Chapter 6: Wed.  4/8/2020

The Stella Trilogy: The Research (Book One)

Cane River Creole National Park – Oakland Plantation, Natchitoches, Louisiana, November, 2016.

Since the meat of book one focuses on what life was like for a little girl, and then a young woman, growing up in slavery, the bulk of my research had to do with reading slave narratives and studying enslavement through the eyes of women and children.

Between Slavery and Freedom centers on Stella’s enslavement on The Saddler Plantation in Louisiana. As I introduce us to the first Stella, she is a six-year-old girl enslaved with her mother, Deborah. At this age, she is not aware that she is living property, which was typical for some enslaved children in their early years. She plays with the other children, including the slave owners’ daughter, but she does not yet understand the value of her flesh, that she could be bought, sold, traded, transferred, deeded, and gifted. Stella describes the plantation as a “big family.” She loves running through the dirt and the way it feels on her toes. She talks of childish things like eating sweet cakes, playing with Miss Carla, and trying to convince Mama, she touched the sun.

“One time, I made it where I touched the sun. It wasn’t even hot either. It didn’t feel like nothing but air. I told Mama the sun was tricking us. 

“And how it do that?”

“Cause Mama. I touched it, and it ain’t burn my finger none. It feels hot, but it ain’t really.”

– Stella, Between Slavery and Freedom

Historically, enslaved children who had a “childhood” in this way realized their status gradually. Their awakened consciousness may have been signified by seeing a family member sold for the first time or being sold themselves. The research points to ten as the age where the enslaved child knew and understood that he or she was property, except in the circumstances, as I have mentioned. As soon as they were old enough, the enslaved child’s life changed, and they realized that their lives as enslaved differed greatly from the lives of the white children they once played with as small children.

Slave-owners raised southern white youth as enslavers in training. Sometimes slave-owners gifted their children an enslaved person as a pet (sometimes it was the same child they played with). Literature also played a role in the training of southern youth to not only accept slavery as a regular part of society but to prepare them to own slaves of their own. Examples of such books is The Child’s Book on Slavery; or Slavery Made Plain. In a chapter called The Duty of Learning about Slavery, it states:

“if slavery is good, we ought to help it forward…”

In a chapter called Does Color Make Slavery, it states:

“Moses and all his people, I have said, were slaves in Egypt, but they were not colored people.” 

This explanation was to try to explain to the children that slavery wasn’t based on skin color, and it is a lie. Egypt is in Africa. Moses and his people were “people of color.”

In a chapter called What is a Slave, the author compares the enslaved to a horse, saying:

“Perhaps your father has a horse. That is his property. He has a right to make the horse work, only he should treat him kindly and give him good food. If the horse is his, nobody has a right to tell him he must not use the horse so. And then, if he thinks it best, he has a right to sell the horse to somebody else. Nobody has a right to forbid him. He need not go and ask even the horse, if he may have him plow the garden, or draw the wagon, for the horse would not understand him, and could not speak to him, and will never grow so old or so wise, that he can understand our words, and talk himself.”

Source: https://archive.org/details/ASPC0001969600/page/n5/mode/2up

Speaking of literature, another part of writing book one was reading many slave narratives, including Frederick Douglass An American Slave, and Up from Slavery. Other books included When I Was a Slave: Memoirs from the Slave Narrative CollectionBullwhip Days: The Slaves Remember, and Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Emancipation.

Cane River Creole National Historical Park

Cane River Creole National Park – Oakland Plantation, Natchitoches, Louisiana, November, 2016.

“Some people have to take the cotton and pick out the seeds, and others have to spin and weave. They don’t do nothing but spins and weaves. Some people even had to turn the weaves into threads.”

– Stella, Between Slavery and Freedom

More profound than this is my visit to a former slave plantation at The Cane River Creole National Historical Park in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

You might ask yourself why anyone would want to visit such a place. I was writing about people living on a slave plantation and what better way to get inside their heads than to visit one.

Originally called Bermuda, the founder of Oakland was Jean Pierre Emmanuel Prud’ Homme, who began farming the land in 1785 and received a Spanish land grant in 1789. The land’s first cash crops were tobacco, indigo, and cotton. The Prud’ Hommes were the first family west of the Mississippi River to farm cotton on a large scale.

Cane River Creole National Park – Oakland Plantation, Natchitoches, Louisiana, November, 2016. Slave Quarter turned home of Sharecroppers

“Down in the quarters, every family had a one- or two-room log cabin. Mostly one room though. We had mattresses filled with corn shucks. Sometimes the men build chairs at night. We didn’t know much about having anything, though. There were a lot of cabins for the slaves, but they weren’t fitting for nobody to live in. We just had to put up with them.”

– Stella, Between Slavery and Freedom

After the Civil War, sharecropper and tenant farmers continued to live on the land until the 1970s, and slave quarters became homes to sharecroppers later. The people worked twelve hours a day, six days a week. Seeing this with my own eyes put it into perspective how the south had reconstructed slavery by returning land to former slave owners and putting former slaves back into the fields under another name. Slave codes designed to control the enslaved became black codes intended to control freedmen, and cotton pickers became sharecroppers.

Martha Ann, an enslaved Laundress, worked in this wash house in the 1850s. In the 1940s, her descendant, Martha Helaire, earned $4 an hour working here as a Laundress. All we have to do is walk a few steps to the washer and dryer.

I blogged about this visit years ago. Get the full picture and see more pics by revisiting that post here.

Living on 40 Acres of Land

Finally, part of my preparation for book one also included where I was living at the time I started writing these books.

At the time I released the first book in this trilogy, my husband and I lived in an old house owned by our elderly cousin on 40-acres of land. Over the years, we planted a garden on the property, built a chicken coop and raised chickens, owned several dogs, goats, and even a horse. My grandmother-in-law also recounted stories of when she and some cousins picked cotton on this land.

The elderly cousin and her father built the house we rented many years ago. It was an old house and an old land. It was easy for my overactive imagination to envision what it would be like if we were not renting this house from our cousin; if we were not free to live life on our own terms; if this was not the 2000s, but the 1800s, and if we were not free but enslaved. I walked the property, breathed the air, and looked up at the trees. I had dreams of black people hanging from those trees and visions of people trying to escape.

We lived on that land for five years, eventually moving away in 2015, and I had a completed manuscript.


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Mark as Want to Read on Goodreads

(If you read Stella the first time around I would most appreciate you marking it as read on Goodreads!)

Lit Mag 2020 Is On the Way

The 2020 Lit Mag Literary Magazine for Poets is on its way out! We are proud to feature last year’s Grand Prize Winner Chanelle Barnes on the cover. Volume 2, Edition 2, is scheduled to print Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

This year’s magazine features the winners of “Yecheilyah’s Annual Poetry Contest 2019”: Chanelle Barnes, BuddahDesmond, Jahkazia (Jah-kay-asia) Richardson (our 2018 Champion), Kiyana Blount, and Dondi A Springer. The mag also features the poems of select poets who participated last year.

How can you be featured in the Lit Mag Magazine? Be sure to participate in my annual poetry contests! Rules and guidelines for the 2020 competition to be announced.

Be sure to support this contest by picking up your copy of LitMag 2019 by clicking on the link below. Your contribution helps us to keep this contest going by keeping the entry fee-free or low-cost for participants, allows us to print the magazine featuring the winners, and of course, offers some dope prizes to contestants! Link below:

Get LitMag 2019 Here

Visit our 2017 Winners Here

Visit our 2018 Winners Here

Visit our 2019 Winners Here

Velvet Voices

Since 2015, The Velvet Note has consistently been named one of the best Jazz Clubs in Georgia, and I have the honor of headlining its first Author/Word event. “Velvet Voices,” is a thought-provoking series of presentations by authors, historians and spoken-word artists and premiers on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, in Alpharetta, Georgia from 7:00-9:30p. The series will run from 8/21 through 9/25, and I am the opener for the first show reading excerpts from my Historical Fiction novel Renaissance: The Nora White Story. Some fantastic poets will bless the mic, and it is also an open mic for attendees.

Enjoy thought provoking discussion in an award-winning, beautifully-appointed listening room. I will have copies of Renaissance, and I am Soul on hand to sign. If this series does well, The Velvet Note will incorporate it into its regular program. Get your tickets NOW and let’s make history!!

>>Get Tickets Here<<

(Be sure to click on the show for 8/21)


Update: This book is now Available!!

>99cents today ONLY<<

>>Free with Kindle Unlimited<<

Editors and Beta Readers – Vital for Independent Authors

Excellent post. Indie Authors, take heed.

Author Don Massenzio

Publishing contractThis post focuses on the importance of using an editor and enlisting beta readers if you are an independent author.

Let’s start by comparing/contrasting independent and traditional publishing. In traditional publishing, an author receives an advance (if he or she is lucky). This advance is usually a fairly small amount. The author may then receive royalties for books sold after a certain number. The royalties can vary from pennies per book to dollars if you are a bestselling author. In exchange for allowing the traditional publisher to publish your work, you receive editing, formatting, publicity, and marketing services. The quality and effectiveness of these services can vary depending on how much the publishing company believes it can make from your book. In the end, very few published authors make a living wage from traditionally published books.

Independent authors know that their world is a different one. All of the services mentioned…

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Self-Understanding: 6 Harsh Truths to Learn Before 2019

Increasing your self-understanding is an essential part of using your knowledge to help others. You cannot be effective working with others unless you thoroughly understand yourself. Take this time you have off work to spend some time with yourself. Sit alone. Log off. Take a walk. Treat yourself to the peace of solitude and organize your thoughts. Write. Read. Pray. Embrace the quiet and the revelations that come with meditation. Be still knowing you are still moving. Listen and act on what you hear by responding. Seek a deeper understanding of yourself. What characteristics were you born with versus what you acquired throughout your life? What is going on in the world around you? How do you fit in? What can you do to better yourself and the world?

Here are six harsh truths to take with you until we meet again.

  • If you don’t know yourself, you cannot run a successful business because you won’t know what your goals are or what your purpose is.

 

  • You can’t run a successful business with low self-esteem. You cannot grow obsessing over what people think. You will never please everyone. Someone somewhere will always see something wrong with what you are doing. You can lay down and let people walk all over you and there will still be someone complaining you are not “flat” enough.

 

  • You can’t genuinely be there for others if you don’t know yourself. How can you give me what I need if you don’t even know what you need?

 

  • If you don’t know yourself, you will always be a victim constantly blaming other people for the things going on in your life / it’s always someone else’s fault.

 

  • You will unconsciously set limitations that aren’t necessary. This will hinder your growth.

 

  • It will be hard for you to be yourself when you don’t know yourself. This will most likely cause you to imitate others. This is unhealthy.

Photos of this weekend’s signing at the Greenbriar Mall are now uploaded to the site!

Click Here to check it out!

psst! Haven’t reviewed Even Salt Looks Like Sugar yet? If you read it, be sure to review it! Click Here. Thanks so much!