Writers Wednesday – Chapter 8: The Women with Blue Eyes


Chapter 8: “Something You Should Know”


E: You need to come in

Tina: I know. I’m sorry. I will.

E: I’m serious T. Don’t miss another session or I’ll have to report your ass :-/

Tina: Lol. I won’t.

Although she had added a smiley face and “Lol,” to Erica’s text message, in real life she rolled her eyes. Erica was cool but she was still a therapist and Tina was still her client. One more reminder text, call, and email and Tina was going to scream. Before Az showed up again, she never missed a session but that was before she knew what she knew. And even though Erica was the most down-to-earth, most friendly homegirl-type therapist she could have asked for, she still couldn’t tell her everything.

Tina rubbed her temples with her thumbs. She was sitting in her car outside of the office deciding on what to do. Maybe Erica’s right. This is crazy. I need to just go home. Tina started the car. Freddy had turned up nothing on Jason anyway. She couldn’t help him if she wanted to. The sound of a new message appeared. Damn Erica.

Janiyah: Miss Bernice wanted me to ask if you were on your way.

Tina sighed in relief. It was just Niyah.

Tina: On my way now 🙂

Janiyah: K 🙂

“I know where he is.”

Tina dropped the phone and jumped at the sound of Az voice. He had made his body smaller and was sitting in the backseat of her car.

“Don’t do that!” She shook her head.

“Sorry.”

“You always say sorry and then you keep doing it.”

“I know where he is. You can stop him.”

“Why? Why me? Why can’t you just let me live my life?”

“I told you. Ronnie opened a door when he agreed to work for Big Sam.”

“What’s she got to do with it? Besides, Ronnie’s dead, as you already know,” Tina sighed. To be an angel he sure was simple minded.

“Ronnie may be dead, but a door is still open. You are still connected. This is your purpose. It’s what The Power wants.”

Tina shook her head.

“He’s visiting his parents in Oak Park. From there he will head to a friend’s house, but they aren’t there.”

“I don’t like the sound of that,” said Tina looking at Az through the rearview mirror.

“It’s too late for his friends but you can save him if you hurry. He’s wrapping up now. I can show you the way.”

“Okay but how am I supposed to stop him?”

“Be creative. You’ll figure it out.”

Az vanished, leaving an address on Tina’s GPS that will lead her to Jason’s parents house. But the address vanished and a map of the city with red lines appeared.

“What the…?”

Tina tapped the GPS system, trying to get it to go back to the address.

“It’s too late for that,” said the GPS lady voice, “he has already gone. Follow the instructions on your screen. Hurry. There is not much time. Turn left on Columbia Boulevard.”

Tina rolled her eyes, knowing the voice was really Az. She picked up the phone to send Janiyah a text.

Tina: Not gonna make it in time for dinner. Tell Miss Bernice I’ll pay extra. See you in a bit.

***

Amy stood by the window of her office and shook her head. Tina had left fifteen minutes ago but was still sitting outside in the car, her hands moving around.

“Hey Fred?”

Freddy packed up his things to go. It was the end of the day and the rest of the staff had just left.

“Come over here a sec.”

Freddy walked over to the window and stood next to Amy, both of them peering out the window through the blinds.

“What’s she doing?” asked Amy, frowning.

Freddy watched in surprise as Tina waved her hands and appeared to be talking. “Is she on the phone?”

Amy turned to face Fred. “Do you see a phone? She’s talking to herself, again!”

Freddy sighed, shaking his head. He didn’t want to believe it was true. He knew she was seeing Erica. He had recommended her after Ronnie’s death. Maybe it was too early for her to be back. Amy turned back to the window.

“Told you,” she said, her arms folded.

Fred walked away from the window and pulled his cell from his pocket. He didn’t care for Amy too much but damn it if she wasn’t right. He put the phone up to his ear as it rang, shaking his head at Amy still peaking through the window. She was so nosy. He turned his back, grabbed his belongings and headed for the door as the line picked up.

“Hey Erica. It’s me. You got some time? There is something I think you should know.”


Chapter 9, “The Car Accident”

Are you new to this series? Click here to start from chapter one.

Writers Wednesday – Chapter 7: The Women with Blue Eyes


Chapter 7: “Angel of Vision”


Paschar licked her lips and smoothed out the wrinkles in her dress as she stepped over the body, closing the door behind her. The electricity from his soul caused her entire body to pulsate and the blue in her eyes to shine bright. The fresh human essence had her entire body shaking, like one giant orgasm bursting from every crevice of her body. She wanted to run, jump, leap into the air. Travel the planets and back down again. Her prowess and senses were magnified after each hit. Pas walked with confidence; her head held high as she moved her hips from side to side. Red was her most favorite color to wear with this skin. Something about the hue against this dark body, so different from her real form.

Passerbys, men and women alike, stared. Paschar smiled, they always did. Human’s were fascinated by such blue, crystal pupils against such brown, creamy skin. In real life, Pas thought human bodies were disgusting. She hated the soft, gooeyness of the flesh. How it bruised and bled so easily, how it fell apart and crumbled with each passing day. Pas hated the rotting flesh on bone, but she did come to love dark skin tones. Other pigments didn’t make her heartbeat like melanin. With it, she could extend life in this body and still feel like the angelic entity she was. Every soul she consumed slowed the aging of the body.

Paschar entered El Che Steakhouse and Bar restaurant and followed the ray of blue that led to the booth in the corner where six women with blue eyes sat, smiling and their ethnicities ranged from Korean to European, and from Hispanic to Japanese. None of them were black like her. Only she had the privilege of wearing African skin.

Pas snapped her fingers, causing the patrons to freeze in their places. Forks, spoons, and knives floated in the air, waitresses stopped in mid-step with full trays, children’s smiles were pasted on their faces, and people’s heads were buried in their cell phones.

“Hello, ladies. By the look in your eyes I can tell you’re feeling what I’m feeling,” she smiled, shimming her hips. The women laughed.

“Indeed,” said the Korean woman, slapping high-fives with the woman next to her.

“Don’t get too excited. Az is on our trail.”

The Puerto Rican blew a breath, “Su problema.”

“Pain in my ass,” complained the Japanese woman.

“You need to eat,” continued Pas. “More than usual. Keep your energy up. Men, women. I don’t care what you have to do, eat and live. The stronger the worship, the stronger we are in battle. The more you eat, the stronger you’ll be if something goes down. You need to have these people eating out the palm of your hands.

“Or your ass,” laughed the Japanese one and within seconds Paschar’s hand was wrapped around the woman’s throat and choking her up against the wall. She had just had a hit and her energy was strong. The woman squirmed and squealed as her face contorted, revealing snippets of her true mermaid image.

“You have forgotten what is at stake here,” Pas addressed the table. “There is no redemption for us. Semjaza is gone.” She felt the knot rise in her throat and the tears threaten to spill from her eyes at the mention of her leader. Damn human emotions.

“Arakiba,” she continued, giving the names of their leaders, “…is gone. Rameel, Kokabiel, Baraqijal, Armaros, gone. All of them!” Pas slammed her fist against the table and the women jumped. The Japanese woman continued to squirm as she suffocated up against the wall.

“Two hundred of our brethren fell that day.”

Paschar let the Japanese woman go, her human body falling to the floor, coughing and choking.

Pas walked the length of the restaurant, zooming in and out of focus, floating from one end of the room to the next, the anger in her veins amplified by the energy from her last victim.

“Their eternal souls locked away until their essence burns forever.” Her voice grew deeper, and pink wings grew out of her shoulders. “They failed,” she boomed, her voice like thunder. “We will not fail! Rise sistars. Rise!”

The women stood, their ethnicities changing, disfiguring the human flesh, now like clay, and exposing their true images. No longer were they six beautiful women all ranging in skin tones and race. Now Paschar looked into the face of a mermaid, a fairy, a troll, a white-winged horse, a griffin, and an imp. Paschar looked from one creature to the other and she changed too.

Pas real body was light pink and humanoid, resembling that of a woman from the chest down, her face that of a man. Different shaped circles cover her pink body, entry points to absorb energy. Paschar’s hair is dark pink and her feathered wings are light pink like her skin. Her pupils are tiny slits, like that of a snake, shining blue. Light emanates from her, shining a bright pink glow.

Paschar (pu-shar) is her name, angel of vision, once tasked with guarding the veil between the physical world and the heavens, between consciousness and unconsciousness, between awareness and illusion. She once saw the beauty of visions from the Almighty and projected these into human consciousness. Now, she is limited, capable only of seeing physical beauty, extracting energy from mortal man, and projecting illusions. Her authority was stripped from the heavens and placed on that of the Earth.

Paschar reigned over the creatures before her as if she could control them, but the truth was Pas had no real power and she growled in anger and frustration of her circumstance. The fall had weakened her, weakened them, and now there was no chance at redemption. Yah had forsaken them, cast them aside for pieces of rotting flesh. How dare he cast his own from eternal glory and offer it to the beast that is man? The slits in Paschar’s eyes thinned and the blue rays grew wider, brighter.

“Remember who you are,” she growled. The creatures responded by screeching, singing, growling, and shooting fire from their nostrils.

Pas snapped her fingers and the customers unfroze, the creatures turned back into beautiful women, and Pas skin was no longer pink.

The clinging sound of new patrons entering the restaurant sounded and four black men walked in, their eyes already on their table. The seven women smiled, just as beautiful as they were before, and Paschar smoothed out the wrinkles in her dress, licking her lips and marveling at the brown skin.

She didn’t even have to turn around. She saw them first and her stomach growled.

It was feeding time.


Chapter 8 “Something You Should Know”

Are you new to this series? Click here to start from chapter one.

Writers Wednesday – Chapter 6: The Women with Blue Eyes


Chapter 6: “Jason Who?”


“Higher daddy, higher! Push me higher!”

The four-year-old swung her legs back and forth, feeling the wind on her face. Jason smiled. Amarie was a fun junkie like her daddy.

“I don’t think you ready for this though Marie baby. You ready for this?”

“I’m ready, I’m ready. Higher daddy!”

Jason stopped the swing and placed his hands on each side. He stepped back, pulling Amarie back, high into the air, his hands still holding on tightly to the swing. Amarie laughed and giggled. Jason let go, letting the swing fly through the air as Marie screamed. Jason laughed.

“Told you, you weren’t ready!”

As the swing came back to him, he stopped it, helping Amarie to climb down.

“Come on baby, let’s go feed daddy.”

“That was amazing!” shrieked Amarie, still feeling giddy.

Jason smiled. Kids were something else. One minute they are asking you a million questions and the next they little geniuses.

“Amazing huh? Spell it for daddy.”

Amarie twisted her lip and Jason couldn’t get over the cuteness. She was his little chocolate drop, her skin taking on her mother’s dark complexion instead of his lighter one. Her brown, course, hair was in ponytails with yellow barrettes adorning the braided ends. Jason and his baby mama didn’t always get along, but he admired how she always kept his daughter fresh and looking like a little lady. Not too many little girls still wore pigtails these days. While moms kept her cute, Jason kept her smart. He taught her beauty on the outside meant nothing without beauty on the inside. “And beauty,” he taught her, “come with brains. Don’t just be a cutie, be smart too.”

“A-M-A…” began Amarie.

Jason tried hard to listen, but his spirit was still disturbed from the events of the other day. He wouldn’t teach his daughter the importance of thinking if he wasn’t a thinking man. I know for a fact her ass was sitting right next to me. How the hell did she end up on the other side of the room, standing up? He couldn’t remember what happened between the time he was about to tongue the woman down to when she put him out. It was weird and had him feeling uneasy. It was hot as hell in there too though. Could that have been the reason? Did I blackout from the heat?

“N-G,” recited Amarie as they made it to the car. Jason helped her into the back seat and strapped her into the booster seat.

“Did I do it right daddy?”

“Yea, baby. Good job.”

He closed her door and felt a wave of heat on his neck. Frowning, Jason turned around before opening his car door and saw no one.

“J man you are tripping,” he said outloud to himself.

“Tripping. T-R-I..” began Amarie.

Jason laughed and took out his cell.

“I’m not gonna make it out that way any time soon bro,” boomed Jason’s deep, melodic voice. He laughed into the phone. Tony was always saying something crazy.

“Naw, nothing like that. Got the little one with me. Yea. Ya’ll go ahead though. Imma stop by Moms, I can leave her there and catch ya’ll later. The steakhouse? Bet. I ain’t eating though. Jason paused as his friend chided him on the other end.

“You know moms ain’t gonna let me stop by and not eat! If Imma choose a meal it’s gonna be moms fa sho.”

He hung up and dialed another number.

“Sup old man. You at the crib? Oh yea? What she cook? Bet. I’m on my way. I got Marie with me. Yea. Aiight. See you soon.”

Jason hung up and then strapped on his seat belt. Whatever it was he was feeling, he didn’t trust it. He always talked things over with his dad. He felt fortunate to still have him in his life. Not many black men he knew could say they grew up with both parents in the home. Jason’s parents had been married for twenty-five years. That meant something to him. It also made him ashamed that he couldn’t hold onto a relationship himself. As Jason pulled out of his parking space and began to drive down the street, he prayed his mother’s cooking could help to shake the cold chill that trickled down his spine and the knot that lingered in the pit of his stomach.

***

“Internet stalking your boyfriend? Sweetie, if you think he’s cheating, he’s cheating.”

Amy laughed as she walked past Tina’s cubicle where a photo of Jason was pulled up on her computer screen. Quickly, Tina opened another tab.

“It’s not like that.”

She shook her head and crossed out the word Email on her notepad. The man was invisible online, no email and no record. He had been working for the U.S. Postal Service for three years. Before that, he attended a community college but then dropped out. Anything before that is a mystery.

Tina tapped her pencil on the desk, still unsure if she should intervene and because she had taken her prescription, there was no sign of Az to help. If she was going to help, she only had a few hours to do it and she had no idea where this Jason dude was.

“Hey Fred?”

“Yep?”

“Look up this name for me.”

Fred took the post-it from Tina and frowned. “Jason King?”

Amy laughed, shaking her head.

“Who’s he?”

“With a name like Jason King, shid,” laughed Amy.

Freddy laughed too. Tina shook her head.

“Ya’ll play too much. I don’t even know the guy. I think he may be connected to the Byron case.”

“In what way?” asked Freddy.

“I don’t know but I think he’s involved,” she lied. Trying to stop a blue-eyed fallen angel disguised as a beautiful black woman from killing him, wouldn’t exactly make her look sane.

In the new browser she typed in her company password, and pulled up Byron’s file. She looked up to find Amy staring at her. The woman cut her eyes, frowned, and looked away.


Chapter 7 “Angel of Vision”

Writers Wednesday – Chapter 5: The Women with Blue Eyes


Chapter 5: “The Mission”


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.”


Chapter 6 “Jason Who?”

Are you new to this series? Click here to start from chapter one.

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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(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<<