“Black Was Never Beautiful” #1minfiction

This was written for this week’s One Minute Fiction photo prompt at “Lovely Curses“. I’m considering this as creative non- fiction.

Black was never beautiful.

The photographers were not of our choosing. Our photos were taken with the smallest aperture, lacking perspective and underexposed for our likeness.

Photos that were oftentimes already faded and placed into a broken frame, if there was even a frame to spare…

But the tides are turning and with each passing day, we realize that Black is beautiful…that Black was always beautiful.

Stepping out of the darkness, standing in the light and being our own photographers, we simply needed to take our own pictures and reflect the beauty of ourselves.

2018. All rights reserved. Marquessa Matthews

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“Brown Eyes Blue” #1MinFiction #Fiction #BlackPanther

This was written for this week’s One Minute Fiction Challenge at “Lovely Curses“.

This week’s theme is “Protest“.

photo taken of the Black Panther movie billboard on 2018-02-18

Jax and I chattered away as we spilled out of the movie theatre and onto the sidewalk with the rest of the moviegoers.

“I’m totally blown away! We need to see Black Panther again but in 3D the next time!”

“Yeah, I’m up for that!”

Jax opened the passenger door for me and I slid into the car. As he slid into his own seat, I found myself distracted by my Twitter feed. Noticing the scowl on my face, he turned and hesitated before starting the ignition.

“What’s wrong?”

I sucked my teeth and without saying a word, I handed him my cell. He thumbed through my screen and soon he was frowning too. Jax shook his head as he read some of the tweets out loud. Then he handed my cell back .

“I can’t believe that idiots are posting fake news and pictures about White people being attacked by Blacks at showings of Black Panther just to make us look bad? What the fuck is wrong with these losers? Instead of protesting against things that really matter like gun control, this is the kind of shit people are wasting their energy on?”

I felt my excitement over the movie slipping away into anger. Jax pulled the car out of the parking lot, rested his warm hand on my thigh and leaned over to kiss my forehead.

“Seeing Black people proud and excited about being positively represented for the entire world to see scares them silly. They can’t handle it. It’s way too uncomfortable for them. That‘s what it’s all about,” he replied as I stared out the window as we whizzed down the highway. “But fortunately some of us White people are “woke” you know…”

I couldn’t contain my laughter as I looked at him. “Jax, did you just say “woke”?”

He tried to hide his grin but as soon as his blue eyes met my brown ones, Jax burst out laughing too.

“What’s wrong? Do I sound too much like a White boy when I say “woke”?”

I kept laughing. “You’ll need a little more practice before saying it again. But I’m glad that you are “woke” Sweetie.”

All Rights Reserved ©2018 Marquessa Matthews

“Keep On Walkin…” – #lyricalfictionfriday #fiction

This was adapted for the Lyrical Fiction Friday Challenge

Ich liebe dich! 95/365

Photo credit: Skley via Foter.com / CC BY-ND

Don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t it...He’s lips are moving so you know he’s lying…

Just as I was about to get sucked into the vortex of Matt’s sad puppy dog eyes and Juan’s teary eyed look, it all hit me like a ton of bricks.

No. He’s just talking in circles with his tongue again…

I wasn’t obliged to make a decision about giving Matt a second chance, on the spot and under such pressure. I just needed to do what was best – for me.

“I’ll think about it.”

Matt’s eyes grew large and Juan kicked me under the table as if to change my mind.

“You…you’ll think about it?”

“Yes …because you might have been right about not getting too serious.”

“I’m not following you Lily…” Matt was clearly confused. “What are you saying?”

“I love you,” I said and saw his face light up, “But I need time. I need to make sure that you are the right man for me and to do that, I need to see who else is out there for the next while. While I do that, you can do the same.”

The words tumbling from my lips didn’t feel like they were coming from me. But they were. An awkward silence veiled the table. Matt was looking at me like I’d grown a third eye.

Not being able to take the drama anymore, Juan hastily wrapped the rest of his brownies in a napkin, muttered something about needing to be somewhere and disappeared from the pastry shop.

“Just before we met at that party, I’d posted a profile on Match but then, I took it down after our third date. But I’m thinking about giving the online thing a chance… at least for the next few months.”

Matt shook his head and clenched his hands. He was visibly upset.

“Months? Come on babe, are you honestly going to do that me? Is this your way of punishing me?”

“No, not at all. I need to be sure about what and who I want in my future. I need to protect myself.”

“From me?”

I didn’t answer. We stared at each other for a few moments before he gave me a frustrated yet determined look.

“I won’t accept that…I just won’t.”

“You don’t have a choice Matt.”

That’s when another flash of worry crossed his face.

“But what about my sister’s wedding this weekend? You’re just going to bail? What am I supposed to tell Mariah and the rest of my family?”

I had completely forgotten that Mariah, Matt’s sister had specifically invited me to hang out as she and her bridesmaids got dressed.

Shit.

“Please Lily, don’t do this now. You have to go. After the wedding, we can talk again about all of this, okay?”

On one hand, I didn’t want to disappoint and distract Mariah with our lover’s drama. But on the other hand, I needed to draw a line in the sand with Matt.

The wheels in my brain churned, turned and burned…

Shit.

“Fine. I’ll go but we won’t be going as a couple Matt. And there is nothing to rediscuss after the wedding…”

“Whatever you say Lily.”

From the way Matt’s lips curled into a small smile and his eyes twinkled at his tiny victory, I somehow knew I would regret it.

Matt stood up and shoved his hands into his pockets.

“Mariah will be getting ready at my folks place so I’ll pick you up and give you a ride there.”

What?

“No, I said that…” I was soon talking to empty air because Matt vanished before I could finish my sentence.

Yeah, I’m going to regret saying yes to this mess…Why didn’t I just tell him to keep on walking?

Continuation next week: “6:00 AM”.

All Rights Reserved©2016 Marquessa Matthews. Adapted for 2018.

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos directly above. No copyright infringement intended.

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“Moth To A Flame” #1minfiction #fiction

This was written for the One Minute Fiction Challenge.

This week’s prompt is “Improv“.

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Photo credit: Cecilia Monzolon via Foter.com / CC BY-NC

I was drawn to her like a moth to a flame, ready and willing to get burned again.

She had walked into the comedy club with a bunch of friends but now she stood alone at the bar ordering a cocktail.

“I’m going to talk to her,” I heard myself saying. I slid out of the booth where we were sitting but before I could move my feet, my friends tried to reason with me as a chorus.

Don’t do it man!”

“Have you forgotten how she sliced and diced you the last time around?”

“Charlotte’s like poison to you.”

She was like sweet poison but I couldn’t help myself. I never could.

“I know but I need to talk to her.”

“What are you going to say?”

“I don’t have a fuckin’ clue but since we’re at improv night, I’m sure that I’ll figure it out…”

Before I knew it, my palm was on the small of her back as I circled her body to face her. Charlotte didn’t even flinch at the unexpected touch. Her nerves were still made of steel just as they had always been. I said nothing, truly not knowing what to say at the surprise of seeing her again.

In that short walk across the room, my bravado had disintegrated the moment I saw her luscious red lips. But just as quickly as her lips parted to speak, they closed and was replaced by a slow, seductive smile.

As Charlotte looked up into my eyes, her poison instantly intoxicated me and I couldn’t mutter an intelligible word.

All Rights Reserved ©2018 Marquessa Matthews

Monday’s One-Minute Fiction: Week of February 12: “Improv”

Get out your laptops, pens and paper! It’s time for One Minute Fiction! This week’s prompt is “Improv”.

Hmm, definitely food for thought but I’ll see what I can come up with in one minute. 🙂

Comments will be turned off on this post. Please participate directly on Lovely Curses below.

Lovely Curses

Rise and shine! May I borrow a minute of your morning for a quick flash fiction challenge? How quickly does an idea spark and develop into a story when you only have a picture, a word, or a phrase…and one minute to write?

Monday’s One-Minute Fiction challenges you to write a complete micro-fiction piece in, you guessed it, one minute, no more, no less, based on the prompt provided! Of course, you can come back to edit for grammar & spelling, but the story itself must be written in a minute.

Hello, February! Ah, so many great things happen in February—the Super Bowl, the Winter Olympics, Black History Month, Black Poetry Writing Month…

I’ve been inspired by my Black Poetry Writing Month challenge to give you some BlaPoWriMo-themed prompts for #1MinFiction. Are you ready? Let’s get started.

This week’s BlaPoWriMo theme is the Harlem Renaissance, a time when blacks exploded…

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“Black Lady White Baby” #blackhistorymonth #black #1minfiction

For #BlackHistoryMonth, I’m sharing some of my thoughts…

And though this is not pure fiction, I was inspired by this week’s One Minute Fiction Challenge photo prompt at Lovely Curses.

https://pixabay.com/en/baby-sleeping-sleeping-baby-newborn-2553552/

Almost thirty years ago when my brother and I used to be out and about with my nephew as a baby, the stares we would get always cracked us up.

It was obvious that people wondered what two dark-skinned people were doing with a white-looking baby. And the fact that my nephew looked like he had hints of Asian confused people even more than they already were. Instead of double-takes, we would get triple-takes.

Most people would only stare while some strangers (usually older folks) were actually bold enough to ask outright:

“Oh, he’s adorable! Are you the babysitter?”

“No, I’m not the babysitter.”

A look of confusion followed by raised eyebrows.

“Oh! He’s adopted?”

“No, he’s not adopted.”

“Huh? That’s your baby?”

That’s the point where my annoyance about the intrusive questions would take over and I would simply tell a little white lie – yes, he was my baby. That would usually be where the conversation ended, leaving their real question unanswered…

“How can a Black lady have a White baby?”

Back then, I wasn’t about to school anyone on the multitude of shades that we come in. It’s funny how things have changed and no one around here bats an eye anymore.

A “What Would You Do” video as for for thought below.

Tell me what you think.

M xoxo

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

 

Monday’s One-Minute Fiction: Week of February 5

It’s One Minute Fiction time!

Lovely Curses

Rise and shine! May I borrow a minute of your morning for a quick flash fiction challenge? How quickly does an idea spark and develop into a story when you only have a picture, a word, or a phrase…and one minute to write?

Monday’s One-Minute Fiction challenges you to write a complete micro-fiction piece in, you guessed it, one minute, no more, no less, based on the prompt provided! Of course, you can come back to edit for grammar & spelling, but the story itself must be written in a minute.

Welcome, February! With February comes Black Poetry Writing Month! BlaPoWriMo is a challenge I created in 2016 that combines the ambition of National Poetry Writing Month with the history, education, and self-reflection of Black History Month, which occurs in February in the U.S.

This year, BlaPoWriMo takes you on a journey through the eras of black history and poetry. This month, I’ll be using BlaPoWriMo as the…

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