“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

“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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“Coffee, Tea And Me” #1minfiction #fiction

  • This was written for Nortina’s #1MinFiction Challenge at Lovely Curses .

This week’s prompt is the phrase : “Won’t take no for an answer

And again, I have broken the one minute rule but please do as Nortina says, not as I do! 🙂

Note: I’ll be taking this opportunity to create some background thoughts from “Kate” (from my draft novella).*

Photo by Sina Farhat on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

This a continuation of “Whirlwind of Stupid” and “Dog Days of Mother“.

“Wow! I’m impressed that you’re so good with your hands Kate.” Eddie looks me straight in the eye and his gaze is unflinching.

“Yeah, but you’ve got the equipment I need – yours is bigger, stronger and you definitely know how to work it.”

As soon as I see his smirk, I realize that my words sound…well…you know. My face burns with embarrassment as he sits at my kitchen table having the coffee I offered him.

“I don’t think that I’ve met a woman who owns a drain snake and actually knows how to use it.” Eddie points to the plumbing snake I tried to unclog the toilet with before calling his company. “How do you know so much about home repair stuff?” Eddie seems genuinely interested but I can’t see why.

There is nothing interesting about my life as a 39 year old divorcé. As Hannah would say, “Jack shit” sums up my life quite nicely…

I don’t want to have this conversation but Eddie is far from finishing the coffee. Now, I regret having offered it to him.

“My ex-husband had two left hands and I was left to get this house up to speed. I learned a lot from the different projects I undertook and contractors I hired.”

Eddie acknowledges my words with a nod. Oscar the dog has taken a liking to him and sits quietly at his feet, probably crushing on him too. There is a long silence and I shift uncomfortably in my chair.

“Was that your daughter who was here earlier? She’s a pretty girl.”

Oh…Eddie’s being so friendly with me to get to Hannah. I get it now and it makes sense…

“Hannah? Yes, she’s quite pretty.” I could add what a horrible personality she has but of course I don’t need to air that dirty family laundry.

“Well, she has your looks. How old is she?”

I take a sip of my own coffee and drink him in with my eyes. Sure, Eddie’s sweet and very good-looking but I’m sure that he’s in his late twenties and too old for my Hannah.

“Hannah’s twenty-one…and you’re a little too old for her…if that’s where you are going with this conversation. And she’s got a boyfriend who she’s living with.”

Eddie’s eyebrows arch and he puts his mug down. “Oh? You think I’m interested in Hannah?”

I nod.

Eddie leans forward towards me. “Don’t worry. I’m sure that Hannah’s a lovely girl but she’s not my type. Hannah’s mother is much more my type.”

I choke on his words and coffee spits out of my mouth. I’m positive that coffee has squirted out my nose too but at this point, my focus is solely on catching my breath. Eddie jumps out of his seat and whacks me on the back a few times, looking concerned. When I finally stop coughing, he hands me a napkin to wipe my chin and then sits back down.

“Are you okay?” I nod because I have no words. “Are you sure?” I nod again.

“You’re interested in…me?”

Now it’s Eddie’s turn to nod. “I hinted at going for coffee the last time I was here but you either ignored my comment or didn’t take me seriously.”

So I didn’t imagine his flirting…

“But no more hints. You’re a resourceful woman around this place and I might not get the chance to ask again so …how you and I go out for coffee sometime?” Eddie is totally serious and I’m totally speechless.

Speechless.

“Coffee, tea and me…” Eddie smiles, waiting for me to answer.

“I…uh..I…don’t…How old are you Eddie?”

“I’m old enough to ask you out for a coffee date.” I stare at him blankly until he is forced to respond. “I’m thirty. And I prefer women who are mature.”

Thirty? That’s way younger than…

“Uh…uh…I don’t know about that Eddie…”

I truly don’t know what else to say.

“Kate… I won’t take no for an answer. At least not yet.” He downs the rest of his coffee, takes out a business card and scribbles something on its back. “Here’s my personal number but I’ll call you… All you need to do is say yes.”

When he places the card in my palm, our eyes lock and for once, I don’t look away.

And I’m afraid why…

You can read more from Kate here.

All Rights Reserved ©2018 Marquessa Matthews