Flash Fiction: Tea with Mama

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Tea with Mama

By Sean C. Wright-Neeley

It was always at about 2am in her dreams. The setting was always a Victorian tea room. Candelabra Jones entered the exquisite salon through a door from nowhere, glanced down at her tulle, floor-length gown, and made her way to the table. A huge bouquet of scarlet cabbage roses was the centerpiece, and a filigree tea service sat off to one side. Whoever created this dream setting thought of every detail. Candy could even smell the hot tea. The room also had undertones of vanilla. She folded her hands on the table, waiting for her mother.

Mama entered, right on cue in a flurry of orange and black. Her favorite holiday had been Halloween. She and Candy dressed up as famous black characters, every year. Mama had been Tina Turner one year; Candy, a Supreme. They had been Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Michelle Obama. Mama was fun, but firm in her guidance. She missed this woman who had birthed her, so dearly; a chocolate-skinned woman with a beautiful smile. The cancer had taken Candy’s mother in cruel, cumulative strokes. First the lungs. Then the bones.

“Mama!” Candy exclaimed when her mother sat at the ornate table.

“Hello, child!” she said, “It has been a while. What seems to be the problem?” These dreams were always therapeutic.

“Everything,” Candy replied, throwing up her hands.

“Now, baby. Every bad time ends,” she replied, pouring tea for two.

“I mean it, Mama. Things are bad. Robert and I are divorcing. I can’t deal with this without you.”

“You can. I raised you to be tough.” Her mother took a sip of her tea.

“Mama. I-I want to be with you. I seriously can’t do this.”

Her mother put down her teacup, and looked at her daughter with raised eyebrows.

“Don’t even think such a thing! It’s not time for you to come to my side yet.” She picked up her teacup, and took another sip before speaking. “Candy, I named you Candelabra because I knew you were something grand that lit up the room. You’ll get through this. I promise.”

The tears came. “But Mama, even the strongest of people need their mothers sometimes.”

Candy’s mother put down her teacup, and looked at her with soft eyes.

“You’re right. Tell you what. I’ll visit you outside of here, too, when things get rough. Don’t worry: I won’t be a ghost or anything.”

“How will I know it’s you, Mama?” Candy sniffled.

Her mother reached across the table, and lifted Candy’s chin. “I’ll be wearing orange and black. Now drink your tea. We don’t have much time.”

Candy woke up when she was halfway through her cup of cinnamon Earl Gray with her mother.

*****

Candelabra Jones twisted her braids into a loose bun on top of her head, put on a sweat suit, and left her small apartment she had gotten since the separation. The morning wind was insistent. The sky was turquoise. The temperature was a biting forty-something degrees. Candy had walked two blocks when she stopped to retie her tennis shoe. Halfway through the motion, a monarch butterfly landed on her arm. She immediately felt warmth and strength rush through every artery. The gorgeous, painted creature seemed to sense it, for it clasped and spread its wings twice.

“Mama?” Candy whispered, transfixed. The orange and black insect fluttered away. Candelabra Jones stood up, and looked after it with misty eyes until she couldn’t see it anymore.

For more flash fiction by Sean C. Wright-Neeley, click here.

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I’m pleased to announce the release of my 8th book, Skoll’s Diary.

Africans and African Americans left Earth in 1900, and went to another planet in The Milky Way to escape mistreatment…

It’s now the year 3005 on that terraformed planet. We get a peek into the life of a bright and sensitive teenaged boy, Skoll, through his journal. He loves his world, but is curious about life on Earth. Then suddenly, an epic event casts him in the middle of a difficult decision.  The fate of the planet’s community is in his hands.

Get the book here. I’d appreciate your leaving a review if you read it. Thanks in advance!

Afro-Sean-Commission-Final copy

LADY ROUGEPEN PRESENTS: THE VOCABULARY DOZEN

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Deontology – the study or theory of ethics

Example: Treating others the way you want to be treated is basic deontology.

Plaudit – appraise or applause

Example: The high school student beamed when the audience showered her with plaudits, after the play’s finale.

Meritocracy – a government, based on talent or performance, instead of birthright.

Example: America separated from the British, seeking meritocracy in the government, instead of a monarchy.

Blandishment – persuasion with wiles or flattery.

Example: A little blandishment never hurts when you’re doing a fundraiser.

Arboreal – relating to trees

Example: A rainforest is nature’s arboreal heaven.

Autodidact – a skilled person who is self-taught.

Example: Perry is an autodidact pianist.

Monoculture – growing one kind of crop

Example: Corn farmers are known for their monoculture growing habits.

Aperture – a portal or opening

Example: The aperture in the mine shaft was so narrow, I don’t know how the miners got through it.

Vicissitude – changing a cycle or habit

Example: Seasons’ vicissitude is something we can never escape.

Divination – A strong feeling of intuition or clairvoyance.

Example: The feeling of divination told me that I would get the promotion. It was right.

Hugger-mugger – disarray, clutter; or a covert manner

Example: The man on the corner made me nervous, as he exuded an aura of hugger-mugger.

Verve – high-energy or spirited, lively

Example: The colorful painting instantly added verve to the dull living room.

 

IMG_4170

I’m pleased to announce the release of my 8th book, Skoll’s Diary.

Africans and African Americans left Earth in 1900, and went to another planet in The Milky Way to escape mistreatment…

It’s now the year 3005 on that terraformed planet. We get a peek into the life of a bright and sensitive teenaged boy, Skoll, through his journal. He loves his world, but is curious about life on Earth. Then suddenly, an epic event casts him in the middle of a difficult decision.  The fate of the planet’s community is in his hands.

Get the book here. I’d appreciate your leaving a review if you read it. Thanks in advance!

Afro-Sean-Commission-Final copy

***99-CENT EBOOK – 2/5 – 2/7/20

I am offering the ebook version of Skoll’s Diary during the first week of Black History Month for 3 days: February 5 – 7.

Africans and African Americans left Earth in 1900, and went to another planet in The Milky Way to escape mistreatment…

It’s now the year 3005 on that terraformed planet. We get a peek into the life of a bright and sensitive teenaged boy, Skoll, through his journal. He loves his world, but is curious about life on Earth. Then suddenly, an epic event casts him in the middle of a difficult decision.  The fate of the planet’s community is in his hands.

Get the book here. I’d appreciate your leaving a review if you read it. Thanks in advance!

Afro-Sean-Commission-Final copy

For all my flash fiction stories, click here.

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Happy Black History Month!

Kicking off Black History Month by showcasing all the accomplishments of African Americans in America. The list is long.

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I’m pleased to announce the release of my 8th book, Skoll’s Diary.

Africans and African Americans left Earth in 1900, and went to another planet in The Milky Way to escape mistreatment…

It’s now the year 3005 on that terraformed planet. We get a peek into the life of a bright and sensitive teenaged boy, Skoll, through his journal. He loves his world, but is curious about life on Earth. Then suddenly, an epic event casts him in the middle of a difficult decision.  The fate of the planet’s community is in his hands.

Get the book here. I’d appreciate your leaving a review if you read it. Thanks in advance!

Afro-Sean-Commission-Final copy

LADY ROUGEPEN PRESENTS: THE VOCABULARY DOZEN

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Potentate – a powerful ruler, or monarch

Example: People tired of the potentate’s oppressive laws, and vowed to vote her out, next election.

Bumboat – a small boat, used as a water taxi or ferry

Example: The tourists took a bumboat to get a good look at the picturesque scenery.

Protean – versatile, or easily shifting shape

Example: The writer’s protean ability to produce stories in different genres is remarkable, as many usually stick with one.

Mephitic – odorous or poisonous

Example: The college student’s dorm room was cluttered with dirty clothes, which probably yielded the mephitic air.

Trenchant – intense or forceful

Example: The teacher’s trenchant tone caused the child to cry.

Ataraxy – calm; free from chaos or anxiety

Example: The sunny morning on the beach yielded ataraxy that the city never could.

Chandler – a supplier for boats or ships; aka a candle-maker

Example: Explorers probably stopped by the chandler to stock up before their voyages to The New World.

Spoonerism – a swap of the first two letters of two words

Example: I was nervous while reading aloud in class, and uttered the spoonerism “E Thend,” instead of “The End.”

Nabob – a wealthy or influential person

Example: The nabob had so many invitations to council meetings that he had to turn some down.

Brobdingnagian – of humongous size

Example: Nick won the county fair with his Brobdingnagian pumpkin.

Haberdasher – a men’s clothing store, usually upscale. Hence the term “haberdashery.”

Example: The haberdasher got plenty of business in the winter, as people needed buttons sewn on their winter coats.

Pannier – a large storage basket to tote things; also a petticoat hoop

Example: Sheila rode her bike everywhere, and toted her small dog in a pannier she installed on the front.

 

IMG_4170

I’m pleased to announce the release of my 8th book, Skoll’s Diary.

Africans and African Americans left Earth in 1900, and went to another planet in The Milky Way to escape mistreatment…

It’s now the year 3005 on that terraformed planet. We get a peek into the life of a bright and sensitive teenaged boy, Skoll, through his journal. He loves his world, but is curious about life on Earth. Then suddenly, an epic event casts him in the middle of a difficult decision.  The fate of the planet’s community is in his hands.

Get the book here. I’d appreciate your leaving a review if you read it. Thanks in advance!

Afro-Sean-Commission-Final copy

Lady Rougepen Presents: Vocabulary Bundles

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Surfeit – an excessive amount

Example: The prom dress had a surfeit of ruffles.

Puerile – ridiculous or immature

Example: Susan broke up with John, due to his habit of puerile practical jokes.

Legerdemain – a beguiling sleight of hand

Example: The magician’s legerdemain had us believing that he pulled a dove from a scarf.

Promulgate – to make an idea widely known, or believable

Example: An old wives’ take promulgates that people catch colds from drafts, but science proves it’s really because of a virus.

Grandiloquent – a colorful style of speaking that can be pretentious

Example: Many people were fooled by the con man’s grandiloquent promises, and thus he bilked them out of their life savings.

What are some of your favorite words that are not commonly used? Let’s have a grammar gab!

IMG_4170

I’m pleased to announce the release of my 8th book, Skoll’s Diary.

Africans and African Americans left Earth in 1900, and went to another planet in The Milky Way to escape mistreatment…

It’s now the year 3005 on that terraformed planet. We get a peek into the life of a bright and sensitive teenaged boy, Skoll, through his journal. He loves his world, but is curious about life on Earth. Then suddenly, an epic event casts him in the middle of a difficult decision.  The fate of the planet’s community is in his hands.

Get the book here. I’d appreciate your leaving a review if you read it. Thanks in advance!

Afro-Sean-Commission-Final copy

***99-Cent Ebook Deal Until 1-10-20***

Grab your ebook copy of Glo Ro Saves Best Treasure Chest, January 7 – 10, 2020 for only 99 cents.

16-year-old Glorious Day Roberts (Glo Ro) is big-haired, dyslexic, and fighting family demons. But she takes those issues in stride, instead focusing on getting to kernels of truth. When her favorite thrift store is in trouble, Glorious knows she has no choice but to turn on her shine, full-blast.

Get the book here.

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IMG_4170

I’m pleased to announce the release of my 8th book, Skoll’s Diary.

Africans and African Americans left Earth in 1900, and went to another planet in The Milky Way to escape mistreatment…

It’s now the year 3005 on that terraformed planet. We get a peek into the life of a bright and sensitive teenaged boy, Skoll, through his journal. He loves his world, but is curious about life on Earth. Then suddenly, an epic event casts him in the middle of a difficult decision.  The fate of the planet’s community is in his hands.

Get the book here. I’d appreciate your leaving a review if you read it. Thanks in advance!

Afro-Sean-Commission-Final copy