A Cry for Help in The Raven

Click on the link to see my short story, A Cry for Help, in this issue of The Raven: https://issuu.com/ghostscribes/docs/the_raven_issue_4?fbclid=IwAR1nw-gtCq_iTPMBzWJgzub8GORYXxzf7gGy2-OagZhUVlnvVoxrSWVngW0

Sean C. Wright is the author of 8 books. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit https://seanarchy.wordpress.com.

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

Flash Fiction: Sorceress Yamiti

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Sorceress Yamiti

By Sean C. Wright-Neeley

Gnat Bridge, Texas; summer 1956

“Come on, Angeline, baby. Just a little bit more,” traveling salesman Eric King muttered, patting the dashboard of his sputtering and whining 1949 Buick. Please. Angeline. Just make it there, and daddy will take care of you.

Angeline struggled up the hill, and descended it, like it was more in control than its driver. It putted into the Zoomie gas station lot, like a quivering old lady. Eric killed the motor, and said a silent thank you to the boxy hunk of metal. He wiped his forehead with his red paisley handkerchief, put his fedora back on his head. Eric then rolled down his window, and waited.

A colored gas station attendant made his way to Angeline’s flank with a casual stroll.

“Hey there, mister. Fill ‘er up today?” He was tall, the color of maple syrup, and kept his wooly curls sheared close. He looked well-built in his gray jumpsuit that had a patch with the name Earnest, embroidered on the breast. He wore a pleasant expression, but wasn’t overly solicitous. Eric disliked Earnest immediately.

“No,” Eric answered flatly, “Got plenty of gas, but have car trouble. Think it’s the fuel pump.”

“All righty then. Let’s have a look. Please pop the hood.” Eric complied, frowning. Why hasn’t this boy called me “sir”?

“Hmph,” Earnest grunted after he came from behind the hood, “You’re right. Well, there’s good news and bad news here: the good news is that we have a shop in back. The bad news is that we don’t have a fuel pump in stock. It might take a day or so to get here. Will cost you twenty-five dollars with parts and labor. No worries though. This is a friendly town,” Earnest punctuated his last word with a quick grin. “You on vacation, or something?” Earnest asked, pulling out a cigarette pack and lighter from his jumpsuit pocket. He then held out the pack to Eric. Eric plucked one out with a mildly slacked jaw, and swallowed before he answered, “Naw. I’m a traveling salesman for Pimco.”

“No fooling?” Earnest said, lighting Eric’s cigarette, “The one that sells everything from shampoo to dog biscuits? We like to keep things like that in our gas station for folks, passing through. I’d like to look at your catalogs when you come back to pick up your car, so we can get a few things for the store. I’m Earnest, by the way.”

“Eric. Eric King. Shouldn’t you ask your boss first?” Eric asked, trying to sound casual, as he drew on his cigarette.

Earnest laughed, and blew out a puff of smoke. “I amthe boss.”

Eric bristled at that, shuffled his feet then pulled his red hankie out of his pocket to dab at his forehead. “Well, uh. You say it’s gonna be about a day until my car is ready? Any motels in this town?”

“You bet,” Earnest said, using his sans cigarette hand to point west, “Further into town – less than a mile, called The Bluebonnet Inn. They can recommend some good eating places there, too. I’ll have my cousin drive you— “

“All right. Thanks. B-but I think I’ll walk,” Eric mumbled, and stamped out his cigarette.

“In his heat?” Earnest’s eyebrows rose.

“Yeah. I could use the exercise. I’ll get my suitcase out of my car, and be on my way. You can find me at that motel,” Eric said, quickly, fishing his keys out of his pocket, and retrieving his suitcase out of his trunk. He handed the car keys to Earnest, spun on his heel, and was gone.

*****

Eric arrived at The Bluebonnet Inn, a thirsty, sweaty mess. He took off his fedora, and fanned himself with it, as soon as he entered. Set down his suitcase. The desk clerk was an old woman who looked like a white prune with rouge on its cheeks. “Hi there. Room for one?”

“Yeah,” Eric panted. Just then a colored maid breezed through the lobby with a stack of folded towels in her outstretched arms. “Hey, gal. How about some water.” She turned and looked at him with a pinched smile and steely gaze. “The name is Minnie, and there’s a water cooler, over there,” she said with a jerk of her head to the lobby’s corner. She was mobile again before Eric could say anything else. He slowly made his way to the water cooler, gulped down two cups, crushed the cup, and chucked it in the small waste bin.

“How many nights you staying, sir?” said the desk clerk, after he returned to the desk.

“One for sure,” Eric said, pulling out his wallet. He sure hoped the fuel pump for his car would be in tomorrow, so he could get the hell out of there. What a weird town! He wanted to say something to the desk clerk about Minnie’s behavior, but thought better of it. It was almost as if the old woman was, well, afraid of Minnie.

“All right. Giving you room number seven. Lucky number seven. Call up here if you need anything. There’s a café across the street that serves the best chicken fried steak in town.”

“All right. Thank you.”

*****

Eric showered, and lay across the bed in his undershirt and boxers, Jesus-style, in his lucky-number-seven room. After he was good and rested, he picked up the phone, and dialed his wife.

“Hello, Dee. It’s Eric. No, I won’t be home for dinner. Car trouble. I’m in a little town, east of Dallas, called Gnat Bridge. Staying at The Bluebonnet Inn Motel. The car should be fixed by tomorrow.

“What? Yeah. Everyone’s friendly enough, but it’s a strange place. Strange how? I don’t know. The colored. They don’t know their places. Not sure what’s going on. Anyway, here’s the motel number, should you need to reach me…”

Gnat Bridge, Texas; 1 year ago

Minnie stood on The Harris’s porch with her weeping eleven-year-old daughter, Seneca. The girl was cut and bruised. Minnie rang the doorbell. Ms. Harris answered the door, took in the scene, and frowned.

“Yes?”

“Hello, Ms. Harris. Sorry to say this, but I’m afraid your son has done something to my Seneca. Go on, child. Tell her.”

“I was riding my bike on the road, and your son and his friend rode by in a truck. They ran me off the road. I rolled and flipped into a ditch,” she sniffled.

“She’s mostly okay, but the front wheel of her bike is bent up,” Minnie said, putting her arm around her cowering daughter.

Ms. Harris narrowed her eyes. “You sure it was my Nicholas? I mean how could you get a good look at them if you were both moving?”

“I could see into the truck because the windows were rolled down. Your son was driving. The O’Duke boy was in the passenger seat. They were both laughing. I swear it.”

Ms. Harris sneered. “Couldn’t have been him. Nicholas has been home with meall day.”

“Ms. Harris, would you at least ask him — “

“No,” the woman said coolly.

“May I talk to your husband?” Minnie asked.

“No.”

“We have a matter of a broken bike here — “

“I said no! Now get off my porch before I call the police!”

The girl sobbed anew. Minnie pulled her close, and cooed, “It’s gonna be okay.”

Then Minnie looked up at a flushed Ms. Harris, and stiffened her spine. “I curse you through Sorceress Yamiti. She’ll pain you until you do right by us,” she hissed.

“What are you talking about?”

“The spirit of an African queen and sorceress who exacts justice. You’ll know when she comes. And you know where to find us, should you decide to pay for the damage your boy did to Seneca’s bike.”

“Come on, baby,” Minnie said to Seneca. The woman and girl left the porch with Ms. Harris standing in the doorway, mouth agape.

Soon after that visit, Nicholas had explosive diarrhea in his pants, playing football with his cousins and friends, during a picnic. The seventeen-year-old boy was in tears, as Ms. Harris washed out his shitty drawers because it happened in front of a girl he had a crush on. “It must have been something you ate, son,” Ms. Harris said, shaking her head. She chalked it up to coincidence until everyone else in the Harris family started having loose bowels on and off. The doctor found nothing wrong.

Then all the Harris’s hair began to fall out. They threw away shampoo bottles, and bought new ones in vain. The hair loss continued. Again, the doctor found nothing wrong.

And still Ms. Harris had the Minnie-Seneca-porch-incident tucked way in the back of her mind. It didn’t crawl to the front until they found their tabby cat, dead, in the backyard. There was a necklace of feathers and teeth near the cat’s body, and a big Y scrawled in blood on their shed. It was only then that Ms. Harris made a secret trip to the colored side of town to visit Minnie one Saturday. Minnie opened her door, and cackled when she saw Ms. Harris’s cheap wig. “Nice hair.” Normally, Ms. Harris would have been incensed, but she didn’t reply. She held out an envelope with a crisp twenty-dollar bill inside. “This should cover Seneca’s bike repairs,” she said quietly. Minnie took the envelope, and opened it. She nodded after she checked it, and said with unwavering confidence, “Tell your son, and other white folks in this town to stop bothering innocent colored people, lest they want a visit from Sorceress Yamiti.” Minnie didn’t wait for a reply. She let the screen door slam in Ms. Harris’s face. Ms. Harris went home, and just like magic, all the troubles in her household ceased.

There were similar incidents between white and colored in Gnat Bridge when the colored were mistreated, and Sorceress Yamiti made a prompt appearance. Little by little, colored people etched out equality in the small Texas town. They weren’t made to walk in through back doors; and even allowed to own businesses. White men stopped harassing their black maids, nannies, and cooks. Best of all, black children were afforded the luxury of playing outside without ugly incident.

When new white families moved to Gnat Bridge, and attempted to enforce white supremacy, the colored folks had a meeting. Everyone was given an action item. The maids added laxatives to the family’s food, and put hair remover in their conditioner on occasion. If the family was especially stubborn to coming around, she would smuggle a dead rat or two into the home to place in their shoes. The gardener poisoned the family pet under the cover of darkness, and wrote a big Y in pig’s blood on the property. If they had no pets, he withered every last flower in their yard by pouring vegetable oil on them in the wee hours. Minnie collected colored children’s baby teeth and chicken feathers to make necklaces to drop on the property to tie it all together. Easy peasy.

Sean C. Wright is the author of 8 books. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit https://seanarchy.wordpress.com.

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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

Flash Fiction: The Men Excelling and Terrific Award

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The Men Excelling and Terrific Award

By Sean C. Wright-Neeley

Carl was to receive the Men Excelling and Terrific Award at a ceremony in Las Vegas. The driver picked him up at four o’ clock sharp. Carl handed him his bags, and settled into the SUV with the other men. He was chosen, along with the two other men in the car from neighboring cities. They introduced themselves to each other, and the car got to rolling.

The driver masked his annoyance at his passengers on the way to the airport, as Carl removed his shoes and propped up his smelly feet on the console, and smacked his chewing gum. Another passenger wore a permanently sour expression, and spewed profanity-laced statements about the traffic and weather. The other man incessantly cracked up at his own jokes – all of them either corny or dirty.

The flight went smoothly. Carl and the other two men were greeted at the airport that evening by people he thought somewhat strange. They all wore dark, well-tailored clothing, and were pale to almost transparency. The people’s aura was intensely cultured to the point of self-containment. However, they seemed genuinely happy to see Carl and the other two men.

They shuttled them to a nice hotel, told them to rest, and to be ready for dinner in about two hours. When the time came, they ushered Carl and the other two into the banquet hall, and told them to help themselves to a lavish buffet. The man with the sour face actually lessened his scowl, as he helped himself to plate after plate of prime rib. Joke Factory was quiet for once, while he stuffed his face with macaroni and cheese, swimming in rich gouda. Carl ate heartily, too, but noticed that his hosts had left. “Why aren’t they eating with us?” he asked the other men, through a mouth, crammed full of pepperoni pizza. They looked around, shrugged, and kept eating. It was curious to Carl, but he was more enamored with his savory pizza and criminally-delicious brownies. He smacked and smacked, and didn’t say excuse me when he burped.

And so it went that way for the next few days. Their hosts – who were always absent during the day – told them to enjoy themselves – eating, resting, gambling, visiting ladies of the evening, going to spas – whatever they wanted to do in Sin City. They provided food that was so delicious that the men were really too full and lethargic to do anything else. It had only been a few days, but none of their pants fit anymore.

The night they were to receive the award, the three men were again ushered to the banquet hall. The hosts didn’t vacate the room this time. Large men closed and locked the doors, as soon as they entered. There was no lavish buffet, only a large tarp in the middle of the room.

Carl whirled around. “W-where are the awards? Dinner?” The guards did not answer, only gazed at him with something like…hunger. Their hosts, the quartet of pale, beautiful people smiled covertly. The were dressed to the nines. Men wore black, three-piece suits with top hats. The women’s black gowns billowed and reached the floor, and were edged in ruffles and lace. Carl instantly thought of saloons and stagecoaches. The other two award-winners said nothing, just exchanged quizzical glances.

One of the women in black stepped forward. “Congratulations. You three won the Men Excelling and Terrific Award. You have been pampered and fed excessively for a very special purpose. Please step onto the tarp.”

Sour Face glowered and nearly spit, “Hell-fucking-no. What is this?”

Joke Factory laughed awkwardly, and spoke with a catch in his voice, “1870 called. They want their clothes back.”

“To nourish us,” one of the men in a black suit said, stepping forward as well.

Joke Factory cackled, “You gotta be kidding.”

“No,” the other man in black stated, “Unlike you, I am not attempting to be humorous. Tell me, dear boy: what does the acronym for Men Excelling and Terrific spell?”

There was a five-second silence then it was Carl who whispered, “MEAT. All this food…You were fattening us up.”

“You can’t do this!” Sour Face exclaimed, “We have friends and family back at home, waiting for us. You don’t think we’ll be missed, you sick bastards?”

The second woman stepped forward, and coolly explained things to the three horrified men. “Those closest to you offered you up. They’re going to file a missing person’s report on you in a few days, but we will be long gone by then.

“All three of you are blights on humanity, and must be removed from the gene pool. You do nothing, but agitate others, and take up space. You,” she said, pointing to Carl, “are a foul and sloppy man.” Carl dropped his head. “You,” she said, pointing to Sour Face, “are a negative person who casts darkness on the sunniest days. And you,” she said to Joke Factory, “are as annoying as they come; a crude and relentless buffoon who never knows when to give it a rest. So,” she continued, scanning their faces, “we travel from town-to-town, feasting on nominees, while humans rid themselves of dreadful people. It’s a wonderful, win-win setup.  We’ve been doing it since 1873.”

Joke Factory had been right in his guess about the time period.

Suddenly, all four people in black grinned and hissed, showing needle-like fangs, and rushed at them, as the three award-winners tried to edge back towards the doors. They bumped into the guards who shoved them onto the tarp. The three men didn’t even get a chance to scream, as the quartet in black and the guards bit into the flesh of their necks.

Sean C. Wright is the author of 8 books. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit https://seanarchy.wordpress.com.

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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

Honey Riley: A Cozy Autumn Read

My novella, Honey Riley, is the ideal read for a crisp autumn day with a warm drink and a fuzzy throw covering your lap…

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The Knowing came that Indian summer. Honey’s head ached and her limbs tingled. . .

Honey Riley, born of violence, inherits the precious gift of clairvoyance. Her extraordinary talent keeps others from harm, but can’t protect her or the ones she loves from tragedy. Even though her heroic life often smacks of pain, Honey unselfishly remains loyal to her sixth sense in her 75-year journey. . .

Genre: Supernatural

Length: 73 pages

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Only $1.99 in ebook form. Get the book 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

Flash Fiction: New Testament Healing

New Testament Healing

By Sean C. Wright Neeley

Nathan complained to Danny about his bad shoulder on their ritual Monday night meeting for drinks. “It dislocated when I was a teenager. They operated on it. It was fine for years – until now – some twenty-five years later. Getting older sucks!” he decreed before downing the rest of his beer. He rubbed the offending shoulder & grimaced.

The waitress came to their table to see if they wanted anything else. “Yeah,” Danny said, “Give us another couple beers another platter of cheese sticks.”

“You got it,” the waitress said, bouncing away. As soon as she left, Danny reached into his pocket. His hand came up with a band of business cards. He peeled one off, and handed it to Nathan.

“Say, man. Try this place. It’s not conventional medicine, but it works. I went there for a weight-lifting injury that took its sweet time healing. They fixed me right up. Fine ever since.”

Nathan took the card, and looked it over in the low lights. His beer goggles made the small print hard to read, but he managed. And it was strange. All it said was NEW TESTAMENT HEALING in black block print. There was a phone number, but no address. He looked up at Danny skeptically. “What kind of place is this? Acupuncture? Massages? And how do you know they take my health insurance?”

Danny casually waved away Nathan’s questions. “They take ALL insurance. I promise you. You’ll feel like a new man.” Nathan studied him. Danny was buzzed, but wasn’t drunk. And his friend since junior high wasn’t one to play practical jokes. He shoved the card in his pocket, and shrugged. By that time, the waitress returned with their drinks and appetizer. The card in Nathan’s pocket was quickly forgotten. When he got home and emptied his pockets, it was just another item that ended up on his dresser with his wallet, a pack of gum, keys, and cell phone.

It wasn’t until Nathan’s shoulder throbbed like an unrelenting toothache, and it wouldn’t respond to sports rub and ice packs that he picked up the card off his dresser. He shoved it back in his pocket, and dialed the number on it during his lunch hour.

“Hello,” said a voice on the other end that sounded melodious and kind.

“Hi there. I got your card from a friend. I need the doctor to look at my shoulder. Do you take Wealth of Health Insurance?

“Yes, son.” Son?

“Wonderful. When can I come in?”

“Tell us what time works best.”

“Uh. My lunch hour. About 11:30. Tomorrow?”

“That sounds fine.”

“Where is your office? It doesn’t say on the card.”

“1234 Genesis Street, suite #1.”

“Okay. That’s perfect. It’s within walking distance of my job. See you tomorrow. I’m Nathan Turner.”

“We look forward to it, Nathan.”

Nathan hung up the phone, feeling a recipe of emotions: half a cup of hesitancy; what a strange place! One-third of a tablespoon of relief; someone would look at his shoulder tomorrow. A tablespoon of Zen; the receptionist’s voice sounded so soothing; like…an angel singing.

“Oh, well,” Nathan muttered to himself in the empty lunch room, “it’s twenty-four hours away. I can still cancel.” He then slowly ate his tuna fish sandwich with his good arm.

*****

Nathan went back and forth the next day about the peculiar doctor appointment. He finally decided to keep the appointment, but leave if something spooked him. At 11:15 am, Nathan left his office and walked to his appointment; three blocks away. It was spring. The sky was aquamarine and cloudless. The wind was balmy. The air was a blithe seventy-five degrees. Nathan hoped the walk in the warm and sparkling spring soup would soothe his stomach that churned with butterflies and the turkey sandwich he ate before leaving.

He reached the building, held his breath, and went inside. Nathan found his gaze pulled to suite #1 almost immediately. Nathan opened the door like a sleepwalker, and entered. 

The room was awash in warm, yellow light. Love soaked into Nathan’s every pore. In later years, Nathan couldn’t even remember how he got to the exam table to lie down. He stared up at the ceiling through the yellow haze with half-closed eyes, and waited. Nathan felt a presence in the room, but didn’t move. A warm hand gently cupped his bad shoulder. He felt the pain extract from his muscles like a baby suckles milk from a nipple. The hand left Nathan’s shoulder, he sat up slowly, and flapped his arm to test it. It was good as new. Nathan turned to see this amazing doctor, and his mouth fell to his chest. The vision was translucent; more like a spirit. He could only make out certain details: A dark-haired man. A beard. Brown robes. He couldn’t really tell, but got the feeling that the eyes were piercing, yet super kind. 

“Th-thank you,” Nathan stammered, “That was amazing. What do I owe you?”

There was a pause; a pause that didn’t give an awkward poke to the air though. “You owe me nothing, my child. I did it because I love you, Nathan. I love you very much. The only thing I ask is that you bring me more patients, and live a righteous life,” the healer said while he extended a band of cards towards Nathan; much like the ones he saw Danny carrying that night at the restaurant.

“I will. I promise,” Nathan replied. He meant every word. He could not lie to this entity. There was also something familiar about him. It was as if Nathan had known him his whole life – even before he was born. It was haunting, but not scary haunting, and beautiful.

“One more thing,” the healer said, “I have a gift for you for coming to see me.” He nearly floated over to small stand in the room. The healer uncovered what appeared to be a bowl of water. He waved his hands over the bowl in deft sweeping movements. Nathan watched in buck-eyed amazement as the clear liquid turned to scarlet. Then the healer picked up the bowl, and poured its contents into a bottle; a wine bottle. He then floated over to Nathan, and offered the bottle. Nathan slowly took it with the hand that wasn’t holding the business cards, transfixed. 

“Drink this in remembrance of me whenever you feel lost. Now go in peace, my child. I have carpentry work to do before my next appointment.”

Sean C. Wright is the author of 8 books. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit https://seanarchy.wordpress.com.

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

Book Recommendation: A Gathering of Butterflies

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Title: A Gathering of Butterflies

Author: Sean C. Wright

Genre: Short stories

Length: 121

Only $2.99 in ebook form. Get the book here.

4 tales of steely but vulnerable women of color will melt your heart while lifting your spirits…

A fierce grandmother keeps her grandson from the clutches of Old Scratch in Devil Does Dallas.

An alien abduction transforms a large, miserable woman in Hazel Hogan.

A country girl meets a city girl on her birthday, and struggles to decide if the girl’s heart is dark or light in Bubble Bath Twelve.

And methodical Genie forms an unlikely relationship in Heaven’s Halfway House while in a coma.

Flash Fiction: Sorceress Yamiti

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Sorceress Yamiti

By Sean C. Wright-Neeley

Gnat Bridge, Texas; summer 1956

“Come on, Angeline, baby. Just a little bit more,” traveling salesman Eric King muttered, patting the dashboard of his sputtering and whining 1949 Buick. Please. Angeline. Just make it there, and daddy will take care of you.

Angeline struggled up the hill, and descended it, like it was more in control than its driver. It putted into the Zoomie gas station lot, like a quivering old lady. Eric killed the motor, and said a silent thank you to the boxy hunk of metal. He wiped his forehead with his red paisley handkerchief, put his fedora back on his head. Eric then rolled down his window, and waited.

A colored gas station attendant made his way to Angeline’s flank with a casual stroll.

“Hey there, mister. Fill ‘er up today?” He was tall, the color of maple syrup, and kept his wooly curls sheared close. He looked well-built in his gray jumpsuit that had a patch with the name Earnest, embroidered on the breast. He wore a pleasant expression, but wasn’t overly solicitous. Eric disliked Earnest immediately.

“No,” Eric answered flatly, “Got plenty of gas, but have car trouble. Think it’s the fuel pump.”

“All righty then. Let’s have a look. Please pop the hood.” Eric complied, frowning. Why hasn’t this boy called me “sir”?

“Hmph,” Earnest grunted after he came from behind the hood, “You’re right. Well, there’s good news and bad news here: the good news is that we have a shop in back. The bad news is that we don’t have a fuel pump in stock. It might take a day or so to get here. Will cost you twenty-five dollars with parts and labor. No worries though. This is a friendly town,” Earnest punctuated his last word with a quick grin. “You on vacation, or something?” Earnest asked, pulling out a cigarette pack and lighter from his jumpsuit pocket. He then held out the pack to Eric. Eric plucked one out with a mildly slacked jaw, and swallowed before he answered, “Naw. I’m a traveling salesman for Pimco.”

“No fooling?” Earnest said, lighting Eric’s cigarette, “The one that sells everything from shampoo to dog biscuits? We like to keep things like that in our gas station for folks, passing through. I’d like to look at your catalogs when you come back to pick up your car, so we can get a few things for the store. I’m Earnest, by the way.”

“Eric. Eric King. Shouldn’t you ask your boss first?” Eric asked, trying to sound casual, as he drew on his cigarette.

Earnest laughed, and blew out a puff of smoke. “I amthe boss.”

Eric bristled at that, shuffled his feet then pulled his red hankie out of his pocket to dab at his forehead. “Well, uh. You say it’s gonna be about a day until my car is ready? Any motels in this town?”

“You bet,” Earnest said, using his sans cigarette hand to point west, “Further into town – less than a mile, called The Bluebonnet Inn. They can recommend some good eating places there, too. I’ll have my cousin drive you— “

“All right. Thanks. B-but I think I’ll walk,” Eric mumbled, and stamped out his cigarette.

“In his heat?” Earnest’s eyebrows rose.

“Yeah. I could use the exercise. I’ll get my suitcase out of my car, and be on my way. You can find me at that motel,” Eric said, quickly, fishing his keys out of his pocket, and retrieving his suitcase out of his trunk. He handed the car keys to Earnest, spun on his heel, and was gone.

*****

Eric arrived at The Bluebonnet Inn, a thirsty, sweaty mess. He took off his fedora, and fanned himself with it, as soon as he entered. Set down his suitcase. The desk clerk was an old woman who looked like a white prune with rouge on its cheeks. “Hi there. Room for one?”

“Yeah,” Eric panted. Just then a colored maid breezed through the lobby with a stack of folded towels in her outstretched arms. “Hey, gal. How about some water.” She turned and looked at him with a pinched smile and steely gaze. “The name is Minnie, and there’s a water cooler, over there,” she said with a jerk of her head to the lobby’s corner. She was mobile again before Eric could say anything else. He slowly made his way to the water cooler, gulped down two cups, crushed the cup, and chucked it in the small waste bin.

“How many nights you staying, sir?” said the desk clerk, after he returned to the desk.

“One for sure,” Eric said, pulling out his wallet. He sure hoped the fuel pump for his car would be in tomorrow, so he could get the hell out of there. What a weird town! He wanted to say something to the desk clerk about Minnie’s behavior, but thought better of it. It was almost as if the old woman was, well, afraid of Minnie.

“All right. Giving you room number seven. Lucky number seven. Call up here if you need anything. There’s a café across the street that serves the best chicken fried steak in town.”

“All right. Thank you.”

*****

Eric showered, and lay across the bed in his undershirt and boxers, Jesus-style, in his lucky-number-seven room. After he was good and rested, he picked up the phone, and dialed his wife.

“Hello, Dee. It’s Eric. No, I won’t be home for dinner. Car trouble. I’m in a little town, east of Dallas, called Gnat Bridge. Staying at The Bluebonnet Inn Motel. The car should be fixed by tomorrow.

“What? Yeah. Everyone’s friendly enough, but it’s a strange place. Strange how? I don’t know. The colored. They don’t know their places. Not sure what’s going on. Anyway, here’s the motel number, should you need to reach me…”

Gnat Bridge, Texas; 1 year ago

Minnie stood on The Harris’s porch with her weeping eleven-year-old daughter, Seneca. The girl was cut and bruised. Minnie rang the doorbell. Ms. Harris answered the door, took in the scene, and frowned.

“Yes?”

“Hello, Ms. Harris. Sorry to say this, but I’m afraid your son has done something to my Seneca. Go on, child. Tell her.”

“I was riding my bike on the road, and your son and his friend rode by in a truck. They ran me off the road. I rolled and flipped into a ditch,” she sniffled.

“She’s mostly okay, but the front wheel of her bike is bent up,” Minnie said, putting her arm around her cowering daughter.

Ms. Harris narrowed her eyes. “You sure it was my Nicholas? I mean how could you get a good look at them if you were both moving?”

“I could see into the truck because the windows were rolled down. Your son was driving. The O’Duke boy was in the passenger seat. They were both laughing. I swear it.”

Ms. Harris sneered. “Couldn’t have been him. Nicholas has been home with meall day.”

“Ms. Harris, would you at least ask him — “

“No,” the woman said coolly.

“May I talk to your husband?” Minnie asked.

“No.”

“We have a matter of a broken bike here — “

“I said no! Now get off my porch before I call the police!”

The girl sobbed anew. Minnie pulled her close, and cooed, “It’s gonna be okay.”

Then Minnie looked up at a flushed Ms. Harris, and stiffened her spine. “I curse you through Sorceress Yamiti. She’ll pain you until you do right by us,” she hissed.

“What are you talking about?”

“The spirit of an African queen and sorceress who exacts justice. You’ll know when she comes. And you know where to find us, should you decide to pay for the damage your boy did to Seneca’s bike.”

“Come on, baby,” Minnie said to Seneca. The woman and girl left the porch with Ms. Harris standing in the doorway, mouth agape.

Soon after that visit, Nicholas had explosive diarrhea in his pants, playing football with his cousins and friends, during a picnic. The seventeen-year-old boy was in tears, as Ms. Harris washed out his shitty drawers because it happened in front of a girl he had a crush on. “It must have been something you ate, son,” Ms. Harris said, shaking her head. She chalked it up to coincidence until everyone else in the Harris family started having loose bowels on and off. The doctor found nothing wrong.

Then all the Harris’s hair began to fall out. They threw away shampoo bottles, and bought new ones in vain. The hair loss continued. Again, the doctor found nothing wrong.

And still Ms. Harris had the Minnie-Seneca-porch-incident tucked way in the back of her mind. It didn’t crawl to the front until they found their tabby cat, dead, in the backyard. There was a necklace of feathers and teeth near the cat’s body, and a big Y scrawled in blood on their shed. It was only then that Ms. Harris made a secret trip to the colored side of town to visit Minnie one Saturday. Minnie opened her door, and cackled when she saw Ms. Harris’s cheap wig. “Nice hair.” Normally, Ms. Harris would have been incensed, but she didn’t reply. She held out an envelope with a crisp twenty-dollar bill inside. “This should cover Seneca’s bike repairs,” she said quietly. Minnie took the envelope, and opened it. She nodded after she checked it, and said with unwavering confidence, “Tell your son, and other white folks in this town to stop bothering innocent colored people, lest they want a visit from Sorceress Yamiti.” Minnie didn’t wait for a reply. She let the screen door slam in Ms. Harris’s face. Ms. Harris went home, and just like magic, all the troubles in her household ceased.

There were similar incidents between white and colored in Gnat Bridge when the colored were mistreated, and Sorceress Yamiti made a prompt appearance. Little by little, colored people etched out equality in the small Texas town. They weren’t made to walk in through back doors; and even allowed to own businesses. White men stopped harassing their black maids, nannies, and cooks. Best of all, black children were afforded the luxury of playing outside without ugly incident.

When new white families moved to Gnat Bridge, and attempted to enforce white supremacy, the colored folks had a meeting. Everyone was given an action item. The maids added laxatives to the family’s food, and put hair remover in their conditioner on occasion. If the family was especially stubborn to coming around, she would smuggle a dead rat or two into the home to place in their shoes. The gardener poisoned the family pet under the cover of darkness, and wrote a big Y in pig’s blood on the property. If they had no pets, he withered every last flower in their yard by pouring vegetable oil on them in the wee hours. Minnie collected colored children’s baby teeth and chicken feathers to make necklaces to drop on the property to tie it all together. Easy peasy.

Sean C. Wright is the author of 8 books. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit https://seanarchy.wordpress.com.

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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

***99-Cent Ebook Deal: A Gathering of Butterflies***

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An ideal and affordable Halloween treat: A Gathering of Butterflies will be 99 cents from 6/21 – 6/24 in ebook form. 4/5 stars. Get the book here.

Tales of steely but vulnerable women of color will melt your heart while lifting your spirits…

A fierce grandmother keeps her grandson from the clutches of Old Scratch in Devil Does Dallas.

An alien abduction transforms a large, miserable woman in Hazel Hogan.

A country girl meets a city girl on her birthday, and struggles to decide if the girl’s heart is dark or light in Bubble Bath Twelve.

And methodical Genie forms an unlikely relationship in Heaven’s Halfway House while in a coma.

Happy Halloween!

Sean C. Wright is the author of 8 books. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit https://seanarchy.wordpress.com.

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

Devil Does Dallas in The Raven

Happy Friday! How about a FREE short story from yours truly?

The first short story I ever got published, Devil Does Dallas, appears in The Raven’s recent issue: https://issuu.com/ghostscribes/docs/the_raven_issue_2

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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

Flash Fiction: Indigo & Violet

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Indigo & Violet

by Sean C. Wright-Neeley

Violet Jones stood scowling backstage in their dressing room. Her arms were folded tightly under her breasts. She refused to look at her husband, Indigo. “Baby, I know you’re mad,” he said, softly, “but can we talk about this after the show? They’re waiting for us, and the preceding act is nearly done.”

“I know,” she huffed, “but I’m even too upset to perform. What the hell’s the matter with you, loaning one of our best cumulus cloud chairs to your sister without discussing it with me first? It was a wedding present!”

“I’m sorry,” Indigo said, putting his hands on Violet’s shoulders from behind, “I truly am. Yes, I should have talked to you first, but Blue is family and she needed one. Hers turned cirrus; wispy. We have others. I figured we could spare one.”

There was a banging on their dressing room door, followed by a desperate cry, “You guys ready? Rain’s act ended ten seconds ago, and he’s stalling for us!”

“Coming!” Indigo yelled back.

Violet uncrossed her arms, and turned to face Indigo. “I love you, but we’re supposed to be a team. Don’t make decisions without me.”

“I rarely do that, but Blue didn’t have a comfortable place to sit in her home. And I think the real issue here is that you don’t like my sister.”

Violet twisted her mouth. She couldn’t deny that. Instead, she muttered: “Well, I can’t be mad at you for being a thoughtful brother.” She stepped forward, and planted a kiss on Indigo’s lips, ruffled his midnight-blue hair. He smiled.

“How do I look?” she asked, stepping back and twirling in a flurry of purple ruffles.

“Beautiful, as always,” Indigo answered.

“Then let’s go out there, and wow them,” she said softly. Violet then smiled, grabbed her husband’s hand, and they both tore out of the dressing room.

The others looked peeved, but relieved to see them, as they milled around backstage. Red frowned, and hissed, “You held up everyone!”

“Sorry,” Violet said, “it won’t happen again.”

Red turned away, and pulled back the sky curtain. She whistled, which was the cue that Rain’s performance was done, and theirs was ready to begin. “Places, everyone!” she stage-whispered when Rain started his exit.

Red linked arms with Orange.

Orange linked arms with Yellow.

Yellow linked arms with Green.

Green linked arms Blue.

Blue linked arms with his sister, Indigo.

Indigo linked arms with his wife, Violet.

The seven colors then did a graceful, unified slide onto the gray sky set. They had no speaking parts, but they were to remain tightly linked, and not move for some time – until they got the Sun’s cue that she was ready to take over the stage…

People on the ground stared up at their formation, in happy awe, as always, completely oblivious as to how much hard work it took to make a rainbow.

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