Can't Raise No Man by Katandra Jackson Nunnally
FreedomInk Publishing... www.freedomink365.com/the_books
Amazon… http://amzn.com/0986100137
Barnes & Noble… http://bit.ly/1GPEIr8 


First comes the baby in a baby carriage…

Oh to hell with love & marriage. I’m a married woman NOW sure enough. But my new status in life has not always been the case. I’ve had my unfair share of days of being husbandless. Left to rear children on my own, alone. No decent male role model around long enough to even be considered for the role of stepfather. Each application was denied before any even bothered to fill one out. And they never did. Stick around long enough that is.

Just a list of unimportant individuals whose names I’ve since forgotten. Boyfriend after boyfriend. All of them boys and all of them commitment-phobes! Each one bearing his own brand of fear. Fear of staying. Fear of being responsible. Fear of becoming a man. So I raised him on my own, alone!  

Would you please quit sangin’ that same old sad damn song…

“Oh you’re just a woman.”
“You can’t raise no man.”
“He need a daddy.”
“Honey, where yo’ husband at?”

Every great aunt had that look in their eyes. Thank heavens the generations before mine believed in getting married and staying married. Even if the wife was a miserable wreck and all the husband did was cause her grief with every child that was born outside of their marriage! Well now where is the ‘Happily Ever After’ in that? So keep giving me them side eyes and on occasion ask the question, but would you please quit sangin’ that same damn song?  I’ve heard it all before. “You can’t raise no man!” The path I saw his father heading down was making a pretty bold statement of its own. That’s when I made the decision that, “Yes. You’re going to have to raise this [man] child on your own!” Even before his lengthy departure, I was preparing to go it all alone.
And baby makes two…

A certain bond is created once a woman knows that she is carrying life. That bond solidifies and becomes more concrete when she feels that very life for the first time. A lucky hand may on occasion feel the bumping around. Even an eye or two may claim witness to this miracle. But it is nothing like experiencing this life from the inside. No two human beings can have a closer connection than when a mother is expecting! She has been chosen and she knows it. The Universe knows it. Every hand feeling, every eye seeing. They all know. It’s just them in their own little world. Mommy, and baby makes two.

“No matter who decides to come and go, it’s just me and you kiddo! Who are they to tell me that I can’t raise no man? We’ll show them.”
 The story continues... Check out Can't Raise No Man by Katandra Jackson Nunnally at FreedomInk Publishing, www.freedomink365.com/the_books
Vol. 1. No. 6. Social Readia. FreedomInks' FREE Online Literary Magazine. Summer 2015.

The Convict and The Rose by Jan Sikes
*Congratulations to Jan on her recent achievement. Texas Association of Authors, 2015 First Place, Biography Fiction. Way to go Jan!!
Check out my review of Flowers and Stone by Jan Sikes
 Jan Sikes at Amazon: http://amzn.to/18KU1be

“They locked me in a tiny cell, made my life a miserable hell.”
The stone cold gray walls and unforgiving steps leading to Leavenworth Penitentiary spared no welcome to Luke Stone as he descended from the prison bus.
Iron ankle chains chafed his skin and the heavy handcuffs and belly chain bit into his wrists. He hopped from the bottom step to the ground and cast a wary glance at his destination.
The man ahead of him stumbled and fell to his knees. The guard quickly prodded him with his night stick. “Get up, convict. No lagging behind.”
Luke gritted his teeth and tightened his jaw but remained in line.
 The formidable steps grew as he went. Thirty-seven...thirty-eight...The chains gnawed at the skin around his ankles...number forty-two. The massive doors groaned open, ready to swallow his life as he passed through.  
Guards escorted the prisoners through a total of six heavy metal doors leading deeper into the belly of the prison. They slammed shut with a deadly ring that echoed off the stone walls.
Jaw set, eyes as hard as the steel that held him captive, Luke shuffled forward.
Armed guards stood with pointed guns, ready to fire at any sign of aggression as they lined the new prisoners up in military fashion.
Luke glared as a lieutenant removed his chains. “Welcome to Leavenworth Penitentiary, boys. You’re in admissions and orientation.” A captain walked down the line looking each convict in the eye. “This is gonna be your home for a while, so I suggest you treat it as such.”
Luke didn’t blink when the man paused in front of him. He’d never think of this prison as home. Thoughts of his family back in Texas crowded his mind, leaving an incurable ache inside his chest.
How could he have let himself get so reckless and uncaring? He’d been a damn fool to get caught in the tangled mess that landed him behind bars. 
Standing to the left of Luke, Tommy “Red” Johnson shifted from one foot to the other. The sheriff of Tom Green County had sneered when he announced to them that as rap partners, being sentenced at the same time for the same crime, they would cell together in Leavenworth.
It had been a long trip from Texas to Kansas. Luke hoped this orientation bullshit wouldn’t last much longer.
The words from the aging judge still echoed in his brain. “Luther Martin Stone, I hereby sentence you to twenty-five years in the federal penitentiary for armed bank robbery. This sentence is to run concurrently with the fifty year State of Texas sentence you already have.”
Shit! That was a lifetime. He longed for freedom and the open sky. His identity now consisted of a number, 87047-132. The last three digits indicated where the arrest and conviction took place. He guessed the first part of the number was simply the next available in line since Red’s was 87046-132. At any rate, the number would forever be branded in his DNA. 
Red’s sentence, identical to his, put him in captivity alongside Luke. Now here they stood, like a herd of cattle at Leavenworth Penitentiary, on December 12, 1971.
The continuing nightmare unfolded one dreadful scene at a time.
Luke’s naked skin burned as a blast from the water hose and the chemicals it contained hit him with force. Like the other convicts, he tried to dodge the onslaught. After gritting his teeth through a humiliating cavity search, a guard issued him a set of clothing consisting of khaki pants, a white t-shirt and a button-up khaki shirt. Among too many things to name, he missed the blue jeans, boots and western shirts he’d customarily worn on the outside.
 Once dressed, guards ushered the new inmates into a rectangular room where a lieutenant delivered further instructions. “You’ll stay in the admissions and orientation unit of this facility until you receive job and cell block assignments. Your personal belongings are being processed and will be returned to you once they are inspected and approved.”
Luke and Red followed the rest of the men into another long narrow room where twenty or more metal cots lined the walls. Coarse cotton sheets and a thin wool army blanket lay on each bed. The frigid December air permeated the stone walls, settling deep into their bones.
Luke located his prison number on a card attached to a cot and plopped down.
Red’s was the next bed down the line. He sat down, lit a cigarette, passed it to Luke and then lit another for himself.
“Well hoss, this sure ain’t no kind of a home and it’s damned cold here in this Yankee prison.” Luke took a long drag off his cigarette.
Red reached for the blanket lying on his cot and wrapped it around his shoulders. “Fuckin’ cold for sure.” He lowered his voice glancing around. “I learned when I was locked up in Florida that kitchen duty is the job to ask for. We can get a hustle goin’ tradin’ shit to moonshiners for cigarettes and coffee.”
“At least it’d be warm in the fuckin’ kitchen. We’ll ask for it. We’ve gotta stick together.” Luke stood and spread the sheets and blanket on the cot.
A captain made his way down the row of beds. He paused to watch Luke haphazardly spreading the sheets. “Stone, that ain’t no way to make a bed.” His voice cut into Luke like a razor blade.
“What do you mean?” Luke struggled to keep his voice even as he turned to face the uniformed man.
“You’re supposed to make your bed military style.”
“Is that so?” Luke’s eyes narrowed.
“Don’t know what military style is?”
“The only military I’ve ever recognized was the Confederate Army and they didn’t have a damn thing except a blanket to sleep on the ground, if they had that much.”
The captain snorted. “I’m going to show you once how to do it. You need to bounce a quarter off the sheets.”
“No disrespect sir, but quarters ain’t allowed in here.”
The captain’s face flushed. He made the bed and tightened the sheets down, then bounced a quarter off them. “That’s the way it’s done, smart ass, and that’s the way I want to see it from now on.”
Luke lay back on the metal cot and the man moved on down the line.
Red attempted to imitate what the captain had done. “Hell, I didn’t know we were gonna to be in a military prison.”
“We ain’t, stud. They can’t throw us out of here for not making our bed right, so fuck ‘em.” The rebel spirit he’d lived with all of his life rose up full force. What could they do to him? He was already in prison, so what else?
“Man, I don’t wanna get in trouble and be sent to the hole.”
“Shit, Red, we’re already in the hole.”
“Solitary confinement’s different. You’re in there all by yourself.”
“That sounds damned good to me. Think if I don’t make my bed right, they’ll take me to the hole?”
“I don’t know, man, but I don’t wanna go.”
The men lay on the hard cots and finished their cigarettes. The smokes would have to last until they could get some goods to trade for more.
Being a survivor, Luke Stone knew he could make it in prison. His size and toughness served him well on the outside and would here too. He’d never taken any shit off anyone and wasn’t about to start now, prison be damned!
He wasn’t sure about Red, but he’d protect the smaller man with his life. Hell, Red was like a brother to him. They’d been through a lot together.
A few days later, they received their cell assignment and started kitchen duty. The caseworker questioned both of them as to their reasons for wanting that particular job. It was common knowledge that convicts generally hated working in the kitchen.
Sticking to the plan, they proclaimed an interest in going into the restaurant business when they got out of prison. The caseworker bought their story.
It didn’t take long to figure out how to smuggle sugar, fruit juice, bread dough from the huge vat, tomato paste and anything else that could be used to make booze. They secured the loot in plastic bags and taped them to their legs inside the baggy khakis they wore.
Christmas Eve came and Luke discovered how little the holidays meant inside these walls. Not one bit of Christmas spirit could be found. The small aluminum Christmas tree with a couple of scraggly ornaments did nothing to help.
Luke and Red were invited by one of the Indian moonshiners who they supplied, to come down to his cell after count for a drink.
Having learned quickly the necessity of staying alert, Luke watched over his shoulder at all times. Men who let their guard down didn’t survive. In the short time he’d been there, he’d already witnessed one murder and several beatings.
When they reached the moonshiner’s cell, Luke shot a glance in both directions down the long tier, before entering.
Inside the cell, a tall Indian guy named Joe dipped a cup of what looked and smelled like throw-up out of a plastic bag he pulled out of his locker. He poured it into their cups.
“Thanks man,” Luke said. He wondered what Joe’s crime had been but also knew that you never ask. The stench of the homemade tomato hooch almost made him gag.
Red took a big swig and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “This ain’t Jim Beam, but it’ll do.”
Luke forced a couple of sips and his stomach began burning as if a fire had been lit in it. He made polite talk, then excused himself and strode back to his cell.
He’d drank a lot of booze in his lifetime but nothing like this and decided that he’d rather do without than drink the haphazardly made hooch.
Two weeks later after their work shift ended for the day, Luke and Red made their way to the recreation room, where inmates could watch TV, play dominoes or cards.
A few older men with dull-eyed stares sat at the front of the room watching a small TV. Some black men sat behind them and farther back were the Indians and Mexicans. A re-run of Gunsmoke blared through the room.
The two men sat down in the back and lit smokes, of which they now had an ample supply from trading with the moonshiners.
After a few minutes, a large burly black man sauntered to the front of the room and changed the TV channel.
The older men grumbled loudly, but no one moved. Luke had no tolerance for bullying. He walked up to the TV and switched it back to Gunsmoke.
“Hey, motha’ fucker! What do you think you’re doing?” The black man yelled.
“I’m changin’ the TV back to the show these men were watchin’, asshole. I didn’t hear you ask anyone if you could change it.”
The man stood, legs spread. “Nobody pushes me around.”
“Show him what happens to whiteys in here that don’t mind their fuckin’ business, Eugene,” a man bellowed.
“If you don’t like it, come on and let’s do something about it, you sonofabitch.” Luke glanced around for anything that would serve as a weapon.
In the back corner of the room, he spotted a mop with a wooden handle in a bucket. He made a beeline for it and turned around as the man raised his fist to hit him.
A resounding crack filled the air as Luke broke the mop handle over the man’s head. He fell to his knees, flailing his arms. Luke continued beating him and kicking him until he sprawled on the floor in a puddle of blood.
Within minutes, a swarm of guards surrounded them. They quickly pulled Luke off the man, cuffed him, and requested a gurney for Eugene.
“What in the hell is going on here?” the guard holding Luke growled.
“This sonofabitch came at me. I had no choice.”
“We don’t tolerate fighting in here. I can send you to the hole for this offense.”
“Take my ass to the hole. I don’t give a fuck. From what I’ve seen so far, this entire place is a hole.”
The guard motioned to two other officers. “Get this man out of here!”
Inside the small isolated boxlike cell, Luke lay on the hard cot in the semi-dark. It was finally quiet. No noise from the hundreds of other men who shared the cell block with him. No radios, no yelling, no sounds of masturbating or rape. He relaxed for the first time since he’d been escorted through the doors of Leavenworth.
For a brief moment, he allowed himself to think of Darlina Flowers, the sweet lady he’d left behind in Texas. She had captured his heart completely and often invaded his thoughts in the wee hours of morning. The familiar floral smell of her silky auburn hair etched in memory haunted him. He ached for her touch, the taste of her warm lips and her sensuous body.
In anger, he pushed her out of his mind. He couldn’t let himself have a weakness for anyone or anything.
He knew the fight with Eugene wasn’t over. There would be retaliation.
Animal instincts were all he had to rely on in order to survive in this place and he’d use all of his senses to stay alive. He’d dared to dance with the devil and damned if it didn’t look like the devil was winning.

Jareth, First Lord by Mellie Miller
*Jareth is this month's selected suggestion for reading & discussion at the Reading is Retro & Retro is Cool Book Club at FreedomInk


     According to legend, Esperance was found by the Seekers, ancient people from old Earth with psychic abilities including remote-viewing. After millennia of abuse Earth was dying. Now her people sought new homes among the stars. With lush, rich vegetation, deep forests, and forbidding mountains this new world resembled a much younger Earth---an Earth before modern man had left his mark.

Seeking a simpler life on this unspoiled and bounteous land, they would tame this bold new world as their ancestors had tamed the rugged highlands on Earth. Learning from history, they would take from it only what they needed, preserving everything else as a pristine paradise.

Initially Esperance relied on Earth for items they couldn’t yet produce. Fabricated metals, manufactured machine parts, and   advanced medicines would take years to perfect. Mining and smelting also took time to become profitable.

Once again, the abilities of the Seekers came to their aid, helping to locate mineral deposits, potable water sources and native foods to supplement their diet. They helped ease strife during the difficult times by exerting a calming effect toward those around them. Even as the colonists adapted to this new land, they grew more susceptible to its native bacteria and viruses, relying on medicines from Earth to overcome disease.

Without warning Earth’s ships stopped coming. They were then helpless when a new virus depleted their medical supplies. Thousands died in the first wave and in each subsequent wave. As equipment failed irreparably and skills were lost to the grave, society crumbled into vicious and bloody chaos.

Many decades later, the descendants of the Seekers gained enough strength to lead their people out of confusion. With skills tempered in the forges of hell, these warriors enforced their will on the remaining few, forming clans to preserve what little was left.

Refining their Talents, these First Lords passed those abilities down through the generations, down through nearly two centuries to the time of Jareth, First Lord of Clan Brannach.

eBook just $4.99 Get it today www.freedomink365.com/ebooks
Purchase the book direct from the Publisher www.freedomink365.com/the_books See also other sites the book can be purchased from. Happy reading!

See also 'Gambler's Folly' by Mellie Miller! http://amzn.com/1627405844   
Vol. 1. No. 3. Social Readia. FreedomInks' FREE Online Literary Magazine. January 2015.

Woman on Fire by Trinette Collier
An extended excerpt, courtesy of FreedomInk Publishing

Woman on Fire Prelude 

     The beginning of my journey started with the reading of Proverbs 31 and Esther, preparing to be a woman of God. Using these two books as a guide, my spiritual connection has begun to emerge. It was about seven years ago that my true spiritual transformation began. However, I had been connected with Jesus and the church since birth, through my parents and extended family.

     I didn’t frequent many churches. I had been a member of four denominations and attended about 4-5 churches; Baptist, Non-Denomination, United Methodist, African Episcopal Methodist (AME) and back to Non-Denomination. Each church and denomination served its purpose in my life and on this journey. I can’t say which one was better because each church allowed me to connect with Him at different levels and at different stages.

     Over the years, I visited churches but I was attending out of obligation to my grandparents, aunts/uncles, and friends who were members of churches. I wanted to belong. I had to belong and I felt left out. I was trying to be a church goer for the wrong reasons, for people, myself, but not for JC (Jesus Christ).

     In 2002, I belonged to my ex-husband’s church. Again, it was out of obligation and what I thought as being obedient to Christ. I followed my husband to start a new church ‘career’.  This was my plan; Me & him, with his parents, his generation of family members attending his church, going to church every Sunday, active, very impressive to his family… Blah, blah, blah. I assumed this was how my church path was supposed to be. I didn’t know I was supposed to be spiritually connected because I was already on a church plan… My plan.

     I continued to be active in church. I was the Director of Youth Ministry, Director of Outreach Ministry, Women’s Day Chairperson, I volunteered for every committee. This was the Plan! I was on my way to becoming an integral part of the church family. I was a real church lady; the lady that would be pleasing to my families, the church people, my church going friends, and to Him upstairs. I had it all planned out. As I became more active, I wanted the Mr.  to become more active as well. I began forcing him into going to church, which seemed crazy, after all it was HIS church! So why wouldn’t he go? However, it didn’t matter, my plan would work, after all, I am a church lady, right?

     Ok, so moving right along. I’m connecting with ‘church people’, my family is happy because I’m able to stand and say “I first give honor to God, who is the head of my life. I bring to you greetings from blah-blah-blah-blah church under the pastoral leadership of the ‘Rev. I Got A.Pasta’ in Atlanta, Ga!” I had been practicing that speech and I was always ready to use it! I was high! High in church, high in the Lord! I had become Supa Christian!

     Everything was going well. I had purchased our second home. I just became Teacher of the Year. I was still preparing for a baby. I was still active in church, community, and work. I was doing it! I was indeed Supa Christian. I couldn’t be ‘stopped’. Well, at least that’s what I thought! 2005 was my year until something stopped me! I don’t know what happened but it happened! Unexpectedly and without explanation, my feelings for my ex-husband started changing. My body was doing something, my mind was playing tricks on me, and more importantly, my spirit was being altered. No one in my circle understood what was going on. I went to the doctor whom was familiar with my medical history for the past 6 years, she said I was fine. Both my mother and mother-in-law said I was going through the mid 30’s change. When I heard the word change, I immediately went into full throttle, baby mode! I had to get pregnant, like now! Because I was going through the change!!! So the mission was in place, I had to make this baby because I was changing and that was a bad thing for me. I’m in overdrive!
     Spiritual cleansing was taking place and I didn’t even know it. From 2005 to 2007, God had slowly taken over. My first stage of spiritual detox was hell! Literally. He was knocking the Hell out of me. Everything that was blocking my view of the Lord, He knocked them out of my life. He began to strip me… You can say I became a ‘stripper’ The first move was the church. I didn’t have an interest in the church as a whole. That didn’t mean I didn’t love Him or the people of God. I just didn’t like the feeling of obligation and the confinement of church. The walls were closing in on me. Everything about it became a question. A huge question mark lingered in that area of my life.

     I began to question my beliefs, my morals, values, and past. I thought I was going to hell for real! I felt like I had denounced God because I didn’t like church. Little did I know, this was the beginning of understanding the  difference between being religious and spiritually connected.  I began to stay away from church. Before I knew it, weeks turned into months with me dropping in every now & then just to get a Word.

     I was now stripped of all the confusion of church. My mind was becoming free, free of traditional worship. So now, I’m free of church, step one. Now it was time for step 2 of the spiritual detoxification. Rid my sphere of distractions. This was the most painful part of the spiritual cleansing; job, marriage, home, car, finances, and the big one, INDEPENDENCE. Oh my Lord! He stripped me of it all! These were distractions that were hindering my true spiritual walk and I needed to be free so that I could hear Him.

Independence was mine!

     But wait, oh my goodness, what the, are you serious JC? Really?  You taking that away from me? What I did I do? Oh lawd, my life is over! My independence was just that, MINE! My momma gave it to me. My daddy gave it to me. My grandmamma, auntie, and my entire family gave me my independence and now He just swooped in and snatched it away! Just like that. I was not happy at all.

     So here I am no money, no job, no residence, no car, no husband, and no more Ms. Independence. So what was I supposed to do? Jesus had gone OG, original gangsta on me. After all I had done for people, being good, being obedient to others, and more. I just knew God had finally gotten me. He was punishing me for losing my virginity (my parents/family stressed it!). He was punishing me for being unforgiving.  He was punishing me for being mean and hateful towards others. Anything I did, God was punishing me for! When I say every negative thought came about, every and any thought entered my mind. What just happened to me?

     I had to learn who my Heavenly Father was and this was the beginning of an amazing journey. After some much needed detoxing, spiritually, I began to ‘see’ Him. There was no more I, there was no more church, there was no more husband, family, or friends. It was just me and Him and I was scared as hell! I was entering into a new covenant that I knew nothing about. I felt alone, confused, angry, hurt, and sad. I couldn’t understand why God was doing this to me. I was filled with questions of why?? Why You let my husband cheat? Why You didn’t let me have a baby? Why You let me be  embarrassed? Why? Why? Why Lord? Why am I becoming so distant from people?  Why Lord? What did I do to You? At this point, I was beginning to talk to God, but this time, it was for real! You know how we do; when there’s trouble, we become best friends with the Lord, Jesus Christ. But as soon as the rainbow appears, we get a little money in the purse, you and the bestie become a bit distant. However, this time it wasn’t the case. It was me and Him all the way and I didn’t know what to do.

     This was my time to ask questions and seek answers. See, before, I was taught never to question God. You accepted whatever He is doing and you pray about it. Well, for me I started wondering and thinking, if I can’t ask God then who am I going to ask? So being who I am, Ms. Questionnaire, I started asking everybody about what just happened, why was He doing this to me, and what do I do next, etc., etc., etc. I was completely consumed with asking questions and investigating what was His reasoning for sending a good person like myself through this hell. However, after months of questioning, no answers were given.

     Like wow JC! You can’t even answer me?  So then I began to rethink the whole concept of me not supposing to ask Jesus questions. As I lay in bed, totally depressed, sad, and angry, I cried my heart out. I slowly began to feel something, it felt different. I felt Him... Finally. Everything is gone. All of the distractions. It was just ‘You and Me’ (singing Tony! Toni! TonĂ©!). I had no choice but to get to know my new man, my Heavenly Father. It was time to learn how to be a woman of God.

eBook just $4.99 Get it today www.freedomink365.com/ebooks
Purchase the book direct from the Publisher www.freedomink365.com/the_books See also other sites the book can be purchased from. Happy reading!

Vol. 1. No. 2. Social Readia. FreedomInks' FREE Online Literary Magazine. December 2014.

Loves Me Not Volume 1: Chapter 1



     There had never been a time in Regina’s life that she hadn't smiled at her own reflection. Ever since she had been a young child she'd puff up her cheeks or stretch her eyes just to make herself laugh. As she grew older, the lines of beauty became more refined. What was once a lump of coal soon became an exquisite black diamond. She carefully remembered each tiny facet and crease. Her hair grew longer, and her natural contours more curvaceous. As the years passed by, her God given beauty gave her more than enough reason to be thankful and even more reasons to smile.

Now as a young woman of 20, she realized that her eyes had grown weary and cold. Even now as she looked into the cruel mirror, her right eye was puffy from the slap it had received earlier that night. The eye was swollen and purple. It was quite stubborn in its constant throbbing ache. Her joints were stiff with the soreness from trying to thwart the will of the sick bastard who took her against her own will.

As a single tear ran down her un-swollen left eye, Regina could still smell the acrid stench of his alcohol laced breath, the full weight of his unwanted desire and the shame she felt as her body achieved a climax her heart had never asked for. As she took one last look at her reflection in the mirror, she wondered if she would ever smile again.

She walked into the shower and allowed the water to act as a baptismal fount. The hot water and deep rich soap acted as a tonic to her weary flesh. As she let her mind flash back again to the ugly incident, she realized that her tears and the water had mixed together into a salty elixir.

Franklin had come home drunk, like he often did nowadays. As soon as she heard his key in the door, she felt a sense of fear and dread like a deer caught suddenly in the headlights of a fast approaching car. 

“REGINA!” He stood lopsided like a three-legged table. 

“What Frankie?”

“Come here.” He didn't sound drunk at the moment. 

Regina realized that he may not have sounded drunk but his breath told a different story. He stood over her for a seeming eternity then frowned at her ever so slightly. “You been fucking anybody today?”                                                                                                                                        


“No what?”

“No baby I swear!” She wished she could just disappear into the shag carpeted rug.

“Take them off!

“No baby please!” She pleaded with tear filled eyes.

“Bitch, if I have to tell you one more time, I’ll take them off and I'll peel skin off with them too!” He took a menacing step towards her.

She nervously pulled her skirt down to her ankles and stepped over it. She then took off her white satin panties and handed them over to Frankie. He snatched them from her hands and felt them for signs of sexual intercourse. He then brought the panties up to his nose while his eyes searched her quivering face.

Satisfied that she was telling the truth, he dropped the underwear carelessly to the ground. “Put your shit back on.”  

Regina slowly picked up her satin panties and wondered to herself what he would do if he ever found evidence of her having betrayed him? She shuddered at the thought of the unending torture that would no doubt ensue. Although she was embarrassed by this humiliating ritual, it was better than being broken and bloody on the floor. How many times had she gone through this? One hundred times or more. But thank God she had never done anything to betray his trust. The price for such an insult could possibly have meant her life.

As Regina stared at the back of Frankie’s head, she imagined shooting a bullet into the back of his thick black skull. He was 6’ 2”, tall and very handsome. That was one of the first things that attracted her to him. The other thing was the way he treated her at first. Initially she was the Queen of his heart, and there weren't enough things he could do for her. Anything physical or material was hers for the asking. Of course he was a big time drug dealer then. Now he was only a mechanic at a shop up the street. Once he got out of jail it was all he could find to do. At least it was clean money. But with the loss of his freedom and all the money he once possessed came an anger and cruelty that was expressed solely at her. Yes, she would have liked to see him prostate and bleeding on the floor. But more than anything she wished he were his old self again. The man she fell in love seemed to have disappeared and on days like this she wondered if he had ever existed at all.

“Regina,” he snapped while taking off his jacket, “go and get me a beer.”

“What the hell did you just say to me?”

Regina continued looking at the floor and hoped that her courage wouldn't flee her right then. “I'm tired of you treating me like dirt Frankie. I'm supposed to be the woman you love. I'm not a piece of garbage and I'm not a damn punching bag either!”

As her tears fell down the shower drain she knew with certainty that death had to be better than this.

Regina braced herself for the slap she knew was coming. But surprisingly Frankie walked towards the door instead.

“Regina.” His voice sounded seductively hypnotic. “We have been living together for years now. Since you left home years ago, I’ve been the only person who ever stood by your side.” He then opened up the door. “If you think I don't love you. If you think I don't treat you right. Then here’s the door. I am not gonna stop you.”

For a moment Regina looked at the black emptiness of the open door and felt a mixture of hope and terror. The freedom she had longed for was only a few steps away. Only five little steps and she could put this ugly part of her life behind her forever. She walked over to the door and touched the doorknob. With tears in her eyes she closed it back.

Frankie stood behind her with his arms wide open. At that moment, he looked like all of her hopes and dreams made real. He looked just like an angel or a god stepped down from the mountaintop. “Baby you know I love you. Don't you?”

Deep beneath the pink petals of her womanhood she felt a longing there. A primal urge that she had felt for him since the moment they had met many years ago; a fire that had never died even when she lay in bed wishing that both of them were dead.

“I know it baby. I know it” She melted in his warm embrace.

Suddenly he slapped her against her right eye. The world turned bright white as if lightning had exploded through her brain. She crumpled to the floor like a puppet that had suddenly been cut from its strings.

The sweet angel who had stood there mere moments before was now replaced by this fiery demon from below. He stood above her as if he were Satan himself. “Bitch! If you ever make the mistake of disrespecting me ever again, I will end your ass!”

He then grabbed Regina by the scruff of her hair and pulled her along as if she were some cavewoman. He threw her onto the bed and ripped her clothes off violently. As her mind began screaming not again, not again, she prayed that she would not lose her mind as well as her life. The deep, dark thrusts penetrated Regina’s sacred bounty. Her mind desperate to cling onto anything other than the vicious rape, locked onto a picture hanging on the wall. The picture taken of them in happier times seemingly mocked Regina and told her what a fool she was for allowing this to happen over and over again.

Before long she pushed the now unconscious Frankie off her as she limped slowly into the bathroom and began running the hot water for her shower. As the hot water ran between the sticky inner region of her thighs, she noticed blood was dripping from her pubic area. While the soap worked its sweet magic, she fell to the shower floor and moaned like a wounded animal. As her tears fell down the shower drain she knew with certainty that death had to be better than this.

Maybe it was the humiliation of having to take off her panties every damn night. Maybe it was the overwhelming fear she felt whenever he touched her lately. Maybe it was a small sense of independence that had leapt from her very soul that desperately sought light like a seed from the earth. Whatever the reason, she said the words before she even thought about it.

“Fuck you.” She said beneath her breath.

Frankie slowly turned around and looked at her. Both of them looked more startled than the other. He approached her slowly and menacingly…..

The complete Loves Me Not Trilogy available NOW! Purchase at the Publisher home site, www.freedomink365.com/the_books , Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, anywhere amazing books are sold!  

Vol. 1. No. 1. Social Readia. FreedomInks' Online Literary Magazine. November 2014.http://socialreadia365.blogspot.com/2014/11/vol-1-no-1-better-late-than-never.html

No comments:

Post a Comment