The Halloween Party

punch

Curtis rang the doorbell and admired his neighbors elaborate Halloween decorations while he waited on someone to answer the door. He was new to the neighborhood, having just moved into town a few weeks ago, and his neighbors, The Martin’s, had welcomed him to the neighborhood by coming over to his house and bringing him a bottle of wine as they introduced themselves. Although The Martin’s were white, Curtis thought they were cool people, so he’d happily accepted their invite to their Halloween party.

“Hey, neighbor, come on in,” Thomas Martin said as he opened the door.

“Where’s your costume?” Curtis asked as he entered the home. He wasn’t big on dressing up in corny costumes, so he’d simply dressed in all black, threw on his leather jacket, and went as his television idol, Richard Roundtree, also known as Shaft.

“Oh, I don’t do the costume thing, I leave that to the wife. Now Sherry, she really gets into dressing up and all that.”

“Yeah, I feel you. Here, I brought you guys a bottle of wine for the festivities.”

“Thanks, that’s very nice of you,” Thomas said as they walked into the living room.

The party was actually a small get-together, about seven of The Martins’ close friends. For the next two hours, they ate, played games, and told ghost stories.

Around ten o’clock, all the guests except Curtis said their good-nights. Since he lived right next door and didn’t have to work the next morning, he wasn’t in a big rush to go home.

“Would you like some wine?” Sherry asked him.

“No thanks, I’m not much of a wine drinker.”

“How about some more punch then?”

“Sure, that will be fine.”

“Coming right up.”

Sherry disappeared into the kitchen while Curtis and Thomas sat in the living room and watched TV. A minute later, she came back into the room, carrying a pitcher of red punch and a glass. She poured Curtis a glass then went and sat beside her husband.

“So, how are you liking it here now that you’re all settled in?” Sherry asked Curtis as he sipped his drink.

“I love it here. Everyone I’ve met has been really nice, especially you guys.’

“That’s great,” Sherry said.

The three of them sat and talked and snacked on the rest of the party food for another hour. During that time, Curtis drank three more glasses of punch.

“Well, I’ve had a good time hanging out with you guy’s but I think I’d better head home.”

“What’s the rush?” Thomas asked.

“No rush, I’m just…not feeling well all of a sudden. My head is throbbing,” Curtis said as he massaged his temples. He attempted to stand, but his legs, suddenly weak and heavy, gave out from under him and he fell back down on the couch. His vision was blurry and the room seemed to be spinning.

“You alright, buddy?” Thomas asked him.

Curtis felt sleepy and could barely keep his eyes open.

“Just go to sleep, you’ll feel better when you wake up,” he heard Sherry say as his eyes closed.

***

Curtis opened his eyes and wished he’d stayed asleep. He had a migraine and he felt like he needed to vomit. The last thing he remembered was falling asleep on his neighbor’s couch. He attempted to sit up, but his body was restrained. With his eyes barely open, he realized that he was no longer lying on the couch, instead he was on some kind of table and his arms and feet were tied down.

“What the hell?” he said.

“Oh look, he’s awake,” he heard Thomas say.

Curtis looked around the room. He wasn’t in Thomas and Sherry’s living room anymore, that was for sure. Unable to sit up, Curtis let his eyes peruse the dimly lit room. Was that a skull he was looking at? His eyes had to be playing tricks on him. He opened his eyes as wide as he could and not only was he looking at a skull, he saw other human bones piled in a corner of the room. The distinct smell of rotting meat assaulted his nostrils and only made the nauseous feeling worse.

“Where am I?” he said out loud.

“In our basement,” Thomas said matter-of-factly appearing to stand beside him.

“Why am I in your basement and why am I tied up and what the hell was in that punch, man?” Curtis asked.

“Ooh, honey, I can hardly wait to taste him. My mouth is watering,” Sherry said. “And I know just which part of him I plan on eating first,” she said as she ran her hand over Curtis’ crotch.”

What the fuck, Curtis wondered.

“You naughty little thing,” Thomas said winking at his wife.

“Yo, is this some kind of joke, cause I ain’t laughing,” Curtis said, attempting to sit up again. “Why the hell am I tied up?”

“He’s getting impatient, and so am I,” Sherry told Thomas.

“Yeah, I’m getting pretty hungry myself.”

Curtis watched as Thomas walked over to a wall that had an assortment of knives, axes, and other tools hanging on shelves. Thomas reached for an ax with a wooden handle and a shiny, silver blade.

“Oh honey, don’t forget the duct tape for his mouth. The last one screamed so loud, he gave me a headache and I couldn’t enjoy him like I wanted to.”

“Of course, dear.” Thomas removed a roll of duct tape from a drawer, then walked back over to the table Curtis was lying on. He tore off a piece of the tape and pressed it firmly over Curtis’ mouth.

“Now, I promise to make this quick so you won’t feel any pain, ok,” Thomas said.

Curtis, realizing what was about to happen, tried to scream, but the tape over his mouth muffled the sound. His eyes widened as Thomas raised the ax over his head and brought it down hard over his neck. Curtis was never seen or heard from again.

 

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Short Story Challenge: Double-Cross Episode 3

#shortstorychallenge Double-Cross FINALE © J.L. Sapphire 2016

reese3

EPISODE 3:

“What the hell you doing back here?” Desmond asked Reese.

It had been two days since Reese had been caught in bed with Desmond’s brother, Andre. Reese figured Desmond would have calmed down and she would have a chance to beg for his forgiveness.

“I know I messed up, D, but please give me another chance. Let me prove that I can be loyal to you. I was only acting out of revenge when I slept with Andre..because I was jealous of you being with other girls, but I only want you.”

“Nah, I don’t trust you, Reese. What’s gonna happen the next time you get pissed at me? That was fucked up, you hooking up with my brother. You could have chosen any other nigga out there in them streets, but you chose my family.”

“I know that was foul, but please give me another chance. I don’t even want Andre. Please, D, I’ll do anything you want.”

And for the next month, that’s exactly what Reese did to get back on Desmond’s good side. She walked the stroll from sun up to sun down everyday, she happily gave him ever dollar she made, she made him breakfast in bed… anything Desmond asked of her, she did it. Finally after a month had gone by, Desmond gave her back the keys to her car and let her move back in with him. Desmond still didn’t fully trust her, but he wasn’t still angry at her and pretty soon, it was as if the situation with Andre had never happened.

***

Desmond was tired and ready to go home after a long day of keeping his hoes in check, but Reese had texted and asked him to pick her up an omelet from IHOP. Things had been pretty good between them ever since he’d taken her back and more and more, he was thinking she might just be the woman he would settle down with. He’d never planned on pimping and drug dealing forever, and he was ready to get out of the streets and start a real family. Reese was pampered and spoiled, but she’d always been loyal to him… except for that thing with his brother. And he knew deep down he couldn’t really blame her for sleeping with his brother, because he’d paraded several women around in her face too.

The sound of a police siren interrupted his thoughts. “Shit,” he mumbled as he saw the red and blue lights in his rearview mirror. He contemplated putting the petal to the medal and making a run for it, but he knew that he didn’t have any drugs or anything illegal in the car….this time. He pulled over and watched the officer cautiously make his way to his driver’s side window, one hand on his gun.

“Good evening, officer,” Desmond said. “Why’d you pull me over?”

“You were speeding, that’s why. I need your license and registration.”

“But, I wasn’t speeding, officer.”

“Sir, I need you to step out of the car,” the officer said as he prepared to open the door.

“For what?”

“Because I said so. Now get out and keep your hand’s where I can see them.”

“Man, this some bullshit.. I ain’t even do nothing,” Desmond complained while getting out of the car. He watched the news and he knew that these white police officer’s wouldn’t hesitate to bust a cap in a nigga’s ass for any little reason.

The officer patted him down, handcuffed him, and led him to his patrol car. Desmond sat in the back of the police car and watched as the officer searched his car.
A few minutes later, the officer headed back over to the car carrying a black duffel bag in his hands.

“Well, look what I found,” he said, opening the bag and revealing two kilos of cocaine and several bundles of cash.

“That ain’t mine,” Desmond said.

“Yeah…sure it’s not,” the officer said sarcastically.

“It’s not..I don’t know how that got in my trunk.”

“Tell it to the judge. You’re under arrest…”

***

“Hello,” Reese said, answering her phone.

“You have a collect call from an inmate at the Little Rock Correctional Facility..do you accept?” an automated voice said.

Reese quickly hung up the phone without accepting the call and smiled to herself. Hell no, she wasn’t accepting Desmond’s call. He could rot in prison for all she cared. A few seconds later, she received a text message on her cell phone:

‘Thanks for the tip..I found the drugs and money in the trunk just where you said it would be. He’s going to prison for a long time.’

“We got him, baby,” Reese told Andre as he walked out of the bathroom and climbed into bed beside her. “Officer Wilson just texted me and told me he found the drugs and money I put in the trunk of D’s car.”

Reese had been trying to think of a way to get back at Andre for weeks. She’d enlisted the help of Officer Mike Wilson- one of her best paying clients- to set Desmond up. Officer Wilson had access to seized drugs and money from drug busts and in exchange for some extra special sexual favors from Reese, he’d agreed to use the seized narcotics to help her out of her dilemma with her pimp/boyfriend.

While Desmond had been taking a shower this morning, Reese took the drugs and money Officer Wilson had given her and put it in Desmond’s car. Then she’d ran back inside and fixed him the last meal she’d ever fix him, and sexed him good one last time before he left the house.

Now, Reese and Andre sat in bed, counting all the money from Desmond’s stash that he kept hidden in a safe.

“There’s over twenty thousand dollars here,” Reese said happily.

“Twenty grand ain’t bad to start our new life together. I’m just glad Desmond didn’t realize we were playing him.”

“Not bad at all. I told you it would all work out. Now, he’s out of the picture and we can have the life we’ve always dreamed of.”

Andre and Reese had been college lovers and were engaged to be married when Desmond seduced Reese with the allure of good sex, empty promises, and money and took her from his brother. Then, he turned her out and started pimping her. Reese never wanted to be a prostitute, but she feared Desmond too much to tell him that…so she went along with it.

Reese had dropped out of college when she met Desmond, but she’d expressed her desire to go back and since Desmond said she’d have to pay for college herself, she’d found a job to pay for her classes. Andre secretly hated his older brother and vowed to one day get revenge. It wasn’t until he and Reese started working together that they realized they still loved each other and Reese wanted out of her life with Desmond.

So, they’d came up with the plan to get rid of Desmond. Reese pretended that she wanted to be Desmond’s bottom bitch so he would trust her and she’d be closer to him and learn all of his secrets..like the code to his safe. Now that Desmond was going to prison, she and Andre were finally going to get married and live happily ever after.

The End!

Short Story Challenge: Double-Cross Episode 2

#shortstorychallenge Double-Cross © J.L. Sapphire 2016

reese2

EPISODE 2:

Reese closed her eyes shut, counted to ten, then opened them, hoping that her eyes were playing tricks on her and Desmond wasn’t standing at the foot of the bed. No such luck. He was still there with an angry scowl on his face and a gun in his hand. She shook Andre, who was oblivious to the danger they were in. He was still snoring lightly in post coital bliss.

“Dang, I didn’t mean to fall asleep, babe,” he mumbled sleepily. He reached to put his arm around her, but she pushed him away.

“What’s wrong, babe?”

Reese looked nervously back and forth between Andre and Desmond, too scared to speak. So instead she pointed to the end of the bed. Andre sat up and followed the direction of her finger and he cursed under his breath when he saw what, or rather who, had Reese looking like she was seeing a ghost. A ghost probably would have been less scary than Desmond right now.

“Hey man, I can explain…this ain’t what it looks like,” he said jumping up and reaching down beside the bed for his jeans. Reese was too afraid to move, but she grabbed the sheet to cover her naked body.

“The hell you mean, its not what it looks like? It sure looks like you’re butt ass naked in my bed to me.”

“Okay, yeah, that’s what it is, but just let me explain.”

“Nah, ain’t no explaining, nigga.”

“Yes it is. Hell, I’m only doing what you told me to do anyway. This is a part of the plan, remember?”

“Nah, I never told you to fuck her. I said help me see if her trifling ass is as faithful to me as she pretends to be by making a pass at her..that’s it.”

Reese looked back and forth between the two men as they talked, shocked as hell at what she was hearing.

“Hold up..y’all set me up?”

“Nah hoe, you set yourself up,” Desmond snapped at her.

“I done told you about calling me a hoe,” she said to Desmond. “And anyway, you love my hoe ass when I’m bringing in that money after being out there in them streets, don’t you?”

“Well lately, you been slacking on that too. And don’t think I don’t know that you been trying to be slick and pocket some of you been making.”

“So you set me up because I keep some of the money that I get out there and earn?”

“Nah, I set you up because you been begging me to make you my bottom bitch. And I was thinking about it, but first I had to see if you could be loyal to me when my back is turned.. and now I know you can’t since you just smashed the homie, so back to the stroll you go. Matter of fact, I don’t need you on my team at all. You steal from me and lie to me and I can’t trust you. I need females around me that I can trust. Get some clothes on and gone and get up out of here.”

“But baby, give me one more chance.”

“Ain’t no second chances, bih.”

“But, how you gonna get mad at me when you been cheating on me too?”

“In order for me to cheat on you, you’d have to be my wifey. You ain’t never been that and you never will be. Now, get gone before I really get mad up in here and start popping off.”

Reese got out of the bed and walked towards the dresser with tears in her eyes, hurt and embarrassed that she’d gotten caught up in a scheme. She pulled out a pair of jeans and a T-shirt and quickly got dressed. Desmond was mad and still gripping that 9mm in his hand, so she knew it was best to get the hell out of dodge while he was allowing her to walk out alive. She’d seen him beat the hell out of his other whores many times before for different reasons ranging from rolling their eyes at him to being short with his money, so she got dressed and reached for the car keys lying on the dresser.

“I hope you don’t think you driving my car. Walk, trick.”

“I’m the one who gives you the money to make the car payment…most of the time,” Reese told him.

“But I leased the car in my name, so that’s my ride.”

“But it’s raining, Desmond.”

“Then you better call a cab.”

If she wasn’t scared of Desmond, she would have thrown something at him, but she wasn’t that crazy…so she left as fast as she could. She had a banging body and a pretty face and she knew she could easily find another pimp, but not if her face was all bruised up.

“What about me, man? You gonna let me walk up out of here alive too?” Andre asked.

“I shouldn’t after what you pulled, but you all good with me. You know it’s always money over these bitches with me. I can find a dozen more just like Reese. But you lucky you’re my baby brother and I love your ass. You only did what she allowed you to do. I would have done the same thing. Now finish getting dressed and let’s go hit up IHOP..I’m hungry as hell.”

***

Reese walked toward her mom’s house, shivering from the cold rain that was hitting her in the face. She blew through money so fast on dumb stuff like clothes and hair weaves, she didn’t even have $5.00 to pay for a cab. She cursed Desmond and Andre with each step. “I cant believe those punks set me up. This was all a game. That’s alright though…I know how to play games too.”

TO BE CONTINUED…

Short Story Challenge: Double-Cross Episode 1

I wasn’t going to do one, but I’m wide awake at 5 a.m., so here’s my #shortstorychallenge Double-Cross © J.L. Sapphire 2016

reese1

EPISODE 1:

Reese frowned as she read the text message her boyfriend, Desmond sent her: Don’t wait up..I’m working late.

“Working late my ass,” Reese mumbled to herself.

The last time Desmond “worked late” he’d come home smelling like Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday perfume; the time before that, with a hickey on his neck that she hadn’t given him; and the time before that, with pink lipstick on the waistband of his boxer briefs.

Reese wondered who he was out cheating on her with this time. She reached for the wine glass on the nightstand and took a long sip. She was tired of Desmond playing her for a fool, but she had a trick for his ass. She scrolled through the contacts in her phone until she found the number she was looking for, then she dialed it via video chat. “Hey, whatcha doing?”

“Watching tv, what about you?”

“I’m home alone, bored… again.”

“He must be “working late” again?”

Andre was Reese’s coworker, a*k*a* her work boyfriend. He bought her lunch, was a listening ear whenever she needed to vent about Desmond’s cheating ways, he wiped her tears and told her she was beautiful… all the things Desmond had stopped doing six months ago. It was only natural that Andre and Reese’s interactions turned flirtatious over time, but Reese tried her best to never cross that line because she really loved Desmond. At first. She and Andre talked to each other for well over an hour.

“So, won’t you let me come over and cuddle with you,” Andre said.

“You know what happened the last time we cuddled…”

Andre laughed, “I promise I’ll be good this time.”

“Okay, you can come over.”

Andre arrived in less than fifteen minutes. Reese greeted him at the door wearing a red thong and a baby T-shirt. Andre’s nature rose immediately, which Reese noticed.

“Somebody’s happy to see me.”

“I can show you better than I can tell you.”

And show her, he did. Reese wrapped her legs around Andre’s waist when he picked her up and carried her to the bedroom. She didn’t have to tell him where the room was, he’d been there before. He playfully tossed Reese on the bed and she licked her lips as she watched him take off his shirt, revealing a tattooed, muscular chest. She crawled over to the edge of the bed and traced the tattoo on his chest with her tongue as she unbuckled his jeans. Reese and Andre’s hands, tongues, and mouth’s explored every inch of each other’s bodies for the next hour.

Reese clinched the sheets in her fists and yelled Andre’s name out so loud when his head dipped between her thighs, you would have thought he was killing her. And unlike Desmond, instead of getting dressed and walking out the door, after they’d both reached multiple orgasms, Andre spooned her in his arms and held her until she fell asleep. He always left before her boyfriend came home, which usually wasn’t until the next day.

***

Reese stirred in her sleep. She’d been so tired after her and Andre’s lovemaking, she’d fallen asleep quickly after it was over. She glanced at the clock on the nightstand. It was 6:00 in the morning. She heard Desmond snoring lightly beside her. She wondered when he had crept into the bed? She was about to go back to sleep when she noticed a dark shadow at the foot of the bed. Unless she was dreaming, the shadow was a person…a person who looked like Desmond, and he was holding a gun. But, that couldn’t be..Desmond was lying beside her. She looked at the man lying next to her and her eyes bulged when she realized it was Andre, not Desmond lying next to her.

Oh shit…she’d been caught.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Every Year, Every Christmas now on Kindle

 

every-year-cover

It’s LIVE!!! Head over to Amazon.com and 1click my latest book, Every Year, Every Christmas, a #HolidayRomance for only $0.99.

I got the inspiration for writing this book while listening to one of my favorite Christmas songs, Every Year, Every Christmas by Luther Vandross.

 

Synopsis:

Although Patricia is married and has two children with her husband, Rodney, when she runs into her first and only true love around Christmastime, the feelings she thought she’d buried immediately resurface, setting off a chain of events that causes her life to spin out of control. A love will be found, a love will be lost, and the lives of everyone involved will never be the same.

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N7EVPPE

Short Fiction: Free At Last

low-angle-african-american-woman-walking-beach-close-up-49346037

ran a hot bath and prepared to go on a trip.

I’ve been preparing to take this trip for quite some time now. It’s long overdue for me to finally leave here. After I graduated high school, my goals in life were to find a good man who would love me, grow with me, and protect me.

My biological sperm donor walked out on my sixteen year old mother soon after she gave birth to me. My mother decided she wasn’t cut out for being a parent either, so one night she dropped me off at my widowed Grandma Rose’s house, and never returned.

My grandmother raised me as best she could. She instilled in me morals, respect, and to never find myself in a position where I had to depend on anyone.

I love Grandma Rose to death, but what was always missing in my life was a man- a father, provider, and protector. For as long as I can remember, I’ve searched for the love and guidance I never got from a father in the men I dated. I wanted a man to wrap his arms around me, tell me I was special, tell me I was beautiful…that he would never leave me and would always be there to protect me from what this big, scary world has to offer.

Jamison was all of these things.

I worked to put myself through college. I lived at home with my grandmother while I worked part-time as a waitress at a soul-food restaurant. I was the first person in our family to go to college, and I was determined to make grandma proud of me by earning a college degree.

It was a Friday when I met Jamison at the restaurant. I’d walked up to his table and asked what he would like. His seductive eyes scanned my body up and down as he said, “What I want ain’t on the menu.” That made me blush and giggle like a schoolgirl. “You sure are a beautiful woman; may I take you out sometime, Mona?” he asked, reading my name tag.

Click here to read the rest of this short story on niamagazine.com