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Chapter 1: I Just Died

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Chapter 1: I Just Died

Champagne Braswell

The pain feelsgood.  I didn’t think it would but it does. I feel at ease.  It started as a simple trickle but then it grew to a steady stream.  I watched as the blood ran away from me and tainted my bathtub water. It mixed in with the bubbles creating a beautiful death scene, scented with vanilla and lavender.  My head grew even lighter, assisted with a small glass of Malbec.  I rest my head on the back of the tub and look up at my recessed lights.  It was a bitch trying to get those installed.  My contractor kept adding additional costs to my requests. First $200, then $300.  “You don’t just want 3 lights. You want it to be even” he said.  But I wasn’t an even person. I was odd. I loved odd things.  I loved odd shows and stories. I loved odd food and clothes. At least that’s what my family always told me.

I can’t see how you can eat that mess” My mother Alice would always say.

We were at the north market and I had just ordered a Mango Lassi, an indian yougurt based drink.   The thickness of the smoothie and the sweet taste was something I had grown to admire. 

It’s just like a milkshake.” I retorted

If it was just a milkshake, it would be called a mikeshake.  You can’t just go around drinking and eating what those people make. You never know what they could have put into your food. They could drug you and have you some place passed out and raping you.

You can’t rape the willing” I said taking another sip.

My mother cut her eyes at me. “Don’t be a smart ass” she stated

But it’s who I was. My mother was the overcritical, small minded, lovable lady.  I was the cynical smart ass who was difficult to get along with. I always had been.

 

I normally keep my visits with my mother no longer than 30 minutes but on this day she tricked me to taking her to the sweet shop, Pistacia Vera.  She loved the macaroons.  I mean she really, really, loved the way they taste. So much so, that she learned how to make her own version. It pains me to say that they were really good. I say pains me because when you give my mother a compliment, she can't take it gracefully. Her response can be translated to something such as "what took you so long to compliment me." That is one thing that I envied about my mother. She’s so creative and such a great cook. Her refusal to not let me forget it, created my stubbornness in not publicly acknowledging it.  She doesn’t need any more compliments; I don’t need that type of negativity in my life.

My mother and I have a complicated relationship. I truly love her with all my heart, but we don’t mix. She’s oil, smooth and a great conduit for creating wonderful creations. I’m water tasteless and bland.  Though let her tell it, she’s water because she’s life and pure, while I’m used oil, a kitchen nuisance. No one knows how to dispose of it, so they let it sit and ignore it until they find a proper way for disposal.

My mother doesn’t like to talk about uncomfortable things. She only liked to talk about happy things.  Her life was stressed as a young mother and she often wanted to be absent from her adult responsibilities. She spent much of her time working, watching TV, and griping about how hard motherhood was. That if I hadn’t come along she would have been somebody instead of being a mother.  She complained so much about motherhood that growing up, I was sure it was something that I didn’t want to experience.  And so far at the age of 36, I was holding on to that promise.  My mother on the other hand was ready for me to receive my “motherhood retribution”.  This is when mother’s can’t wait for their daughters to have children so they can sit back and say “now you see what I meant back then?” and chuckle at your hardships. It’s that gratification they received after waiting so long for you to “reap what you sow”.  Unfortunately for my mother, it seems like her “nan nan a boo boo” party was talking too long. She’d always find a way to inject into the conversation my inability to find a good man and settle down. 

“You don’t have forever, ya know”, she’d start.

I know”, I’d retort, like so many other times.

Well what are you waiting on?  You don’t need to be married to have kids.” As if that’s the reason why I don’t have kids.

I’ll find the nearest bum on the corner and we will get this worked out for you mom.  It’s my solemn duty to make you happy and if I have to get some bum s*x so you can have a baby, well dang it I’m there.”

This would normally cause her to catch an attitude and change the conversation.  That’s my likable mother. She only likes to talk about the happy things and doesn’t like confrontation. I can’t say she’s alone in that thought.  I normally use sarcasm.  Perhaps we aren’t too different.

 

We finally came to the store and they were closed.  I thought they were open until 6pm but noticed the sign said they were closed on Mondays.

“Really?!?” My mom exclaimed. “that’s not even the Lord’s day!”

I chuckled a bit. I had to agree, most stores are closed during the weekend. 

Nothing Bundt Cakes is close. I’ll take you there and you can get whatever you like.

My mother’s face turned in to a big smile  

Well let’s go! I don’t have all day!” She reached out and grabbed my hand.  She never does that. It’s great that this is the last memory she’ll have with me.  All the arguments and pain we’ve gone through, I’m glad she’ll have this last hoorah.

 

My eyes are so heavy. I forgot where I was.  The mind is a powerful thing. The moreyou believe something, the more it becomes true. I had went so deep into my memories that I had almost thought I was happy. I obviously couldn’t be happy or I wouldn’t be here. In my tub. With my life face moving into the world. I don’t expect to meet God. I don’t think he wouldknow me.  I know now that I’m committing this sin, he will never want to know me.

I slowly begin slipping away. My mind stops running. My heart's song gets lower and lower.  I have died.